Travel industry sales reps are perpetually balanced on both sides of the business. They must know every detail about their company, and know exactly what travelers need so that an agent can properly sell that resort/hotel/cruise/tour to their clients. They are a vital, and often underappreciated, part of the industry, keeping both their companies and their agents happy and in business.
This past spring we ran a survey on TravelAgentCentral.com, asking our readers to nominate their picks for the best supplier sales reps in individual sectors of the travel business. Nearly 800 votes were tallied and, after sorting the ballots and crunching the numbers, we're pleased to bring you the results. Join us in congratulating the top supplier sales reps for All-Inclusives.
Check back tomorrow to see who the top supplier sales reps are for Hotels & Resorts. Read the entire report on all of the winners in our September 1 cover story next week.
Business Development Manager— Rhode Island, Connecticut & Southeastern Massachusetts
#1 Joe Pereira started his travel career as part-time summer travel agent with Colonial Travel while attending college in Newport, RI. He worked with US Airways for 18 years, and was a manager from 1995 to April of 2002.
He joined the Sandals team in 2005. “The best part of my job is working with the agencies in my territory to increase their sales, while continuing to see the brand grow,” he says. “It’s a great time to be back in the travel industry and this is a great place to work.”
“Joe is the best sales rep,” said one agent, who called him the “most proactive and the biggest go-getter I have ever worked with” in 25 years in the business.
Business Development Manager— Southern New Jersey, Delaware & Greater Philadelphia
#2 Victoria Stover has been with Sandals, and in the travel industry, since February 2006. “I am proud of the product that I represent,” she says. She enjoys “discussing all of the exciting changes with my agents.” Maintaining relationships, helping agents grow their business and providing lasting memories to travelers “is the reason why getting on the road every day is not a job that I have to do, but a job that I love doing!”
Business Development Manager— Northeast
#3 Michael Tighe has been the Business Development Manager at Couples Resorts for the Northeast for seven years. “The staff at all of the four Couples Resorts in Jamaica, on the phone, and on the road, all strive and continue to surpass the highest levels of service, responsiveness and friendliness to all our guests and to all our travel agent professionals,” he says. He looks forward to introducing more agents to Couples.
Business Development Manager— Missouri, Kansas & Southern Illinois
#4 (Tie) Abigail Ujhelyi started her career with Unique Vacations/Sandals Resorts in May 2001. She had previously been part of an opening team at a nationwide branded casino in VIP Sales and Marketing. Her experience gave her the perfect opportunity to take on a new challenge with Unique Vacations. Ujhelyi’s favorite part of her job is cultivating sales in her territory and creating and developing relationships with travel agents. A native of St. Louis, MO, she enjoys visiting family and friends in Eastern Europe.
District Sales Manager
#4 (Tie) Ann McAllister is District Sales Manager for SuperClubs All-Inclusive Resorts located primarily in Jamaica with resorts in Curaçao, Dominican Republic and Brazil. Previously she worked with Wyndham Hotels and Resorts as Regional Sales Manager to promote and sell its Leisure Resorts, both all-inclusive and European Plan. Before that, she was with Sandals All-Inclusive Resorts as Regional Sales Manager. “My goal is always to work closely with the travel agents and tour operators to help them increase their business through the hotels I am representing,” she says.
Business Development Manager— Ohio & Kentucky
#4 (Tie) Dawn Bolte came to Unique Vacations in October 1999 after years as a retail manager for a nationwide department store chain. She developed the Kentucky & Indiana territory for five years before taking on the Ohio area in 2004. Over the years, Bolte has worked closely with agents in her own territory, and helped out in other areas as a Certified Sandals Specialist Workshop Trainer. She cites one of her greatest accomplishments as being named Sandals Sales Manager of the Year in 2004.
Mid Atlantic Sales Manager
BARCELO HOTELS AND RESORTS
#4 (Tie) Suzanne Dulaney joined Barceló Hotels & Resorts in August 2007. She is based in the Philadelphia area and oversees industry sales for the Mid Atlantic Region, from Pennsylvania to Virginia. A 20-year industry veteran, Dulaney began her hospitality career in Bermuda and has held sales positions with leading Caribbean hotel companies and tour operators. She is very active in many hospitality associations, along with various community organizations including the United States Tennis Association.