2017 Romance Travel Forum Selects Dynamic Sellers for Advisory Board
The Romance Travel Forum team is delighted to work with some of the best travel sellers in the romance vacation arena, to help develop content, special engagements and other particulars that will positively impact the overall event experience. Please meet the 2017 Romance Travel Forum Advisory Board:
|President & Owner, Wedding & Honeymoon Travel Group “A supplier can benefit from joining this prestigious event because RTF guarantees the highest caliber Romance travel specialists that have already been vetted and verified in order to attend. Agents and agency owners who attend RTF have a combined sales volume of Romance travel of over $ 100m per year. Not only can you attract new agency accounts at RTF but you can solidify and increase those accounts already doing business with you. The question you should really be asking as a supplier is....Can you afford not to be at RTF to secure your portion of these sales??”|
|Sharon Campbell-Little., is the president / owner of award winning Wedding and Honeymoon Travel group specializing in full-service worldwide romance travel. Originally born in Edinburgh Scotland with a travel career spanning over 25 years, twelve of those years were spent working overseas for Thomas Cook one of the largest tour operators in the world. Sharon has now settled in Southern California and describes herself as a passionate and hopeless romantic who simply loves love. Since emigrating to the US in 2009 Sharon has built her romance travel company within the niche of destination weddings and honeymoons. Sharon has been the recipient of many top seller awards with hotels and preferred tour operator partners and is #1 Selling agency for the island of Jamaica. Under her leadership, Wedding and Honeymoon travel group has helped more than 5000 couples to have a destination wedding in the Caribbean. Most recently Sharon was honored with Top 25 All Star Awards from Travel Agent Magazine. With her vast travel expertise and years of experience Sharon now serves on the JTB agent advisory board. Sharon is also a TEAM ambassador for host agency TPI as she is passionate about helping agents become successful and growing their business in the travel industry and mentors many travel agents across the country.|
|Owner/Lead Travel Designer of Latitude Concierge Travels “Being privileged enough to be selected to be a part of this event goes a long way…personal and working relationships foster more of a genuine interest when you can meet face to face. My business continues to grow exponentially because of the RTF-I show my brides pictures of myself with the wedding coordinators after our meetings and events. Brides and Grooms feel secure in the fact that I have an edge above the plethora of agents and destination wedding specialists they can choose from. My knowledge and experience have that much more integrity with clients because of the interactions and insight I have gained from this event.”|
|Shalene Dudley transitioned to the travel industry full-time after a very successful 15 year career as a construction project manager. With a bachelor of arts in Interior Design from Michigan State on her resume, she moved to Orlando, FL to follow her passion in hospitality design. Like a dream come true, her first real position was Junior Designer/Imagineer with Walt Disney Imagineering in Lake Buena Vista, FL. She became a certified PMP (Project Management Professional) in 2006 and now applies her knowledge to assist her clients with planning, budgeting and executing their plans for a memorable travel experience. Her success and ability to effectively network has provided opportunities to partner with Hudson's Bay locations across the Greater Toronto Area as well as develop relationships with Kleinfeld Bridal. In 2015, Shalene won the PAX News Award of Excellence for "Rookie of the Year-2014"and was named one of "6 Travel Professionals You Should Be Following on Facebook" by Canadian Traveler magazine. Her passion is to engage her new brides by applying her own experience planning her destination wedding in 2009 at Sandals Royal Caribbean. She is now the Owner/Lead Travel Designer of Latitude Concierge Travels located in Toronto, Ontario.|
|Manager & Travel Consultant at Journeys Inc. “With an abundance of suppliers for travel agents to use, it’s always nice to find that small boutique resort that you never even know existed, who will provide a very unique experience for your clients. It’s also a great place to connect with those suppliers who you don’t see as often to hear about changes with their products.”|
|Kim Goldstein joined Journeys Inc, in 2006 as a travel consultant specializing in Disney Destinations. Her extensive knowledge of Disney has come from annual trips to Walt Disney World with her family along with many vacations on Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, and Adventures by Disney. Kim’s knowledge of Disney destinations assisted Journeys in gaining the distinguished title of Authorized Disney Vacation PlannShe is also a 2006 graduate of Disney’s College of Knowledge, a graduate of Disney’s Agent Education Program at Disney World & Disney Cruise Line. She was selected to serve on the EarMarked Travel Agent Advisory Council, which is a distinguished committee representing the EarMarked Disney travel agencies. She has been featured in a national travel magazine, as an expert on Disney Destinations on several occasions. In addition to Kim’s love of Disney, her other passion is tropical travel. Nothing makes her happier than to be on a beach with crystal clear blue water! She is a Certified Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist and attended the extensive Sandals and Beaches WeddingMoon Certification Program. Kim also took the Hard Rock WOW Wedding Specialist Certification in 2015. Sandals Resorts International invited Kim to join the exclusive Chairman’s Royal Club. In keeping with the company’s longstanding tradition of support and recognition of its travel agent partners, a select group of top travel agents who have continuously produced results and showcased loyalty to the resort brand have been invited into the Chairman’s Royal Club. She is the only travel agent in the Richmond area to achieve this top honor and is excited to represent Sandals and Beaches as a Chairman's Royal Club member. Kim was named as one of the "Top 25 Travel Agents in 2015" by Travel Agent Magazine. She recently won the 2013 Top Sales Performer Award, 2014 Rising Star, 2014 Chairman's Outstanding Sales Achievement, 2015 Best of the Best awards at the Sandals & Beaches STAR Awards. Journeys won the Wedding Wire Couples Choice Awards for the last three years because her honeymoon clients rated her in the top 5% of local wedding professionals from the Wedding Wire network. Kim is a Certified Platinum Sandals & Beaches Specialist and has visited all of the Sandals and Beaches resorts, along with many other destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Hawaii. She wants to assist you in planning the vacation of a lifetime every time!|
