Former Virgin Holidays managing director Amanda Wills has joined the board of travel-themed social network Talkholiday.
She joins in a non-executive role, to raise brand awareness through commercial partnerships and as the principal strategist in the travel sector.
Wills, who headed the Virgin brand for 13 years until her departure in 2014, will be based in London.
The Talkholiday concept was conceived and developed by Scottish entrepreneur Chris Newlands after his own travel experiences made him realise there were gaps in the market regarding various aspects of holidaymaking.
The site acts as a platform where like-minded people with the same interests, going to the same destination or an event at the same time, can interact.
Users can also plan, prepare and purchase every aspect of their trip on the site.
Members are provided with a free crisis support feature, should they lose their passport, mobile phone or bags on holiday.
Newlands said: “Amanda’s appointment is a monumental moment for our company.
“I envisage that her contribution to our growth will be immense. Amanda’s obviously seen something in us that we all believe – that we will be a significant player in this space.”
Wills added: “When Chris asked me to join him it was an absolute no brainer.
“I left Virgin Holidays with the motivation to offer my expertise to young enterprising businesses with bundles of ambition and potential. I see those exact attributes in Talkholiday as a brand and in the team that Chris is building.
“The foundation to a fantastic business is already in place and I am here to help take it to the next level at a time when it is accelerating rapidly in both numbers, partnerships and development.”
Florida-based Steven Mail, a former investment banker who once launched the largest single manager Global macro hedge fund in Europe, has also joined as an non-executive director.
Born in Scotland, he was an early investor in Talkholiday and formerly acted as an advisory board member.
Mail joins as the brand looks to enter the US later this year.