2010's Top Supplier Sales Reps

Avalon Artistry Panorama Suite - Editorial Only

Supplier sales representatives are the people who step up to the plate for you when you need assistance with a booking or with a challenging client. They’ll often appear in your offices on a day that’s pouring rain, with a big smile on their faces as they prepare to update you on their products. They are road warriors, they are experts in what they do and they are often your friends.

After the success of our 2008 Top Supplier Sales Reps Awards, Travel Agent again surveyed our esteemed readership to get feedback on who is the best in the business. We were thrilled to receive more than 3,000 responses. All candidates were written in; all we supplied were the categories.

After sorting through all the submissions, we proudly present to you the Top Supplier Sales Reps of 2010. Join us in congratulating these special individuals, and be sure to start planning for next year’s nominations.


Like this story? Subscribe to Daily News & Deals!

Featuring breaking news on the latest product launches, deals, sales promotions, and executive appointments. Be sure to sign-up for this free industry daily newsletter.


Ellen Harris

Ensemble Travel Group, Business Development Director

Helping members achieve higher profits is Harris’s primary job and to that end, her focus is on one-on-one relationships with them. “Whether it’s in training a frontline agent or a strategy session with an agency owner, it’s truly gratifying to play a role in a member’s success,” she says. Harris has served as a business development director for Ensemble Travel Group since 2006. Her territory includes the eastern and southern U.S. where she’s responsible for consulting with members to help them increase preferred supplier income with specific partners, arranging and conducting regional online and in-office training, analyzing revenue opportunities and recommending/assisting with business and marketing strategies to increase profits, and helping target and recruit new members. Prior to joining Ensemble Travel Group, Harris held management and sales positions with Jurni Network, American Airlines and Sabre Travel Information Network.

Rosemary Sarkis

NEST, Senior Director, Business Development

Having agent experience certainly helps when you work with a consortium, and Sarkis brings with her more than two decades’ worth, having worked as a home-based and retail travel agent as well as having assisted in managing retail agency locations. “Being an agent myself in the past has assisted me in better understanding the wants and needs of our member agents,” she says “and has contributed to my success at NEST.” She has achieved her ACC with CLIA and has also worked on the supplier side in group operations. She is responsible for maintaining one-on-one contact with NEST members and providing training in all of the organization’s products and programs.

Kathie DeVincenzo

TRAVELSAVERS Inc., Business Development Manager

Like many of her consortia counterparts, DeVincenzo was a professional travel agent for many years, as well as recently serving as a field sales representative for Palace Resorts and SuperClubs Resorts. She is a member of Eastern Travel Association (ETA) and Association of Central Travel Agents (ACT) in New Jersey. “I believe we have a responsibility to ‘give back’ by helping others,” she says. “Through the generosity of ETA members, I conducted a ‘Sneakers for Kids’ campaign. We collected over 700 pair of new sneakers, which were distributed to Jamaican orphans.” She helps travel agents with the same diligence. “My agents know I am always available to help in any way that I can. I feel integrity, honesty and hard work are tantamount to everything I do.”



Joy Cain

Air Jamaica, Area Sales Manager, Philadelphia

Cain says she is “honored and humbled” to be recognized by the agent community, which she feels is like an extension of her family. She takes that connection seriously—even with three children, she says she is “always ready and willing to respond to her clients.” She is pleased to have worked with them through the years and looks forward to the ongoing partnership. Cain has worked with Air Jamaica since 1989, beginning her career as an accounts executive in the sales and marketing division. She currently serves as an area sales manager, responsible for sales and marketing for a region that spans from New Jersey to Pennsylvania. She sells Air Jamaica in both product update seminars and informational sessions. She is a member of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and ACT.

Debbi Boyle

Air Tahiti Nui, North America Area Sales Manager, Western Region

Boyle quite literally grew up in the airline industry. “My mother worked for SAS for 30 years,” she recalls, “so I was always the non-revenue standby hoping to get to Hawaii, Copenhagen or somewhere for the weekend.” She went to work in 1986 with SAS in its cargo operations department, and continued in the industry working for Virgin Atlantic Airways, MGM Grand Air and Qantas Airways in several capacities. After a brief stint as a Certified Massage Therapist, she found she missed her “wings.” Air Tahiti Nui presented an opportunity of area sales manager to her in 2007. “I was back in the industry, back home,” she says, and notes that each day at her job is a different adventure. “Working for this boutique airline is an opportunity to be connected to my colleagues in all departments. This allows problems to be solved, fluid movement when needed and an overall cohesiveness in service delivery.”


