Column: Hello, All Stars!

Vice President—Content/Editorial Director, Ruthanne Terrero
Vice President—Content/Editorial Director, Ruthanne Terrero

The travel agency community is one that cares about its members. Over the past year, several agency executives have come to me seeking ways to recognize their advisors who have been in the business for some time, who are doing great things, but do not have a program that recognizes them as our 30Under30 program recognizes rising stars in the business.

As a result we are launching an all-new program called Travel Agent magazine’s “Top 25 All Stars.” Nominees for this list have to have been travel agents for at least 10 years and have an annual sales volume of $1 million. In most cases, agency managers have nominated their top players, which makes their placement here even more meaningful. We allowed independent advisors to nominate themselves, but they had to have their annual revenue validated by their network or manager, and have a compelling success story to tell.

All of the candidates for this list were worthy of praise; in the end, our editorial team selected the winners based on their annual sales volume, supplier and industry recognition and certifications, as well as humanitarian efforts, fund-raising and charitable works.

The list of All Stars you see recognized here have been contributing to their agency’s bottom lines steadily for at least a decade. They’re all “million-dollar advisors,” and in some cases, their annual revenue tops $4 million. If you’re a supplier, here is a choice selection of travel agents who have been loyally selling your products in the utmost professional manner year after year. They’ve likely upsold your inventory repeatedly, which enriched their clients’ experiences and contributed to your revenues.

So please join us in recognizing this inaugural list of Travel Agent magazine’s “Top 25 All Stars.” Those of you profiled here are the bedrock of our industry; we thank you for staying strong, growing your business and maintaining your high spirits during some very trying times.

We do plan to make this recognition program an annual affair, so as you face 2015, keep all of the tenets for gaining a spot on this list in mind. We’re eager to recognize you and so are your managers.

A special thanks goes out to Anne Scully, president of McCabe World Travel, and Kimberly Wilson Wetty, co-president of Valerie Wilson Travel, who separately approached me to develop a concept to recognize their vital, experienced travel consultants and to Ignacio Maza, EVP of Signature Travel Network, for his insight on shaping the program’s criteria. Read on!