Leading small ship cruise line Windstar Cruises has added six new individuals to its corporate operations, including a new vice president of deployment and revenue operations, vice president of accounting, director of public relations and social media, director of information technology, controller, and risk manager.
The luxury cruise line doubled its fleet in the last two years adding three all-suite power yachts to complement three mega-sailing yachts. The small ship leader carries between 150 and 300 guests on the various ships deployed to international destinations. The company’s corporate offices are experiencing corresponding growth adding new executive and staff positions to support sales, marketing, finance, and operations and are expanding its downtown Seattle headquarters, which now employs approximately 120 travel professionals in the Pacific Northwest region and approximately 700 fleet employees worldwide.
New staff appointments include:
Doug Santoni has been named the new vice president of deployment and revenue operations at Windstar. Santoni is an experienced executive in the travel and transportation industry, with expertise in pricing, strategy, and advanced analytics. Santoni previously held executive roles with Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD, where he led revenue management and pricing for the multi-branded global fleet of cruise ships and was charged with deploying vessels to maximize profitability and support key brand positions. Immediately prior to joining Windstar, Santoni was the pricing executive for Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ Group in Seattle. He holds a bachelor’s degree in operations research and a Master of Engineering and Master of Business Administration from Cornell University. As vice president of deployment and revenue operations at Windstar Cruises, Santoni leads a variety of key commercial functions encompassing revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, product development, and vacation planning via the customer contact center.
Peter Beck comes to Windstar as the new vice president of accounting. Beck brings 25 years of financial, accounting, and staff management experience, most recently working at Seattle-based Columbia Hospitality, Inc. as vice president and chief financial officer. Previous positions included serving as vice president and chief financial officer for the Space Needle Corporation, as well as several progressive positions within the finance department of Westin Hotels & Resorts. Beck is a certified public accountant and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University, Fullerton. As vice president of accounting at Windstar, Beck is responsible for overseeing management of the company’s financial reporting and accounting functions. Additional responsibilities include managing the budgeting, forecasting, capital planning, and risk management process.
Mary Schimmelman joins Windstar Cruises as director of public relations and social media, bringing a passion for cruise travel and a comprehensive background in communications and travel. Most recently Mary served as senior manager of social media marketing for Holland America Line, where she was responsible for establishing and growing the brand’s overall social media program including content development, multi-channel publishing, partnerships, and integrated marketing communications. Prior to that, Schimmelman was a member of Holland America’s public relations team. She holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities and communications from Seattle University. As director of public relations and social media at Windstar, Schimmelman is responsible for all aspects of public relations including brand positioning, media relations, corporate communications, special events, issues management, as well as social media oversight including content curation and publishing, marketing integration, community engagement via Windstar’s vast portfolio of social outlets.
Brian Kimmons serves as the new director of information technology for Windstar Cruises and brings 20 years of hospitality information technology experience, including 15 in the cruise industry. Previous positions include working as director of information technology for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, as well as ten years at Silversea Cruise Lines. Kimmons holds a degree in computer science and biochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At Windstar, Kimmons is focused on implementing new corporate information technology standards, as well as providing around the clock support to Windstar’s vessels in Europe, French Polynesia, and the Caribbean.
Gina Smith arrives at Windstar with more than 20 years of experience, bringing an extensive background in accounting and financial systems most recently working as controller at the Bellevue Club in Bellevue, Washington. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Seattle University. As Windstar controller, Smith is responsible for providing financial information to the organization, both in reporting company-wide operational results and managing department budgets and financial forecasts.
Jay Juang embarks Windstar as risk manager, coming to the company with more than 20 years of risk management roles, most recently as vice president and claims manager at Mitsui Sumitomo Marine Insurance. Juang began his maritime career sailing on container ships, passenger vessels, and supertankers, eventually being promoted to captain. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marine transportation from New York Maritime College and a Master of Business Administration in insurance from St. Johns University. Juang focuses on managing the Windstar fleet’s operational risks to provide the best customer experience possible.