Ponant USA announces two new appointments to the company’s North American sales team. Theresa Gatta has been named Vice President of Sales – North America, and Ellen Mcilvaine is the new Director of Business Development in the Pacific Northwest.
As Vice President of Sales, Theresa Gatta will lead the development of growth with Ponant’s travel agency partners & Consortia throughout North America, as well as oversee the U.S. based sales team. With more than 25 years experience in the wholesale travel industry, including 16 years with Travel Impressions / Apple Leisure Group and American Express Vacations as VP of Global Sales, Gatta’s leadership positions have encompassed management of sales teams, national accounts, partnership marketing, product development and global strategy throughout North America, Europe and Latin America.
Earlier this month, Ellen McIlvaine joined Ponant USA where she manages clientele development in the northwest region that includes: Northern California, Washington, and British Columbia. Most recently, McIlvaine, who is based in Seattle, worked in business development at OceanGate, and previously held sales positions with Zegrahm Expeditions and Red Lantern Journeys. She has also lived and volunteered on projects in Nepal and South Korea.
“With these appointments, Ponant, the leader in luxury expeditions, is aiming to broaden and strengthen its partnerships with travel advisors as well as growing awareness of our unmatched portfolio of products,” said Navin Sawhney, Chief Executive Officer, Americas.
Looking ahead, Ponant will double its portfolio of modern, private yacht-like vessels with the launch of two new Explorer ships in summer 2018, Le Lapérouse and Le Champlain, and two more to follow in 2019, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d'Urville, each with just 92 cabins and an underwater lounge. Thanks to the ships’ moderate size, design, and technology, the new fleet will be able to access remote sites, where other vessels are not permitted.