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Ponant revamps North American sales team

Ponant revamps North American sales team
Ponant Cultural Cruises & Expeditions added three new positions to its North American sales team. Under the leadership of Navin Sawhney, ceo, Americas, and Kathy Johns, director of sales for North America, the regional directors will develop business and support retail travel agencies throughout the US.

Johns has focused on luxury and experiential travel throughout her 18 years in the industry, building her expertise with companies such as Brownell Travel, Lindblad Expeditions and Virtuoso. Having held leadership positions in the agency, consortia and supplier sides of the business, she brings a well-rounded perspective on high-end travel sales and marketing.  

Dale Woods, who has worked in the US for Ponant since January 2015, has a new role as director of business development, Northeast region. He will oversee clientele development in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, Washington, DC, and Pennslyvania.

With more than 30 years of experience working with travel agents, Woods has served in various sales and marketing management positions. For the past 10 years he has specialized in small-ship cruising with a strong expedition focus, driving business for companies such as Quark Expeditions and Travel Dynamics International. Woods also has represented suppliers including Rail Europe and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

In her new role Cindy Christen, director of business development, Southeast region, will work with travel agents in the Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. Most recently, Christen served as director of sales North America for CroisiEurope River Cruises. Previously, she was sales manager for Uniworld River Cruises for nine years and held management positions with First European Cruises, Premier Cruise Lines and Carnival Airlines.

Dave Hoshin, director of business development, Western region, brings 25 years of experience in the travel and hospitality industry. He will work with agencies in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Hawaii. For the past decade Hoshin held sales and leadership roles with Travel Impressions. He started his career in luxury hotels in Jamaica then later promoted the destination across the US.

Rita Chenique has represented Ponant in the US as director, group and charter sales, since August 2011. Now, as director of business development, group and charter sales, she'll continue working with clients, brokers and travel agencies to maximize sales revenue for FIT, groups and charters. In addition, she's taking a role in the strategic development, refinement and implementation of sales distribution in Latin America.

With more than 25 years of experience working in the charter market, Chenique has served in various sales and management positions worked for suppliers including Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Seabourn.

Canada-based Cruise Strategies has represented Ponant throughout the country since February 2015, and continues to grow the brand and sales under the leadership of Vanessa Lee and her team.