Women Changing the Face of Timeshares and Timesharing
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Part I in a two-part series.
WIN, which stands for Women in the Industry, is a unique new organization that recognizes just how much talented, professional women can (and do) mean to the timeshare industry. The mission of this non-profit group includes advocating, educating, and connecting women in the vacation ownership industry.
As Georgi Bohrod, Cathy Backus, and Lani Kane-Hanan, (WIN’s founders and BOD) explain, the primary purpose of WIN is to foster the growth of women by recognizing their accomplishments and creating a strong networking environment. In addition to providing a forum for women in the timeshare and vacation industry to unite and leverage best practices, WIN will also support industry research particularly as it pertains to women.
Last week I had the opportunity to talk with some of the women behind WIN; I know you would be interested in what they have to say. For background, here is a profile of the seven founding members and volunteer Board of Directors of WIN. These short bios don’t begin to do justice to the depth and breadth of professional experience these industry leaders have in a diversity of areas from leisure, to marketing, to recreation, to hotels and hospitality, and of course, timeshare.
- Cathy Backus’ career includes eight years with TWA; owner/operator of Youth Explorers; Director of US Sales for Club Med; and her current position as Global Sales Director with CSA Travel Protection.
- Georgi Bohrod is the owner of GBG & Associates Inc., and has more than two decades of shared ownership industry experience. She is a designated Registered Resort Professional; writer; and public relations and marketing professional; and past director of marketing and public relations for Resort Communications.
- Melanie Gring is the vice president marketing for Global Connections. Prior to acquisition by Global, Melanie was the managing partner of Leisuretainment.com, LLC. She has more than 35 years of experience in the vacation ownership industry; 26 years with Fairfield Resorts; was past president of Cooperative Association of Resort Exchangers (CARE) and currently serves on the Board of Directors of CARE.
- Lani Kane-Hanan, RRP, is the senior vice president of Marriott Vacation Club International (MVCI). Lani is a third generation hotelier with over 20 years in the hospitality industry. She is responsible for all MVCI’s business planning, inventory and revenue management, pricing, and product innovation activities.
- Lisa Jackson is the vice president of strategic business development at International Cruise & Excursions, Inc. (ICE) and is the past regional sales manager for Cunard Line. Lisa manages all resort business development at ICE, seeking out new partners and ensuring that those currently using the ICE programs are fully realizing the benefits.
- Eliana Jones has worked with timeshare developers in Mexico and USA, including Shell timeshare Corporation, Palace Resorts Corporation, Solaris Resorts, and Sunset Group. Eliana is a partner of Zunny Trails Company, an international marketing and destination management company offering lead generation solutions to timeshare resorts across the border.
- Karen Knight, CTSM brings over 20 years of experience in the vacation industry to WIN. She is the past director of marketing for San Francisco Recreation and Park Department; was the grand opening director of Legoland California; past manager of university conference programs for both Cal Poly and Santa Clara Universities and has marketed and managed several boutique hotels in the San Francisco Bay area.
These are seven dynamic, timeshare industry leaders, who have identified both a need and an opportunity. You will be interested in what they have to say about timesharing, women, WIN, and the future of the industry; in the interview I’ll post on Monday’s The Timeshare Authority blog.