David Hu is President of Classic Vacations, the leading luxury travel provider in the United States and a wholly owned subsidiary of Expedia, Inc. He was appointed to the position in early 2009.
Previously, Mr. Hu served as the CFO and Vice President of Business Operations at Classic Vacations, where he was responsible for leading the company's strategic and financial planning efforts, helping build and run much of the company's operational infrastructure. Mr. Hu came to Classic in 2006 from Hotwire, where he served as Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for three years. Prior to Hotwire, he served as a turnaround consultant for HCP Travel, an educational tour operator. He also spent three years as a Senior Mergers and Acquisitions Associate with Morgan Stanley in New York and Singapore, where he worked on some of the largest IPOs and M&A transactions in Asia. Mr. Hu is a CPA and was a Manager for five years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Hong Kong and San Francisco. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the Haas School at the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Anderson School at UCLA.
Head of Sales
Dave Ferran is the Head of Sales at Classic Vacations and a 20+ year employee. Dave started in the Call Center before quickly entering Sales as a Business Development Manager in the Los Angeles area. From there he moved into sales management taking on the position of Regional Director - working with West Coast BDM's and top accounts.
Over the years, Dave has worked in most regions of the country and with most of our top accounts. In 2011, Dave returned to San Jose taking on the role of Senior Director of Sales supporting the VP of Sales as well as the field sales team. And in 2013, he became Head of Sales responsible for executing Classic's strategic sales plan in collaboration with Classic Field Sales. Dave also manages National Accounts and Inside Sales. He is a resident of San Francisco, CA and a graduate of UC Berkeley.
General Manager of Groups
Melissa joined Classic Vacations in 2013 as a Director of Sales, providing sales leadership and performance management for the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast sales teams.
She has been contributing to the travel industry for over 20 years and is excited about her newest role as General Manager of Groups. Her greatest passion is helping customers build their businesses and supporting employees in growing their careers. Melissa resides in Carmel, California with her husband of 18 years and their three daughters.
Senior Director of Operations
Denis M. Fastert is Senior Director of Operations and has been with Classic Vacations for over 12 years, serving in various roles from Finance to Affiliate Partnerships.
Currently, he’s responsible for the Agency Call Center Operations team, including Concierge, Customer Service, Flights, Product Operations, and Reservations.Denis started his career as a Mechanical Engineer, eventually earning an MBA, and worked in a broad range of high-tech businesses in the Silicon Valley from (Fortune 500 companies to 10-person startups). In his free time, he enjoys camping, golf, building houses in Mexico with his church, and traveling the world with his wife and daughter.
Director of Product Development
Joelle A. Apilado is the Director of Product Development at Classic Vacations and oversees global strategic initiatives for worldwide hotels and tours, as well as contracting and partner relations; and conducts market research and analysis to support aggressive growth goals.
Joelle grew up on a small island in the Pacific Ocean called Guam and prior to Classic she was a Travel Agent with the Japan Travel Bureau in the South Pacific. Joelle loves to cook, read, and travel the world, and enjoys finding new authentic experiences and discovering new destinations. Her favorite quote is “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” – St. Augustine. She celebrated her 20th anniversary at Classic in 2018.
Director of Product Development Europe
Based in Athens, Greece, where she has lived for the past 35 years after marrying a Greek national, Bonty Escallon, Director of Product Development Europe, has been a vital part of our Europe program since she contributed to its launch 21 years ago. Classic Europe began with only two countries, and has now expanded to include 20.
Bonty’s past work experience includes ten years in Miami with American Express’s Wholesale Division to Latin America, and co-owner for 10 years of Diplomatic Travel, a provider in Athens of private luxury villas throughout Greece. She credits her success to two values: perseverance in overcoming any obstacle, and true loyalty to partners. As a native Colombian, dancing is her passion. Her all-time favorite destination is Italy!
Director of Finance
Sharon Conway is the Director of Finance at Classic Vacations and serves as the key financial leader of the division.
An employee of over ten years, Sharon leads the Accounting, FP&A, and Financial Operations teams. She enjoys working very closely with all aspects of the business to ensure both strategic and financially sound decisions are made. Prior to Classic Vacations, Sharon held several finance management roles in the semiconductor industry, where she spent much of her time in revenue management. Sharon received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis. In her spare time, she can be found competing across the United States with her horses at American Quarter Horse Association competitions. A very successful breeder, owner, and competitor, she has earned several top five world show standings with her equine partners.
Director of Global Marketing
As the Head of Marketing at Classic Vacations, Lori Smith oversees the company’s advertising and communications for both FIT and Groups, including co-op marketing initiatives with supplier partners.
Lori has been with Classic Vacations since 2005 where she was first responsible for marketing to Classic’s national accounts. Before entering the travel and tourism industry, Lori held marketing positions at high-tech and financial companies in Silicon Valley. When she is not busy traveling, you’ll find Lori close to home, walking her dog on the beach, practicing yoga, or cheering loudly for her daughter on a soccer field.
Senior Director, Online Platforms
As the Head of Online Platforms at Classic Vacations, Amy Logan is constantly dreaming up new ways to make the business of travel planning more fun and efficient. She guides the product vision and development for the Website, Classic Assist and all things online at Classic Vacations.
Her prior roles at Expedia and Amazon inspired a technical creativity and a drive for innovation that she now brings to the Online Platform team at Classic Vacations. Amy’s personal travel goal is to one day be able to speak Spanish while in destination. So far, she’s purchased Rosetta Stone three times, but has yet to advance beyond the usual “Buenos Dias” and “guacamole” when chatting in Mexico.
Director, New Business Development
Lynne is the Director, New Business Development, offering an increased focus on growing accounts by training and onboarding new advisor clients. She has created and managed Classic Vacations’ new advisor E3 learning conference (Elite Education Experience), the fam travel program and most recently launching the new-advisor Nova community.
She started her professional career with a travel incentive company to plan and operate dozens of programs annually, from small executive board meetings to large franchise convention groups and eventually relocated to be the youngest member of the management team at Sheraton Maui. After learning more about hotel operations and group sales, she returned to the Midwest in a regional role for Starwood Resorts of Hawaii, and in 2012, joined the Classic Vacations sales team covering the Midwest territory. When she’s not traveling, she enjoys spending time at home in Chicago, Illinois with her husband, two daughters and the world’s cutest Maltese-Shih Tzu.
Senior Director of Technology
Dajana is the Director of Technology, and usually has the last word on all things tech within Classic Vacations. She heads a small but very dedicated team of eight.
In 1994 she left her native Croatia for the promise of a new future in Silicon Valley. After completing a degree in computer science, Dajana became a Systems Administrator for what was then Classic Custom Vacations. In her 20 years with Classic she has supported the company through several tech iterations as well as an acquisition by global travel powerhouse Expedia. She counts deployment of a new booking platform at Classic as one of her greatest achievements. When she's not working, you'll find her adding to her collection of shoes, swimming laps at the local pool, or doting on her precious grandchild.