Ensemble enlists former Virtuoso exec, Butzlaff

Exec chairman Harris to exit organisation as planned amid senior role shuffle

Beth Butzlaff

Beth Butzlaff has joined North American luxury travel consortia, Ensemble, as its new Senior Vice President Global Partner Relations, amid organisational changes which include the departure of Executive Chairman, David Harris.

Butzlaff (pictured above) brings extensive experience and valuable industry relationships with key supplier partners to her new role. She held a similar role with Virtuoso luxury travel network – where she served a nearly 15-year tenure – during which term she established several new partner programs. Since March 2022, Butzlaff has held the position as Vice President of Global Partnership Engagement at Global Travel Collection, a division of Internova Travel Group encompassing a collection of international luxury travel agencies.

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In that capacity, Butzlaff developed and executed programs that grew the company production and influence within cruise, tour, hotel, insurance, specialty, and tourism board segments. In addition, she spearheaded global expansion in the cruise vertical and extended those efforts into all travel verticals throughout the world.

Her appointment at Ensemble comes after a year dedicated to rebuilding following its acquisition by Navigatr Group. Ensemble has this week confirmed several other executive appointments as the company advances to the next phase of its strategic plan.

“We have been laser-focused on building the new Ensemble over the past year with a priority on acquiring and developing some of the industry’s top talent,” said Michael Johnson, President of Ensemble.

“This deliberate approach and strategy have already enabled us to deliver an improved and consistent experience to our members and partners alike and with these new team members we are primed to advance Ensemble’s growth and realise our vision of shaping the consortium of the future.”

In Miami last year, from left are: Ensemble's Michael Johnson, President; Kristina Boyce. SVP, Operations and David Harris, Executive Chairman.

Concurrently, Jennifer Dzialo, SVP of Partner Relations, has moved to Ensemble’s parent company Navigatr Group to support growth across all Navigatr brands with a focus on cultivating strategic partner relationships to drive multiple distribution models and improve outcomes across all travel verticals.

In a newly created role, Shelly Ransom joins Ensemble as Vice President of New Agency Business Development. Ransom was most recently at Hyatt where she led the Distribution team managing partnership negotiations and strategy with agencies, OTA’s and Tour Operators. As an industry veteran with nearly 30 years in the travel industry, Ransom has also held positions leading Consortia and Agency Partnerships for Starwood, Wyndham and Marriott. She also spent over 10 years on the agency side.

Shelly Ransom, VP of New Agency Business Development

Joining Ransom in this new area is Ron Bentley who will focus on agency acquisition. Bentley has most recently served as Vice President of Member Relations.

Mark Stubbert will assume the role as Vice President of Member Relations. Stubbert previously held positions focusing on advisor services at Travel Edge Network and Carlson Wagonlit.

Ensemble said these changes are reflective of the company’s efforts to attract the industry’s top talent as part of the rebuilding of the brand.

Over the past year, the company has doubled the size of its team while simultaneously introducing numerous new programs across all disciplines including operations, marketing, training and development, and all verticals including hotel, cruise, air and DMC.

Ensemble's former CEO turned Executive Chairman following the acquisition by Navigatr, David Harris, will depart the organisation

Concurrent with the new appointments and in keeping with its post-acquisition strategy, David Harris, who led Ensemble through the pandemic and the acquisition process and has served as Executive Chairman since May last year, will exit the role and company. Harris was appointed as the first CEO of Ensemble in 2019.

Ensemble had a presence in Australia and New Zealand for a few years, but that arm of the business was shuttered in early 2020 during the pandemic, with Harris saying at the time the company was unable to “develop and maintain the kind of critical mass needed to sustain this effort.”

Ensemble’s entire consortia will unite for first time at its Horizons by Ensemble conference in November in Las Vegas.

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