SVP Sales & Marketing Theresa Scalzitti moved to a new role as chief sales officer, Ana Parodi joined from Viking as VP sales and marketing, Scott Koepf was promoted from VP to SVP strategic development and Phill Guerra moved up to VP technology.
‘As the nation’s largest network of home-based travel advisors, we knew we needed to re-envision our internal structure, so we can remain the best resource for our travel advisors,’ said Michelle Fee, CEO of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative.
Scalzitti joined the Cruise Planners executive team in 2016 after a 21-year career in operations, marketing and sales at Royal Caribbean International. Under her leadership, Cruise Planners has doubled its total annual sales volume through a laser focus on the overall sales strategy, new marketing campaigns, enhanced business development support and new programs and tools.
Now, as chief sales officer, Scalzitti will continue to lead the entire sales organization including retail sales and marketing, franchise development marketing, business development, groups, American Express Travel programs, business intelligence and special programs.
Reporting to Scalzitti, new VP Sales & Marketing Parodi has a strong 30-year career in the cruise industry. Before her recent Viking job, she worked at Oceania Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International. Parodi has successfully collaborated with field sales teams and led national accounts, managed launch events and worked with all major national accounts and consortia networks, achieving strong sales growth.
Parodi will directly oversee marketing, sales, business development, groups and special programs.
With Cruise Planners since 2018, Koepf — now SVP strategic development — has led the training and events teams, using his 35 years of experience to relaunch the company’s six-day training program for new franchise owners, STAR University. In addition, Koepf’s teams are responsible for more than 20 training and agent engagement events annually around the country and developing extensive training programs through Cruisitude Academy, including numerous specialist programs.
Under Koepf’s leadership is Dan Hicks, VP franchise development. Hicks’ many years of franchise sales experience, together with his team of franchise development managers and support team, have helped Cruise Planners grow into largest home-based travel franchise group in the US.
Guerra, who joined Cruise Planners in 2010, has been instrumental in evolving the technology team to include software development, quality assurance, project management and other strategic roles. He has helped the company become a leader in customer relationship management and marketing technology through highly customized tools and programs. Guerra has overseen numerous successful rollouts including the development, strategy, launch and ongoing optimization of award-winning CRM CP Maxx and the completely re-imagined travel advisor websites launched in 2019.
Promoted to VP technology, he will continue to report to Chief Information Officer Brian Shultz.
‘Our focus is to always provide the best tools, marketing, support and training to our network of travel advisors,’ said Vicky Garcia, co-owner and COO, Cruise Planners. ‘By enhancing our executive team, we are now even better prepared to continue to innovate and provide industry-leading programs.’