|Owner, Paradise Travel Chick “The Romance Travel Forum really opened up a lot of doors for me in building my business. Being able to go out there, brand myself, find out what each vendor has to offer, being able to sit down and speak with vendors and representatives one on one truly helps build relationships that would have never happened before. You leave RTF with a million ideas, things to do, people to keep in contact with, and even friends that last forever in some cases - I know this speaks true for me.”|
|Jenni Parks is the owner of Paradise Travel Chick, specializing in Destination Weddings and Romance Travel in the Caribbean, which she began in 2014. After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 2011, she worked for the Department of Defense (Northrop Grumman) for just over 3 years. It was then that she realized that working for someone else was not the future she envisioned for herself. Jenni decided to take a leap of faith and entered the travel industry, and knew right away that she had found her niche, one that she is very passionate about to this day. Jenni has dedicated much of her time to teaching other agents and romance specialists all that she has learned, and helps them grow in their profession. Jenni has been recognized as a Rising Star for Destination Weddings Travel Group in 2015, as a top seller for Barcelo Resorts in 2016, a Karisma Diamond in 2016, a Certified Sandals Silver Specialist in 2016, was awarded as a DestiDiamond, top 10 selling Specialist for Destination Weddings Travel Group in 2016, and has been selected as an Ambassador for GTM West in 2017. Jenni makes time to personally visit resorts and countries that she specializes in. it is very important for her to know what she is selling, to build relationships with the resorts, the wedding planners, and tour operators to ensure her clients are receiving the best product and services.|
|Chancellor of Travel, Travel Tom “The RTF has been instrumental in facilitating the interaction with key suppliers in the destination wedding/honeymoon business to create partnerships that in turn help our agency create memorable experiences for our clients. This has been done thru special offers and perks that are not accessible to the "general public" and are available to select agencies that have attended the RTF. It has also allowed me to share and receive best practices from other agents which can be directly related to our collective growth year over year. Can't wait for the 2017 RTF!”|
Tom is the Chancellor of Travel (Owner) at Travel Tom. Tom has a strong passion for travel and is dedicated to providing a wonderful customer experience. With degrees in Economics and Business Administration, he started his career on Wall Street where he ran the Analyst Desk for JJ Kenney/Standard & Poors and ended with a position as Vice President at JP Morgan.
Tom entered the travel industry in 2002 while continuing to work on Wall Street, choosing to indulge his love of travel as a part-time travel consultant. In 2011, he decided to pursue his true passion to be a full-time travel consultant and gave JPM his 2 weeks’ notice. “Travel Tom” is a recognized leader and an expert in the travel industry and has won numerous awards and distinctions. He has won Travel Impressions prestigious Globe Award (2014-2016) as well as top awards from his suppliers such as Hyatt Resorts (Hyatt 5-0), Sandals (Chairmans Royal Club), Palace Resorts (Platinum Agency) Hard Rock AIC (Triple Platinum) and Karisma (Diamond Level Agency). He was also honored to be recognized as Top 25 All Star Travel Agents (2016) from Travel Agent Magazine. He makes a point of personally visiting most of the destinations he sells and has formed partnerships and alliances with hotel owners, tour operators and others to ensure his clients have an exceptional travel experience.
|Certified Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Travel Consultant, Exquisite Vacations, Inc. “My commitment to my clients is to be the most informed expert on all the romance vacation market has to offer. The Romance Travel Forum allows me to strengthen my offerings by discovering unique experiences for my clients, along with the chance to gain first-hand knowledge to perfectly match my clients with the right vacation offering.”|
|Andrea Williams is an award-winning Certified Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Travel Consultant and one of the top booking agents for the island of Jamaica. She started her travel career in Jamaica at the age of 17, working for top resorts and the national airlines’ vacation tour wholesaler. Andrea migrated to Miami, earned a degree in Travel & Tourism Management from Florida International University. With her passion and love for travel, she started Exquisite Vacations, Inc., a full-service travel agency based in Miami, Florida. She’s been specializing in honeymoons, destination weddings and family travel since 2004. “The Romance Travel Forum continues to evolve, and it is an honor to have the opportunity to work with these individuals who will undoubtedly contribute tremendously to help shape the 2017 event. Each of these individuals bring a wealth of knowledge, commitment, accomplishments and unique strengths to the table, and with the influence of their expertise, we have no doubt 2017 will be our best program yet!” said Jennifer Fernandez, Vice President Events & Content, Specialty Travel Forums.|
Thank you to our 2016 Romance Travel Forum Advisory Board!
Kelsie Abrahamson, “Princess Kelsie”, TravelOnly
Melisa Keiser, Honeymoon & Destination Wedding Specialist & Owner, Carmel Travel Company
Melissa Varela, MBA, ACC, Modern Romance Travel
Mitch Toren, Chief Vacation Engineer, TripGuy.com
Tom Varghese, Chancellor of Travel, TravelTom
Robert Whorrall, VP Sales & Marketing, Beach Bum Vacation™