ASTA Announces Nominees for agent of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year AwardsPress Releases - News - ASTA

August 15, 2018

Contact: Jessica Parker

ASTA Announces Nominees for agent of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Winners to be announced at ASTA's Global Convention in Washington, D.C. later this month

Alexandria, VA, August 16, 2018 – Today the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) is pleased to announce the nominees for two top award categories, Travel agent of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year. The winner of each award will be announced at the ASTA Global Convention in Washington, D.C., August 21-23, 2018.

Travel agent of the Year, sponsored by Enterprise Holdings:

This award is given to the travel agent who, in the last twelve months, provided exceptional service for a client in a new and creative way that goes above and beyond the normal course of business. Entries were received from around the world from agents who either self-nominated or nominated another to recognize the extraordinary work of a colleague. The finalists are:

  • Tracy Whipple - Owner, Travel On A Dream, LLC
  • Brandi Brister - Director of Meetings & Events, Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc.
  • Marisel Aleman - Vice President, Cruise Elite, Inc.

Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by the Dan and Gloria Bohan Foundation:

This award was established by the Dan and Gloria Bohan Foundation to promote entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial spirit in the travel and hospitality industry through recognition of innovators who have either established their own business or been responsible for significant entrepreneurial initiatives within an existing organization. Each year, the Foundation, in conjunction with ASTA, selects one person or organization that best exemplifies this spirit of entrepreneurship to receive the award and a $10,000 cash prize.

The three finalists will appear on stage at ASTA Global Convention to participate in a live “Shark Tank”-style competition on Thursday, August 23rd. Each finalist will be given six minutes to make a pitch to a panel of travel experts and industry veteran judges. Each judge will cast a vote for one of the finalists. The live audience, acting together as a “super judge,” will also cast one vote to determine the winner, so be present to cast your vote for one of the following finalists:

  • Katelyn O'Shaughnessy, Idoctours
  • Gee Mann, Meetings Suite
  • Patricia Hager, Senior Travel Buddy

While the competition allows for only three places on stage, special recognition at ASTA Global Convention will also be given to mTrip Mobile Solutions for its entrepreneurial innovation.

ASTA is sincerely thankful to everyone who took the time to submit nominations for either or both of the above awards.

“Travel agents do extraordinary things for their clients every day and our industry is constantly innovating to meet the evolving needs of the traveler,” said ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby. “The submissions we received for these awards continue to raise the bar and highlight the expertise among the ASTA members. The future in travel is bright.”

For more information on ASTA’s award program, including previous winners, visit

Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit Consumers can connect with an ASTA travel advisor at

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