Top Supplier Sales Reps

Julissa Perez
Julissa Perez

A travel advisor’s job would be even more challenging than it already is without the insight and support of sales representatives from the various industry companies that you use when booking a trip. We asked you, our readers, to pick the ones you feel are the best in the business. All nominees were written in; all we supplied were the categories. Here, gleaned from the hundreds of responses we received, are your choices for top supplier sales reps of 2014.

OCEAN CRUISES

FIRST PLACE

Julissa Perez

Royal Caribbean International

Business Development Manager

In her 21 years with Royal Caribbean, Julissa Perez has risen through the ranks from part-time clerical work to her current role in outside sales.

“My biggest success has been growing within the company and being able to assist so many different travel managers in increasing their business with both Royal Caribbean and Azamara Club Cruises,” Perez says.

“Julissa Perez is one of the very few in the cruise industry who actually treats all her clients not just like clients but as a friend,” says Danik Mignano of CMIC Travel, who recalls one incident involving a first-time cruiser who was disappointed with their experience with Royal Caribbean. “[Perez] took the time to research and get to the bottom of it all,” says Mignano. “Not only did she manage to give the clients well deserved credit for their bad experience, but gained their trust back, and today, they continue to be loyal to Royal Caribbean.”

SECOND PLACE (tie)

Carol Herron
Carol Herron

Carol Herron

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Director of Sales, New York and New Jersey

Carol Herron joined the travel industry in the early 1980s, and since that time she has worked with Liberty Travel, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and most recently Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Managing the transition from premium to luxury cruising has been both, Herron’s greatest challenge and greatest example of success, she says.

“Having some of the accounts I worked with on the premium side be able to embrace the luxury product, which they had not previously sold, was a great experience,” Herron says. “Having a relationship with me and knowing I was doing sales for them was enough for them.”

“Carol’s attention to detail is outstanding,” says Barbara Long of Wabba Travel. “She will help with promoting the sale, following through with the details of the actual booking, and making sure you have all the help you need.”

 

SECOND PLACE (tie)


Kate Otto
Kate Otto

Kate Otto

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Director of Sales, mid-Atlantic and Kentucky

Kate Otto has just celebrated 21 years with Regent Seven Seas Cruises. She joined the travel industry with Sun Line based in Rockefeller Plaza. She has also worked with Sea Goddess Cruises, Cunard Line and Seabourn Cruises, and in that time she has learned to thrive in the changing landscape of the travel industry.

“My biggest challenge has been coordinating the physical part of my territory, traveling in eight states,” says Otto. “Times have changed and there are fewer brick-and-mortar locations, and drive time from one location to another is longer.”

Otto’s expertise translates to the consumer realm as well.

“Kate and I were present at a consumer event for one of our travel agent partners,” says Anna Maria Lorang at Cruise Outlets and Travel. “She did a fabulous presentation and the clients were truly responsive to her. She embodied class and elegance for the company that she represents.”

 

SECOND PLACE (tie)

Dottie Veneto
Dottie Veneto

Dottie Veneto

Crystal Cruises

District Sales Manager, New England and Upstate New York

Dottie Veneto translated her lifelong love of travel into a career at a young age, joining Collette Tours (now Collette Vacations) immediately after graduation from college. Veneto has also worked with Norwegian Cruise Line, Delta Queen Steamboat Company, Classic Custom Vacations and, currently, Crystal Cruises, where she will celebrate her 10th anniversary this November.

Veneto has been recognized as District Sales Manager of the Year by Norwegian and Classic Custom, and two years in a row by Crystal. In 2013, she was also awarded the Best Managed Territory by her management team.

“I think when you love your job, success follows, and with that I’ve been fortunate to have garnered many awards over the years,” she says.

“I have enjoyed the success of building the luxury cruise business with the help of unwavering travel agent partnerships, finding new accounts, and proudly getting the word out there,” Veneto says.

 

SMALLER SHIP CRUISES

FIRST PLACE

Kris Endreson

Silversea

Regional Sales Director

A career in finance eventually led Kris Endreson to work at Royal Caribbean, where she acted as sales manager for 14 years. Afterwards, Endreson joined Silversea in 2011, where she now manages six area sales directors in the Eastern US and Caribbean markets.

Endreson believes visibility, responsiveness and follow-ups are the key factors to achieving success in the industry, and says that sales managers must work to keep their agents informed about products so they can use as many resources as possible.

