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Windstar beefs up team with 6 appointments including some cruise pros

From top left, Gina Smith, Doug Santoni, Mary Schimmelman, and from bottom left, Peter Beck, members of the Seattle office and Jay Juang
Windstar Cruises appointed six new individuals, including a vp deployment and revenue operations who's a Royal Caribbean veteran, a vp accounting, a director of public relations and social media from Holland America Line, a director of information technology, a controller and a risk manager.

After doubling its fleet in the last two years, Windstar is adding new executive and staff positions to support sales, marketing, finance and operations and expanding its downtown Seattle headquarters, which now employs approximately 120 travel professionals in the Pacific Northwest and approximately 700 fleet employees worldwide.

The new hires include Doug Santoni as vp deployment and revenue operations, who brings experience in travel and transportation with expertise in pricing, strategy and advanced analytics. Santoni previously held executive roles with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., where he led revenue management and pricing for the multi-branded global fleet and deployed vessels to maximize profitability and support key brand positions. Prior to joining Windstar, Santoni was the pricing executive for Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ Group in Seattle.

At Windstar Santoni leads a variety of key commercial functions encompassing revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, product development and vacation planning via the customer contact center.

Peter Beck comes to Windstar as vp accounting. He brings 25 years of financial, accounting and staff management experience, most recently working at Seattle-based Columbia Hospitality as vp and cfo. Previous positions included serving as vp and cfo for the Space Needle Corporation, as well as several progressive positions within the finance department of Westin Hotels & Resorts.

At Windstar Beck oversees management financial reporting and accounting. Additional responsibilities are managing the budgeting, forecasting, capital planning and risk management process.

Mary Schimmelman joins Windstar as director of public relations and social media, bringing a passion for cruise travel and a comprehensive background in communications and travel. Most recently she served as senior manager of social media marketing for Holland America Line, responsible for establishing and growing the brand’s overall social media program including content development, multi-channel publishing, partnerships and integrated marketing communications. Earlier, Schimmelman was a member of HAL's public relations team.

At Windstar she's responsible for all PR aspects including brand positioning, media relations, corporate communications, special events, issues management and social media oversight including content curation and publishing, marketing integration and community engagement.

Brian Kimmons serves as the new director of information technology and brings 20 years of hospitality information technology experience, including 15 in the cruise industry. Previous positions include IT director for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, as well as 10 years at Silversea Cruises. Kimmons is focused on implementing new corporate IT standards at Windstar and providing around-the-clock support to vessels in Europe, French Polynesia and the Caribbean.

Controller Gina Smith arrives with more than 20 years of experience from an extensive background in accounting and financial systems. She most recently worked as controller at the Bellevue Club in Bellevue, Washington. Smith is responsible for providing financial information to the Windstar organization, both in reporting company-wide operational results and managing department budgets and financial forecasts.

Jay Juang embarks Windstar as risk manager. He has more than 20 years in risk management roles, most recently as vp and claims manager at Mitsui Sumitomo Marine Insurance. Juang began his maritime career sailing on container ships, passenger vessels and supertankers, eventually being promoted to captain.