Industry People 5-25-2007

‘Night of the Presidents’ Students in the Travel program at West Los Angeles College (WLAC) were given a rare treat last month when four of the biggest names in the travel industry appeared together for a panel discussion. The “Night of the Presidents,” as it was called, brought together John Sev


‘Night of the Presidents’

Students in the Travel program at West Los Angeles College (WLAC) were given a rare treat last month when four of the biggest names in the travel industry appeared together for a panel discussion. The “Night of the Presidents,” as it was called, brought together John Severini, president, Trafalgar Tours; Frank Marini, president, Contiki; Tim Irwin, president, Pleasant Holidays; and Jerre Fuqua, president, Travcoa.

The standing-room-only crowd of enthusiastic students asked the presidents some tough questions, including ways to encourage more diversity in the industry, about future trends to watch and how they reach out to travel agents. Moderator Dr. Marc Mancini, an instructor in the program, kept the group on their toes with his own zingers. One such question, “Which of the other presidents would you switch jobs with?” led to some especially entertaining responses.


Changes at Tauck

Tauck World Discovery has made a few changes to its senior leadership team. The third-generation family company has announced the appointment of longtime Tauck executive Dan Mahar as chief executive officer. Mahar is a Tauck board member, a former executive vice president with the company and a Tauck family member.

The company has also announced the hiring of travel industry veteran Dietmar Wertanzl to fill the newly created position of chief operating officer. Robin Tauck will continue as Tauck’s president and in her role as board member, and her father, Arthur Tauck, will continue to serve as chairman of the board for the company.

Announcing the changes, Arthur Tauck said: “Our recent successes have set the bar very high for us going forward, and it’s only fitting that we augment our leadership team in order to achieve the strategic goals we’ve set for the growth of the company and assure our continued success.”


Collette Employee Named Community Hero

Collette Vacations employee Carol Wright accepted a City Year Rhode Island Community Hero Award on April 5, at City Year’s annual Starfish Luncheon held at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

The Starfish Luncheon is City Year Rhode Island’s largest fundraiser. Over $100,000 was raised at the luncheon to support City Year programs in the state. Each major sponsor of the event was invited to nominate a company community hero who impacted the lives of others through a dedication to service.

Wright has participated in each of the five years of Tourism Cares for Tomorrow and was one of over 35 Collette employees who helped restore areas of Mississippi ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. Wright has also helped those in need in her own New England community through Collette’s Employee Volunteer Program.


Mazza-Burney Takes the Helm at Nest

Kathryn Mazza-Burney has taken the helm as president of NEST (Network of Entrepreneurs Selling Travel). Mazza-Burney, who has been involved in NEST since its inception, has been promoted from executive vice president of sales. As president, she oversees day-to-day operations and strategic planning.

“We were the first in the industry to dedicate an entire company to the needs and success of home-based agents, and we believe so strongly in them. The home-based sector an idea whose time has definitely come is growing fast,” said Mazza-Burney. “We focus everyday on helping these agents to achieve even greater success financially, professionally and personally by championing solutions and opportunities that are just for them. We’re proud to say that our preferred supplier partners are standing right by our side in supporting the efforts of home-based agents.”

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