Ponant Promotes Ellen McIlvaine to Vice President of Sales

Ponant has announced the appointment of Ellen McIIvaine as the vice president of sales, North America. She steps into the new role six years after joining the company where her most recent position was director of business development in the Northwest region. In her new role, McIIvaine will oversee the trade business activities and partnerships, and manage the field sales team in the U.S. and Canada. She will also focus on delivering deeper engagement with the brand’s travel agency partners.

Before joining Ponant, McIlvaine worked for adventure and expedition-focused tour operators, including Zegrahm Expeditions. Her experience spanned multiple areas, including managing guest and field services. She worked onboard as part of expedition teams in over 60 countries, across all seven continents.

McIlvaine succeeds Theresa Gatta, who made the decision to retire after 40 years in the industry and six years of leading the sales division of Ponant North America. Under Gatta’s leadership, she broadened and strengthened the brand’s partnerships with travel advisors and consortia partners, while developing a fully integrated sales team to grow the North America market. She also successfully navigated the challenges the travel industry faced during the COVID-19 pandemic with grace and perseverance.

“We look forward to Ellen taking on an expanded role with Ponant. She will continue to bring her extensive brand knowledge and experience in nurturing sales to the travel advisor community,” said Navin Sawhney, CEO of Americas, Ponant. “While we are sad to say goodbye to Theresa, we thank her for years of leadership and devotion to the company’s mission.”

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