Growth in Cruise Industry Business Facilitates W&O Promotions

Jacksonville, Fla.-based W&O has promoted three individuals to management positions because of the growth the marine piping supplier has seen in cruise industry-related sales.

W&O has introduced several new products to the cruise industry during the past year, the company says, most notably the iShip and FuelProof data management and bunkering systems, which have generated great success for W&O by bringing new solutions to the cruise market. 

“With the economy starting to rebound and more individuals pursuing cruise leisure travel, ship owners and operators are very busy updating and renovating their vessels with the latest technological solutions.  We have seen a steady uptick in our cruise-related business, prompting us to promote key individuals who have been instrumental in cultivating and servicing this growth,” said Michael Hume, president and CEO of W&O in a company press release.  “Given the nature of the cruise industry, knowing the market and its unique demands is essential.  Our team continues to exceed our customers’ expectations based on this focused attention to the cruise segment.”

Kurt Gibson, formerly manager of cruise industry accounts, has been promoted to director of sales & marketing for all of W&O. In this new role, Gibson is responsible for directing the sales and marketing efforts of all outside salespeople and will work closely with W&O’s new regional managers and their respective sales teams. Gibson has been with W&O for three years and is now based out of the corporate offices in Jacksonville. 

Charles Ledford, who has been with W&O since 2007, has been promoted to manager of cruise industry accounts and remains based in W&O’s Fort Lauderdale branch. During his time at W&O, Ledford has held various positions that have all focused on servicing the global cruise market, most recently inside sales manager-cruise. In his new role, Ledford is responsible for identifying new opportunities and ongoing development of products and services for our cruise market customers.  One focus of these efforts will be iShip and its affiliated components.

Elier Vilalta, who just celebrated his one-year anniversary with W&O, has relocated from Houston to Fort Lauderdale and assumed the role of inside sales for cruise industry accounts.  Under Ledford’s tutelage, Vilalta is also tasked with cultivating and expanding W&O’s cruise industry customer base.  Most recently, Vilalta was the associate in charge of W&O’s SPACE Valve testing facility in Houston.