ASTA Seeking Entrepreneur Of The Year Nominees

by Richard D’Ambrosio
ASTA Seeking Entrepreneur Of The Year Nominees

GIFTE founder Meredith Hill accepts 2016 ASTA Entrepreneur Award


The American Society of Travel Agents will host a “Shark Tank”-inspired competition at its Global Convention this August to choose the winner of its Entrepreneur of the Year Award – and the $10,000 grant that goes with it.

On the afternoon of Monday, Aug. 28, three finalists will present to a panel of judges at ASTA’s Global Convention in San Diego. Each will have approximately five minutes to make a presentation in a style similar to the famous television show.

Then the panel of judges will question the finalists regarding the strengths, weaknesses and details of their submissions, and ask them to demonstrate why they should receive the award and the $10,000 grant. All travel agents, agency managers and suppliers in the travel and hospitality industry are eligible for the award.

At the conclusion of the questioning, the judges will each cast a vote for one of the finalists. In addition, each member of the audience will be entitled to cast one vote; all the audience votes in the aggregate will be considered the vote of a fourth “super judge.”

To be considered, a nominee or someone nominating another individual must complete an online application that includes a written narrative of 500 words or less describing the nominee’s contribution to entrepreneurship in the industry, and demonstrating how his or her work relates to eight key attributes: sustainability, evolution, experiential travel, proven impact, curation, marketing, growth and technology.

ASTA also requires a URL linking to a webpage containing a video of no more than five minutes that “describes and/or demonstrates the innovative product or service and its value.”

A selection committee comprised of travel industry professionals jointly chosen by ASTA and the Foundation will review each submission and rank the submissions in order from highest to lowest. The three highest-ranked nominees will be invited to compete at the ASTA Global Convention.

The award was established by the Dan and Gloria Bohan Foundation to promote entrepreneurship and an entrepreneurial spirit in the travel and hospitality industry through recognition of innovators who have either established their own business or who have been responsible for significant entrepreneurial initiatives within an existing organization. Applications must be received by ASTA no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on July 31, 2017.

The non-finalist with the highest aggregate score will be designated as an alternate and will be invited to participate in the session in the event one of the finalists notifies us that he or she is unable to attend.

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