Stephanie Lee, marketing director for TravelQuest in Albertville, MN, was awarded ASTA's Young Professional Award during ASTA's annual meeting in Orlando. The ASTA’s Young Professional Society (YPS) targets travel agents under 40 for the purpose of networking, education and career development.
"Stephanie is an excellent example of how the new generation of travel agents is invigorating the industry, bringing with them new ideas and a fresh perspective," said Cheryl Hudak, ASTA president and CEO. "Stephanie's dedication to improving our industry and the world should serve as an inspiration to those already in the industry and to those yet to come."
Lee began her professional career as a backcountry field instructor for Alternative Youth Adventures in Montrose, CO. From there, she went on to work for Crested Butte Ski Resort and then the Desert Sun Science Center in Idyllwild, CA, where she was an instructor. She continued as an instructor, teaching environmental education for Walden West Outdoor Science School (Saratoga, CA) and then spent time in Uganda, teaching at CALM Orphanage.
In 2007, Lee joined her family's travel agency, TravelQuest, on the condition that she work on projects involving social and corporate responsibility and what would make the business an environmentally responsible agency. Since joining TravelQuest, she has initiated several programs to conserve energy and give back to the global community.
Among these programs are: the purchase of wind power from the Wright-Hennepin Cooperative in Minnesota; joining Responsible Minnesota Businesses and Climate Savers Computer Initiative; seeking certification from the Women's Business Enterprise as a company with more than half female ownership; and teaming with Lomas Travel (Cancun, Mexico) to bring school supplies to Cancun's children. Lee graduated in 2002 from the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University ( St. Joseph, Minn.) with B.A. in Liberal Studies/Environmental Studies.