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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 Movers and Shakers.

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


1. Pichler departs Fiji Airways for Air Berlin

Stefan Pichler.

Stefan Pichler.

Pichler has been asked by the German Government to help turnaround Germany’s national airline – Air Berlin – and will return home in February next year to do so.

Pichlers successful tenure has seen a turnaround in the airlines fortunes including the re-branding to Fiji Airways from Air Pacific in June 2013 as well as the introduction of new services and code shares, an increased fleet and record profits.

Most recently, Pichler was appointed Chairman of Fiji Tourism for three years and has since fostered a closer relationship between both the airline and the Tourism Board.

Fiji Airways’ Chairman, Nalin Patel, said that the Board of Fiji Airways makes this announcement with great regret but respects Mr. Pichler’s decision to respond to the call of his country.

Mr Pichler will continue as a Board Member of Fiji Airways and will assist with the selection and the transition to a successor, as well as with the further strategic development of the Group.

“Great progress has been made at Fiji Airways and the company is definitely on track for a successful future. The Board will make sure that Fiji Airways will continue to deliver outstanding value to its customers, its staff and its shareholders.”

                Nalin Patel


2. Tourism Australia announces Lisa Ronson as new CMO

Lisa Ronson.

Lisa Ronson.

Tourism Australia has confirmed Lisa Ronson will be joining Australia’s national tourism organisation as its new chief marketing officer. She replaces Nick Baker who will be leaving Tourism Australia to pursue new opportunities early next year.

Ms Ronson joins Tourism Australia from Westpac, where she is currently the head of marketing services.

Ms Ronson has 18 years marketing experience, in a career which has seen her hold senior brand marketing, advertising and sponsorship roles working across a range of diverse industries and global brands, including David Jones, Telstra, Visa International and Carlton and United Breweries.

Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan, said Ms Ronson’s work with high profile, national and international brands as well as her extensive digital experience had been key factors in her appointment.

“Tourism is an incredibly competitive global industry, with some 130 national tourism organisations all competing for the international tourist dollar.”

“I think Lisa’s broad marketing experience in non-tourism sectors such as FMCG, Retail and Financial Services will bring fresh ideas and help keep us ahead of the pack.”

                John O’ Sullivan

Ms Ronson said she felt privileged and immensely proud to be given the opportunity to help promote her country on the international stage.

“Every step in my career has been driven by a desire to deliver outstanding results, work with great people and great brands. Whilst I will miss the team at Westpac, I couldn’t be more pleased with the opportunity that has been put before me and can’t wait to start,” Ms Ronson said.

Ms Ronson commences her position in February 2015.


3. Travellers Choice Board welcomes Mark Brady as new Director

Mark Brady.

Mark Brady.

Travellers Choice members today approved Mark Brady, one of the group’s most experienced travel agency owners, as the newest member of the Company’s Board of Directors.

Travellers Choice is a publicly unlisted company owned entirely by its members, who are located in every state and include some of Australia’s most successful travel businesses. The Company’s Board consists of four member shareholders, along with two independent Directors.

Mark has more than 30 years’ experience in the Australian travel industry, having joined Qantas in Sydney in1982. He moved across into the retail travel sector in 1990, opening his first agency in Cairns.

Today he owns three of Travellers Choice’s most respected agencies: Ballina Cruise & Travel (NSW), Byron Cruise & Travel (NSW) and Runaway Bay Cruise & Travel (QLD).

Mark says he joined the Travellers Choice Board in order to make a contribution to Australia’s leading independent retail travel group and the broader travel industry.

“I’ve been in the travel industry for a long time and as a non-consulting agency owner I believe I can add helpful insight and knowledge to our Company’s Board.”

                 Mark Brady

“It is an honour to represent my fellow Travellers Choice member shareholders and I’m looking forward to embracing a new and exciting challenge.”

Mark replaces Moss Vale Cruise & Travel Director Anni Baillieu, who stepped down at this year’s AGM after six years’ service to the Board.

Travellers Choice Chief Executive Christian Hunter says Anni has made a major contribution to the group during her time as a Director.

“Her efforts have undoubtedly helped guide Travellers Choice through one of the most important and successful periods in the Company’s history, and I would like to thank her on behalf of all our members.”

               Christian Hunter