ASTA has formed a Consumer Awareness Committee that will help the Society develop a campaign for consumer awareness of travel agents.

The committee has 13 members who the Society says have expertise in marketing, social media and building consumer awareness. They met for the first time in November and will meet regularly this year, ASTA said.

"Raising consumer awareness regarding the value of using a travel agent is a critical part of ASTA's mission," said ASTA president and CEO Zane Kerby. "While we have substantially ramped up our consumer-awareness activities over the past year -- creating two consumer-facing videos and making upgrades to TravelSense.org, our consumer-facing website -- we have only begun to scratch the surface. We appreciate our volunteer committee members stepping forward to invest their time, energy and expertise as they help us chart the best path forward in 2017 and beyond."

The members are:  

• Misty Ewing Belles, managing director of global public relations, Virtuoso

• Carolyn Cauceglia, vice president of strategic sales, Amadeus North America

• Brian Chapin, senior director of air and travel solutions, Ensemble Travel Group

• Karryn Christopher, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Signature Travel Network

• Jay Ellenby, president or Safe Harbors Business Travel in Maryland and chair of the ASTA board of directors

• Jackie Friedman, Nexion president

• Betsy Geiser, vice president of Uniglobe Travel Center and member of the ASTA board

• Ron Gulaskey, Celebrity Cruises' associate vice president of national and strategic accounts, North America

• Brian Hegarty, vice president of marketing, Travel Leaders Network

• Scott Koepf, Avoya's senior vice president of sales and member of the ASTA board

• Jenn Lee, vice president of sales and marketing, Travel Planners International

• Sharon Poulos, Travelport's director of marketing, Americas

• Chris Seddelmeyer, Seddelmeyer Travel Concepts of Ohio and a member of the ASTA board.

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