This is the third year in a row that Endreson has placed first in this category, and she attributes her success to the relationships she has forged in the travel industry, as well as the commitment she has for all of her partners. As Endreson says, “I am incredibly thankful.”

Kris Endreson

Kris Endreson

 

SECOND PLACE (tie)


Liz Coleman
Liz Coleman

Liz Coleman

Paul Gauguin Cruises

Director of Sales, Northeast/Midwest

Liz Coleman graduated from college with a Bachelor’s degree in French and moved to the East Coast, getting a job as a recruiter for the travel business, which exposed her to the travel industry at large. After three years she became an outside sales representative with American Express Travel, and for the past six years she has been director of sales with Paul Gauguin Cruises covering the Northeast region.

Liz attributes her success to her desire to help others make good buying decisions, along with consultative discussions about client’s needs and follow up skills.

“My greatest challenge is to balance my personal life with my professional life,” Liz says. “I am very satisfied in both, but to keep them in line with each other is important to one’s overall happiness, and drives your ability to be successful.”

 

SECOND PLACE (tie)

Lucille DePerro
Lucille DePerro

Lucille DePerro

SeaDream Yacht Club

Director Business Development

Lucille DePerro spent an early career in human services, spending much of her discretionary income on travel. After catching the travel bug, Lucille went on to work in sales at British Airways in New York City, before moving on to Lindblad Expeditions and finally SeaDream Yacht Club, in both leisure and corporate sales.

Lucille says that she is in the “relationship business,” and her love for people and desire to exceed their expectations is rooted in the family values that she was raised with. Lucille’s personal motto is, “promise what you can deliver and then over-deliver.”

“When young people ask my advice on their careers I respond: pursue your passion, and each day will be a new adventure,” Lucille says.

 

RIVER CRUISES

FIRST PLACE

Donna Nightingale

Viking River Cruises

Director of Business Development

Donna Nightingale’s love of cruising led her to begin work aboard the S/S Norway at a young age. Donna then went on to work in sales for

Norwegian Cruise Line for 20 years. She eventually developed a love of river cruises, and made her way to that market, eventually earning herself a spot at Viking River Cruises.

“I fell in love with river cruising and this amazing company. I had to work there,” Nightingale says. She attributes her success to the support she receives from Viking River Cruises and the travel agent community. Nightingale primarily works with agents based in the northeast.

“Not only are they good agents, but they are also nice people,” Nightingale says. “I have made so many friends within the agent community. I am so grateful.”

Donna Nightingale
Donna Nightingale

SECOND PLACE

Cindy Zalesky

Viking River Cruises

Director of Business Development

Cindy Zalesky’s 40-year career in cruises began at a travel club in Philadelphia, PA, where she remained for 10 years before switching to the group’s department of AAA Mid Atlantic for five years, before a near 22-year stay at Norwegian Cruise Line.

In March 2010, a former colleague told Cindy of an opportunity at Viking River Cruises, where she credits her success to her quick responses to agents and a desire to help others with professionalism, respect and kindness, as well as the support of her husband. Cindy enjoys meeting customers and teaching them about river cruises, and finds her position rewarding.

“There is so much to share with everyone and I will always strive to share my enthusiasm and knowledge with everyone I meet,” Cindy says.

Cindy Zalesky
Cindy Zalesky

THIRD PLACE (tie)

Mary Margaret Reuther

AmaWaterways

Business Development Manager

Mary Margaret Reuther’s introduction to travel took place as a ski tour operator, where she spent the majority of her time interacting with travel agents. In the late 1980s, Mary became business development manager, Midwest region, for AmaWaterways, and has consistently faced the challenges of the various world and economic crises that have affected river cruising.

Mary ties her success to her association with AmaWaterways and their shared motto that travel professionals are the partners of the cruise lines. Mary believes that when travel professionals are successful the industry is successful.

“With a growing niche product such as river cruising, my mission is to educate my agents, which in turn helps them to educate their clientele on our product, and this will ultimately grow our shared business and market share,” Mary says.

Mary Margaret Reuther
Mary Margaret Reuther

THIRD PLACE (tie)

Dianne K. Pierson

Viking River Cruises

Director of Business Development

In college, Dianne Pierson majored in art education, with a concentration in art history. This generated an interest in world travel, motivated by her desire to see the world’s greatest art and architecture. Dianne began working at a call center in Virginia Beach, developing their group department from the ground up, before managing a travel agency in Norfolk, VA.