Tourism Board

John Woolcock

Jamaica Tourist Board, New England Business Development Manager 

For Woolcock, much of the credit for his success goes to his parents, he says, who taught him that whatever is worth doing is worth doing well. This, along with “strong Jamaican values,” steered him to a profession in marketing his homeland to visitors. Woolcock has been the New England business development manager for the Jamaica Tourist Board since September 2005, having joined the board in 1986. His role incorporates working closely with retail and wholesale accounts in travel, specifically travel consultants, tour operators/wholesalers and air carriers serving the destination, while helping to position the Jamaica brand in the marketplace through active involvement in promotions and consumer events.

Philip Rose

Jamaica Tourist Board, District Sales Manager, West/Southwest

Rose may have been destined for big things from the moment he joined the Jamaica Tourist Board in 1998: During his first year with the board, his market experienced an increase in tourist arrivals of 21 percent. Rose currently serves as district sales manager for Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas and Utah. He leads a regional team of Jamaica Tourist Board sales managers as well as trains and inspires retail travel agencies, tour operators and meeting and incentive houses to promote sales to the country. He is intimately involved in marketing the Jamaica brand, whether it’s through appearances at trade or consumer events, meetings with industry professionals, seeking out promotional opportunities or as a local spokesperson for the destination. “Knowing and understanding the product and ever-evolving industry are integral to success,” Rose says, “and I strive to demonstrate my enthusiasm for Jamaica through every interaction.” 

Stacey Alford

Oahu Visitors Bureau, Director of Travel Industry Sales

“My primary focus is on the success of travel agent and wholesaler sales to Oahu in the North American market,” asserts Alford, who has worked with the Oahu Visitors Bureau for what she calls “a wonderful 13 years of partnering with travel agents—through the ups and downs and everything in between…When you focus on serving others in everything you do, you enjoy your work as much as you enjoy your hobbies.” She finds the relationships with her agent partners extremely rewarding. “When you prioritize building and nurturing relationships rich in integrity, trust and respect, [they] come back to you,” she says.

Peter Mayers

Barbados Tourism Board, Business Development Manager

Mayers knows Barbados from the inside out: He was born there, and enjoys promoting tourism to his homeland. He has represented Barbados to the New England territory since October 2006, and says that he “truly enjoys” his interaction with the travel agent community, particularly regarding the diverse elements of the Barbados product. His areas of success, he says, include destination weddings, honeymoons, golf vacations and culinary tourism. “My primary goal is to add value and contribute in a meaningful way to the constant development of tourism as one of the key engines of economic growth of Barbados,” he says. He looks forward to the continued interaction with agents to help promote a “mutually satisfying” business.

Katy Kennedy

Aruba Tourism Authority, New England Sales Manager

Enthusiasm for one’s work often translates into success; that certainly seems to be the case for Kennedy, the northeast sales manager with the Aruba Tourism Authority. “We have a great team, one that I am truly proud to be a part of,” she says. “I love my work, the agents and travel industry, despite all of the crazy changes! I enjoy doing agent presentations and working on trade shows as well as helping agents choose the correct hotel for each individual client.” A company veteran for more than 13 years, Kennedy enjoys spending time with agents to ensure that they are up to date on all that is happening in Aruba and organizing Aruba trade shows and VIP dinners as well as fam trips to take agents to the island nation.


Tour Operator/Wholesaler

Justin Osbon

Image Tours Inc., Accounts Executive

Osbon started in the travel industry as a mid-winter break intern back in 2002 and continued doing so through his time in school. After he graduated with a degree in marketing & sales from Ferris State University in 2005, he started working full-time with Image Tours Inc. as an accounts executive, and by 2009 became a sales manager covering all aspects of sales for the company. “The most fun I have is when I’m working with a new agent unfamiliar with advertising in a newspaper or doing a direct-mail campaign, and then letting them know how it is all going to work each step of the way,” he says. “Then they call me after their first booking directly from the program and say one of their programs is working just like I explained to them. I greatly appreciate their confidence in my suggested marketing plans. I also get a kick out of helping travel agents negotiate advertising contracts with their vendors—which saves both of us money when they utilize our unique co-op programs.”

