TripAdvisor adds travel and internet executives to Board of Directors
Founder, Paresky, Joins Board of Web Start-Up
NEEDHAM, Mass. --June 26, 2000-- TripAdvisor (www.TripAdvisor.com) today announced its Board of Directors. Together the five board members bring a wealth of travel and Internet industry experience to the new travel search engine. New board appointees include Linda Paresky, former co-founder of Crimson Travel and later co-chairman of Thomas Cook USA; MarianneToldalagi, fomer Senior Vice President and General Manager of American Express Consumer Travel Division; and David Parker, fomer Vice President of Business Development for the search engine Direct Hit. Existing board members include Chairman and co-founder Langley Steinert, who was the VP Marketing & Business Development at eCommerce start-up ViaWeb which was sold to Yahoo! Inc. in 1998, and Stephen Kaufer, CEO, an accomplished technologist who co-founded and rapidly built CenterLine Software to over $20 million in revenue prior to its sale.
TripAdvisors comprehensive search technologies will efficiently scour the Internet for web sites and user opinions about a vacation spot or travel interest for a consumer. The companys specialization as a travel research search engine will be a valuable addition to major reservation and bookings sites, potentially increasing customer retention and the conversion of "lookers to bookers". "Consumers are enthralled yet often frustrated by the web, because they want quick, easy access to relevant information," said Linda Paresky, noted travel industry executive. "By organizing and ranking authoritative sources, opinions and postings, TripAdvisor creates a customized filtered index for efficient, focused travel planning. It is a natural ally to support booking decisions for do-it-yourself consumers, as well as travel professionals".
Paresky co-founded Crimson Travel and later became owner and co-chairman of Thomas Cook Travel USA, the third largest travel agency in the United States. In 1994, Linda and her husband sold Thomas Cook Travel USA to American Express. Linda was recognized by the National Foundation for Women Business Owners and Working Womans Magazine as one of the top fifty women business owners in the United States. She is a noted industry columnist and advocate, and has served as a national advisor to the White House Conference on Travel and Tourism and the Academy of Travel and Tourism. Linda holds a BA from Simmons College, a Masters from Harvard University and a Phd from Boston College.
Toldalagi was formerly Senior Vice President and General Manager of American Express Consumer Travel Division, the leading provider of leisure travel services in the US. At that time, the business had nearly 2 billion in sales and a diverse nationwide operation with 3000 employees. Ms. Toldalagi has played an active role in the travel industry, serving on the Travel Business Roundtable and chairing its Policy Committee. Toldalagi was cited by Travel Age Magazine as one of the 100 most powerful women in travel for four consecutive years during her tenure at American Express. Marianne holds a BA from the University of California at Berkeley.
Parker was formerly Vice President of Business Development at the award-winning Internet search technology company Direct Hit, which was recently sold to Ask Jeeves for $507 million less than two years after its inception. Prior to Direct Hit, David was General Manager of New Media at Viaweb, Inc. David holds a BA and MBA from Harvard University.
TripAdvisor is licensing this innovative search technology to major web sites and travel service providers and will launch at www.tripadvisor.com this fall. To learn more about featuring TripAdvisor on your web site, contact .