Executive Leadership Team
Jody B. Merl, President
With over 30 years of sales and marketing experience in the hotel and travel industry, Jody Merl has led an exciting and industrious career to develop a strategic and vital business niche, fueled by her entrepreneurial spirit. As Founder and President of Innovative Travel Marketing (ITM), launched in 1992, she created the only media planning and buying company for the hospitality and travel industry, using ‘barter leverage’ to help clients worldwide achieve maximum exposure, value and results. Rooted in Merl’s highly specialized expertise, ITM optimizes its exceptional relationships with media corporations to enable clients to expand their cash-marketing budgets and create or expand budgets that incorporate trade when needed, and secure added-value promotions. She has earned renown for her professional contributions and success in the hospitality clients, with recognition by Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), which honored her with its prestigious “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing” for 2010.
In 2016, Merl created a new division, ITM Newspaper Media Buying Services, to serve this multi-platform niche (print, digital and mobile). Her team of seasoned specialists deliver the most efficient costs in newspaper media options for all categories, not just hospitality; they have forged solid relationships with companies across an array of categories … news, finance, automotive, insurance, retail and more. ITM Newspaper Media Buying Services continues in Merl’s entrepreneurial spirit to deliver the best media value and service to her clients.
Kim Aiello, Executive Vice President
With almost 20 years’ experience in advertising agency and newspaper media-buying experience, Kim Aiello is renown in the industry for her peerless expertise as a masterful negotiator who works tirelessly and creatively to deliver the greatest value and service to her clients. She is passionate about providing the best rates and positioning for advertisers and providing consistent business to over 2000 newspapers around the country.
As a newspaper guru, loyalist and operational wiz, Kim is leading ITM’s expanded division of multi-platform newspaper – print, digital and mobile – to service a broad category of businesses as the division EVP Media Buying. In this role, she will continue to be a trusted conduit and unrivaled buyer between agencies/clients and the newspaper sector. Kim received her Master of Business Administration from Dowling College.
Jim Magee, Business Development Director
Jim Magee, a 25-year veteran of the newspaper print sector with stellar relationships, serves agencies and clients with an unrivaled commitment to exceptional service and value. His longstanding career in advertising sales and management has been with leading publishing companies such as Gannett, McClatchy, Hearst and tronc (formerly Tribune Publishing), where he has championed the newspaper industry and earned a reputation for his knowledge of its broad and diverse advertising category — from banking, retail, automotive and financial/insurance to pharmaceutical, telecom and technology.
Magee freely pursues agencies and businesses with continuous outreach and education, to convey the unrelenting power of print-based journalism among discerning consumers. Newspaper remains the most trusted form of advertising and clients value print as the stalwart marketing and agencies’ covet Magee and ITM’s expertise more than ever. Magee has shepherded millions of dollars of campaigns to multi-media newspaper platforms throughout the U.S.
Magee received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Iowa, and he is affiliated with the California Newspaper Advertising Executives Association (a Past President), AAAA, Think LA, and the Newspaper Association of America.
Lisa Vigliotti, Media Manager
An industry veteran with 20 years’ experience in advertising agency and print media planning and buying, Lisa Vigliotti specializes in newspaper products and services, with vast expertise in research and targeting to maximize results. She has achieved an excellent reputation for providing exceptional customer service, earning her long-lasting relationships with all her clients and newspaper partners throughout the country. In her role as ITM’s Media Manager, Lisa works closely with Kim Aiello, agencies/clients and newspapers to provide seamless service, high attention to detail and the most efficient and impactful newspaper recommendations. Lisa received her Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising/Marketing Management from Baruch College and is currently working toward her Masters of Business Administration at the University of Phoenix.
Debbie Durso, Media Director
Debbie Durso combines an extensive background of advertising agency and barter industry experience. She is responsible for managing the Media Department, nurturing client relationships, and developing new trade relationships with all media. Debbie is dedicated to maintaining a high level of service with ITM’s long-standing media partners and clients.
Michelle Walsh, Associate Media Director
Michelle Walsh is an experienced media planner and buyer who customizes inspired campaigns utilizing print, digital, broadcast and out-of-home advertising. A key force in ITM’s exclusive team of media strategists, Michelle manages all aspects of planning, negotiation, premium positioning and added-value. Her great attention to detail and transparency yield enthusiastic relationships among clients and media companies alike, and her commitment to optimize every media budget — whether cash, trade or both — earn ITM a track record of tremendous client loyalty.