Nexion Travel Group Leap into Luxury Forum Speaker Biographies
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LEADING LUXURY TRAVEL INDUSTRY SPEAKERS

LARRY PIMENTEL

President & CEO of Azamara Club Cruises

Larry Pimentel is President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises®, a member of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. family of cruise lines. Since taking the helm in 2009, he and his team have created a new niche of cruise travel distinguished by Destination Immersion® meaning longer stays, more overnights and night touring, with cultural connections.

Before joining Azamara Club Cruises, he was president and CEO of Sea Dream Yacht Club, a privately held luxury yachting company. At Carnival Corp., he served as president and CEO of Cunard Line and Seabourn Cruise Line. His keen insights about the travel marketplace and luxury tastes and trends have made Pimentel an in-demand speaker, writer and educator. He was Distinguished Lecturer at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and has led marketing seminars for Harvard Business School, Ritz-Carlton Company, Bloomberg and others.

As one of the travel industry’s most respected leaders in branding and luxury travel, Pimentel has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement award from Cruise International, and received an AFAR Travel Vanguard award for his visionary creation and contribution to the future of travel. Pimentel was also recognized as “one of the 25 most influential travel executives in America” and won “global executive of the year.”

Larry Pimentel is married and lives with his wife Sandi in Key Biscayne, Florida. They have five adult children.

PERRY LUNGMUS, CTC

Vice President, Travel Leaders Network

Literally growing up in the travel business through his family’s agency, Perry Lungmus found an early passion to explore the world. He also gained hands-on travel sales and marketing experience while sharing that passion, which eventually led him to a 25-year career of leadership roles with several of the world’s top luxury tour companies and travel agency groups, including Abercrombie & Kent, Travcoa and Virtuoso.

Today, from a Seattle base, Perry leads the development of a multi-faceted luxury and experiential travel program for brands within Travel Leaders Group, offering specialized sales, marketing and training support for thousands of travel professionals.

SANDY STEVENS

Vice President of Sales & Guest Relations, Paul Gauguin Cruises

Sandy brings a strong background in luxury cruising to her position at Paul Gauguin Cruises. As Vice President of Sales for Windstar Cruises, she was responsible for the development and execution of a comprehensive sales program to build relationships and increase sales through the travel agent community. Other cruise lines with which she has been associated throughout her career include Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Renaissance Cruise Line, and Holland America, and as Director, Supplier Sales for Virtuoso, LTD, she moved this travel agent consortium toward becoming a dynamic sales organization serving travel wholesalers and cruise lines.

Sandy further brings a firsthand appreciation for the importance of fine dining aboard a luxury cruise ship through her position as Director of Admissions for the California School of Culinary Arts a Le Cordon Bleu academy. Born in Michigan but raised on the beaches of Southern California, Sandy now lives in the greater Seattle area and spends as much time as possible cooking and entertaining her family and friends during her leisure time

CRIS DE SOUZA

Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Nexion Travel Group

Cris De Souza joined the Nexion Travel Group leadership team in 2015 and has been a part of the travel industry for 18 years. Throughout her career, she has proven success building and managing strategic partnerships and teams, developing innovative travel agent training and education programs, creating effective travel agent marketing and sales strategies, and exceeding sales goals and objectives.

Cris earned the Professional Sales Certification upon completing the nine-month Sales Acceleration Academy program in 2017. She is also advocate of sustainable tourism, voluntourism and cultural heritage preservation and earned a Master of Arts in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University. Her most important role in life is being the proud mom of her two amazing sons, Thomas and Antonio.

FAITH KUCZAJ, CTC, CTIE

Director of Industry Relations, Nexion Travel Group

Faith Kuczaj, CTC, CTIE, is a Director of Industry Relations for Nexion Travel Group. Since 2013, Faith has managed Nexion Travel Group’s luxury and niche travel partner relationships, developing marketing strategies to propel these partners’ sales through our more than 3,800 independent, leisure and corporate travel professionals. She is the creator of and catalyst behind the Luxury Travel Sales Summit concept, which won a 2017 Gold Magellan Award.

Faith’s 20+ years of integrated marketing and consulting experience are instrumental in her ability to develop new programs, create innovative marketing tactics, coach our travel professionals and manage travel partner relationships. She joined Sabre in 2003 to develop their consumer email marketing program and served as editor-in-chief for internal and external communications across several of Sabre’s emerging businesses. Faith became part of the Nexion team in 2005 and has used her marketing consulting, communications and film/video background to contribute to Nexion’s success. She has served on the advisory board of Isramworld and is currently on the advisory board for Tauck.

TERRI “TC” PHELPS, ACC

Business Development & Education Manager, Nexion Travel Group

Terri “TC” Phelps is a Business Development and Education Manager for Nexion Travel Group, a fully accredited host agency with operations in both the United States and Canada. She has been in the travel industry since 1980 and has expertise in all aspects of travel agency operations, including as a leisure/corporate travel advisor, manager of corporate sales, automation specialist, and training and marketing manager. TC has also spent 24 years with a premium cruise line as a district sales manager, key account manager and regional trainer.

As part of the Nexion Travel Group Business Development and Education team, TC is responsible for creating and facilitating diverse educational member trainings, events and programs in order to enhance the business development needs of Nexion Travel Group’s 3,900 agents, including managing the Nexion Coaching for Success member program and creating content for the Accelerated Sales Forum. TC earned the Professional Sales Certification upon completing the nine-month Sales Acceleration Academy program in 2017.