Cruise Planners, American Express
Coral Springs, FL
“Sherry Leybovich is a walking encyclopedia of travel. No matter what her travel clients ask of her, she knows the answer,” says Michelle Fee, CEO of Cruise Planners. She adds that this independent travel advisor, who has been in the business for 24 years, is also a pro at themed group travel, winning an award last year at Cruise Planners’ annual convention for her skills in combining charity and community efforts to build her business. And while Leybovich’s strength is clearly cruise, she’s always building her overall business by continuously educating herself, traveling and networking, says Fee.
Having four very large special interest groups that sail annually is a key to her success. “One of her groups is a fundraiser for America’s VetDogs [which trains service dogs especially for the disabled members of the U.S. Armed Forces]; with the success of the fundraiser, conducted while at sea and managed by Sherry and one of her associates, the group was able to sponsor two dogs, which will be trained to help a wounded vet,” says Fee.
Leybovich has seen a 33 percent revenue growth over last year; a highlight of 2016 was a “Crochet Crowd” cruise to Alaska, which included 160 people flying in to Vancouver from around the world. She organized the pre- and post-cruise activities and kept in touch with the group throughout. We asked what was the smartest thing she’s ever done to expand her business, and Leybovich told us that it was vetting and hiring a great team to work with her. “I have the utmost confidence that if a client calls while I’m out of the office, my team will be able to take care of any issue,” she says.