Dianne was hired by Princess Cruises in 2001, and after taking her first river cruise in 2008 she became enamored with the industry. “I knew river cruising was rapidly gaining in popularity and decided that was where I needed to be,” Dianne says.

In 2012, Dianne was hired by Viking Cruises, and Dianne still sees every day in the business as an adventure.

Dianne K. Pierson
Dianne K. Pierson

HOTELS AND RESORTS

FIRST PLACE

Brenda Estrada

Karisma Hotels & Resorts

Regional Sales & Marketing Manager, IL, IN, IA, MI, MN, WI

For Brenda Estrada, getting into the business was all about destiny. She had been living in Mexico City working in a public relations agency when she decided to make the move to Cancun. “I knew that the main business [in Cancun] was tourism, so I started applying to different positions until I got hired as a BDM for the West Coast for Riu Hotels,” she says. She remained with Riu for a year and a half and then received the opportunity to join Karisma. She attributes her success to her family, who have been nothing but supportive of her career. She also loves the team to which she belongs now that has given her a wonderful place to work, a place which allows her to explore her creativity, meet wonderful people and achieve her goals. Along the way, she has learned that this industry requires a huge level of trust and relationship-building, and that it’s difficult to earn trust if you are not based in the territory that you manage, simply because people cannot see your face. “I try to keep honesty as one of the main things I drive myself with, and of course, trying to defeat the language barrier,” she says.

Brenda Estrada
Brenda Estrada

SECOND PLACE

Gilberto Machain

Karisma Hotels & Resorts

Regional Sales & Marketing Manager, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, CT DE, ME, MA, VT

Gilberto Machain has always loved Mexico. Upon his first trip to Cancun he immediately fell in love with the destination. It was on this trip that he met a friend who offered him a job as a wedding coordinator which launched him into a career of wedding planning. After working as a coordinator for hotels in Cancun and Riviera Maya, he found Karisma Hotels & Resorts, where he fell in love with the concept of hotels. Machain attributes his success to his great relationship with travel agents. “I love to work with them—getting to know them, building great relationships and helping them book vacations that will bring a lifetime of memories to their customers,” he says. Machain, being based in Mexico, finds that his biggest challenge is changing the consumer’s often misguided opinion about the safety of the destination. “While Mexico is safe to travel and it is one of the countries that is most rich in culture, it is sad to hear that people don’t want to visit and don’t want to experience all the good this country has to offer.”

Gilberto Machain
Gilberto Machain

THIRD PLACE (tie)

Carrie Oztas
Carrie Oztas

Carrie Oztas

Karisma Hotels & Resorts

Regional Sales & Marketing Manager, South East & Western U.S.

After completing a Travel & Tourism degree in London, Carrie Oztas spent the next 20-plus years working for tour operators in destination management, which afforded her the opportunity to work in destinations like Spain, Turkey and the Caribbean. After arriving in Mexico more than 14 years ago, she and her husband decided to settle down in Riviera Maya, where she met up with Karisma. For Oztas, having a supportive husband was key to her success.

“The job has long hours and I spend a lot of time hosting our travel agent partners,” she says. “In addition there’s the time on the road away from home, sometimes for several weeks at a time.” Oztas admits that her biggest challenge is the size of the territory she covers, which is the Southeast and the West. “Getting to know all of our travel agent partners and providing the assistance they need is challenging,” she says. “Though without the love and support of my husband, I certainly wouldn’t be able to complete the job successfully.”

 

THIRD PLACE (tie)

Carlos Peralta

Melia Hotels International

Regional Director Leisure Sales, Canada

Carlos Peralta first joined the travel industry in 1987 by way of Airlines and Technology, having worked for Eastern Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Continental Airlines and Amadeus Global Distribution. In 2003, he was offered the opportunity to join Melia Hotels International, and has been with the company ever since. Peralta attributes his success to his methods of business, which include a good follow up, knowledge of the product, and most importantly, building relationships with the clients. For Peralta, the biggest challenge has been moving to a new country, Canada, to develop the market in western Canada and northwest U.S.

Carlos Peralta
Carlos Peralta

ALL-INCLUSIVES

Karisma’s Brenda Estrada and Gilberto Machain (see “Hotels and Resorts,” above) took first and second place honors, respectively.

