Again this year, Groups Today magazine recognizes the Most Influential Women in Group Travel. The 2016 nomination period has begun! Tell us about the women you believe are at the top of the group travel market. Click here to access the 2016 nomination form. The winners will be featured in the upcoming print edition of Groups Today magazine. Read on for a brief look at some of the previous winning women.
Debra Asberry | Women Traveling Together | President and Founder
Success is in the details—that's why Debra conducts thorough site visits and helps clients prepare detailed itineraries. Her attention to detail also comes into play as she prepares clients for their travel experience, at times suggesting physical regimes to get them ready for an active trip. www.women-traveling.com
Carylann Assante | Student & Youth Travel Association and SYTA Youth Foundation | Executive Director
Carylann provides professional opportunities for SYTA members by facilitating industrywide networking opportunities. Her variety of experience in the areas of member relations, development and fundraising allows her to address many facets of SYTA's "big picture." www.syta.org
Lynn Brewer | American Bus Association | Senior Vice President of Meetings, Education and Member Services
Lynn believes group travel is rising due to innovation within the industry. Younger audiences joining the group travel niche are travelling to big cities. She recognizes the need to provide technological access to these this new segment of group travelers. www.buses.org
Lisa Curtin | Brightspark Travel | Vice President of Operations
As a parent and former teacher, Lisa has an intimate understanding of the student travel market. She believes student travel has almost become an expectation, regardless of the state of the economy or other outside circumstances. Lisa is keenly aware of the big picture opportunities student travel provides. www.brightsparktravel.com
Sara Hamlin | Birmingham (Alabama) Convention & Visitors Bureau | Vice President of Tourism
Combining technology and personal relationships when helping group travelers is an important part of Sara's job. She also emphasizes the need for networking within local, state and national professional organizations. http://www.birminghamal.org
Stephanie Lee | Group Sales Box Office | Co-owner and President
Continuing the legacy her father built, Stephanie places high importance on listening, learning and engaging with her clients and others in the group travel industry. Doing this allows her to identify new audiences, anticipate clients' needs and ensure that audiences are matched with the appropriate performances. www.broadway.com/groups
Laura Mandala | Mandala Research, LLC | Managing Director
The work that Laura does helps destinations and travels companies attract the right travelers. She is also the founder of Women in Travel & Tourism International, an organization that helps women find opportunities within the travel industry. www.mandalaresearch.com
Keep an eye out for next week's Groups Today eNewsletters, for a look at the other previous winners. Don't forget to submit your 2016 nominations!