Bruce Wilson

Apple Vacations, Senior Sales Manager, New England, Albany & Hudson Valley

With nearly 30 years in the industry—including positions at Apple Vacations, GWV Vacations and International Weekends—Wilson has found great success in the all-inclusive market. That area has evolved greatly in the past 15 years, he says, adding, “It no longer represents just values to clients looking for great vacation deals. Now, it represents true luxury that includes gourmet dining, concierge services, sumptuous rooms and magnificent settings. Because of this evolution, the concept now appeals to the entire spectrum of leisure clients.” Wilson says his job is to give agents information so they can provide their clients with the best advice. “That doesn’t just mean explaining how many pools, restaurants or bars a particular all-inclusive resort has,” he says, “rather, it’s about creating an accurate picture of a resort’s character. Explaining the character of a resort is, in my opinion, as important as telling them about its facilities and features because ultimately we want the resort to match clients’ personalities and interests.”

Lil Musmanno

Classic Vacations, Account Executive & Business Development Manager

Musmanno, a repeat honoree in the tour category, is a genuine veteran of the travel industry, with more than 30 years of experience. She started as a travel agent and went on to become district sales manager for Carlson Wagonlit’s Associate Program in the New York metro area. She was then the national sales manager with Travel Impressions for five years. Musmanno has spent the last 11 years at Classic Vacations as the business development manager for New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, upstate New York and Bermuda. “I love what I do, and my agents know I’m here for them 24/7,” she says.

Sue Sheehan

Travel Impressions, Associate Director of the Northeast

Sheehan has been with Travel Impressions, a tour operator wholesaler owned by American Express, for the past 10 years, where she covers Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware as a business development manager. She has been recognized by American Express’ Pacesetter Program three times, in 2001, 2003 and 2005. She is also a repeat winner in this category from the previous Top Suppliers Sales Rep Awards. “It is wonderful to be part of the TI family,” she says. “My agents are very important to me since we feel they are part of our Travel Impressions family.”



Eric Andersen

Travelex Insurance Services, Regional Account Manager

Andersen enjoys selling travel insurance to agents—“I know insurance doesn’t sound that exciting,” he quips, “but if you ever sat in on an Eric Andersen training, you’d be very surprised how fun (and, of course, informative) training can be.”  He has been with the company for 10 years, and travels almost every other week throughout Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky to meet with agents. “The best part about traveling is when I walk into the office of a travel partner, it’s like visiting a group of friends,” he says. “After 10 years of going through all kinds of situations together, it has brought us very close…I hope I have the opportunity to work with them all another 10 years.”

Isaac Cymrot

Travel Insured International, Northeast Regional Sales Manager

Cymrot is a repeat Top Supplier Sales Rep, having been recognized in 2008. He joined Travel Insured International in 2005, and was promoted to Northeast Regional Sales Manager in November last year. In his new role, his responsibilities expanded to include the management of Travel Insured’s travel industry sales partnerships from Maine through Virginia. Cymrot spent the final weeks of 2009 visiting many of his New England travel industry partners to personally introduce himself, and to present the company’s new Worldwide Trip Protector program, which was launched in November. “Travel agents are placing more value on our face-to-face meetings and travel insurance training sessions than ever before in response to the sharply increased interest clients have shown in protecting their travel investments,” he says. “Agents are creating sales plans to make sure they understand the travel insurance they are selling, and can achieve the comfort level that allows them to be the total consultant to their customers.”

Tina Oleksinski

Travel Guard, Training Manager Sales 

“I had always been in corporate travel, so the transition to leisure-focused relationships with travel partners was somewhat different,” recalls Oleksinski, a veteran salesperson with experience at  Flying Tiger Airlines, American Airlines and National Car Rental. “Corporate travel is mandated by the corporation to the travelers whereas leisure is based strictly on agent recommendations and client choices. This is delightful as it encourages closer relationships and long-term partnerships.”  Those partnerships, she feels, are the basis of a strong business relationship. “We are truly in this together to make it work so that travel agency clients have excellent coverage, and the agencies have a strong revenue stream,” she says.



Ann McAllister

SuperClubs, District Sales Manager, Mid-Atlantic

McAllister is a repeat Top Supplier Sales Rep, having been recognized in 2008 as well. “This has been a great experience and a great company to work for,” she says. “The experience of working with these great resorts has been wonderful, with such a variety of locations. One of the best parts of my job is working closely with the travel agents and the support they give me.” In 1998, she accepted a position with Wyndham Hotels and Resorts as regional sales manager to promote and sell their Leisure Resorts. After 10 years with Wyndham, she joined Air Jamaica before moving over to Sandals All-
Inclusive Resorts
as regional sales manager.

