Founding team member Brown, chief commercial officer, adds the title head of joint yacht operations.
'He's the liaison between our group and Four Seasons on all hotel operations, and marine operations will report to him,' said Pimentel, who called Brown 'one of the most unique and brightest' individuals in cruising.
Brown was key to developing the Explora Journeys concept for MSC Group, president of start-up Dream Cruises, MD for Crystal Cruises in Asia, VP onboard revenue/product development at Costa Cruises, VP brand strategy and management for the Jumeirah Group and worked in marketing/business development with Fairmont.
New team members
As he builds a 'purpose-driven culture and a market-driven culture' to entice the ultra-high-net-worth seasoned traveler, Pimentel is forging a team that mingles professionals with shipping experience and those with luxury lifestyle experience.
He seeks qualities like hunger, drive, persistence and ambition, scouting people who are very detail-oriented, have an entrepreneurial mindset and the dedication and problem-solving skills vital to a start-up.
'It's a great group,' he said.
The newest Four Seasons Yachts executives are John Polimenakos, chief information officer; Tim Littley, VP strategic development and port operations; Nils Lindstad, executive director, sales excellence and partner services; Peter Honan, director, business development - travel; Irene Lezama-Ameijeiras, director of product marketing; and Stacey Levy, special advisor, luxury lifestyle experiences.
CIO John Polimenakos, who reports to Pimentel, has led IT organizations as a champion of total customer experience, innovative technology solutions and cybersecurity governance in the maritime and hospitality market for more than 25 years. As CIO for Crystal Cruises, he spearheaded a digital transformation by modernizing enterprise applications ashore and at sea and delivered an award-winning web and marketing automation platform to support the company's expansion into new segments like river and expedition.
Before Crystal, Polimenakos led Lufthansa Industry Solutions in the Americas as the head of IT services and solutions. Earlier, at Carnival Corp. he was involved in Seabourn’s expansion with three newbuilds and supported Cunard's evolution during its relocation from New York to Miami and the construction of ocean liner Queen Mary 2.
As VP strategic planning and port operations, Tim Littley oversees the research, design, development and implementation of Four Seasons Yachts' deployments, itineraries, ports and destinations, reporting to Thatcher Brown.
Littley has more than 20 years of itinerary-planning experience, most recently as senior director, deployment & itinerary planning at Seabourn where he crafted worldwide luxury and expedition itineraries. Earlier he managed deployment and itinerary planning at Holland America Line, which he had joined as navigation officer in 1999 before moving shoreside five years later.
A graduate of the Nautical Academy of Amsterdam, Littley has experience and training in both navigation and engineering, a rare combination.
Nils Lindstad, executive director, sales excellence and partner services, has more than two decades of small-ship cruise experience, most recently heading sales at Azamara as it grew from two to four ships. He managed field sales, inside sales, charter and incentive teams and oversaw sales planning, analysis and compensation. He also led the transition of the call center from an outsourced operation into a dedicated, company-managed center.
At Four Seasons, Lindstad's channeling his technology expertise and education into partner services, encompassing areas like inventory management and call center operations. He reports to Brown.
Lindstad began his career at SeaDream Yacht Club (which was co-founded by Pimentel), where he was responsible for revenue and inventory management, reservation and IT systems, call center operations and charter operations.
Irene Lezama-Ameijeiras, director of product marketing, has 15 years of experience developing marketing programs and product experiences with pioneering brands in technology, consumer goods, hospitality and travel, with a focus on the cruise industry. She reports to Annette Diaz, head of marketing and communications at Four Seasons Yachts.
Throughout her career, Lezama-Ameijeiras has inspired teams to develop experiences that respond to consumer needs, deliver on brand promise and drive product innovation. Before Four Seasons Yachts, she led Royal Caribbean’s fleet modernization product program and spearheaded newbuild initiatives as part of the product development team.
As director, business development - travel at Four Seasons Yachts, Peter Honan reports to Sam Chamberlain, VP business development. A second-generation luxury hotelier, Honan has a wealth of experience working on the B2B side of the luxury hospitality market. His most recent role was director of luxury sales for Atelier Ace, where he brought the brand’s first luxury property, Maison de la Luz, and first Asian property, Ace Hotel Kyoto, to market.
In addition, Honan helped the brand achieve record-breaking results, including double the predicted revenue at Maison de la Luz within six months of the grand opening, and status as the competitive set leader in ADR, occupancy and RevPar in 2021. Before Atelier Ace, Honan oversaw luxury travel industry sales at the historic Roosevelt New Orleans, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and played a central role in maximizing revenue for The Hotel Mazarin.
Stacey Levy has spent 30 years concepting and executing world-class events, conferences, sponsorships and experiential marketing programs for luxury brands and clients. She has dedicated much of her career to planning creative events for royal families, professional athletes, A-list celebrities and Fortune 500 industry leaders, recruiting and training top talent and fostering relationships with elite vendors.
As special advisor, luxury lifestyle experiences at Four Seasons Yachts, Levy reports to Chamberlain. Before Four Seasons Yachts, she served as senior director of global events for Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates. Earlier, Levy directed Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ experiential event marketing program and global event department. She's also led programs for Mercedes-Benz USA and Audi of America.
Further hires to come
Pimentel told Seatrade Cruise News he is close to hiring a marine and technical executive who will work closely with Capt. Bill Wright, who's advising Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings on environmental, safety and security matters.
By the end of Q2/beginning Q3, Pimentel expects to add another 20 people in areas like IT and call center, adding Four Seasons will have a distribution model unlike any other in cruising.