Outdoorsy, the largest and most trusted RV rental and outdoor experiences marketplace operating in 14 countries, announced today the appointment of new executive hires to its global leadership team, including Rik Avalos, vice president of people and talent; Kyle Columbus, director of OEM partnerships; Monique Talerico, director of trust, safety and risk; Christine Porretta, head of content marketing; Andrew Cunningham, director of product; Gianluca Piras, director of Italy; David Chosson, director of France, Spain and Belgium; and Alexander Voura, director of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
These key hires join Outdoorsy to further drive the company’s commitment toward global growth, unlocking international supply, and scaling the marketplace’s geographic reach.
“We are excited to have industry veterans join our robust executive leadership team to further the rapid growth Outdoorsy has seen since its creation in 2015,” says Jeff Cavins, CEO and co-founder of Outdoorsy. “Each of these leaders brings tremendous domain knowledge and proven expertise to scale Outdoorsy to the next level.”
It is a thriving time for experiential road travel, which is fueling Outdoorsy’s expansion strategy. “As the world embraces campervan and RV travel, we are witnessing a cross-cultural, global phenomenon as our customers look to expand their travel experiences across the globe and embrace the experience economy in a way never seen before,” Cavins says.
John Avirett, general partner at Greenspring Associates, says Outdoorsy’s recent hires are an integral step in helping to catalyze international growth. “We are excited to support Outdoorsy on its journey of democratizing experiential travel across multiple geographies and cultures,” he says.
Ben Luckett, managing director at Aviva Ventures, says he sees an open playing field for Outdoorsy in the European market. “As one of Europe’s largest insurers, we understand the potential opportunities in the region are significant and look forward to helping Outdoorsy build its business on the continent,” he says.
About Outdoorsy’s New Leaders
Rik Avalos, appointed as Outdoorsy’s vice president of people and talent, joins from Tesla, where he spent seven years building the company’s global organization. Avalos brings incomparable experience recruiting, building and cultivating top performing organizations at Tesla and Google. As Outdoorsy tackles tremendous growth, Avalos will be focused on equipping the company with premier candidates and overseeing its global recruiting efforts.
Kyle Columbus, appointed as Outdoorsy’s director of OEM partnerships, joins from Mercedes-Benz, where he spent almost a decade leading innovation and launching new digital platform products for the company. Columbus has an extensive track record driving growth in highly complex environments through developing innovative go-to-market strategies in the mobility space. He will lead partner functions at Outdoorsy, spanning direct and indirect channels, product innovation, technology partnerships and business development.
Christine Porretta, appointed senior director of content, joins from Airbnb, where she oversaw content marketing for Airbnb’s LuxuryRetreats.com business. Porretta also held senior-level editorial and directorial positions at Disney Interactive Media Group and XO Group Inc.
Andrew Cunningham joins as director of product. Cunningham was formerly a product leader at Twitter. He founded Twitter’s machine learning training and evaluation program, and developed the brand safety, anti-abuse, image and text classification, and video super-resolution products with Twitter’s acquisitions of Madbits and Magic Pony. Prior to Twitter, Cunningham developed products for Google’s machine learning algorithms that power Google’s Search Ads.
Monique Talerico, appointed as Outdoorsy’s director of trust, safety and risk, joins from eBay and PayPal, where she spent more than 13 years leading their trust, safety and risk teams. Talerico brings strong experience implementing operational efficiencies and building high-performance teams in the development of consumer marketplace trust and risk products and processes. She developed trust mechanics and risk products while at eBay and PayPal that became standards in the consumer marketplace economy.
Gianluca Piras, appointed as Outdoorsy’s director of Italy, joins from Expedia where he spent more than a decade leading the company’s business development in Italy. Piras will oversee Outdoorsy’s business operations in the country.
David Chosson, appointed as Outdoorsy’s director of France and Belgium, joins from Amadeus, a travel technology services provider, where he led the company’s revenue management and business operations across travel and airline verticals. Chosson will lead Outdoorsy’s business operations in France, Spain, Portugal and Belgium.
Alexander Voura, appointed as Outdoorsy’s director of Germany, joins from SMEC where he successfully launched multiple markets across Europe. Voura will lead Outdoorsy business operations in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Outdoorsy experienced 400 percent growth last year, adding thousands of Pro RV and campervan travel providers across 14 countries who have chosen Outdoorsy and its popular Wheelbase application suite to streamline its business infrastructure and accelerate mission-critical operations worldwide.
Most recently, Outdoorsy announced its Vehicle Purchase Program, with initial models to be provided by Mercedes-Benz, as part of the company’s strategy to unlock valuable campervan supply that has become popular with Millennials and Gen Xers. Outdoorsy recently announced that more than 70 percent of all rentals on its platform come from this younger demographic, with Millennials renting more campervans and RVs than any other group over the last 3.5 years.