Virtuoso announces two executive promotions

Luxury travel agency network Virtuoso has made two promotions to enhance its strategic partnerships and public relations teams.

Karyn McCarthy has been named vice president of member and partner development and Misty Belles has become vice president of global public relations. 

McCarthy, who joined the company in 2015 as director of product development, will now lead Virtuoso’s member and partner development team. She will oversee the group’s efforts in establishing strategic partnerships, fostering targeted network growth, and increasing preferred partner and agency/advisor engagement with network products and programmes. 

McCarthy has more than 30 years’ experience in the travel industry, having worked at The Leading Hotels of the World as senior director of corporate sales and at American Express managing corporate travel accounts for the likes of Morgan Stanley and Prudential Financial.

Virtuoso’s chief operations officer Brad Bourland said: “Karyn has been instrumental in creating and evolving Virtuoso’s strategic goals for growth that bring continued value to the network.

“As we move through the various stages of travel’s recovery, her focus on increasing partner, travel agency, and advisor engagement that delivers a win-win-win will not only secure success for each of these constituents, but will provide an even stronger competitive edge that attracts top companies to Virtuoso in the first place.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to have Karyn leading the effort in driving deeper commitment from our members, higher sales for our partners, and ultimately higher satisfaction for the traveller.”

Meanwhile, Belles will continue to drive Virtuoso’s public relations strategy and help to evolve the company’s internal and external voice to ensure cohesive messaging globally to its various audiences. 

Since joining Virtuoso in 1999, Belles has held a number of roles including cruise and tour direct marketing and director of the Hotels & Resorts programme, before taking the lead on public relations in 2005.

“Over the past year, Misty has helped create and implement new initiatives that keep our members, advisors, and travellers informed in unique and exclusive ways, while also elevating the brand positioning of Virtuoso for the benefit of the entire network,” said senior vice president of marketing, Helen McCabe-Young.

“She has stepped forward as a consistent voice and advocate for Virtuoso and the overall travel industry. As we ramp up our global PR strategy, Misty will be working with our regional teams to ensure our message and voice are adaptive and on point for each market, while leveraging her vast experience and deep knowledge of the Virtuoso brand and company core beliefs.”

McCarthy will continue to work from Virtuoso’s New York City office and report to Bourland, while Belles works from home in Chevy Chase, Maryland and will continue to report to McCabe-Young.

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