ALON Marketing Group Team
JENNIFER ACKERSON, President of ALON Marketing Group, is a 25+ year veteran of the Tour & Travel industry with direct experience working in a majority of tourism supplier categories. Jennifer has an excellent understanding of tourism and the visitor dynamic. This expertise is an unparalleled assimilation into domestic and international buyer/supplier travel trade/resellers relationship building, resulting in a high level of successful strategic tourism business development for both tourism suppliers and destinations. Jennifer’s merits include a 4.0 GPA travel and tourism degree, certification as a travel industry specialist (CTIS) with the American Bus Association and Purdue University, and certification as a Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise (WMBE) in New York State and New York City. In 2000, Jennifer founded ALON Marketing Group, a tourism consultancy assisting travel businesses and destinations with her expertise in developing travel suppliers, partnerships, and marketing to visitors. Jennifer spearheads the development of the national tourism training program ‘Steps to Success’ in partnership with International Inbound Travel Association (IITA) and the ‘Tourism Ready’ tourism training program for NYC & Company, the official DMO of New York City. Jennifer’s company also produces successful sales, marketing, promotion, and operational initiatives for suppliers in all sectors of the travel industry. Specialty services include strategic marketing plan development & delivery, product development, project leadership, operation organization, systems and procedures management, key relationship building for selling, employee training and tourism development, public speaking, event planning, and global trade-show sales & representation. Key strengths are project management, leadership, human relations & communication skills, creativity, organization, detail & multi-tasking orientation.
JOANNA MILITELLO, Creative Development Manager, is a graduate from Farmingdale State College with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. She initially began working at ALON Marketing Group as an intern in 2015, but upon discovering the dynamic and interesting work the travel trade/resellers world has to offer, she was hooked! With 4 years of experience in retail and wholesale, Joanna quickly learned the importance of successful marketing and how the needs and interests of all customers vary. As tourism is ever-changing, she enjoys learning each of the individual market trends and nuances of the industry. Throughout her years with ALON, Joanna’s exceptional organization is carried into all programs and events the team organizes and her fierce attention to detail provides an impeccable outcome to all ALON projects. She continues to challenge herself to learn new things each day and uncover opportunities to incorporate her passion for creativity in everything she does.
HALEE RISCHERT, Tourism Sales Manager, is a recent graduate from Farmingdale State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Communications and Business Management. Although Halee has always been a traveler at heart, she never imagined working in the tour and travel industry. However, she is a firm believer that “everything happens for a reason.” With her past experiences working for B2B companies and in Business Development, she found herself understanding the ways of the Travel trade/resellers and was eager to learn more. Halee is looking forward to grow within the industry, build key relationships with tourism suppliers and buyers, and of course travel the world! With her go-getter attitude, bubbly personality, and passion for people, Halee discovered that ALON was the place for her.
LAURA JACOBSON, Business Strategy Manager could have never imagined to find a job that fits her personality, ideas and skills better. She has a Master’s Degree in Management of Innovation and Business Development from the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark and is grateful to apply what she studied into practice as well as the chance to continue learning while working with developing tourism companies. Through her time with ALON, participating in industry events and meetings, Laura continues to be inspired to support businesses noticing that each individual’s growth enables business owners to be self-reliant, create exciting employment possibilities and offer unique experiences for us all. From her international experience of working at a global financial company, to living in 4 different countries, traveling through over 30 different countries, and gaining two master degrees from two different countries, Laura feels she fits right in within tourism industry and has a lot to offer. She celebrates diversity, loves people and craves to exchange ideas, make them into plans and implement them all together as nothing is impossible!
LAUREN REDDING, Communications Coordinator Lauren earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Hofstra University, where she concentrated her studies in print journalism and history. In addition to her work as a senior editor with an international press release distributor, her professional resume includes extensive customer service experience. On a personal note, Lauren is grateful to have traveled to nearly a dozen European countries, as well as parts of Asia, where she has enjoyed exploring the variety of cultures and sights the world has to offer. She also delights in utilizing both her professional expertise and personal experiences to blog about a variety of topics near and dear to her heart. While seeking the opportunity to forge a new professional path and find a deeper purpose, Lauren joined ALON Marketing Group where she looks forward to tapping into her inner creativity and immersing herself in the limitless world of travel trade. She looks forward to growing with the ALON team.
