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CLIA names STARBoard and Trade Relations Committee leaders

From left, STARBoard Co-Chairs Anita Pagliasso and Skip Fortier and Trade Relations Committee Chair Dondra Ritzenthaler and Vice Chair John Diorio
Cruise Lines International Association appointed four leaders to helm its Strategic Trade Advisory and Review Board (STARBoard) and Trade Relations Committee in North America.

Anita Pagliasso, VP industry relations, KHM Travel Group, and Skip Fortier, VP network expansion, Avoya Travel, will serve as STARBoard co-chairs. Dondra Ritzenthaler, SVP sales, trade support & service, Americas, Celebrity Cruises, will chair the Trade Relations Committee, and vice chair is Virgin Voyages' John Diorio, VP North American sales.

Two year-term

The four will serve a two-year term running through 2024.

'Anita, Skip, Dondra and John are unwavering advocates of the travel trade and staunch supporters of a strong and successful travel agency distribution channel for cruise,' said CLIA's Charles Sylvia, VP industry and trade relations.

Anita Pagliasso

Pagliasso opened her home-based business, Ticket to Travel, in 1992, and soon agents were looking to her for mentoring and guidance. She is a renowned speaker, home-based travel agent advocate, author and mentor to thousands. In addition to her KHM Travel role, she is president of PATH, an executive board member for The Travel Institute, Northern California ASTA president and VP for the California Coalition of Travel Organizations.

Skip Fortier

Fortier has been in the travel industry more than three decades, starting with United Airlines. In 2008 he opened his own agency, affiliating with Avoya Travel, and for four years was recognized as the 'Best of the Best' in sales. In 2022 he was named one of the Top 25 Travel Agents in the US by Travel Agent magazine. Fortier sold his agency in 2011 and now runs Avoya's agency expansion team. He is a member of the ASTA Corporate Advisory Council and serves on the board of PATH.

Dondra Ritzenthaler

Ritzenthaler leads Celebrity Cruises' sales organization for the Americas including the US, Canada, Mexico and Latin America. Widely credited for raising awareness of the importance of travel advisors, she has led the creation of a number of programs designed to help travel advisors build their business, including 'The Celebrity Commitment.'

John Diorio

John Diorio leverages 30 years of experience in sales, leadership and industry relations to lead Virgin Voyages' sales and support in North America. Before Virgin, he was a member of The Mark Travel Corp.’s sales leadership team and held senior leadership roles at Expedia Group in addition to providing strategic consulting on travel.

STARBoard and Trade Relations Committee functions

The STARBoard and Trade Relations Committee are steering committees. The STARBoard is comprised of CLIA premier member (agency and consortia) leaders and leaders from selected CLIA travel agency members. The Trade Relations Committee is comprised of trade sales and marketing leaders from CLIA lines and river cruise marketing affiliates.

Both groups receive regular updates on CLIA's advocacy work, industry affairs and North America travel trade membership and professional development matters. They provide CLIA leadership with counsel and support and create task forces as deemed appropriate. 

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