ASTA, Signature and USTOA Announce Key Appointments

Gonchar joins ASTA, Signature adds Sharpe and USTOA appoints Dale
New USTOA president Terry Dale spoke at the USTOA conference held 
earlier this month in New Orleans. // © 2010 Monroe V. Davids/USTOA
New USTOA president Terry Dale spoke at the USTOA conference held earlier this month in New Orleans. // © 2010 Monroe V. Davids/USTOA

The Details

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Signature Travel Network and the U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA) recently announced major executive appointments for their organizations.

Last week, ASTA named travel industry veteran Tony Gonchar as its new CEO, effective Jan. 3. Gonchar is a former executive vice president of sales and marketing at Virtuoso and also spent several years working at Expedia, managing its private label and branded partnerships division.

"ASTA is excited to introduce Tony Gonchar as the incoming CEO," said Chris Russo, ASTA president and chair. "I have said we need a strong ASTA for the future, and we believe Tony gives us the ability to change with the industry to be strong now and in the future."

Earlier this month, Signature announced the appointment of Alex Sharpe in the newly created position of executive vice president, effective Jan. 1. In his new role, Sharpe will direct vendor relations for land and cruise products, alliance partnerships, member recruitment and sales and marketing strategies. Most recently, Sharpe served as senior vice president of national, key and international accounts for Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

USTOA recently named Terry Dale as its new president. In his new position, which takes effect in January, Dale will develop the association's strategic marketing initiatives, manage its government advocacy on issues affecting tour operators and work with other industry leaders to identify mutual challenges and opportunities. Dale will also serve as a key ambassador and spokesperson for USTOA.

"I'm honored and enthusiastic about joining USTOA and becoming a part of the association's future," said Dale. "Along with USTOA, I share a sincere desire to build upon the foundation that Bob Whitley established during his long and successful tenure. This is a wonderful opportunity to take a fresh look at the associationís role, and to see how it can continue to maintain its vibrancy, relevancy and serve as an advocate for travel now and into the future."

A well-known and respected industry leader, Dale comes to USTOA after serving as president and CEO of Cruise Line International Association since 2003. Previous positions include five years with NYC & Company -- The NYC Convention and Visitors Bureau, where he was executive vice president; and 10 years as president and CEO of the Greater Providence Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as president of the New England Society of Convention and Visitorís Bureaus.
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