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New roles for the industry’s movers and shakers

San Francisco Travel Association

201411etw21Antonette Eckert has been appointed to the position of director, international tourism-Asia/ Pacific of San Francisco Travel Association. In her new role, Eckert will manage ongoing tourism sales programmes in the Asia/ Pacific region, including China, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India and Southeast Asia. Eckert comes to San Francisco Travel Association from Visit California where she was director of Asia marketing and previously advertising and co-op marketing manager.

Cathay Pacific Airways

201411etw22Naveed Ahmed Khan has been appointed as area sales manager – western India for Cathay Pacific Airways. Khan will be based out of Mumbai. He has been with Cathay Pacific Airways since July 2008, and has previously done stints in marketing and cargo based in Mumbai. Prior to joining Cathay Pacific Airways, Khan was employed with Etihad Airways and Jet Airways. His total work experience is 14 years.

201411etw23Abhijit Abhyankar has been appointed as Cathay Pacific Airways’ regional marketing communications manager – South Asia. In his new portfolio, Abhyankar will be responsible for the development and execution of all marketing communications’ activities for Cathay Pacific Airways and sister airline Dragonair, in South Asia based in Mumbai. He joined Cathay Pacific Airways in November 2009 as corporate sales manager and in October 2010 he was appointed area sales manager – northern India.

201411etw24Sandhya Suraj Kankanady has been appointed as Cathay Pacific Airways’ assistant regional corporate sales manager – South Asia. Kankanady will oversee corporate sales for Cathay Pacific Airways for South Asia based in Bengaluru. Kankanady joined Cathay Pacific in 1998 through a GSA representation and continued till 2006 as a customer sales officer. She later got an opportunity with Emirates and Etihad, to look after trade sales in Bengaluru. In 2010, she rejoined Cathay Pacific as an account manager Karnataka, overseeing both trade and corporate sales.

201411etw25Rajesh Menon has been appointed as Cathay Pacific Airways’ regional sales and marketing manager – South Asia. Menon will be responsible for overseeing the sales and marketing for Cathay Pacific Airways in the South Asia region and will be based in Mumbai. Menon has been working with Cathay Pacific since 2005. Menon will replace Rakesh Raicar who has taken up his new role as country manager, South Africa and Indian Ocean based in Johannesburg.

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways has appointed Dimitrios Karagkioules as general manager for Thailand. Karagkioules, who has more than 20 years of airline experience, takes up the Bangkok-based role after five years in Athens as Etihad Airways general manager for Greece.

Prior to joining Etihad Airways, Karagkioules held a number of Athens-based sales and marketing management roles at Continental Airlines and Delta Airlines.


Mamoun Hmedan has been appointed as general manager, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) of Wego. He will lead the regional team based in the Dubai Internet City and also the launch of a TV advertising campaign targeting Arabic speaking markets across the region. Hmedan first joined Wego in 2013 in the role of manager, media sales – MENA. He was pivotal in establishing Wego’s media business in the region and also in the setup of Wego’s private advertising marketplace.


The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has appointed Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya as executive director of the advertising and public relations department. Chattan became the director of the international public relations division in 2012, and was promoted to executive director of the monitoring and risk management department in 2013. He graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Chulalongkorn University. He also has a Master of Arts in International Relations from Boston University.

ICC Sydney

AEG Ogden has appointed Mathew Paine as the HR director of the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney). A senior practitioner with more than 14 years of experience in human resource management, Paine joins ICC Sydney’s leadership team after four years as the director of HR with Sofitel Luxury Hotels and Resorts and leadership roles at YWCA NSW, Mindworx UK and Hilton Worldwide.

Paresa, Phuket

Dawid Koegelenberg has been appointed as general manager of Paresa, a luxury resort in Phuket. A graduate of the Cape Town Hotel School and formerly resort manager at Six Senses Koh Samui, Koegelenberg brings over two decades of experience. He was a chef and later general manager of some of London’s best known restaurants. Koegelenberg relocated to Thailand in 2010 as resort manager of Sarojin Resort in Khaolak, Phuket, and managed Six Senses Koh Samui for two years before his move to Paresa.

L’Hotel du Collectionneur, Paris

François Gagnaire has been appointed as executive chef at L’Hotel du Collectionneur – Paris. In 2001, he opened a gourmet restaurant in Puy-en-Velay. In 2006, he earned a Michelin star and in 2009 he was awarded a French National Order of Merit medal.

FRHI Hotels & Resorts

Martin Kandrac has been appointed as executive vice president, real estate and development of FRHI Hotels & Resorts. Based in Zurich, Kandrac will be responsible for all aspects of FRHI’s real estate and development activity worldwide, including regional offices in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. As part of this role, Kandrac will also have oversight of FRHI’s residential and design and construction teams. He joins FRHI from his most recent position as managing director, real estate in the London office of Mount Kellett Capital Management.