February 8, 2010, 12:00 AM

Rue La La appoints an industry veteran to head up its travel division

Members-only web retailer Rue La La has appointed travel industry veteran and entrepreneur Marka Jenkins Waechter general manager of its experiences division. She will be responsible for expanding Rue La La`s partnerships with luxury travel providers.

Members-only web retailer Rue La La has appointed travel industry veteran and entrepreneur Marka Jenkins Waechter general manager of its experiences division. She will be responsible for expanding Rue La La`s partnerships with luxury travel providers.

Most recently, Jenkins Waechter provided business management and strategic planning consulting services to companies and non-profits. She was brought in last year by Rue La La to help shape its travel and experiences strategy. Before that, Jenkins Waechter was CEO of Seattle-based Metropolitan Travel, which provided corporate travel services to companies including Amazon.com, Nordstrom and Starbucks. Metropolitan Travel was acquired by travel booking web site Expedia in 2002.

While at Metropolitan, Jenkins Waechter was also co-founder and CEO of Highwire, an online corporate travel software company. Highwire was sold to Cendant Corp., now Travelport, in 2001.

"Marka`s entrepreneurial and travel expertise has allowed Rue La La to provide premium-brand travel partners with an innovative way to merchandise their offerings and market their brands," says Ben Fischman, Rue La La CEO. "Her extensive industry knowledge makes Marka the perfect liaison to introduce the Rue La La private-sale platform to luxury travel providers, enabling them to discretely extend their reach and market their brand to new and existing customers."

Rue La La partners with hotels, resorts and cruise lines to sell travel services through its web site. The travel-related services are sold through Rue La La`s “experience” boutiques, which offer limited-time deals that are available for 48 hours.Rue La La currently sells services from such companies as Windstar, Destination Hotels & Resorts, Canyon Ranch and The Lodge at Torrey Pines, as well as individualized experience providers like Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving.

Rue La La was launched in 2008 and has attracted more than 1.2 million members. GSI Commerce Inc. acquired Retail Convergence Inc., the parent company that operates RueLaLa.com, in November.

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