Travel + Leisure Magazine recently published their 17th annual A-List showcasing the ‘Best of the Best’ in the travel industry. FROSCH is honored and proud to recognize Rachel Epstein, Christina Turrini, and Yaron Yarimi for their inclusion in this year’s A-list.
Congratulations also goes to Kayla Mason and Kristen Munch who were recently listed as Travel Agent’s Top 30under30 for 2018 list. These two rising stars signify the future of FROSCH as a continued leader in the travel industry.
MEET TRAVEL + LEISURE’S A-LISTERS 2018
RACHEL L. EPSTEIN
Epstein travels back to Israel multiple times each year to find new hotels, restaurants, and experiences for her clients. She understands that Israel is a destination that is typically decided on with a specific intent or purpose and believes that a visit to the country is more than just a trip. It’s a spiritual journey, geopolitical education, and cultural immersion all in one. For Epstein, it’s important to understand clients’ expectations and satisfy them to the best of her ability, whether that entails visits to the country’s many historic and religious sites or reservations at the buzziest restaurants and new museums. She works with her team in Jerusalem to ensure that all needs are met before, during, and after the journey.
Travel advisor Christina Turrini has been a frequent presence on our A-List for her unparalleled expertise in the South Pacific. Her main area of focus is French Polynesia. She has been a certified Tahiti Tiare Specialist since 2006, visiting the islands of Tahiti six times in the last three years, with frequent visits to other groupings like the Marquesas Islands as well. Her connections there allow her to set up exclusive experiences for clients: ahi fishing in the Tuamotus archipelago, a private barbecue lunch on a motu (a very small island), swimming with black-tipped sharks, and more.
Turrini also has extensive experience arranging travel in other parts of the Pacific, particularly Fiji and the Cook Islands. Whether you want a culinary adventure or a tranquil beach honeymoon, Turrini can put together a Pacific island itinerary unlike any other. Her language proficiency also gives her a leg up on her secondary specialty: Italy.
Yarimi’s encyclopedic knowledge of Paris comes from the extensive research trips he takes every year. Most recently, he vetted all the top hotels, including the restored Hôtel de Crillon, a stone palace on the Place de la Concorde. He can tell you which suites offer views of the Eiffel Tower and which have private terraces. His itineraries often take clients beyond the typical museums to the city’s up-and-coming restaurants and under-the-radar flea markets.
T+L ADVISORY BOARD
Kazlauskas, the president of Frosch’s leisure division and U.S. branch operations, has spent more than 20 years in the industry serving as an executive at brands like Tauck, Trafalgar, and Orient Lines. Today, he fosters relationships with airlines, cruise lines, and railways to ensure his team can create seamless business and leisure trips.
MEET TRAVEL AGENT’S 30UNDER30 2018
As a full-service leisure agent specializing in luxury cruises, family vacations and honeymoons, Kayla Mason has not only been able to make her clients’ dreams come true but has also realized her own. “My passion for travel started at a young age when I took my first trip to Walt Disney World,” she says. “I knew that I wanted to be a part of the ‘Magic’ and be in the hospitality industry.”
When a position at Frosch opened two years ago, she jumped on it. Mason recently completed the company’s eight-week program designed to recruit young professionals into the industry and is now well-versed in selling travel for Silversea Cruises, Disney Destinations, Europe, and the Caribbean.
“Because of the great training that I received in the academy, I have become a trainer in the Houston office,” Mason says. “Additionally, I was nominated for ‘Delivering the Unexpected,’ a program Frosch has that encourages us to be better employees and a better agent for our clients.”
This year, Mason was also asked to attend a Disney Travel Agent Training, which she considers an honor as only 30 agents specializing in Disney Destinations are selected. Mason’s other accomplishments include an invitation to take a part in the FT2 Advisory Board, which recently met in Costa Rica.
A recent challenge for Mason was planning a honeymoon to Africa, a destination she was unfamiliar with. It required great attention to detail. “I had to find the perfect lodges, game drives as well as inter-country flights,” she explains.
Mason is also currently pitching Queensland, Australia, to clients after experiencing the destination firsthand. “It has city life, beaches, reefs and jungles,” she says. “Holding a koala and feeding kangaroos in their own natural habitat can only happen in Australia.”
Karen Schueller, director of Private Client Services at Frosch, a Signature agency, lauds how Kristen Munch “not only [works] from an exceptional knowledge base, but continually travels and researches to ensure growth,” adding that Munch is “not afraid to take on any task, no matter the size, scope, or potential for recognition.”
An example of one such task?
“I was selected by Frosch to participate in creating a training program for agents new to the industry,” Munch tells us.
She recently had two weeks to put together a trip to the South of France and Italy for a client whose son is a huge car enthusiast. “On the first day, they will have a Ferrari delivered to their hotel where they will spend the next few days fully immersed in cars. They will visit the Ferrari Museum & Factory, Lamborghini Museum and even experience driving on a Formula 1 Race Track in Milan.” For the France portion, she arranged for a helicopter to take them to St. Tropez and then to Le Castellet for a truly VIP experience.
“The most challenging part of planning this trip was all the logistics involved,” Munch says. “Figuring out the best driving route, delivery of rental cars, and how to create the ultimate VIP Grand Prix experience.”
Such dedication is reason enough why, Munch says, “I recommend all agents charge fees and not be afraid to do so. The amount of research, time and knowledge agents put into the planning, execution, and follow up of these trips warrants fees. We are not only applying our expertise to the trip we are planning, we are investing in learning about the client to successfully craft the perfect trip, while taking note for future travel.”