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andBeyond restructures executive team around client services, guest experiences, sustainability and ambitious expansion plans

Nicole Robinson
BWith 50% growth over the past three years and another 15% or more projected this year, luxury experiential travel company andBeyond has reorganised its executive team to support its ambitious expansion plans. The new structure will ensure the continued delivery of exceptional guest and client services, as well as increasing focus on andBeyond’s management, guide training and sustainability projects.

In addition to keeping up with the company’s fast-paced growth, these changes will allow andBeyond CEO Joss Kent to increasingly focus his time on sourcing exceptional new lodges, ships and concessions to add to the company portfolio. This currently includes 33 extraordinary lodges and camps in iconic destinations throughout Africa and India, as well as bespoke tours in India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Chile and Argentina. Kent will also concentrate on increased field engagement in all the regions where the company operates in order to ensure that the guest experience is living up to the extremely high standards expected by those who entrust their travel dreams to andBeyond.

Bringing with her 15 years’ of experience in the company, Nicole Robinson has been promoted from Commercial Director to the position of Chief Marketing Officer. She will utilise her deep knowledge of andBeyond and the travel industry in general, augmented with specialised digital marketing expertise, to continue to build the andBeyond brand. A chartered accountant by trade, Nicole joined andBeyond as Group Financial Accountant as soon as she had completed her articles with global giant PriceWaterhouseCoopers and swiftly moved up through the ranks. Her dedication to the principles of constant process improvement and her core skills surrounding people and processes saw Nicole appointed as andBeyond’s Commercial Director in 2011. Nicole has thorough experience of all aspects of the company’s business, including managing the Product team and overseeing the launch of andBeyond Expeditions, a selection of mobile camping safaris in Botswana. This has given her an in-depth understanding of the &Beyond brand. Nicole’s strong analytical skills and passion for developing people and tackling creative projects have also contributed to her appointment as CMO.

The Commercial Director position will be filled by Andrew Retallack, who is promoted from Revenue & Systems Manager. Andrew has 11 years’ experience with andBeyond and has fulfilled many roles during his time with the company, from ranger at andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge to Sales Manager for the UK market and General Manager for andBeyond’s Wholesale Sales and Reservations team.

In recognition of his strong and effective leadership of the global sales team, Ryan Powell, andBeyond Sales Director since 2012, is set to expand his portfolio to Sales & Operations Director, adding the company’s touring and reservations teams to his sphere of influence. This move is designed to bring seamless leadership and coordination to the entire sales and touring fulfilment process. Ryan brings 24 years’ worth of sales, marketing and commerce experience at companies such as Sanctuary Retreats Lodges and Camps and Accenture to his position. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Humanities from the University of Johannesburg and an MBA from the Gordon Institute of Business Science.

In his role as Regional Manager Touring, Wayne Nupen has markedly strengthened and developed the destination management and touring services provided by the andBeyond team in Johannesburg over the past two years. Thanks to his prior experience as Regional Manager for andBeyond Tanzania, he brings with him critical field-based experience covering the complete range of lodging, touring and ground handling services. Wayne has been promoted to Regional Director Touring. He will be focusing all his time and energy on increasing consultant product knowledge, developing new product, improving turnaround times, boosting creativity and promoting flexibility in itinerary planning, as well as developing expanded language capabilities.

To further support andBeyond’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and conservation, Tony Adams refines his portfolio in the role of Field and Sustainability Director. In keeping with andBeyond’s core ethos of care of the land, care of the wildlife, care of the people, Tony will be creating even stronger ties between the company’s lodge and guiding team, its conservation and habitat teams and the sustainability champions at all its lodges. He will also ensure closer integration between andBeyond and its community and social development partner, Africa Foundation.

Boasting a history that goes all the way back to the establishment of andBeyond, Tony began his career with the company as a ranger before moving into lodge management. Playing a huge part in the launch of andBeyond’s first lodges at Phinda Private Game Reserve, he was promoted to Regional Director, first for South Africa and then also for Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Tony’s passion for community empowerment and people development has led him to a deep immersion in the Africa Foundation and practical experience in building schools and clinics, as well as setting up small businesses in the communities surrounding andBeyond’s lodges. With a keen interest and proven skill in managing people and wildlife, Tony’s new role will allow him to play an ever-expanding part in promoting andBeyond’s core values.

Linda Figueira-King takes over some of Tony’s previous duties in her new position as Human Resources & Training Director. She will give her absolute focus and attention to ensuring that andBeyond’s growing teams in Africa, South Asia and South America receive the training and development required to take the company to the next level.  

“I am really excited about where andBeyond has got to as a company over the last few years and, indeed, where we are headed. We have 2 000 passionate and committed andBeyonders on three continents, with a very clear vision of where we want to go from here and what the values of the brand stand for. We have no interest in being the biggest, but we are totally focused on being the best. We are only as good as our guest or client feedback on any given day. These changes are therefore intended to strengthen our focus and energy on producing excellent client service and incredible guest experiences. Our team is both strong and experienced and it is a real privilege for me to be part of this evolving andBeyond story,” says Kent. 

 
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