Nicole Barrett

Unique Vacations/Sandals Resorts, Business Development Manager, New England

“I enjoy working with the Sandals Brand and travel agents and suppliers in northern New England,” says Barrett. “I have, over the past four years, developed close relationships with travel agents in my territory. I take their successes [to be] a personal matter and work with them in every way possible to attain our mutual goals.” Barrett came to Sandals in September 2005 after having worked for Starwood Hotels and Resorts, starting in the sales department at the Sheraton Boston Hotel and then as a convention services manager at the Sheraton Braintree Hotel. She began her sales career at the historical Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston, which solidified her interest in hotel sales. Barrett had previously studied hotel and restaurant management and business at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and tourism at Moneague College in Jamaica.

Steve Velez

Unique Vacations/Sandals Resorts, Business Development Manager for Northern California

A California native, Velez enjoys promoting Sandals resorts to the agents of his home state, driving regularly from Fresno to northern California and back. “It’s a wonderful product to represent,” he says, “and you have fun every day.” He has been with Sandals for three years, and before that spent several years as a representative for Riu Hotels and Resorts in Mexico and as a wholesaler with Apple Vacations. He visits the Sandals resorts frequently, “so that they can update me, and I can update my agents.” His favorite part of the job, he says, is interacting with travel agents. “They create the energy, and I know that if they do well, I do well. It’s a win-win situation.”

Graeme Laudenslager

Club Med, District Sales Manager, Los Angeles & Ventura Counties

In his 17 years in the travel industry, Laudenslager has tried just about every sector and location. He has owned a travel agency, worked as a district sales manager for three very large tour wholesalers, created two air consolidation companies, worked as a tour guide in the Pacific Rim and, currently, covers Los Angeles and Ventura Counties for Club Med as a district sales manager. He has great respect for the business. “The travel industry is responsible for this great life I live,” he says “and my respect is shown on every sales call, phone call and e-mail. It also helps to have an amazing product and company on your side.”

Omar Zambrano Ramirez

El Dorado Spa Resorts & Azul Hotels, by Karisma, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager, Midwest

Zambrano believes that selling a resort is more than just negotiations and relationships. “Travel agents need confidence in the quality of product they sell and support from the hotels for questions and issues,” he says. He has been with Karisma Hotels, the gourmet inclusive luxury resorts in Riviera Maya , Mexico, for two years as a regional sales & marketing manager for the Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa). Previously, he worked as sales manager and front-desk manager for other hotel companies in the destination. Before heading to Riviera Maya, Zambrano spent time in Paris collaborating with the Mexico Tourism Board’s French and English offices to study promotional tourism. In 2004, he graduated from the Hospitality & Tourism Administration in Mexico, where he worked for the international association, AIESEC, and created the first publication of tourism for universities and public offices.

Mary Dring

Club Med, District Sales Manager

To be recognized for her work by travel agents, Dring says, “is truly one of the most humbling experiences, and I feel that if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be doing this job today…They trust what I have to say because if I didn’t believe in my product, I wouldn’t sell it.” She began her travel career in 1980 in the reservations department of Pleasant Holidays before going to work with three airlines (Pacific Express, Delta and PSA) in different capacities. She has spent the last 15 years at Pleasant Holidays as the business development manager in San Diego and Arizona. “I’ve been traveling to Club Med for the last 22 years,” she says, “and now have been given the opportunity to sell the product as I open the next chapter of my travel career.”


Hotels and Resorts

Caryl R. Lee

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii, Senior Sales Manager

'Lee has a long history in the travel business, having started as a retail travel agent for May Company World Travel in Southern California while still in college. “After receiving my degree,” she recalls, “I was offered a full-time job and fell in love with the travel business—the people, the travel, the excitement of assisting someone in making their vacation a terrific experience!” Over the years she has worked in sales for everyone from Runaway Tours to Aloha Airlines to the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. “I feel that their ‘repeat guest’ is a repeat guest for all of us,” she says. “The consumer really needs to feel great about the services we provide for them.”

Nicole Barrett

Unique Vacations/Sandals Resorts, Business Development Manager

Also recognized in the All-Inclusives category, Barrett’s extensive experience in the hospitality industry earned her a place in the Hotel Resorts category as well. As part of her jobs, she says, she likes to maintain relationships for the Sandals Brands by working directly with travel agents, tour operators and tourism boards.

