JoAnn Kurtz-Ahlers

Founder and President

JoAnn Kurtz-Ahlers established Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates in 2002, after two decades of experience as an industry-leading Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Ritz-Carlton, where she was the first female ever to attain this position. During her tenure she oversaw business development worldwide, including new and existing properties in Dubai, Spain, Egypt, Qatar and Turkey.

An active promoter of the hospitality industry and past chairman of the Meeting Planners International (MPI) Editorial Committee, JoAnn has participated as a frequent panelist at industry conferences, and continues to be an active leader within MPI. She has twice been named one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in Travel” by Travel Agent magazine, and was selected as one of Meeting News’ “25 Most Influential People.”

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Patrick Anderson

Sales Consultant

Patrick has been active in the hospitality industry for over 25 years and has held various positions with Hyatt, followed by Ritz-Carlton in Florida, Washington D.C. and London, including Director of Sales at the UK Regional office. After relocating to New York in 1999, Patrick was appointed Director of Sales at the Waldorf Towers, New York. In 2004, Patrick moved back to Orlando where he began his career, and worked representing many hotels and resorts around the world, then most recently, was appointed Director of National Accounts Mid-Atlantic for Shingle Creek Resort.

Patrick has extensive management, sales, and marketing experience and he brings experience in incentive, transient, entertainment, and wholesale markets to the Kurtz-Ahlers team.

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Dawn Bilawa

Sales Consultant

With 15 years of luxury hospitality expertise, Dawn brings intuitive and anticipatory service to Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates as a sales consultant. Dawn has a strong track record of delivering outstanding customer service that is well paired with vast experience in the luxury consortia. Prior to re-joining the Kurtz-Ahlers team, she held varies positions within The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Morgans Hotel Group and, most recently, as the Director of Travel Industry Sales at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa managing the domestic and international leisure market in addition to the tour operator market. Dawn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from DePaul University in Chicago.

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Sandy Blake

Project Director

Sandy Blake joined Ritz-Carlton in 1996 as the Corporate Key Account and Tradeshow Manager. She worked directly with the executive committee, world-wide hotel staff, and international sales offices, to establish select client relationships in all travel markets. Her principal focus was organizing tradeshows, road shows, client entertainment functions, and various special events. She developed strong relationships within the association and travel industry markets, including corporation affiliates throughout the United States.

Since 2002, she has been the Project Director for Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates, managing activities to coincide with direct sales efforts on a tactical and strategical basis for exclusive resorts, hotels, airlines and associations worldwide.

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Becky Brown

Marketing Consultant

Becky has held several positions in sales, marketing and hospitality over the past fifteen years.

Residing in Sun Valley, Idaho, Becky worked for the Sun Valley Company, opened and operated a successful restaurant, then became Program Director at Andrew Harper, Inc. She successfully coordinated the production of several publications, including Andrew Harper's Q Club and the Q Club Report.

A media major from the University of San Diego, Becky's diverse expertise in editing, writing, sales experience, and relationships with professionals in the luxury market are an asset to the Kurtz-Ahlers team. Becky oversees strategic projects, including market research, social media, marketing programs, plus the Kurtz-Ahlers website and newsletters.

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Scott Bull

Consultant, Wellness Travel

Scott joins the Kurtz-Ahlers team after spending eleven years as Regional Sales Manager at Canyon Ranch Health Resort in Tucson, Arizona. Scott’s proven sales and guest relations experience in the wellness industry and established relationships with luxury travel professionals are an asset to the expanding wellness division of  Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates.

Scott has experience in management and sales, serving 17 years prior to his hospitality career as an integral leader of two of the most successful programs in the history of women's collegiate athletics, receiving multiple “Coach of the Year” honors for Division I Women’s Gymnastics.