THIRD PLACE

April Piazza

Club Med USA

Business Sales Manager

April Piazza began her career in the travel industry in 1994 as a reservation agent for Accor while she was in college. Once she graduated, she stayed on full time and thought she would take the time to figure out what to do with her degree in psychology, only to discover her passion for travel was far too strong.

“Fortunately, one great position led to another, and I have had the opportunity to work in different areas of the industry over my 20-year career,” she says. Piazza attributes her success to being reliable and knowledgeable. She listens closely to her travel partners and they know that she is there to help, to work with them, and to be their trusted advisor.

“There are misperceptions from consumers that they can do better online, or just book it themselves,” she says. “I am always advocating for travel consultants and tell the stories that I have seen firsthand about the difference they make to the vacation experience and the service they provide.”

April Piazza
April Piazza

TOUR OPERATORS AND WHOLESALERS

FIRST PLACE

Kathie DeVincenzo

Central Holidays

Mid Atlantic Regional Director of Sales

Kathie DeVincenzo is now a three time winner of this award, having been listed as a 2013 and 2012 Top Supplier Sales Rep for the same role when she worked at Travel savers.

“I work with awesome travel agents and have the support of an amazing team at Central Holidays,” she says. “Integrity, honesty and a relentless desire to help agents grow their business has been a key factor in my success. Having come from the agent side, I am able to see things from their perspective and find equitable solutions.”

She began her career at Avis Rent a Car in 1978 and stayed there until 1984.

“I wanted a fast-paced, challenging profession that was exciting, fun, educational, and brought enjoyment to others,” she says. “I was a travel agent for many years, and in my heart of hearts, still consider myself an agent. I started in Field Sales at Palace Resorts and then Super Clubs Resorts. A desire to increase my marketing acuity brought me to American Marketing Group and now Central Holidays, a leading international tour operator.”

Kathie DeVincenzo

Kathie DeVincenzo

 

SECOND PLACE

Sue Sheehan
Sue Sheehan

Sue Sheehan

Travel Impressions

Associate Director of Sales

Sue Sheehan holds the honor of having made our Top Supplier Sales Rep list every year that the magazine has held the awards. She has been with Travel Impressions for 16 years, and helped create American Express’ “cancel for any reason” waiver, one of the first in the travel protection plans.

“I loved traveling and working with people and it just seemed right for me,” she says. “I started the rep job in 1998, and love what I do. It is wonderful to get up in the morning and love working with such wonderful people.”

Sheehan focuses much of her energy on keeping up-to-date with the ever-changing tourism industry and constantly urging the use of agents.

“The biggest challenges for me are changes,” she says. “The only challenge I see in the future is continuing to educate the consumer to use a travel agent, for the travel agent is the only way to provide you with that great vacation.”

 

THIRD PLACE

Barbara Sargent
Barbara Sargent

Barbara Sargent

Insight Vacations

Sales Manager

Barbara Sargent started as a travel agent and continued that career for 11 years. She says she respected her sales representatives so much that she knew that’s what she wanted to pursue. “I knew what the agents needed,” she says, “and I knew I could help them grow their business.”

She says her success, which includes winning a Sales Manager of the World Award while working for Trafalgar, comes from always being available for anything, no matter what. “I am always there to help out…regardless if I get the revenue. To have my company succeed we all need to be there for each other.” Sargent has been with Insight Vacations since 2009, following five years with Norwegian Cruise Line and 11 with Trafalgar.

“Barbara is extraordinary when it comes to customer,” says Lisa Landay of AAA Automobile Club of Southern California. “There is nothing she won’t do to help us make a sale. She answers all e-mails and phone calls immediately and promptly makes it happen in the reservation department. She makes us look good.”

 

CONSORTIA

FIRST PLACE

Rosemary Sarkis
Rosemary Sarkis

Rosemary Sarkis

NEST

Senior Director, Business Development

Rosemary Sarkis fell in love with travel at an early age. She wanted to tour the world and share that passion with others by working in an industry that created memories.

Now, more than 25 years later, her experience lies in all facets of the travel industry, ranging from the agent side, where she worked at brick-andmortar agencies, to owning her own home-based operation, to the supplier side, and ultimately to the consortia side at NEST.

She attributes her success to her past experiences in the industry. “It allows me to better understand the challenges that our member agencies face on a daily basis, and it gives me the ability to provide the know-how to turn those challenges into success stories for our agents,” she says.

