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Ensemble Restructures to Engage Members

May 13, 2011 By: Meagan Drillinger Travel Agent

Ensemble’s Joe
Ensemble’s Joe Jiffo is committed to helping member agencies increase revenues.

Ensemble Travel Group has announced a new business development structure that will provide more individual, consultative services for its members across the U.S. The agent consortium said that the high-touch, high-profit approach will result in member agencies being able to maximize their Ensemble affiliation to the fullest while boosting their bottom line. This news comes on the heels of Ensemble’s recent appointment of Joe Jiffo as vice president of business development, whose main goal is to maximize Ensemble’s connection with its members.

“It’s all about engagement and appreciation,” says Jiffo. “We want our members to fully understand, and capitalize on, the many benefits and programs they have at their fingertips. From private-label products and value-added amenities to database technology and integrated marketing—not to mention our powerful network of preferred partners and the very compelling year-end distribution checks—Ensemble offers a comprehensive and profit-driven portfolio for all agencies, regardless of their business model.”

Jiffo’s new position was created specifically for him, and he believes that it will help strengthen the relationship between Ensemble and its members.

“There was really no sales leadership position in the previous regime, not that there was anything wrong with that, but the whole objective and goal for the board of directors was that we grow the current membership and become more engaged with the members,” he tells Travel Agent. “There was a need for my role to come in and establish a sales structure as well as a sales pattern that involved reaching out to our members frequently.”

Jiffo adds that Ensemble’s new sales structure “will help keep these perks top-of-mind for members, as well as let them know how valued they are in our organization.”

Ensemble is a revenue sharing organization, and that is one of the main highlights of being a member of the consortium. Jiffo is devoted to growing the current member business and helping them retain revenues.

“Ensemble is very important, but it is more of an industry brand, not a consumer brand. Part of the value proposition that we offer to members is that we are here to grow their revenue and business and we do that with tools they need,” says Jiffo.

In addition to a number of new and revised internal procedures, Colleen Conley, former business development director, has been appointed director of national sales for Ensemble Travel Group. Conley, a 30-year industry veteran, will be responsible for member acquisition and retention on a national basis, and for growing member sales and training for the top 25 accounts in her current territory of the Northeast U.S. Other members will be divided between Ensemble Business Development Directors Kim Specht and Julia Block.

Overseeing the U.S. business development director’s team is Brian Chapin, who also heads up the organization’s Air By Ensemble program. Chapin stepped into the sales role on an interim basis last August and has managed the team since. He will work closely with Cristie Newell, who leads the business development team for Ensemble Travel Group in Canada, to share best practices and unify the sales organization into an even more powerful North American team.

In addition to Specht and Block, who serve the Central and Southeast/Mid-Atlantic regions, respectively, the sales team also consists of Business Development Directors Ellen Harris, in the Southwest, and Pamela Irwin, on the West Coast. Gladys Revilla, director of customer care and support, and her team will continue to provide inside member support for the organization.

“We’ve gotten calls from some of our members who are so excited and so energized about what they heard from all of us,” Jiffo says. “I think what that is going to do for us is retain membership and most importantly help us go out and get new members.”

Under Jiffo’s guidance, Ensemble will look to add to the 850 agencies in North America it already manages.

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About the Author

Meagan Drillinger
Meagan Drillinger has been with Luxury Travel Advisor and Travel Agent since 2009, covering both Asia and Mexico. A fan of both fabulous hotels and culturally immersive...

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By Meagan Drillinger | May 13, 2011
At Ensemble, there are new faces at the helm and a new relationship with member agencies.