Directravel Holdings last week named Sam
DeFranco president of travel agency Directravel, bringing to the fold another
former Navigant International executive. Directravel intends to become a $1.5
billion travel management company focused on midmarket corporate clients.
In a career spanning more than 30 years,
DeFranco worked at American Airlines and then McGregor Travel Management—which
he eventually co-owned and merged with several other agencies to create
Navigant. DeFranco stayed on with Carlson Wagonlit Travel as senior vice
president after it acquired Navigant.
"There is a real void in the
marketplace today for small to midsize accounts," according to a prepared
statement from DeFranco. "Unlike mega agencies, we will deliver a high
level of personalized service to every client, regardless of their size."
Private equity investment
firm Silver Oak Services Partners in 2011 bought Directravel and placed former Navigant chief Ed Adams at the helm. At
the time, Adams told The Beat that he
and Silver Oak planned to roll-up some midsize agencies—something Adams had
done successfully with Navigant.
The company since has
acquired Minneapolis-based Corporate Travel Services and Travel Management Corp. of San
Jose, Calif. According to Silver Oak's website,
"Directravel is actively looking for complementary add-on investment
opportunities in the corporate travel management sector."
to DeFranco and Adams, Directravel's leaders include former Navigant executives
John Coffman and Darryl Hoover (Directravel's CFO and chief technology officer,
follows industry veteran Tom Gleason, hired out of retirement as Directravel's leader on an
interim basis, according to a company official. Gleason had followed Pat
Fragale, who resigned in January 2013 as president of Directravel.
also assumes the title of eastern regional president for privately held parent Directravel