Virtuoso has promoted three executives to roles within its senior leadership structure, central to the organisation’s current and future success.
David Kolner was named Executive Vice President, Virtuoso; Michelle Rashid was elevated to Senior Vice President, culture & human resources; and Jennifer Campbell steps into her new role as Senior Vice President, network products & events.
Virtuoso described the promotions as a move to reinforce the luxury travel network’s “long-term strategy and talent development, supporting its worldwide network in providing industry-leading products, services and events to deliver maximum impact in the travel sector”.
“Even before the pandemic altered the entire travel industry, as an executive team, we had already taken steps to reposition Virtuoso as a strong product-driven organisation to solve new world business needs,” remarked Matthew D. Upchurch, Virtuoso Chairman and CEO. “The pandemic accelerated this focus, while also reaffirming we had made the right decision to create a culture that is flexible, agile, interconnected and collaborative, allowing us to bridge time zones and varying business needs across multiple global regions.
Upchurch continued; “The promotions of David Kolner, Jennifer Campbell and Michelle Rashid, all seasoned executives who have helped drive Virtuoso’s success for many years now, will be instrumental in keeping Virtuoso a driving force in our members’ and partners’ business strategies as we move into the next phase of travel’s recovery.”
This realignment is credited with playing to Virtuoso’s strengths throughout the pandemic while also allowing the company’s employees to redefine and adjust their priorities and responsibilities, learning new skills and opening opportunities for growth within the company by perpetuating an environment of shared success.
Many former employees have since rejoined the organisation, and many who succeeded through the pandemic have been elevated into new roles of responsibility. In addition to the investment in human capital, the company has made significant investment in enterprise systems to support future growth. While the company said goodbye to some legacy leaders who were key contributors to its earlier years of success, it has installed leadership to drive future growth, including the addition of Brad Bourland as Chief Operating Officer and the escalation of others who have broadened their contribution and scope of responsibility.
David Kolner, newly appointed Executive Vice President, will continue to leverage his vast depth of experience across key areas of the company to support global growth and accelerate value across the network. Since joining Virtuoso in 2008 as part of the technology team, Kolner has held several strategic leadership roles.
Through his tenure, he led the innovation and development of industry-leading products that remain in place today, such as advisor profiles, reviews and recommendations, and customer segmentation, and he plays a pivotal role in the evolution of these and new products shaping the future of Virtuoso.
Kolner was also a driving force in the creation of the company’s global expansion strategy, and championed early work in establishing a foundation for the global teams in place today.
Most recently, he has worked in a strategic role, supporting the senior leadership team and the reimagined company. He also led the Network Product team in ensuring Virtuoso member and partner Access programs fit the business needs of the network in a new world where digital enablement supports human connection.
Michelle Rashid, newly promoted Senior Vice President, Culture & Human Resources has been instrumental in rolling out the company’s matrixed structure and elevating its talent base for growth, all with a tireless dedication to ensuring the company’s values-driven culture supports its core purpose of enriching lives through human connection– something Virtuoso is well known for.
A 17-year Virtuoso veteran, Rashid assumed responsibility for the company’s culture ten years ago and has since developed and implemented the infrastructure to support the US and global offices, which have realised significant expansion over the past 18 months.
Rashid’s duties have grown to address the complexities of global talent management and the continually expansive labour laws in the US and around the world.
In her elevated role, she is responsible for driving the vision and execution of organisational design and leadership effectiveness, including strategic talent acquisition, retention and special talent initiatives, all which support the company’s overall organisational health and business results. She has helped to establish a number of leadership development programs, including the creation of the Next Level Leaders group, while also supporting the integration of sustainability practices into the organisation.
In her new role, Senior Vice President, Network Products & Events Jennifer Campbell is tasked with leading a portfolio of products focused on network engagement, while also driving the creation and operation of global events for the Virtuoso network.
Her expanded responsibilities include leading a team of product professionals and highly talented matrixed teams of designers, engineers, and subject matter experts from around the company.
Campbell’s years in economic development, in both public and private sectors, as well as her passion for travel that led to co-ownership of Explorations, A Travel Agency, give her a unique perspective and insight into the business objectives for Virtuoso’s member agencies.
She joined Virtuoso in 2013 to manage the group’s new Agency Services department, offering programs and products for Virtuoso member agencies to increase revenues and improve efficiency. She has also been actively involved in launching and growing Virtuoso’s Benchmarking Teams, along with driving greater results in professional development with a broadened scope through internal and external speakers and innovative network training products that support the Virtuoso Certified Travel Advisor program.
Kolner, Rashid and Campbell all report directly to Bourland. While Kolner and Rashid are based in Virtuoso’s Seattle office, Campbell will continue to work from her Atlanta-based home office.