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Aaron Zukauskas

Aaron Zukauskas

Director, Body Bureau

 

Having worked in the export business, Lithuanian Aaron launched his company which arranges travel for people seeking overseas medical treatment, in January 2011.

 

Since then the business has won a leadership award from the Medical Tourism Association while its service partners are complimentary about its levels of professionalism.

Adam Pennyfather

Adam Pennyfather

Audit manager, Elman Wall

 

Adam joined Elman Wall in 2010 and qualified as a chartered accountant just over a year ago and is now a veteran of many travel firm audits.

 

He combines expert knowledge of the various financial requirements of the travel industry bodies with strong insight into travel businesses’ systems and processes.

Alex White

Alex White

UK head of sales, Princess Cruises (UK)

 

Alex started his career in travel at the age of 25 when he joined Carnival as an account manager for Complete Cruise Solution.

 

After a few years he took a career break to work as a ski instructor in New Zealand but on his return in August 2012 rejoined the cruise operator, where he was made Princess’s head of sales in January.

Amy Skelding

Amy Skelding

Associate director, Brighter Group

 

Amy joined the Brighter Group in April 2012 as an account director. She is now an associate director and has introduced several new management initiatives.

 

She has been chosen for 30 Under 30 owing to her ability to lead her team while her passion for travel has impressed all those who have met her.

Becky Stubbs

Becky Stubbs

Head of sales, Imagine Cruising

 

Becky started working for her managing director, Robin Deller, aged 16, when he was running travel firm Fast Track.

 

They now work together on Imagine Cruising. She was made head of sales in September 2012 and since she started running the call centre, conversions have risen by 15% and remained constant.

 

Ben Jarman

Ben Jarman

Project co-ordinator, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

 

Jarman entered the travel industry four and a half years ago to create travel guides for airline passengers, focusing on the parts of the world over which they are flying.

 

The guides also help him to promote the RGS and drive its messages through the travel, technology and in-flight entertainment industry.

Carl Hunter

Carl Hunter

Brand manager, Hoseasons

 

Carl joined Hoseasons in April 2012 as product executive, the same role he held for two years at Tui. He was quickly promoted to brand manager for the Go Active Breaks programme and has developed new tools to assist yield and revenue growth.

 

He has also worked with a developer to build a new lodge resort from scratch.

Chelsea Peak

Chelsea Peak

Motivator and senior sales member, A1 Travel

 

At the age of just 20, Chelsea joined A1 in 2012 after completing a training course organised in partner-ship with Bury College.

 

She made record sales in her first six months and inspired A1 to open a call centre in Bury. It has proved such a success that A1 is now recruiting directly from the college, where she is helping to provide further training.

Howard Ebison

Howard Ebison

Head of commercial, No1 Traveller

 

Howard joined No1 Traveller as general manager commercial after a stint in the hospitality industry and was promoted to head of commercial in 2011.

 

Managing a team of four, he oversees more than 100 commercial relationships, including airlines and tour operators. He has also led successful bids for eight airport lounge spaces.

Jodi Oseland

Jodi Oseland

VIP manager and business travel consultant, Click Travel

 

Jodi’s entire career has been in business travel, working for Omega World Travel and Portman Travel before joining Click in October 2012.

 

She has already made an impact, revolutionising the agency’s rail season ticket booking process. She also oversees all VIP bookings as well as managing VIP clients.

Jonathon Woodall

Jonathon Woodall

Finance manager — travel ledger, Hays Travel

 

Jonathan’s entire career has been at Hays Travel since he started an apprenticeship with the agency in 2004.

 

By October 2008 he had moved to head office, where he worked as a manager in supplier refunds before taking over as supervisor with a team of eight. He took up his current role in July, and manages 35 members of staff.

Joel Omari

Joel Omari

Marketing and business development, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism

 

Omari creates and presents strategic and tactical initiatives to increase the number of UK and Ireland visitors to the islands.

 

He has also set up and maintained a database of more than 4,000 travel agents and sits on the board of directors for the Caribbean Tourism Organisation UK Chapter.

Jordan Makin

Jordan Makin

Director, Luggage Mule

 

Jordan spent five years working for Training for Travel before he was headhunted in July 2013 to join B2B and B2C start-up baggage service Luggage Mule.

 

He has overseen most of the processes involved in getting the business off the ground, from website design and build to pricing and marketing and is now responsible for its operation.

Kate Glover

Kate Glover

Sri Lanka specialist and product manager, Fleewinter

 

Kate joined Fleewinter in 2007. She has driven sales through a combination of astute marketing and PR, in particular focusing on clients based in the Middle East - an initiative which led to July and August sales for Sri Lanka matching peak December and January figures.

 

A commission-based referral scheme that Kate set up has also borne fruit.

Katharina Peck

Katharina Peck

Trade relations executive, Kuoni

 

Katharina has not only been credited with developing the Kuoni Specialist Agent scheme, but has also helped to boost the size of the overseas training programme for third-party agents.

