Travel Agent Interviews

CLIA Travel Agent Cruise News features an interview with a CLIA Individual Agent Member each month. This feature provides an opportunity to hear directly from our members, who provide a unique perspective on the industry, tips of the trade, key learnings and insight into Travel Agents’ love of cruise travel. Check back next month for a new Travel Agent interview!

Deborah Fogarty, ECC

Owner, Be Well Travel, LCC (an Independent Affiliate of Nexion) Pembroke Pines, FL
Being a travel agent is the best decision I ever made – I started it as a side job (always working for banks and CPA firms and “hated” my job). I fell into the industry working as an assistant for a semi-retired stock-broker that also had his own travel agency – he encouraged me to join him in the business. I went home the afternoon I was hired and immediately signed up for a CLIA Membership and enrolled to earn my ACC. I started booking friends and family and then through natural organic networking my business grew in leaps and bounds. I love working for myself and setting goals and seeing it all come to fruition. My specialties are Yoga/Wellness Cruises, Craft Beer and Wine cruises and Corporate Incentive cruises. The travel industry is one of the most viable successful industries to be in. Read More...

Joni Cohen, Elite Cruise Counsellor of the Year

President, Travel Advisor, Northbrook, Il
I began my career as a travel agent in 1981. After 9 years of cruising and enjoying it so much, I wanted to spread the word to let others know the great experiences and value they can have by cruising. Assisting and guiding my clients to their dream vacations has always given me a sense of satisfaction. Selling travel is a wonderful gift making my “job” a pleasure. My business is mainly repeat clients and referrals which tells me I am doing something right. I look forward to each day to bring happiness to them. Read More...

Dawn Ogden, ACC

Travel Agent Concierge, Xstream Travel, Allen, TX
I have always truly enjoyed being the go-to-person for my family and friends, spending endless hours online exploring destinations for the next big vacation. I launched my home-based travel agency Dawn’s Destinations Travel Service in March 2007 turning my passion for travel into a nice part-time income. My niche markets are now primarily cruise groups (class and family reunions) and romance travel (anniversaries, vow renewals, destination weddings and honeymoons). Cruisers are the greatest percentage of my travel business clientele! Read More...

Ferne C. Sapp, ACC

Independent Travel Agent, Covington, GA
I’m able to enjoy the best of both worlds—the working world and entrepreneurial world. By day, I serve as a Campus Pastor of our multi-site church, where I spend my time helping, serving, leading, training, and equipping people. It is a challenging, yet rewarding role because I have the privilege of creating and adopting new initiatives for our rapidly growing campus. In between my weekly sermon preparation, I often find my mind reflecting over the places I’ve been and people I’ve met in my “night job” of being a Travel Agent and business owner. What’s most amazing is that my role is essentially the same; helping and serving people as they travel the world and live out their dreams. I am a Cruise Specialist, certified by pretty much every cruise line, including being a Princess Commodore. I am blessed to be a wife of over 20 years, a mother of two “kid-adults,” and a Grammy to two amazing grands.

Rebecca Needham, MCC

Independent Travel Counselor, Triumph Travel
Jacksonville, FL

Travel has always been an important aspect of my life, from my family childhood vacations to studying abroad in Scotland while in college. Four years ago, I took this enthusiasm for travel one step further by becoming an Independent Travel Counselor with my Grandmother's Agency "Triumph Travel." She helped me learn not only the technical aspects of travel, but the human side of travel, such really getting to know your client and understanding their travel needs. I specialize in customized vacation itineraries and a lot of my business involves cruise packages.