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Who's the industry movers and shakers this week?

Who got a new gig this week? Check out this week's travel industry's Movers and Shakers!

Who got a new gig this week? Check out this week’s travel industry’s Movers and Shakers!



1. Destination Asia Promote Michael Assef to Director of Meeting and Events in Shanghai

Michael Assef

Michael Assef.

Destination Asia is pleased to announce the promotion of Michael Assef to Director of Meeting and Events in Shanghai, strengthening the commitment to deliver the pinnacle in meeting and event services to clients.

A well respected and valued member of the Destination Asia family, Michael was fundamental in developing Cambodia product in his role as Product and MICE Manager in Cambodia and accepts his new position in Shanghai with great anticipation.

The new role will see Michael consolidate all the meetings and event business in Shanghai, enabling Destination Asia to become more reactive to their clients’ needs. Working with an already established team in the Shanghai office, Michael will drive creative talents with upmost attention to detail, further developing Destination Asia’s truly unique and memorable incentive program offerings.


2. CWT continues to grow its executive leadership team

Graeme Pearcey.

Graeme Pearcey.

Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) today announced the appointment of Martin Buckland in the role of senior director, Sales & Program Management, Australia and New Zealand, and Graeme Pearcey as senior director, Traveler Services, Australia and New Zealand.

“We are delighted to have both senior professionals on board. Martin is a strong business minded individual, who understands the industry and demonstrates high-level thinking and Graeme’s in-depth knowledge of operations, governance and customer service makes him the ideal person to lead our Traveler Services team,” explains Lisa Akeroyd, managing director, Australia and New Zealand.

“Both Martin and Graeme will be great assets to our operations and enable us to continue to innovate in the market place.”

                   Lisa Akeroyd

Martin Buckland was most recently the executive director, Sales and Marketing at renewable energy company, Mark Group Australia. He previously worked for Thrifty Australia and in executive operations and sales roles for Hertz car rental and the Mars Group in the United Kingdom.

“CWT is a leader in business travel and they continue to drive change in the industry, investing heavily in innovation and technology.”

                  Martin Buckland

CWT is able to deliver new products into the market place based on research that actually reflects what the market needs. There is great innovation behind this technology and I am looking forward to helping bring these to life.”

As an experienced leader in customer experience, Graeme Pearcey has worked for leading brands including Microsoft, Skype, InterCall, Telstra and most recently AIG where he managed 2,100 contact centre employees including operational support services, learning and development as well as training, across 10 countries in Asia Pacific. Pearcey commented, “CWT recognises that their travel consultants are the foundation to their success and are constantly implementing new tools and technology to improve the booking process and enhance the customer experience.

“I am proud to be leading a team that is so focused on delivering exceptional customer service.”

                  Graeme Pearcey


3. Hawaiian Airlines Appoints Gai Tyrrell as Regional Director for Australia and New Zealand

Gai Tyrrell.

Gai Tyrrell.

Hawaiian Airlines has announced the appointment of Gai Tyrrell to the position of regional director – Australia and New Zealand, based in Sydney. In this newly created position, Tyrrell will be responsible for overseeing all commercial activities and product distribution in Hawaiian Airlines’ fast-growing Australia and New Zealand markets.

“We are pleased to have Gai join our international sales team as we continue to maximize our company’s growth in the Australia and New Zealand markets,” said Theo Panagiotoulias, Hawaiian Airlines senior vice president – global sales & alliances.

“Both Australia and New Zealand have been at the center of our international expansion over many years and we envisage continued growth from these key markets in our network.”

                 Theo Panagiotoulias

Tyrrell brings more than 20 years of airline and travel industry experience to Hawaiian Airlines. She previously served as chief executive officer at Sabre Pacific, which provides technology, distribution and marketing services for travel industry clients.

Prior to that, she held numerous senior leadership roles at different companies including chief operating officer at Jetset Travelworld Group, executive general manager at Flight Centre Ltd. – FCM Travel Solutions and general manager – industry sales Australia at Qantas Airways.


4. KarryOn team expands with new editors

Gian Reyes.

Gian Reyes.

The team at KarryOn has grown this week, with the appointment of new news and lifestyle editors.

Joining us today are Gian Reyes, who will offer you the best travel tips and trends; and Nahrain John, who has stepped in to serve up all the latest in travel news.

Gian Reyes comes from a men’s lifestyle, luxury travel and alcohol trade background. He is all about new experiences and he believes that even though curiosity may have killed the cat, that cat probably lived a very fun life.

Nahrain John.

Nahrain John.

Nahrain joins KarryOn with over five years writing travel news for various online travel publications including E-Travel Blackboard and Cruise Passenger. While she loves to write, she has a not-so-secret passion for talking on camera and behind the mic – expect to see her on your computer screens soon.




5. New face in sales for Peppers Airlie Beach

Mercedes Ireland.

Mercedes Ireland.

Peppers Airlie Beach have appointed Mercedes Ireland as Sales Executive, focusing on Leisure, Groups and MICE markets.

Mercedes previously worked with Whitsundays Marketing and Development RTO as the Domestic Tourism Manager for 4 years, marketing the destination to key source and niche markets, and has a wealth of experience in attracting people to the Whitsundays and working collaboratively with industry partners to maximise opportunities and outcomes.

“It will be great for Peppers to have Mercedes on board to maintain and develop relationships with key industry partners, trade and stakeholders.”

                    Peppers Airlie Beach GM, Jodi Shambrook

Mercedes has called the Whitsundays home for the last 14 years and is excited to be working with Peppers to attract holiday makers and delegates to the Whitsundays and Airlie Beach.

“Peppers is an exceptional accommodation product in the region and I’m looking forward to showcasing it to industry and partners.”

                   Mercedes Ireland

“Our goal is to see Peppers and the Whitsundays become the top holiday and conference destination in Queensland.”


6. Grand Hyatt Melbourne announces new Sales & Marketing Director

Nicole PasquaiGrand Hyatt Melbourne is thrilled to announce the arrival of Nicole Pasqual to the team as the new Director of Sales and Marketing. Nicole joins Hyatt with a wealth of hotel sales and marketing experience, having worked in the industry for the past 22 years in locations throughout Australia.

In her most recent role with Toga Far East Hotels as Group Director of Sales, Nicole was responsible for managing a sales team of 40 with a focus on providing collaborative sales support for over 70 hotels. Nicole was instrumental in cultivating new strategic partnerships and introducing a range of integrated sales and marketing initiatives that saw the business capture greater market share and achieve unprecedented results.

An experienced hotelier with a global outlook, Nicole brings a new dimension of expertise across all aspects of the hospitality business allied with strong leadership, communication and management skills. Her innovative, strategic and performance-driven mindset will ensure Grand Hyatt Melbourne’s continued strong brand positioning, growth and performance.