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Monica Chandra

Special Projects Consultant

Monica Chandra brings considerable expertise from her experience with luxury hotel brands such as Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Preferred Hotel Group, and Leading Hotels of the World. She most recently was Director of Sales for The Private Label Company, a division of Leading Hotels of the World, where she managed sales, marketing, as well as public relations for Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, Helios Hotels & Resorts, The Saxon Boutique Hotel and Shambala Private Game Reserve. In addition to representing these hotels and brands to the US travel market, Monica counseled on projects with Baglioni Hotels as well as client development for The Private Label Company. A daily practitioner of Isha Yoga and Meditation, Monica speaks five languages and holds degrees in both International Marketing and Fashion Merchandising Management. Her passion, experience, and practice of "all things wellness" is simply perfect to represent The Wellness Travel division of Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates.

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Cris Coelho

South America Sales & Marketing Director

Cris has been in hospitality industry for over 20 years and has held different positions in sales and marketing with Marriott, Le Meridien and Caesar Park in Rio de Janeiro.  In 2004, Cris began representing the renowned Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris for the Brazilian market. She coordinated promotions, public relations, and all marketing resulting in strong, personal relationship with key travel agencies and wholesalers in the luxury travel market.

Cris is also a marketing professor at University which specializes in hospitality and is certified by Ecole Hôtelière in Lausanne (EHL). She receives the latest updates in hospitality news from the executive program at EHL.

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Anne Dimon

Wellness Consultant

Founder and CEO of the 10-year-old Travel to Wellness Inc., Anne brings over 30 years of related experience to the team. Her hospitality and public relations background along with her 20 years as a travel writer, industry journalist and, for the last decade, editor of Travel to Wellness Magazine makes her well qualified to assist resorts and destinations looking to capture a share of this growing and lucrative travel niche. Click here for Consulting Services.

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Kristin Duvall

Sales Consultant

Kristin started her hotel career in 2000 at Rancho Valencia.  Her career encompassed all levels of hotel sales including catering, conference services and ultimately Director of Sales.  As Director of Sales, Kristin began to cultivate relationships with the travel industry throughout the U.S. Following her role as a consultant for other Relais & Chateaux properties, Kristin moved to New York City and most recently worked for The Pierre New York, a Taj Hotel.  In this role, she was responsible for travel industry sales for the entire U.S. market.

Kristin joins Kurtz-Ahlers and Associates after relocating back to Raleigh, North Carolina and will be responsible for the several markets throughout the U.S." Including the Midwest, Northwest, and several other states.

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Stephanie Harlow

Sales Consultant

Stephanie joined the Kurtz-Ahlers team after spending ten years with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in various sales and marketing management positions. Stephanie handled the international group and corporate market for The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills and most recently the group entertainment market for Four Seasons Worldwide Sales. With Stephanie’s extensive background and knowledge of the entertainment market, she is a natural asset to the Kurtz-Ahlers team in Los Angeles.

Prior to her Four Seasons experience, Stephanie spent four years with Ritz-Carlton in management roles in both Operations and Sales and Marketing.

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Chris Mastin

Sales Consultant – United Kingdom

After studying International Hotel and Catering Management in the UK, Chris gained hotel experience working for De Vere Hotels, prior to moving to the food service/hospitality industry and working in procurement roles for companies such as the Compass Group, where he developed his strong negotiation and interpersonal skills.

Chris has lived in Australia and the Middle East before settling back in the UK.  He brings his knowledge of these destinations, along with 15 years of experience within the hospitality industry, and his enjoyment of Golf, to his role within the UK Sales office, where Chris concentrates on the Corporate and Golf markets.

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Justine Mastin

Sales & Marketing – United Kingdom

Justine Mastin has over 20 years experience in luxury travel, and heads our sales and marketing office in the United Kingdom from her base in Cambridge. During her career, Justine has garnered experience with tour operators, sales and marketing accounts, event management, and budget planning.

Justine began her hospitality career at Thomas Cook Holidays, where she held various positions over a 14 year span, including that of Sales and Marketing Manager. She then headed up the UK and Ireland sales and marketing office for Jebel Ali International Hotels in the UK, prior to taking up the position of Director of Marketing, based in Dubai. While in Dubai, Justine transferred to The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company as the Regional Director of Travel Industry Sales for the Middle East.