JP (JENNIFER PURTILL), Key Account Manager and Consultant. She realized quickly that her past experiences in the hospitality industry helped prepare her for tourism. JP began her career working in several corporate companies including Jillian’s and the Singh Hospitality Group as well as privately owned restaurants including JP’s Long Island Grill (really!) and Runyon’s Roadside Tavern. JP has experience in virtually all roles in the restaurant and catering industry and seamlessly moved her way to management and general manager. While overseeing staffs of up to 50 employees, JP’s skills have easily transferred over to tourism with excellent abilities such as marketing, systems development, multitasking, event planning and execution, teamwork, exceptional professionalism, outside-of-the-box thinking and positive energy. JP’s hotel and restaurant management education has also been a positive reinforcement for her transition to the tourism industry. JP knows that her keen ability to stay organized and focused are strengths that have helped ALON succeed and grow as a recognized company in the tourism industry. As a proud parent and spouse, JP loves being a part of the ultimate goal in tourism; watching the ‘end user’ enjoy their experience while on holiday! Making memories is truly what the tourism industry is all about. “Life is too short, laugh a lot!”
MICHAEL ALVICH, Tourism & Transportation Business Development Consultant. Michael Alvich’s extensive career in business-to-consumer and business-to-business Tourism and Transportation spans successful sales and marketing assignments in airline, transit, tourism, and motor coach industries. As Vice President of Sales his direction of creative sales programs, NYC tourism programs, website development and tour operator reseller relationships worldwide built sales and the Gray Line New York brand resulting in Gray Line New York Sightseeing becoming the largest sightseeing company in the USA. Partnership could be Michael’s middle name working closely with over forty NYC attractions, land, sea, and air tour companies, hotel, cultural institutions, media and tourism organizations to create many cooperative promotional and cross-sales programs. As Coach USA Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Public Relations in 2006 he directed marketing and public relations initiatives for the introduction of a new, unique intercity bus brand: Megabus.com. Over a nine-year period, through the implementation of award-winning public relations and innovative marketing programs, the brand generated 45 million customers traveling to over 100 cities and changed the way American consumers utilize bus transportation. He also provided marketing support to twenty Coach USA bus companies around the USA. For over fifteen years he interacted with tour operators and receptive tour companies at numerous worldwide trade shows and international and domestic sales mission visits. As an avocation, Michael co-produced and co-hosted a live, weekly radio show heard nationally on the Cable Radio Network and worldwide on the Internet.
JEAN GUINUP, Owner of GC Communications and Consultant. Jean Guinup is a veteran of the tourism and hospitality industry. In her past role as General Manager of Woodbury Common in Central Valley, NY, Jean met with many national and international retail brands; her passion for supporting retail brands and helping them discover ways to increase sales continues to today. Jean’s role at Woodbury Common included creating the strategies, partnerships and programs that set the course to position Woodbury Common as an international shopping destination. These included-Partnering with a bus transportation company to offer round-trip service from Port Authority in NYC to the Center; hundreds of thousands of passengers now arrive annually from around the globe and Attending international trade shows to create productive and successful relationships and targeted promotions with key travel trade/resellers and media in numerous markets. As Regional VP, partnered with CVB’s, DMO’s, accommodation and attraction products across the U.S. to support the increase of visitor traffic to their destinations. Jean believes in “big visions” with thoughtful strategies to create success in today’s ever-changing market. Professional Successes/Awards- Founding Member/President: Blooming Grove Chambers of Commerce and Woodbury Chamber of Commerce, Hudson Valley, New York and Hudson Valley Tourism Council Board Member and YWCA Tribute to Woman Award and Award: Mental Health of Orange County Business of the Year and Shop America: Person of the Year Award and Initiated American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Walk” at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, raising millions of dollars in donations and USTA Board Member