The Great American Steamboat Company is pleased to announce that cruise-industry sales executive Jeff Drew has joined the company’s management team as Senior Vice President of Sales, effective immediately. Drew, whose career has taken him from being an agent at Maritz Travel to executive roles at Classic Hawaii, Seabourn, Cunard, Intrav/Clipper and most recently, Oceania Cruises, will oversee all aspects of the agency sales and distribution channel and lead the company’s Regional Sales Directors.
Russ Varvel, the venerated sales executive who played an integral role in the startup of Great American Steamboat Company, will now spearhead the line’s Charter and Incentive sales efforts as Senior Vice President of Charters and Incentive Sales with a focus on Charter and Incentive Sales, large-scale groups and special accounts. Varvel possesses a tremendous amount of expertise and decades of experience in this vital sales and marketing role.
“We are delighted to welcome Jeff Drew. With his wealth of experience in the luxury sector of the travel industry and his passion for Americana and history, he is the perfect addition to the Great American Steamboat Company team,” stated Christopher Kyte, President of Great American Steamboat Company. “Russ’s skill and expertise has allowed us to accomplish the unthinkable in our first 90 days of business in recruiting an experienced sales team, establishing our sales and reservations infrastructure and designing agent-friendly programs and policies,” added Kyte.
“I have known Christopher Kyte for close to two decades and he has as keen and shrewd a business acumen as any executive I know. He and Jeff Krida have assembled an enviable team and the Steamer American Queen is already the most talked-about river cruise product in North America,” stated Drew.