Vittori to chair Great Wolf board

Great Wolf Resorts has announced that Joseph V. Vittoria has been elected to the company’s board of directors. Concurrently, Vittoria was named chairman of the board.Vittoria is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Travel Services, International, a company he founded and took public in July 1997 and later sold to a large British tour operator. In 1982, he joined Avis, Inc., as chief operating officer, and later was named chairman and chief executive officer. During his tenure, he was responsible for creating the Avis Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), the largest plan of its kind at that time and long considered a model for companies and governments evaluating employee ownership programs.

His success at Avis led to his selection as the salaried and management representative to the board of United Airlines in 1994 when it created its landmark ESOP. He now is chairman of Puradyn Filter Technologies, Inc. and AutoEurope, Inc.

“Joe has built an impressive career in the travel industry over the past four decades,” said John Emery, Great Wolf Resorts chief executive officer. “With his extensive background, in both the public and private arenas, operations grounding and proven leadership ability, he will be an invaluable resource for us as we continue to build recognition for the Great Wolf Resort’s brand and expand and diversify our resort portfolio.”

Active in community-enhancement programs, Vittoria served as a director of the National Crime Prevention Counsel in Washington, D.C. He later served on President Reagan’s Child Safety Partnership in recognition of his efforts on behalf of missing children. He also is a former member of the board of directors of the National Center for Disability Services.

A 40-year travel industry veteran, Vittoria was elected to the Travel Industry Association Hall of Leaders in 2000. He holds a B.S. in civil engineering from Yale University and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.