Salutes Outstanding Agents recognized the achievements of two of its member agents: Chris Russo, who recently was reelected to a second term as ASTA’s president and chairman; and  Olga Ramudo, who was recently won the Barbara O’Hara Advocacy Award.

“ is proud to be the largest travel agent marketing organization in North America, but our success is rooted in the quality of each member,” said Steve Tracas,’s president and CEO. “To see individual member agents succeed, as Olga and Chris have, validates the quality of our membership as a whole.”

Owner of Broomfield, CO-based Travel Partners, Russo’s inaugural year as ASTA’s president witnessed the organization develop its training programs, prevent anti-agent programs by ARC, delay United’s merchant program, turn back state hotel tax initiatives and represent the industry well on Capitol Hill. This successful year was recently crowned at ASTA’s yearly convention, THETRADESHOW, last week in Las Vegas.

Ramudo, president and CEO of Miami’s Express Travel, was presented with the Barbara O'Hara Advocacy Award from the Interactive Travel Services Association for emerging as a leader in the fight against United Airlines’ controversial merchant fees policy. After being one of 28 travel agents who received a letter from United, Ramudo worked tirelessly to educate state and federal leaders and the media about the issue and its potentially devastating impact.

“Chris is the third consecutive member to ascend to ASTA’s highest position, and he’s making his mark as a champion of the travel agent distribution system,” added Tracas. “Olga’s advocacy efforts have not only captured the attention of key lawmakers—they also inspired other agents to speak up. We could not be more proud of them both.”