In A Local Emergency, Melissa Truskett And Her Montrose Team Went The Extra Mile
by Cheryl Rosen
In A Local Emergency, Melissa Truskett And Her Montrose Team Went The Extra Mile

Melissa Truskett won this year's Extra Mile award from ASTA.

When a gas leak emptied out an L.A. neighborhood last year, it changed the lives of not only those who were affected, but also of Melissa Truskett and her team at Montrose Travel.

When Truskett volunteered to work with SoCalGas to relocate thousands of customers, Montrose’s manager of groups, meetings and incentives knew she was getting into something big. But she didn’t quite realize how big.

“I managed the process of finding hotels for the customers, as well as reporting back to and being the liaison with the gas company—and it took over my life,” she says. “My team worked 18 hour days for months and months. Essentially we moved more than a thousand customers to more than 150 hotels in the L.A. area in the first three months, and then hundreds more over the next few months. The amount of time involved was astronomical.”

It all started with the first step, of course: creating a multidivisional team of 30 agents pulled from Montrose Travel’s group, corporate, leisure and even loyalty divisions.

And was it worth it? Absolutely, says Truskett. First of all, it won her the honor of receiving ASTA’s Extra Mile Award. For her agency, of course, the project proved to be “financially very profitable” and garnered lots of good publicity, as the story was on the nightly news for weeks on end. But beyond that, it was personally rewarding in a once-in-a-lifetime kind of way.

“We did our best to make some very unhappy people as happy as possible,” Truskett said, “and they were very grateful to our agents, who sympathized with them and helped them. There was just no option but than to just work flat out—we knew people were depending on us so we just kept plowing through.”

And in the end, she said, beyond the public recognition and the personal thanks from clients, “the whole gas-company project really stretched my abilities and those of my team. And once we were able to sit back, we were all very proud of what we were able to accomplish.”

So what’s next? She’s at ASTA, of course, accepting her award, and then off on a 400-person incentive trip to Barcelona. And that doesn’t seem quite as difficult a project as it might have last year.

  0
  0
Comment:
You must be logged in to leave a comment Login | Register
Tip of the Day
Our clients may research online but they want someone to call in case something goes wrong. It's like a safety net. They are a very faithful client base to their travel agents.
 
Geraldine Coutinho-Meyers, Hyatt Regency Aruba Associate Director of Sales and Events
Daily Top List

Places To Visit On The Ecuador Coast

1. Santa Elena and Salinas

2. Guayaquil

3. Playas and Puerto el Morro

4. Montanita

5. Machalilla national park and Isla de la Plata

Source: The Guardian

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Headquarters Happenings: Cruise Planners Keeps Growing With ‘Cruisitude’
Headquarters Happenings: Cruise Planners Keeps Growing With ‘Cruisitude’

The cruise-focused agency franchisor is adding even more new technology to help its agents sell more travel overall.

Ten Tips To Protect Your ID When Traveling
Ten Tips To Protect Your ID When Traveling

Help your clients avoid becoming a victim of identity theft when traveling with these tips.

Vietnam Visas Can Be Confusing
Vietnam Visas Can Be Confusing

Confusion surrounding a 2016 travel visa agreement with Vietnam has many agents reconfirming their procedures.

Will Cannabis Travel Flourish As More States Legalize?
Will Cannabis Travel Flourish As More States Legalize?

As marijuana is legalized in four states, an increasing percentage of well-to-do Millennials is seeking out cannabis-related tourism.

Travel Agents Nurture Family Travel Sales
Travel Agents Nurture Family Travel Sales

Selling family travel requires combining supplier and destination expertise with the listening skills of a family therapist.

Travel Agent Usage Boosting NACTA's And ASTA's Fortunes
Travel Agent Usage Boosting NACTA's And ASTA's Fortunes

New Consumer Awareness Commitee launched as bookings through agents help association membership grow.

News Briefs
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Holland America Line