New York City-based independent travel agency First in Service Travel LTD (F1S) has announced that three longtime travel industry veterans are joining its leadership team: Shay Harrington as vice-president, sales and partnerships, Tammy An, as director, marketing and partnerships and Tatjana Pandza as senior director, accounting operations.
Additionally, F1S is announcing the internal promotions for three of its leaders to vice-presidential roles: Suzanne Halama, Wonnie Baik and Johanna Diaz.
“With First in Service poised for a resumption of accelerated growth, the vital leadership of these six extraordinary women will be focused squarely on growing the three primary segments of our business: corporate, luxury leisure and entertainment travel. These leaders personify our ongoing commitment to reflect the exceptional, outsized role that women have historically played in our industry,” said Fernando Gonzalez, F1S Chief Executive Officer, who co-founded First in Service with his sister Erika Reategui in 1991. “Their contributions, along with plans to accelerate our expansion through acquisitions and attracting more of the industry’s most respected advisors, place our fiercely autonomous agency on a solid path that will help us grow together with our valued partners.”
F1S recently "officially" announced its entry into the Canadian marketplace, with Willa Griffin helping lead the Canadian expansion.
Each new member of F1S leadership possesses rich travel industry expertise for a combined total of 60 years:
- Shay Harrington – With 30 years of travel industry experience, Harrington will lead the development and growth of leisure sales specifically with cruises, DMCs, tour operators, ground transportation and insurance. Her travel industry journey began as a teenager in 1992 helping to build and organize a brochure library for an agency in her community. In 1997, she became a leisure sales specialist at Tzell, where she continued for 25 years in roles including Manager of Leisure Development and Director of Leisure Operations. In addition to her agency experience, Shay has also worked in the hotel sector.
- Tammy An – With 10 years of industry experience, An will oversee and execute marketing strategies on a global level to advance F1S partners among its advisors and clientele. She joins F1S from Cuvée where she was Director of Strategic Partnerships. She came to Cuvée from Airbnb, where she handled agency business development for its Luxury Retreats unit. An began her career with Shangri-La Group, where she was Director of Business Development in the regional sales office.
- Tatjana Pandza – With 20 years of industry experience, Pandza will focus on the F1S accounting processes, including supplier reporting. She also brings Canadian experience as F1S continues its growth there. Pandza comes to F1S directly from Travel Edge North America (United States, Canada and Bermuda), where she most recently served as Senior Director of Accounting Operations for eight years. She began her travel industry career with a 12-year stint at The Travel Network, most recently as its Director of Accounting and Finance.
The three F1S leaders who have been promoted include: 21-year travel industry veteran Suzanne Halama, who has been elevated to the role of vice-president of operations; Wonnie Baik, who began her travel industry career with Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts and Mandarin Oriental, and will now serve as vice-president, sales and partnerships (with a focus on hotels, resorts and villas); and Johanna Diaz, who now serves as vice-president, finance to oversee planning, growth and strategy for F1S.
“We are thrilled that our leadership closely resembles the agency community, and they represent yet another reason why we are attracting so many new advisors to First in Service,” noted Reategui. “Other crucial elements enabling us to attract advisors include our award-winning affiliation with Virtuoso, along with our steadfast independence and entrepreneurial spirit. Most of all, they have been inspired by our positioning as a travel experience company dedicated to putting our talented independent travel advisors first.”
For info on joining F1S Canada, advisors are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.