Speaking of challenges, one of the biggest Sarkis sees in the business is keeping up with the rate of change. “I try to read all the industry publications and attend as many industry events and conferences to keep myself educated and on top of what is new,” she says.

 

SECOND PLACE

Mike Migliore

Vacation.com

Sales Manager, Northeast

Mike Migliore found his way into the travel industry working part-time during high school and college at his father’s agency. He started at the bottom, handwriting People Express airline tickets, then worked as an agent and group leader before eventually becoming manager. Since then, he has worked at small, medium and large agencies all across the country. “I consider myself more of a consultant rather than a sales representative,” he says. “I love to meet with travel agencies and provide them with information on the many great programs Vacation.com has to offer.” The biggest challenge he faces is keeping up with the speed at which things change.

“Agencies are finding it harder to stay on top of what is available to help them,” he says. “At Vacation.com, we have marketing and technology professionals and a dedicated training department that sifts through all of the clutter and makes it easier for our members to determine what’s right for them.”

Mike Migliore
Mike Migliore

DOMESTIC TOURIST BOARD

FIRST PLACE

Robyn Basso
Robyn Basso

Robyn Basso

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau

Regional Director of Travel Trade Marketing, Eastern Region

Robyn Basso was given her first crack at the tourism industry when she relocated for an outside sales position in Detroit. Although she still describes it as “a difficult decision to move away from friends and family,” she says it was the best thing she could have done for her career.

“I was able to grow a new key market for my company and earned a top sales person award that year,” she says. “I was able to create and build solid relationships with the retail agents in my territory. That experience and my 20-plus years in this industry have taught me that if you are passionate about what you do, you will exude that positivity and build your credibility with your clients.”

One of her toughest assignments throughout her career has been maintaining and growing sales in a large geographic territory. “It requires a strategic approach and creative thinking to reach not only large numbers of  travel professionals, but to identify and target the right audience for your sales and marketing messages.” But she says it’s all worth it because, “I can’t think of anything more inspiring than to be able to sell and promote the beautiful Hawaiian Islands on a daily basis.”

 

INTERNATIONAL TOURIST BOARD

FIRST PLACE (tie)

Hortensia Joseph
Hortensia Joseph

Hortensia Joseph

St. Lucia Tourist Board

Regional Marketing Manager

When Hortensia Joseph applied for the sales representative position at the St. Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB), she relished the opportunity to tell the world to know about the “gem” that is St. Lucia, she says. As the Regional Marketing Manager of the SLTB, she joined several travel agent organizations such as New Jersey ACT and PTANA. Building relations is one of the key elements of being a successful marketing manager in the travel industry, she says.

“Constant contact with clients is very crucial,” she says. “Treat each client as an individual and as if they were my only client. I assist them in any way possible in booking and promoting the island. I take a pleasure in hosting fam trips. This is a great chance to expand on the travel agents’ training and give them an experience of a lifetime in exploring the island of St. Lucia.”

“After 16 years in the industry, I most cherish the relationships/friendships that I have developed over the years, and I look forward to continuing to create the awareness that St. Lucia is absolutely, simply beautiful,” she says.

FIRST PLACE (tie)

Eusi Skeete
Eusi Skeete

Eusi Skeete

Barbados Tourism Authority

Business Development Manager

Early in his tenure with Barbados, Eusi Skeete was responsible for managing the launch of the Barbados Elite Club Travel Agent Education program. That opportunity, says Skeete, gave him a solid foundation relative to the destination’s travel operatives and, in designing components of the program, he gained a practical appreciation for the varied training and resource needs of the agent community.

“Passion, focus and relationship management are key variables to attaining success in the industry,” he says. “These variables are integral to our ability to understand and appreciate the varied needs of our clients, and to develop focused and relevant programming that anticipates and exceeds the needs of clients, which ultimately creates an environment to develop strong partnerships with agencies, resulting in mutually satisfying results.”

Of those partnerships he says, “Agents are still very relevant in today’s environment and we will continue to work with them in pursuit of mutual benefits. [They] don’t just book trips, they are consultants who provide sound advice as well as create and sell experiences, and their expertise and relevance should never be devalued.”

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Jeff Guthmiller
Jeff Guthmiller

FIRST PLACE (five-way tie)

Jeff Guthmiller

Travelex Insurance Services

Regional Sales Manager

Jeff Guthmiller joined Travelex right out of college in 2004 and became Regional Sales Manager for Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Northern New Jersey in 2006. His first international traveling experience was working with the Billy Graham Association on a children’s musical that brought him to Poland, Belarus and India. That experience made him want to be a part of the travel industry.

