announced that growth of more than 150 percent over the past year led to the creation this month of a new management position to drive industry alliances and partnerships. Rita Emmer, the company’s current vice president of sales, accepted the new Strategic Development leadership post while Vice President Rick Shaum will take over the leadership of both marketing and sales for the company.
“VIP has grown to the point where it needs a dedicated person focused on developing strategic partnerships within our industry,” said Kelly Blake, president of VIP International. “Rita Emmer’s solid reputation in the travel industry and her extensive knowledge provide us with a significant advantage in strategic development. Rita will be responsible for leading VIP’s efforts in this new direction of our growth. Additionally, the merging of sales and marketing into one integrated department under Rick Shaum will allow opportunities for our teams to create synergies for expansion.” Blake noted that in her role as VP of strategic development, Ms. Emmer will build relationships with major hotel, car rental and airline groups, multi-product software suppliers, PMS vendors, and industry consultants to generate additional revenue through contractual and other agreements. The combined sales and marketing department will focus on developing new products and services, integrating core processes between the two departments, and extending the reach of VIP’s sales organization.
“With the expected economic upswing, it is more important than ever that we focus our energies on building business partnerships and industry relationships that will make a lasting change,” said Rita Emmer, who speaks English, Spanish and French. “I see PMS vendor relationships and alliances with multi-product booking engine providers as key to future growth.” Ms. Emmer has more than 17 years of experience within the hotel and electronic travel distribution industries, and has served as VIP’s vice president of sales for four years.
As vice president of sales and marketing, Rick Shaum’s mission will be to merge the two departments and take responsibility for day-to-day sales initiatives; he will also evolve VIP’s strategies and services to generate more bookings and revenue. Shaum has extensive experience in technology and communications management, marketing and sales, as well as a comprehensive background in advertising, human resources, and accounting.