Several executives have new or expanded roles at Apple Leisure Group Vacations (ALGV), which includes Apple Vacations, Funjet Vacations, Travel Impressions, United Vacations, Southwest Vacations and Blue Sky Tours.
Jacki Marks, executive vice president of ALGV, said the move came as the team sought how to further improve the relationship with travel advisors.
“As a leadership team, we took time to reflect on your feedback, assess our strengths, and determine how we can best serve you—one of our key stakeholders,” Marks wrote in a letter to agents. “The efforts of our deep dive into the business have strengthened our brand leadership, with the goal of enhancing travel agent support, while maintaining brand differentiation. These structural leadership changes will position us all for collective success and help us grow all of our travel agency brands.”
Scott Wiseman, who was president of Travel Impressions, now is senior vice president and general manager of brand management for ALGV. He will focus on the financial performance and overall direction of our collection of industry-leading travel agency brands.
The company said Wiseman’s role is expanding to include oversight of all the travel agent-facing ALGV brands, including Travel Impressions, and that while he’ll retain much of his previous function at TI, his new title reflects the larger scope of his responsibility across ALGV.
John Tarkowski, former president of Apple Vacations, is now senior vice president of brand strategy and will focus on developing and enhancing key programs, policies and strategic efforts to maximize the performance of travel agency brands. Similarly, his role is expanding, and he’ll be responsible for larger ALGV programs and policies instituted across all brands, such as Travel Protection Plus and the new WAVES agent rewards program.
“With this change, each of the brands will continue to operate and maintain their unique value and personality, with the benefit of enhanced support and resources from the centralized organization,” Marks said in the letter.
Ron Jacobs, who was president of Funjet, is now senior vice president in a role outside of ALGV, supporting the global ALG business.
Wendy Hoekwater, senior vice president of marketing, will focus on travel agency marketing. “In particular, she will ensure continued brand differentiation so you can work with the brands that serve your customers’ needs the best,” Marks said.
Jim Tedesco, vice president of sales, has expanded his sales territory and now oversees the sales function across the U.S. To better support agents, ALG will move its West Coast team to a multi-brand business development management (BDM) platform.
“This move will provide the opportunity for stronger relationships with agent advocates, provide a single point of contact who can quickly react to feedback and concerns, and streamline processes, resulting in faster resolutions,” Marks wrote. “Travel agents on the West Coast will hear directly from their sales team to learn the specific details.”
Mike Ehlers, vice president of groups, has returned to his role leading the groups team.
“While these changes should not impact your daily interactions with ALG and the ALG Vacations brands, you should notice faster decision-making and improved programs,” Marks said. “Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your BDM team, and remember to regularly check Primed for Peak for updates.”
Marks started off her letter with an optimistic tone. “January has kicked off an impressive start to 2020,” she said. “To date, we have seen double-digit bookings growth—led by strong online bookings. We are truly energized to see all of you embrace the easy-to-use commission benefit of VAX.”