Luxury destination specialist and hotel marketing company Celebrated Experiences has announced a continued expansion of its senior leadership team.

Samantha Betancourt has joined as chief operating officer. She has 20-plus years of experience in global supply chain management, most recently as the senior vice president of global marketing and product strategy with UPS Healthcare. Betancourt will manage the day-to-day operations of Celebrated Experiences, leveraging technology and past experiences to create superior processes and efficiencies ensuring the company can better support its team and clients. 

Industry veteran Chris Ward has also joined the team as chief partnership officer and director of European operations. Based in England, Ward has a 25-year track record of developing and delivering commercially successful hospitality brands in the luxury sector. He has held leadership positions at Orient Express Hotels (now Belmond), Chewton Glen, Cliveden House and Farncombe Estate. Most recently, Ward ran his own business advisory company, Hotel Makers. His ultimate role with Celebrated Experiences is to support the company’s destination partners, including Celebrated Hotels, an annually inspected collection of over 350 luxury properties in England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. Ward will also be leading the company’s growth into France, launching later this year.

Betancourt and Ward join the executive leadership team alongside Ty Horn, chief revenue officer; Neelam Karani, chief administrative officer; Dana Welch, chief client engagement officer; and Zoltan Berger, director of finance, all reporting to CEO Jonathan Epstein.

Over the past four years, Celebrated Experiences has doubled to 60 team members and experienced significant market share growth through the pandemic as a result of investments in client engagement, new revenue streams, and enhanced partnerships. These include the acquisition of Guidelines to Britain, the launch of Celebrated Homes, the addition of dozens of new Celebrated Hotels to its portfolio, and the creation of a travel advisor recognition program, Celebrated Legends and Celebrated Heroes.

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