In November 2013, Ralf Usbeck was awarded the international ‘Serial Innovator of Travel Technology’ award at the World Travel Market in London.
How did it all start?
At the age of 23, Ralf Usbeck founded Usbeck-Engineering GmbH, a company that managed the development of graphical information systems. In 2000, the company rebranded to TravelTainment GmbH and under the leadership of Ralf, products including TT-IBE and BistroPortal were created, along with Datamix, a dynamic packaging solution for the travel industry.
Six years later, in 2006, Ralf sold TravelTainment to Amadeus and as CEO of the Amadeus Leisure Group, he was dedicated to boosting the company’s worldwide leisure business. He left the company two and a half years later.
Now through Peakwork, Ralf continues to innovate: Peakwork has developed Exchange Data Format (EDF®) a uniform data format for all travel offers, as well as the innovative Player Hub Technology®. Today, the largest tour operators worldwide, as well as incoming agencies, metasearchers and airlines, all work with the Player Hub technology®
In 1998, Michael Schmidt laid the foundation for his career in travel technology as a Project Manager at Usbeck-Engineering GmbH. During the next 9 years at TravelTainment GmbH, Michael was responsible for both the Project and Product Management divisions, playing a major part in the development of several new strategic products and projects.
Today, as COO of Peakwork AG, Michael is responsible for Product Development, Operations and Communications.
Markus Pfau was an entrepreneur in the fields of robotics and 3D graphics programming before he joined TravelTainment in 2002. As Director of Research & Development, he was a major force behind significant technological developments such as dynamic packaging.
Since 2009, Markus Pfau leads the Peakwork Development Team. As a Board member, Markus is responsible for programming all code lines. He is constantly looking for new IT talent and visionaries.
Dr. Thomas van Kaldenkerken
Dr. Thomas van Kaldenkerken has first-class knowledge and extensive experience from his role as Managing Director in international strategy in the consumer goods industry. The Doctor of Economics previously led the international expansion of Schleich where he still acts as a member of the Advisory Board
In June 2015, Dr. van Kaldenkerken joined Peakwork, strengthening the Management Team in his new role as CFO. His focus is on company finances, HR and supporting strategic company development. His move from the Peakwork Supervisory Board (2013-2015) into the Management Team means Peakwork can profit from his first-rate expertise in strategic company management and expansion strategies.
Annika Kessel is Senior Vice President Global Business at Peakwork AG and Managing Director at Peakwork Inc. She runs the global business development and ecommerce products at Peakwork, especially the international expansion into markets like Americas and China with its strategic partners. Her focus is building partnerships with metasearch and other global online players, connecting the right suppliers and products, increasing benefits and platform effectivity for all partners in Player Hub network incl. cooperations with Facebook, Google and Co.
Annika joined Peakwork in 2014. Prior to that, she worked in senior positions building the hotel start up OTA formerly JustBook Mobile/Secret Escapes, at United Nations as a business consultant and with the European tour operator DER Touristik in strategy and dynamic travel packaging. She gained experience from University Degrees in Germany/Canada/US, e.g. in Silicon Valley at Stanford University.
Dimo Pashov is a seasoned professional with broad knowledge of the Leisure Travel Industry and proven track record in Sales and Sales Management across multiple business verticals. As Head of Sales EMEA, he is responsible for sales in Europe, Middle East and Africa, with a focus on strengthening and expanding the Player-Hub network and securing new strategic partners and clients across these regions. Dimo has held various managerial positions at TeamAmerica, Tourico Holidays, TravelStoreMaker.com Inc. and others, where he has gained over 15 years of experience in Direct Sales, New Market Acquisition, Business Development and Account Management.
Dominik is Director Accommodation & Ancillary Services at Peakwork. He joined Peakwork in May 2015 and has since developed the accommodation offerings, as well as Ancillary Service Connectivity – including Insurances, Car Rentals, Activietes and Transfers.
Dominik comes from the Wholesale Segment and spent prior to Peakwork six years in various management positions with Tourico Holidays, in particular in the field of Sales and Business Development.
Jacqueline is a Travel industry executive with 29 years’ experience in sales, marketing, and account management for North, Central, and South America as well as Spain. Extensive managerial and business development experience in Airline, GDS and Hospitality Industry, gathering experiences from different nationalities and cultures. She has in-depth knowledge and understanding of the commercial and regulatory environments for the Americas. Significant insights into travel industry trends for both corporate and travel sectors as it relates to technology. Jacqueline joined Peakwork as Head of Sales for the Americas in 2017. Before, she had various management positions at Lots of Hotels, Orbitz, Tourico, Galileo International, United Airlines, and others.
Manuel Saballus is an experienced specialist in the field of dynamic packaging engines and travel technology. At Peakwork, he is responsible for international business development and consulting in the fields of packaging solutions for Airlines, Tour Operators, OTA’s and Metasearch companies.
While studying economics Oliver founded silversurfer7 in 1999 as a full service web agency. In the next years he accompanied companies in retail and tourism sector to do successful B2B and B2C projects. Since 2003 the main focus is on touristic customers getting connected to travel technology. 2015 silversurfer7 became part of the peakwork company network.
Tony joined Peakwork in 2016 and strengthens the global sales team as Vice President. He has over 20 years’ experience of leadership within tourism, travel and hospitality organisations with a proven background in regional, head and corporate level roles. He has headed up business development and product sourcing teams for large global wholesalers, bed banks and online travel companies including Wotif.com, Destinations of the World, Tourico Holidays and Orbitz.com.
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