Spa Finder, the leading source for spa information and travel reservations, today announced several key executive hires and advancements, including naming Josh McCarter Chief Operating Officer. The appointment underscore the company`s commitment to expand its already-leading market share among its various properties—Spa Finder Magazine, Spa Finder Travel, Spafinder.com and the Spa Finder Gift Certificate program—as well as the burgeoning spa travel sector as a whole.
During the past six months at Spa Finder, McCarter has headed a range of corporate restructuring projects, strategic alliances and online marketing initiatives. Among other successes, he managed the expansion of www.spafinder.com, which now offers consumers real-time inventory and online reservations to hundreds of premier resort and stay spas nation- and worldwide, as well as Spa Finder Gift Certificate purchases and regional spa searches. Due in large part to McCarter`s design, management and marketing efforts, the revamped website has enjoyed a five-fold increase in traffic in just four months.
In naming McCarter COO, Spa Finder CEO Pete Ellis said, “I had the pleasure of working with Josh in my previous life as the founder of Autobytel.com, where he proved himself to be an extremely able leader and played a vital role in the company`s development into a major auto industry player with international reach.” At Autobytel McCarter served most recently as vice president, international development, in which capacity he formulated and implemented the company`s pan-European and Asian-Pacific expansion efforts.
Other key personnel moves include the hiring of Jeffrey Mirman, vice president corporate marketing, and James Belzer, media sales and marketing director for Spa Finder Magazine. The company has also named Corporate Sales Director Diane Freeland to the position of director, corporate gift certificates programs.
“Spa Finder finds itself in an enviable position at the heart of the exploding spa travel sector,” adds Ellis. “This infusion and re-structuring of talent reflects our commitment to take full advantage—right now—of the tremendous opportunities that lie immediately ahead for our company and our industry.”
New VP, Corporate Marketing Jeff Mirman—a former marketing VP at dreamlife.com and current professor at NYU`s online academic program—is responsible for developing and executing the company`s multimedia marketing strategies across all of the Spa Finder properties. Two of Mirman`s ongoing goals will be to continue to grow the Spa Finder brand and to generate new opportunities through Spa Finder`s robust spa-going customer base.
Spa Finder Magazine`s new Media Sales and Marketing Director, James Belzer, will draw upon his extensive background in advertising direction, sales and management—honed during successful tenures at Fairchild Publications, BUZZ, Esquire, ICON, WorthMedia and The CMJ Network—to package marketing partnerships leveraging all of the Spa Finder media products (travel confirmations, gift certificates, www.spafinder.com and, of course, Spa Finder Magazine).
As director of corporate sales for the past two years, Diane Freeland has played a key role in developing Spa Finder`s corporate gift certificate program from a fledgling, purely paper-based system to a popular, e-commerce-enabled program. As director of corporate gift certificates programs, she`ll continue to raise awareness of Spa Finder Gift Certificates as an effective corporate/incentive gift option, while developing corporate relationships to further grow the program.