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As part of TravelAge West’s annual WAVE (Western Agents Votes of Excellence) Awards, travel agents are asked to write in the names of their favorite sales representatives from across the industry. These sales reps awards are very special because they are the only time when advisors actually name an individual, rather than a company. Below are the picks for the 2018 awards.
Favorite Individual Hotel Sales RepresentativeDebbie Barrera-Ruiz, AMResortsBefore joining AMResorts, Debbie Barrera-Ruiz had a successful career in travel advertising and luxury resort sales and marketing, as well as working as a travel agency manager.
“A 21-year travel industry veteran, Debbie is highly respected by her peers, colleagues and travel industry partners,” said Mary Ellen Burke, national director of sales for AMResorts. “Her can-do attitude, huge bright smile, boundless energy, passion, dedication and genuine care for each of her travel agency and industry partners sets her apart.
Favorite Individual River Cruise Sales RepresentativeSandra Marshall, VikingOur company has great pride in hiring the very best in all territories. In the case of this year’s winner, there is a personal connection for me,” said Michele Saegesser, vice president of sales for Viking. “I have had the great opportunity to work with Sandra for more companies than just Viking. From being reps together in the field, to working with Viking, Sandra has always been the ultimate professional and always the very best. We are thrilled and proud that her travel agents agree and named her best sales representative for a river cruise line.”
Favorite Individual Tour Operator Sales RepresentativeTracey Smith Campbell, Apple Vacations Tracey Smith Campbell is a graduate of Baylor University, and she worked in the U.S. House of Representatives and eventually found her way to the travel industry. She had positions at American Airlines and Carlson Wagonlit Travel before joining Apple Vacations in 2006. Since 2016, she has been the regional sales manager for Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Southern California.
“Tracey places service to her accounts above everything,” said Barbara Windish, national director of sales for Apple Vacations. “No matter what day it is, or time of day, Tracey is always there for her accounts.”
Favorite Individual Cruise Line Sales RepresentativeLinda Kay Barber, Celebrity CruisesThis is Linda Kay Barber’s third consecutive WAVE Award in this category, proving that the 15-year veteran of Celebrity Cruises has a deep connection with her travel agent clients.
“Linda has developed a reputation within the travel agent community as being a trusted business advisor who delivers exceptional customer service,” said Scott Clifton, associate vice president of strategic market teams for Celebrity. “Creativity, persistence and a strong work ethic have enabled her to deliver superior business results year in and year out.”