The National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) has named Ann van Leeuwen as its new vice president. Van Leeuwen, who joins NACTA with 23 years of travel industry experience, will start her new position on January 3, and report directly to the American Society of Travel Agents’ (ASTA) CEO.
“Ann’s extensive background in sales and marketing and all areas of business development, coupled with her industry knowledge, make her an ideal fit for this position,” said ASTA CEO Tony Gonchar.
Van Leeuwen began her travel career in 1988 as a group sales agent with Holland America Line. She assumed the role of director of sales-premium preferred accounts in 1996.
In 2000, she left Holland America to join Virtuoso, Inc. as director of supplier relations. Additionally, she took on the responsibility of conceptualizing and building the company’s Local Business Development program, (LBD), Virtuoso’s first consultant sales program. In 2005, she was promoted to managing director, member sales and development. During this time she grew the LBD program by 600 participants.
A year later, she was promoted to vice president, member sales and service. During her tenure, she and a colleague were responsible for the creation and development of Virtuoso’s exclusive Space Line partnership with Virgin Galactic-London, as well as Virtuoso’s Strategy for Growth program and the expansion of the company’s Next Generation Member team.
Most recently, van Leeuwen did work for both Windstar Cruises and Alaskan Dream Cruises, where she carried out sales and incentive projects for Windstar’s sales department and helped launch and brand Alaskan Dream Cruises with the travel agency community.
Van Leeuwen has earned Certified Travel Associate and Certified Travel Industry Executive certifications from The Travel Institute. She is also a Virgin Galactic Accredited Space Agent. She received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Washington, Seattle. In 1998 and 1999, she was named Travel Agent magazine’s Rising Star, and in 1995, she was Holland America’s Top Gun for exceptional sales performance.