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Ruben Perez exits after 40 years at Costa North America

Ruben Perez is leaving Costa Cruises North America after more than 40 years at the company, the past dozen as GM.

Erik Jaramillo, formerly business intelligence manager, was promoted to head of sales, Costa North America. He has been with the company since 1996.

Dario Rustico now GM North and South America

Jaramillo will oversee strategic and national accounts, charter/incentives and field sales, reporting to Dario Rustico, based in São Paulo, Brazil, whose title is now GM North and South America.

Trio of new BDMs

Yeniss Palacio, Priscilla Reyes and Becky Tate joined as business development managers, reporting to Jaramillo.

Tate, who will oversee Central and North Florida and the East Coast, has decades of travel industry experience,  most recently as VP of Elite World of Travel in Deltona, Florida. Past roles include BDM at GOGO Worldwide Vacations.

Reyes, responsible for the West Coast and Canada, brings nearly 20 years of sales and client services experience. She co-founded Earthy Chic Boutique, a jewelry company, and worked in client services at media company MiTú Network and as account supervisor at Univision.

Palacio, whose territory includes South Florida, the Midwest and Caribbean, joins from American Airlines with more than 23 years of experience in global sales and marketing.

 2023 downsizing

The changes follow a downsizing of the North America office in late 2023 that included the departure of longtime VP Sales Scott Knutson, whose position was eliminated.

Praise for Perez

'We are sincerely grateful to Ruben for his recognized contribution to the Costa brand in US over the years and for his long contribution to the whole Costa organization,' Costa Cruises President Mario Zanetti said. 'His managerial skills have been pivotal to lead the North American team over the past years.'

Perez expressed pride in the 'significant achievements we have accomplished together,' adding: 'I am sure Costa will continue in providing great cruising experiences to its American guests and valuable travel partners.'