2016 WAVE Awards // © 2015 Jessica Castro
As part of the voting for the 2016 WAVE Awards, travel agents write in their favorite sales representatives. Following are the winners for hotel, tour operator, river cruise and cruise line sales representatives.
Favorite Individual Hotel Sales Representative: Joshua Poole of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide
Joshua Poole, who has worked in the travel industry for more than 35 years, is responsible for the business development of travel professionals in California and Nevada, representing Starwood’s 10 brands, with specific focus on the three luxury brands of St. Regis, The Luxury Collection and W Hotels Worldwide.
“Josh has a dedication and passion for his customers and the hotels he represents that is unrivaled in the industry,” said Chris Austin, vice president of global leisure, luxury and TMC sales for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. “He is constantly going the extra mile and supports our overall goal at Starwood to simply do the right thing each and every day for our valued partners.”
Favorite Individual Tour Operator Sales Representative: Edyta Teper of Travel2
“Edyta Teper has proven herself to be the best sales rep Travel 2 has ever had and “the jewel in our crown,” according to Mark Punshon, vice president of sales for Travel2 and Islands in the Sun.
Teper, who worked in sales management positions with Brendan Vacations, as well as with both Carnival Cruise Line and Crystal Cruises, is respected by her peers for presenting herself and fellow companies with distinction.
“Sales is truly about relationships and the business that flows from them, and I can honestly say that Edyta is one of the best in our business,” Punshon said.
Favorite Individual Cruise Line Sales Representative: Linda Kay Barber of Celebrity Cruises
Linda Kay Barber has been described by travel agents as being responsive, dependable, creative and always willing to go the extra mile to help close a booking or to secure a group. After nearly 15 years with the same company, in the same territory, this sales manager truly knows what it takes to deliver results. A multitime DSM of the year winner, she was also recognized as a President’s Challenge recipient in 2015.
Favorite Individual River Cruise Sales Representative: Michael Weldon of Viking River Cruises
For the fifth year in a row, Michael Weldon took home the WAVE Award for Favorite River Cruise Sales Representative.
“What an honor for Michael Weldon and Viking to be recognized in such an important way,” said Michele Saegesser, vice president of sales for Viking River Cruises. “We know how important support to our travel partners is, so to receive such a high honor for five straight years says it all about Michael’s integrity and great work. Congratulations to Michael from his Viking family. We are very proud.”