INDUSTRY PEOPLE

From left: Jeffrey Anderson, America’s Vacation Center; Joan Devine, Brampton CruiseShip Centers; Irene Anderson, MK Travel & Tours; Rudi Schreiner, Amadeus Waterways; and Carlanne McCrystal, TopDawg Travel. Agents Learn About Luxury Drawing 125 home-based and traditional agents


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From left: Jeffrey Anderson, America’s
Vacation Center; Joan Devine, Brampton
CruiseShip Centers; Irene Anderson,
MK Travel & Tours; Rudi Schreiner,
Amadeus Waterways; and
Carlanne McCrystal, TopDawg Travel.
Agents Learn About Luxury
Drawing 125 home-based and traditional agents from the U.S. and Canada, Platinum Luxury Society held its seventh annual International Luxury Symposium at the World Trade Center in Seattle on May 31. The gathering featured talks by top executives from consortia and host agencies as well as suppliers of travel, each focusing on how agents can increase luxury sales.

Other activities for attendees included an executive social with wines from the Northwest, a CLIA workshop and a reception at the Space Needle. Founded in 1992, PLS offers agents continuing education opportunities in the form of seminars at sea.


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Right: Erin Pedersen
From Holland To America
Erin Pedersen (right), business development manager for New Mexico, presented travel agent Wanda Mattiace with a commemorative certificate to celebrate her 50th anniversary of living in the U.S. As a 5-year-old, Mattiace arrived in New York from Rotterdam in March 1957, sailing aboard Holland America Line’s Groote Beer. Mattiace now owns Adventure Travel Inc. in Las Cruces, N.M. “I never would have imagined when I arrived in the U.S. that one day I would work in the travel industry selling cruises on Holland America Line,” said Mattiace. “The only thing I would do differently if I could is put all the latest Signature of Excellence amenities on the ship we sailed in the fifties. Imagine that?”


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Allen
IsramWorld Appoints Allen
A. Ady Gelber, CEO and executive chairman of the board of IsramWorld, has announced the appointment of Deborah Allen as regional business development manager, Midwest.

Based in Illinois, Allen will focus on the development of sales in her area with personal visits and arranging in-house product seminars. Allen has traveled extensively throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America and lived in Hong Kong for several years.


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Balraj
Westin Welcomes Balraj
Sumithra Balraj has been appointed director of public relations at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa.

In her new role, Balraj will be responsible for identifying, developing and maximizing public relations initiatives for the 758-room resort.

Prior to joining the resort, Balraj was a senior account executive at McNeil Wilson Communications, Inc. under the travel and tourism division. She was also the public relations manager of the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu for two years since August 2003.


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Nunez
Villa Group Selects Nunez and Ghartey
The Villa Group has announced the appointment of key personnel. Sergio Nunez has been named hotel manager for the company’s 245-suite Villa La Estancia Beach Resort & Spa Nuevo Vallarta. Nunez will be responsible for daily operations of the new resort.

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Ghartey

Claudia Susanna Ghartey has been appointed to the position of regional director of spas for The Villa Group Resorts Vallarta.

Ghartey will oversee operations for the spa adjacent to Villa del Palmar Flamingos Beach Resort & Spa and Villa La Estancia Beach Resort & Spa in Nuevo Vallarta. She will also be responsible for the Bay Breeze Spa at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa in Puerto Vallarta.

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