Omar Zambrano Ramirez

El Dorado Spa Resorts & Azul Hotels, by Karisma, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager, Midwest

Another double-honoree in both All-Inclusives and Hotel Resorts, Zambrano appreciates being based in the Riviera Maya, where he can personally host agents when they come for fam trips and personal vacations.  “To be in the travel industry surrounded by good, hard-working and friendly travel agents is one of the best feelings,” he says.


GDS Provider

Sarah Gann

Amadeus North America, Accounts Development Manager, West

Gann started her 24 years in the travel industry as a switchboard operator in 1986 and eventually was named hotel manager for Howard Johnson’s Hotels and Best Western. She moved to the Support Help Desk of System One in 1993, which was subsequently acquired by Amadeus in 1998. In 2006, she stepped into her current position as sales manager for the Pacific Northwest region. “If a customer asks a question, it often takes several more questions to determine their real need, keeping in mind what has caused the changes they experience and how Amadeus can provide the best solutions. I want my customers to see me as a partner to offer solutions to the travel industry’s constant changes that are in their best interests.”

Anita Wydra

Amadeus North America, Accounts Representative, Commercial Business Development

For Wydra, customer satisfaction is key. “My customers know I am only as far away as a phone call,” she says. “Throughout the years, I have adhered to the motto: ‘Ask me any question you would like, and while I may not know all the answers, I am willing to help you research an issue or point you in the right direction.’” Wydra spent her first 17 years in the industry assisting air travelers from various airline positions such as reservations, international ticketing and arrival, and elite services for such carriers as Air Florida and Eastern Airlines. She joined Amadeus in 1991 and for her first year served on the Amadeus Help Desk. She moved to Amadeus’ Business Development team where she has contributed to the account servicing and growth of Amadeus’ travel agency customers in the U.S. Her time at Amadeus includes four years as a business development team leader and four years working on Amadeus’ Agenta initiative, designed to provide smaller, traditional travel agencies with technology and services.


Small Ships

Phil Devillier

Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Director of Sales

Back in 1983, while working as a travel agent, Devillier moved to Florida to follow his dream of working in the rapidly expanding cruise industry. His opportunity came in 1992 with the launch of an innovative new cruise line, Diamond Cruises, operator of the futuristic dual-hull luxury cruise vessel Radisson Diamond. As one of the original employees of the line, Devillier has seen it grow from a one-ship company into the Regent Seven Seas Cruises of today, which owns and operates a fleet of all-suite luxury vessels visiting more than 300 ports on all seven continents.

Brenda Yeomans

Celebrity Expeditions (Celebrity Cruises), Business Development Manager, Western Canada

Yeomans is celebrating her 25th year working for Royal Caribbean Cruises. She started as a shipboard employee in the entertainment department, and was then promoted to cruise director—at the time, one of the first women to hold this position with the company. In 1995, she moved on shore and joined the Canadian sales team. “My sales territory has taken me all across Canada—from the Maritimes in Eastern Canada all the way to Vancouver on the West Coast to the North West Territories,” she says. She is responsible for building new cruise business as well as developing campaigns with her travel partners for the three cruise brands. “This includes 22 Royal Caribbean Ships, 10 Celebrity ships and two Azamara ships—which keeps me driven, focused and busy!” she says.

Amy Crutchfield-Smith

Regent Seven Seas Cruises,  Director of Sales, Eastern Florida

“I adore my job—working in the field, helping my agents build their business and become more profitable,” Crutchfield-Smith says, before quipping that while her title is in sales, “I am more of a preacher.” She spent eight years as a tour director and salesperson for Tauck World Discovery working in Britain, Ireland, Switzerland, Italy and domestically in New England and the American South. She has a special empathy with travel agents, having worked as one for a brief period. “I really respect my agents and what they do,” she says. “I love to connect with other people who love travel as much as I do, so I enjoy the agent trainings and client presentations the most. The travel business can be very stressful, but it is kinetic—it is never boring.”


River Cruising

Elyse Reilly

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, Sales Manager New York & New England

Reilly started as a Liberty Travel agent on Long Island, then became a regional service manager with the Travelsavers consortium in Oyster Bay, NY. She has been with Uniworld since 2001 as a sales manager (with the exception of the time she took off to have a child) and covers the New York and New England area. “I truly believe in the quality and uniqueness of my product, which makes my job much easier,” she says. “I appreciate and value the support of the travel agents, and in turn support them in whatever way I [can].”

