Lisa Scalzo is described as a "very passionate student travel planner." A conversation with her proved this description fits her to a tee. Of her work, Scalzo says, "Heart and passion go far. I'll do anything to make my kids happy."
Groups Today asked Scalzo a few questions about her student travel planning modus operandi:
What do you do to make each of your clients feel special?
"I am real with my clients." Scalzo feels genuine relationships are lasting relationships. She tells her clients, "This isn't a one time experience—we are building a relationship." She asks all clients to be open about their needs, so she can better determine what they want students to get out of their travel experience. Lisa often communicates with her clients via FaceTime, and she visits them as often as possible. She gets to know them on a personal level.
What do your clients most appreciate about your approach?
Scalzo's clients all know she is not the 9-5 type—an important characteristic for a student travel planner. Her clients have busy schedules, and Scalzo works within them. "As long as they are OK with talking to me while I'm at my daughter's ball game, I'm totally accessible to them!" She communicates with her clients by whatever means they prefer, whether by phone, e-mail or text.
How does your passion for this field help you better perform your job?
"I absolutely love what I do and I can't imagine doing anything else—ever." As a child, Scalzo never vacationed; it just wasn't an option for her and her mom. She knows that many students are in this same position. "Being able to take kids out of their normal helps them see them outside world and gives them something to aspire to. These trips have a lasting impact."
Scalzo and her clients share the same goal: Get the kids out of the familiar and expose them to the world. She absolutely goes the extra mile to make the students happy and to enrich their lives. When asked why she does this job, her response was simple. "It's all about the kids. I do it for the kids."
Lisa Scalzo is the Sales & Marketing Manager for Mid Atlantic Tours and Receptive Services and is one of the 2016 Top 10 Most Influential Women in Group Travel, as named by Groups Today magazine. Click here to read more about Scalzo and the award's other influential recipients.
Written by Lisa Stickler, staff writer for Groups Today magazine.