Celestyal Cruises has announced the appointment of Jon Grutzner as vice president, business development – North America and Michelle Suker to the position of business development manager- southeastern, U.S. Grutzner will be responsible for Celestyal’s North American business development, reporting to Leslie Peden, chief commercial officer.
Suker will be responsible for driving increased business by growing key distribution channels within the southeastern region. She will report to Grutzner.
Based in Wisconsin, Grutzner will be instrumental in the execution of Celestyal’s North American strategic plan.
According to a press release, he will work alongside Peden and the entire Celestyal executive team to develop and introduce new distribution channels to further position Celestyal as “the best way to experience the Greek Islands.” Grutzner will also be charged with growing, leading and mentoring the company’s business development team across the U.S. and Canada.
A commercial professional with over 20 years of senior-level experience in travel and tourism, tour operations, destination cruise and customer relationship management, Grutzner most recently consulted for Premier World Discovery, based in Madison, Wisconsin, where he was responsible for group sales and overseeing the travel advisor distribution channel.
Prior to Premier World Discovery, he was president at New York-based Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold, where as part of The Travel Corporation (TTC) global executive team, he was responsible for developing and implementing brand strategy. Grutzner previously served as director of sales with Azamara, where he focused on both tour and destination cruising.
“We are honored to have such highly experienced business development and destination tour experts as Jon and Michelle join our growing team in North America. Both have longstanding and proven track records in cruising and tour operations as well as close ties with the travel advisor community,” said Leslie Peden, chief commercial officer, Celestyal. “Jon and Michelle join our expanded business development team at an exciting time in Celestyal’s brand evolution and will play a key role in broadening and deepening our footprint in North America.”
Based in Florida, Suker comes to Celestyal with more than 20 years’ experience in travel trade sales. She will further develop Celestyal’s commitment to and support for the travel advisor community. Suker will also work closely with the company’s key tour operator and wholesale partners to maximize new opportunities in these important distribution channels and represent the company at important industry events.
Before joining Celestyal, Suker worked for Viking as remote sales consultant and prior to that, for Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold as director of field sales, eastern region as well as agency development manager for AAA Auto Club Group.