Kristen Steele

Globus Family of Brands (including Avalon Waterways), Business Development Manager

“I have passion for my job,” says Steele, and notes that agents find marketing ideas “refreshing” in a constantly changing industry. “They appreciate the extra effort and support, which enables them to partner with local non-competitive businesses. For example, who would think [of] promoting a river-cruise group by partnering with local vet, wine shop or yoga studio? Most of the ideas and creative marketing approaches do not require out-of-pocket expenses for the agent, unless new business is created.” Her career began with Certified Vacations in 1996 as a reservation agent. She then moved to inside sales, before becoming a sales promotions assistant. “This turned into a career and passion for the travel industry,” she recalls. She spent 10 years representing the Caribbean all-inclusive, Couples, Sandals & Beaches Resorts. Steele joined the Globus family of brands in March 2008 as business development manager for premier accounts in South Florida and Puerto Rico.

Forrest Cramer

Viking River Cruises, District Sales Manager, New England

Cramer, an industry veteran with more than 40 years’ experience, has high praise for the people of the industry. “I recently had an injury while at a trade show on behalf of Viking,” he recalls, “and the outpouring of care and concern was remarkable and humbling. From other suppliers to travel agents to our fantastic Viking team, it reminded me why I have so enjoyed this business.” He began his career with AAA after serving seven years in the U.S. Naval Submarine Force. He later joined the Henry Davis Corp. as a district sales manager for New England. In 1991, he purchased the representation division of the company and continues to provide independent representation to the industry on behalf of the Aruba Tourism Authority, Auto Europe and Dollar/Thrifty Rent a Car


Ocean Cruising

Julissa Perez

Royal Caribbean International, Business Development Manager, Southeast Region (Miami/Florida Keys)

Perez has been with Royal Caribbean for more than 16 years in different positions in the air/sea and sales departments, having started in 1993 while still in college. Her early work encouraged her to make hospitality her career, and she remained with the company, which she felt was “innovative” and offered her “great growing potential.” After all these years, she is, as she quips, “Loyal to Royal” and is striving to “advance within the company.”

Kerry Muller

Royal Caribbean International, Business Development Manager in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois 

During her 10-year (and counting) stay at Royal Caribbean, Muller has been named Business Development Manager of the Year for the Midwest Region, appointed to the Sales Force Advisory Board, and has been a mentor for new sales managers. She is currently the business development manager in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.  “I love strategizing, bringing new ideas to the table and finding creative ways to help grow [agents’] business,” she says. “A lesson I learned early on in my career was to put myself in the travel agent’s shoes, and I truly believe that is what has led to my success as a business development manager. I have a solution-based selling approach, and my accounts know that I do [everything] possible to find a way to say ‘yes.’”

Joanne Cotterman

Royal Caribbean International, Business Development Manager

Cotterman has worked for Royal Caribbean for seven years, but has been in the cruise industry since 1985. She covers the Central Florida and Space Coast area for the company. “I love that my territory is so dynamic,” she says. “I am so fortunate to live close to so many ports of departures like Port Canaveral, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.” She also credits the agents in her area for her success. “I have great agencies in my territory and this allows me to have relationships that benefit us both,” she says. “My objective is clear: to support my partners in any way possible. They are the bread and butter of our industry, and I make sure I promptly return their calls and go to bat for them when necessary, no matter how far up the ladder it is. My team and I join forces with our agents for marketing strategies and promotional opportunities. I am blessed to have such great support from them.”


Car Rentals

Frank Salmonese

Auto Europe/Destination Europe, Sales Manager

Salmonese’s travel career began more than 40 years ago with the French Line in its reservation department. He worked his way up to senior sales representative, and after the closing of French Line, he worked for Holland America, Carras Cruises and subsequently Sun Line/Royal Olympic Cruises as regional sales manager. In 2004, he joined Auto Europe as sales manager for the New York area. “I enjoy working in the travel industry and love selling my product,” he says. “Being genuinely interested in addressing travel agents’ concerns, large or small, and having a positive, friendly attitude always has worked for me.”

Maura Mandel

Hertz, Senior Account Representative

Mandel says that she “enjoys the diversity, interaction and commitment working with travel agents and Preferred Travel Partners.”  She joined Hertz in 1995 after gaining sales and marketing experience in various industries after college and has been responsible for Travel Industry Sales in the New York and New England regions. Currently, Mandel is responsible for seven counties in New York State as well as key partnership accounts in Nassau and Queens counties in New York.