Please meet Kolleen Whitley, a Sr. Travel Program Manager at Next level Performance. We were pleased to interview Kolleen, in conjunction with SITE Northeast, regarding her selection as a SITE Northeast USA Member Spotlight.
NXLP: Congratulations, Kolleen Whitley, CIS, CTSM, CMP on your SITE Northeast Chapter Member Spotlight! The Society for Incentive Travel Executives – that's pretty impressive!
What were the criteria to become the SITE Northeast Chapter Member of the Quarter?
KW: Each quarter, SITE Northeast selects two actively involved industry constituents to highlight from their local membership.
NXLP: What does this honor mean? What new opportunities does the exposure provide?
KW: This will mean amplified exposure to other members of the SITE Northeast community and the SITE community at-large. The shout-out is meaningful recognition from an industry giant that specializes in the importance of recognition.
NXLP: What’s next for you, Kolleen?
KW: My focus these days is on pivoting the remainder of the programs I’m managing for the coming months to ensure safety while offering incentive-quality experiences. The support and comradery of our industry friends and partners has been critical as we all work to share creative solutions geared toward moving forward again in the near future. As we move forward, my plan is to continue to look for meaningful ways to collaborate and support one another within the travel community.
NXLP: What would you like other travel planners to think about SITE membership?
KW: Involvement within SITE and having contributed to the Education and Young Leaders committees has been rewarding on a fundamental level, especially where it comes to education and networking. SITE is one of the foremost incentive industry organizations, so it’s an honor to be recognized by the Northeast chapter.
SITE: Why did you choose to join SITE?
KW: Until I joined Next Level Performance in 2015, my planning experience was varied. In past positions, I managed meetings, trade shows, conventions, and annual summits, in addition to incentive programs. However, in this hodgepodge of different events, incentives were always what drew most of my heart and focus. Joining Next Level, and subsequently, SITE, were mindful decisions to focus in on incentive program management in the interest of professional development and immersion.
SITE: Name your favorite travel destination in the Northeast, US?
KW: There are so many – the Northeast US is a roadtripper’s paradise for us locals! From a personal travel standpoint, top-of-mind is Boston. Its rich history, beautiful seasonal transitions, varied sites and attractions, foodie hotspots, and exciting nightlife make this Northeast destination one of my favorites.
SITE: What is your favorite travel destination outside the Northeast, USA for incentive travel?
KW: Lausanne, Switzerland. Switzerland has such a rich and dynamic culture that is offers truly authentic experiences. There are abundant options for travel planners. There, Next Level Performance facilitated private helicopter flights around the Matterhorn. We also created a virtually private evening for our guests in the village of Gruyères, where our guests enjoyed local fare in traditional Swiss chalets, punctuated by visits from accordion players and cowbell ringers. They were even greeted by a couple of St. Bernard dogs, who quickly became the most popular guests of the evening! Of course, our valued local hotel and ground partners were essential in making this program a success – it takes a village!
SITE: What does incentive travel look like 10 years from now?
KW: As technology continues to provide immediacy, there will be an ever-increasing demand for individualized, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and gifts – including immersive entertainment and meal functions that allow guests to experience food in new and unique ways. In response to green efforts and evolving within the tech era, I believe we will graduate from printed materials and almost everything will be distributed electronically.
NXLP: Thank you, Kolleen for exhibiting Next Level corporate values of Collaboration with others in the incentive travel planning industry, and Service to others as you work within SITE to increase incentive travel knowledge, safety and effectiveness for all.
Here is the link to SITE’s own recognition.
Kolleen has also contributed her own Spotify Playlist to commemorate the occasion with energetic songs of triumph, and more than a hint of gold. Follow this link to Next Adventure - Kolleen Whitley!