Not Just Travel has appointed former Global Travel Group commercial director Cherie Richards to spearhead a division and help some members expand to the high street.

Richards takes up the newly created role of chief business development officer at the franchise group, which has more than 600 homeworking travel agents, many of whom were new to travel when they joined.

She said: “I want to bring something new to Not Just Travel to help attract experienced travel agents to the group – those that may want to run a shop, work in an office or indeed work from home.”

Richards will also be tasked with helping existing Not Just Travel franchisees increase profits and improve the experience they offer their customers, with a focus on customer retention and personal development. She will also oversee its trade team, sales and marketing, training and recruitment.

Co-founder Paul Harrison said Richards’ appointment was part of building a “dream team” to support Not Just Travel’s members.

“Cherie will be creating a new strategy for how we can help our members with their natural progression and scaling, which could potentially involve retail opportunities,” he said.

Richards, who joins the group’s senior management team after 15 years at the Global consortium and a 27-year career in the travel industry, will also lead a new division which Not Just Travel is due to launch in the coming weeks.

Fellow co-founder Steve Witt said: “The next few months will see some major changes and enhancements to our business as we innovate further.”