In May of 2005, Justine returned to London for Ritz-Carlton as the Director of Travel Industry Sales. Her knowledge of the hotel industry, tour operating and international luxury markets, along with her strong personal relationships in the region, are instrumental in translating the Kurtz-Ahlers vision throughout the UK.

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Jo Morris

Marketing and Trade PR – United Kingdom

Jo Morris worked at Thomas Cook in the UK for 14 years, holding a number of positions in the business and leisure travel sectors including Head of Sales and Marketing for Thomas Cook Holidays Tour Operations and Head of PR when the company entered into a partnership with British Airways Holidays.  Jo has experience in the areas of product development, contracting and strategic planning, specifically in the areas of event management, sales promotion, PR and marketing.  Taking a break from the industry to raise a family, Jo then went on to teach Travel and Tourism to students studying for a career in the industry, subjects included marketing, customer service and tourism development.   Jo’s strong background in PR and Marketing are perfect for strengthening the profile of Kurtz-Ahlers clients in the UK market.

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Rachel Newman

Sales Consultant

Rachel has twenty years of experience in hospitality and offers an intimate understanding of luxury travel. Prior to joining Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates, Rachel spent 5 years at Design Hotels as Director of Sales, Americas, handling all leisure and entertainment sales for a global portfolio of independent, boutique hotels. Originally from the UK, Rachel began her career managing a chalet in the French Alps. She moved to New York in 2000 where she helped open two high-profile restaurants and Bottega Veneta's flagship store for Gucci group. In 2005 she joined Chambers Hotel where she advanced from concierge to sales management. Rachel has a passion for travel and discovery. She loves to craft experiences for her clients and friends.

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Farimah Parang

Sales Consultant

Farimah Parang draws upon nearly 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, of which 12 years have been working with Ritz-Carlton. During her tenure there she has held numerous positions in travel agency sales and marketing. As a result, she has established strong, personal relationships with key travel agencies and wholesalers throughout the western United States, priceless assets in an industry where relationships are the key to success.

Farimah has been an active participant in major travel industry associations such as ASTA & ICTA. Before her career with Ritz-Carlton she held the position of Director of Hotel and Travel Agency Sales at Hertz France in Paris.

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Dori Solomon

Sales Consultant

Dori began her hospitality career over 20 years ago in Chicago, then moved to the West Coast where she was the Reservation Manager at both The Hotel Bel Air in Beverly Hills, and The Peninsula Beverly Hills. Remaining at The Peninsula for a total of eight years, Dori was promoted to Sales Manager where she was responsible for the Eastern and Western US during her tenure. Most recently, Dori held the position of Regional Sales Director at The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows where she brought in business from the east and west in leisure, group and corporate accounts.

Dori’s sales experience is an asset to the Kurtz-Ahlers team where she oversees accounts for the Southeastern market. She joins Kurtz-Ahlers and Associates after returning to the east coast where she currently resides in Tampa with her husband and two children.

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Fabiola Sotomayor

Sales Consultant

Fabiola started her hotel career at the Hacienda del Mar Resort & Spa, in Los Cabos, Mexico, where she successfully launched the travel industry and incentive markets in a booming destination. In 2002, Fabiola moved to San Francisco and held a position as a National Sales Manager for the San Francisco Visitors Bureau. In 2006, Fabiola moved to Santa Monica where she held the Travel Industry Sales Manager position at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, where she cultivated the luxury travel industry and entertainment markets in Los Angeles, New York and London. In 2008, she was appointed Director of Sales for the West Coast where she oversaw the luxury travel industry and entertainment markets for the anticipated opening of Montage Beverly Hills.

Fabiola is a bi-lingual, accomplished and well rounded luxury hotel and CVB professional who brings combined experience in extensive management, sales, and marketing in the incentive, luxury and entertainment markets to the Kurtz-Ahlers team.

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