Advisory Board Maps Strategy


Samantha Erickson
Samantha Erickson

Last month, we held our annual LTX Advisory Board meeting at the JW Marriott Essex House in New York. This meeting brings together the industry’s brightest minds to develop blockbuster content for the second annual LTX and we are truly honored to have their support and partnership. The result of our meeting was an upbeat perspective on the direction of the industry and a fantastic insight into the conference programming.

Composed of experts representing the top-producing North American luxury travel agencies and global supplier partners, Advisory Board members serve as ambassadors for LTX throughout the year. Members shared their insights on 2013’s increased bookings and optimistic outlook on the luxury market.

The meeting focused on a rotating roundtable format, allowing each member to interact with one another throughout the day. Discussions laid emphasis on aspects like how to gain confidence in up-selling, how to train a sales star, personal brand membership, leveraging knowledge to provide top-notch service and much more.

A note of appreciation to the JW Marriott Essex House for playing host to the Advisory Board, and a tremendous thank you to our members, including:

Chris Accomando, president, Sceptre Tours; Colette Baruth, vice president of marketing, AMResorts; Lia Batkin, co-founder, In The Know Experiences; Tom Civitano, vice president of sales & marketing, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts; Isaac Cymrot, director of sales & industry relations, Travel Insured International; Philip D’Antoni, global sales director, Trump Hotels; Greg DeClemente, managing director, Courtyard Travel; Tristan Dowell, regional vice president - global sales organization luxury & consortia, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts; Ryan Eddy, director of hotel sales, JW Marriott Essex House; Mathew Evins, Chairman, Evins Ltd.; Mitzi M. Gaskins, vice president & global brand manager, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International; Suzanne Hall, senior director of marketing & development, land programs, Ensemble; Efrem Harkham, president & CEO, Luxe Hotels; Patti Lehman, travel advisor, The Travel Agent, Inc.; Jack Mannix, founder and principal, Jack E. Mannix & Associates; Kier Matthews, vice president of travel industry sales, Europe Express; Ignacio Maza, executive vice president, Signature Travel Network; Willie Montano, vice president, marketing, CIE Tours; Amal Mulhem, travel advisor, Carol’s Travel Service; April Murena, regional director of national accounts, Loews Hotels; Kate Murphy, president, Wings Travel Group; Leslie Overton, general manager, Absolute Travel; Laurie Palumbo, COO, Island Destinations; Andrew Rein, director of business development - agency sales, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts; Sandra Renz, director, global sales - Americas East, Preferred Hotels & Resorts; Colleen Schmitz, director of transient and luxury sales, MGM Resorts International; Randall Soy, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Regent Seven Seas Cruises; Kathy Sudeikis, vice president of corporate relations, Acendas; Roy Twiste, managing director of sales, Tzell Park Avenue; and Kimberly Wilson-Wetty, co-president, Valerie Wilson Travel Inc. Samantha Erickson, Event Marketing Specialist, Luxury Travel Exchange International.

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