In a “challenging and constantly changing” marketplace, as he describes it, Guthmiller feels that it is most important “to be yourself, have fun, do what you love and love what you do.” He credits his success to his travel agent partners, who he says always keep him on his toes, and to his co-workers. “I am lucky to work with the best people in the industry; everyone from our Call Center and Licensing Department to our Sales and Marketing Team—we all strive to make sure that our partners and customers have the best experience possible.”

Nominating agents praised Guthmiller’s responsiveness. “He even responds back to me when he is on vacation himself,” one agent says. “Jeff always exceeds my expectations—he came to my office just to make sure that Book Smart was installed correctly! Now that’s service!”

Brian LeBlanc

Allianz Global Assistance

District Director, Sales, USA

LeBlanc’s first travel industry job was as a reservation sales agent at Norwegian Cruise Lines. He spent a total of 29 years at NCL, 17 years of which were at Miami headquarters in various areas followed by 12 years managing outside sales. For the past two years, he has been the District Director for Allianz Global Assistance covering CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT, and upstate NY.

He credits his success to the first outside regional director who took a risk on hiring him to an Outside Sales Position with no prior outside experience.

“In addition to her, I had the support of family, friends, coworkers and the travel agent community,” he notes. After 17 years working inside the corporate world, he feels that his greatest challenge has been changing and adjusting to an outside sales role.

Brian LeBlanc
Brian LeBlanc

Daena Oczachowski

Travel Guard

Account Development Manager – Pacific West Team

Oczachowski has been involved in the travel industry for years, and even managed an agency of her own for a time before transitioning to the insurance side of the business. She has been with Travel Guard for eight years. “I loved helping our travelers in need,” she says. “The biggest accomplishment is when someone feels ‘lost’ and has no one to turn to, and I could help them reach their destination, whether it is the start of their trip or returning home for a family emergency.”

Oczachowski has spent the past four years working with her travel partners in California and Hawaii, which she calls the highlight of her career. “Not only am I able to share my experiences of being a travel agent, I enjoy sitting down with my partners to truly understand them and work together on strategic solutions,” she says. “My biggest challenge is organizing my time to provide that personal touch. In a world of technology, I try to pick up the phone to return a call, a question, or just to thank them for their partnership and support. It is easier said than done; but after that call, both parties are left with a feeling of appreciation.” Her efforts have paid off: Agents who nominated her noted that Oczachowski answers e-mails after-hours or even via Facebook on the weekends.

Daena Oczachowski

Daena Oczachowski

 

Dan Povondra
Dan Povondra

Dan Povondra

Travelex Insurance Services

Regional Sales Manager

Povondra, a repeat honoree in this category, started working at Travelex part-time as an Operations Specialist in 2000 and became a regional sales manager five years later. He credits much of his success to the support staff at Travelex. “From our inside Sales Team, to our Marketing, Finance and Licensing Teams. Every person plays a role in the overall success of the company,” he says. “It truly is a great company and I look forward to coming to work every day.”

The biggest challenge Povondra has had to face recently has been keeping up with the regulations and requirements with the state insurance departments.

“Our Licensing and Compliance Team has been outstanding at keeping us up-to-date and also providing support to our industry partners,” he says.

Readers who touted him as a top supplier rep described Povondra as “always available” and “helpful.”

 

Jim Sheats
Jim Sheats

Jim Sheats

Travel Guard

Director of Sales – Atlantic Coast

Sales Team

Sheats joined Travel Guard in 2005 as a Director of Sales in the Mid-Atlantic region after holding other positions in the travel industry, including major roles at US Airways and Universal Studios Vacations.

“I think the key to success is being sincere and honest with your clients and counterparts while presenting a positive attitude,” he says. “Probably my biggest professional challenge has been to stay abreast and adjust to the ever-changing travel industry.” To keep up-to-date on the latest trends, he says, “You have to read the trades, attend industry events, and get involved with ASTA and other organizations and consortiums.”

Nominating agents described Sheats as “always responsive” and “willing to assist,” and he returns the sentiment toward them. “Travel agencies, both large and small, are important to us as suppliers and we truly value their partnerships,” he says. “The travel industry is a great and exciting industry and I look forward to its continued growth and to being a part of it.”

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