Pam Hoffee, Avalon Waterways’ new managing director // © 2018 Avalon Waterways
Feature image (above): Avalon Myanmar sails the Irrawaddy River. // © 2018 Avalon Waterways
Pam Hoffee has been promoted to managing director of Avalon Waterways, in addition to her responsibilities as chief operating officer of Globus Family of Brands. Her promotion comes on the heels of Terri Burke’s decision to retire as managing director of Avalon Waterways for personal reasons.
“Pam Hoffee is the perfect person to lead Avalon Waterways into the future,” said Scott Nisbet, president and CEO for Globus Family of Brands. “She was a valued member of the core team that launched Avalon Waterways in 2004. And since then, she has helped our award-winning cruise line raise the bar on this incredible travel style. She not only has a clear vision for what Avalon needs to continue to exceed our guest expectations, but she also has the operational expertise to implement our ideas and ideals.”
Hoffee has spearheaded product and operations for Globus Family of Brands for 15 years, and a year ago added Avalon’s worldwide operations to her responsibilities. As Avalon’s managing director, she is supported by a global team, and teamwork lies at the heart of her extensive responsibilities.
Her existing team is primed to support her additional role, and she said an expanded revenue management team for Avalon, already in the works, has taken off some pressure.
“In a year I have learned a lot about my team,” she said. “The average tenure is 15 years, so there is tremendous experience there to draw on, and it definitely takes a team to make this work. I got them together and asked them what their reaction would be if I took on the new role. They were very excited about it. “
Hoffee’s across-the-board detailed knowledge of Globus’ brands makes her the ideal person to expand the successful combination of products introduced in 2012.
“The Monograms extensions of Avalon’s cruises have become our fastest-growing product,” she said. “We have seen high double-digit growth year over year, and we’ll be making an announcement soon about expanding it. People coming back to Europe want to add new elements to their experience.”
The sales side is less familiar to Hoffee, but she looks forward to deeper involvement with agents and getting to know them through trade shows and fams. Before her promotion, she was already scheduled to be involved with a March Virtuoso event on Avalon ships, and she is working closely with Paula Hayes, the vice president of sales for Globus Family of Brands.
“This is a great time for river cruising,” Hoffee said. “The biggest challenge has been breaking through the perceived sameness and seeing brand distinction emerge. We have had a distinct personality for a long time, with our Rooms With a View and Suite Ships, and it’s been exciting to watch the Avalon personality come to life.”
What would she like to see in the future if she could dream up anything at all? She says she would like to see Avalon build on its technology with smart rooms and possibly wellness rooms.
“But our changes come from the guest input,” she added.
When asked about the biggest challenges she sees in the immediate future, she was stumped.
“I could have answered that easily in other years,” she said. “This year everything is going really well.”