 

She has also ensured that growth targets are met and incentives accounted for with third-party agents and personal travel experts working in the Kuoni call centre.

Laura Forward

Laura Forward

Online marketing manager, Iglu.com

 

Laura joined the marketing department two years ago and is now online marketing manager. She has transformed the e-marketing strategy, increased production, and improved click-through and open rates while reducing unsubscribes.

 

She is also looking forward to improving results for Planet Cruise.

Lee Nicholson

Lee Nicholson

Ground training instructor, Thomson Airways

 

Lee joined Thomson Airways as cabin crew in 2006. He has risen through the ranks, bringing his experience to his training role, in which he has been credited with creating and delivering innovative training packages.

(Our sponsor did not participate in judging any candidates from Tui.)

Lizzie Heeley

Lizzie Heeley

Marketing manager, Turquoise Holidays

 

Lizzie joined Turquoise’s marketing team in September 2011. Her focus on social media has grown the firm’s followers and likes by 50% in six months while a marketing campaign for Mauritius grew business by 20%.

Marianne McPhee

Marianne McPhee

Digital marketing executive, Hurtigruten

 

After two and a half years at Black Tomato, Marianne joined Hurtigruten in August 2012 and has quickly started driving the company’s online marketing strategy.

 

She has grown the cruise operator’s Facebook audience from 2,000 to more than 14,500, improved the brand’s social media use and driven its SEO.

Matthew Gardiner

Matthew Gardiner

Marketing executive, Choice Hotels Europe

 

Matthew has implemented the hotel group’s digital marketing, email and social media while managing e-commerce, online content and SEO across its UK and EU websites.

 

He credits much of his success to lessons learned with his previous employer HARP Wallen, where he drove the website’s visitor numbers through social media.

Nico Kostich

Nico Kostich

Director of trading, Transun

 

Joining as an operations executive in 2008, Nico was given his current position in 2010. He has increased passenger numbers more than twofold, doubled turnover and recorded a 46% year-on-year increase in profits in 2013.

 

He has maintained a strong focus on the trade, developing an agent log-in area on the website as well as an enhanced reservations system.

Nicole Collett

Nicole Collett

Press and PR executive, Reed Exhibitions – World Travel Market

 

Nicole has been working on World Travel Market for five years. Each year she manages the largest recurring press centre in the UK, serving nearly 3,000 journalists.

 

She spends the rest of the year helping the 5,000 exhibitors to get the best out of the brand, while taking responsibility for all its key messaging.

Paul Middleton

Paul Middleton

Sales manager, Hilton London Canary Wharf

 

Paul joined the operator in August 2011 as a sales coordinator before working his way up to his current role.

 

He excels in converting groups, conferences and events and has also negotiated a multi-hotel group arrangement which has proved to be very lucrative.

Rob Veale

Rob Veale

Director of customer services, hotelshopuk

 

Rob started in the call centre in August 2008, but was promoted to his current role in 2011. He is responsible for both the leisure and corporate call centres, the retail operation and emergency response services.

 

Meanwhile, his new customer service and compliance initiatives have seen turnover and profit grow.

Steph Curtin

Steph Curtin

Cruise development manager, sunshine.co.uk

 

Despite working for a purely online business, Steph is known for her ability to create and foster relationships with clients.

 

Her knowledge and understanding of cruise lines and their systems has also been said to be the reason why the OTA decided to launch a cruise programme.

Stephen D'Alfonso

Stephen D'Alfonso

Senior research and public affairs manager, Abta

 

Since joining three years ago, Stephen has led on Atol reform work and lobbying MPs, and was instrumental in providing research that proved the value of outbound travel and leisure aviation.

 

He manages a growing team and the impact of his work is felt daily by members of the travel trade.

Stephanie Robins

Stephanie Robins

Agency sales manager, Anatolian Sky

 

With 12 years in travel, and after working as an agent before joining the tour operator, Stephanie boasts extensive experience.

 

She manages everything from agency sales, training, HR and recruitment in a department that generates 80% of the operator’s sales.

Suniel Makh

Suniel Makh

Marketing director, icelolly.com

 

Suniel joined icelolly.com in May 2007 and has since launched the company’s social media profiles, generating more than 100,000 Facebook likes and 25,000 Twitter followers.

 

He also supervised the production of its YouTube video, which went viral and generated more than 5.5 million views.

Tim Thornhill

Tim Thornhill

Head of business development, Insurance4carhire.com

 

Tim was managing director for a ski operator and agent before joining Insurance4carhire in January 2012, bringing a wealth of travel experience and contacts.

 

He has been credited with expanding the firm’s distribution channels and potential, generating significant income and the potential for strong future growth.

Yianni Dimitriadis

Yianni Dimitriadis

Business development manager, Iavra

 

Despite never having worked in the travel industry when he joined villa rental company Iavra in February 2012, Yianni has been quick to make an impact.

He has changed the business from a fully paid service to a freemium model, which led to the quadrupling of membership in two months.

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