Travel Weekly senior editor Jamie Biesiada has been honored with the 2019 ASTA Journalist of the Year award for her work covering the retail beat. The award was presented to Biesiada by the Society's CEO, Zane Kerby, at the ASTA Global Convention in Fort Lauderdale on Aug. 26.
Biesiada has covered the retail industry since arriving at Travel Weekly in 2015, including a weekly e-newsletter and a recently introduced column, Trade Secrets.
"I'm proud of Jamie's work every day and am so pleased that she's receiving this recognition," said Travel Weekly editor in chief Arnie Weissmann, himself a two-time recipient of the award. "She's the very definition of a 'quick study,' able to grasp complicated or nuanced issues and not only understand them in all their dimensions but make them understandable to others.
"The retail beat is, to my thinking, the most difficult -- she not only has to understand how travel advisors work but how the whole supplier and product chain works. Coming in without industry experience, her combination of smarts, empathy, integrity and willingness to ask tough questions has made her an incredible asset not only to Travel Weekly but, I truly believe, the industry at large. She's invaluable to us and our readers alike."
Despite the award's name, ASTA does not hand it out annually, bestowing it only when it feels a journalist is deserving of the spotlight.
"It's been a pleasure getting to know the travel agency community over the past four years and having the opportunity to report on the issues that matter most to travel advisors," Biesiada said. "Getting recognized for that work by ASTA is a true honor, one that I appreciate greatly."