MSC Cruises has promoted Nicola Gargiulo to executive vice president, a newly-created position. Garguilo has worked for MSC Cruises for eight years. Most recently, Gargiulo was responsible for North American revenue.
Wendy Kallergis has been named president and chief executive of The Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association. Kallergis was most recently president and chief executive of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. She will work to grow Miami as a top-tier travel destination.
Jungle Island has appointed Ashley Serrate as public relations manager. In her new position, Serrate will oversee the park's public relations initiatives and media relations. Prior to joining Jungle Island, Serrate worked at South Florida public relations firm, Kreps DeMaria.
Kimberly Wilson, the current chair of the Marriott South Florida Business Council and general manager of the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, has named chair of the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism (for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools). She will serve a two-year term.
Ramon Antelo has been elected president of travel and tourism club SKAL International Miami. He is the general manager of the Hilton Bentley Miami South Beach hotel.
The other elected officers include:
- Nina Meyer, national director of Leisure for TraveLeaders and president of South Florida ASTA, is vice president
- Alfredo Gonzalez, vice president of tourism international business for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, is secretary
- Christopher Perks, president of The Opus Group, is treasurer
- Haley Sofge, general manager of Island Queen Cruises and Biscayne Lady Yacht Charters, is assistant secretary treasurer
- Rodrigo Trujillo and Douglas Reinmuth will serve as the SIUSA Representatives
Ivonne Garcia has been promoted to assistant vice president of operations research for Interval International, a vacation services provider based in Miami.
She joined the company in 1988 and was most recently director of operations research.
Associate vice president of advertising and new media for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
Natasha Babulal has been hired as associate vice president of advertising and new media for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Most recently, she was senior manager of marketing and branding for Spirit Airlines.
The Miami Beach Mayor and Commission has appointed Deborah Castillo to the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority.
She has been in the hotel industry for over 22 years and is regional vice president of sales and marketing for Loews Hotels, based in Miami Beach.