KHM Travel Agent Spotlight: Donna Gilmore

Donna: I’ve been working for the government
for about 40 years, I did it for about 40 years. Off camera: What did you do for the Federal
Government? Donna: You know, whenever I say “if I tell
you I have to kill you,” no. I did personnel security, I decided who received
security clearance. I did that, yea. I actually adjudicated your case, your claim,
looked at every – all your dirtiness, all your goodness and made a decision if you were
worthy of security clearance. Off camera: That sounds, like, intimidating. Donna: It was great, it was very stressful. Off camera: Is that why you got into Vacations? Donna: Ha, yea how about that! Off camera: Can you please say your first
and last name? Donna: Donna Gilmore. Okay, the name of my travel agency is Sunbreeze
Travel. And I chose that purposefully. I’m a sun girl. I love just being out in the sun, I love the
wind whipping through my hair. I came up with that because I wanted to emote
a smile on somebody’s face if they say “Sunbreeze.” Donna: I was about to retire from the federal
government, and I knew I wanted to have some type of business where I could help others. And I love to travel. Being a military spouse, I mean we traveled
all the time. But, this time I really wanted to do something
where I could help others in their quest for travel. So, I started hunting for a host agency, and
I stumbled upon KHM. At first, I thought I was just gonna do it
like a hobby, then I said: “this could be a great business.” Donna: The biggest thing is the suppliers
are there. I don’t have to go hunt for them and form
a relationship or an alliance with them, KHM has given me everything I need. I have all the tools I need to succeed. I have a relationship with the suppliers because
KHM has a great relationship with the suppliers. So, I already have my passwords, I go into
the different sites, I book, I mean it’s really easy – they’ve made very easy for me. And, I think, KHM just does a bang-up job
in providing education period. By and large, those things, those logistical
pieces, are already in place so I can just work my business. Donna: I love group cruises. I love putting the deal together, I love bringing
all the people together on the ship, and I love going with them. One of my favorite moments is the first group
I escorted on a cruise. It was a big family, and I decided to a wings
and beer pre-cruise night event. And I stood up and talked to everybody, hand
out my little goodie bags. I told everybody “have a great time. Eat, drink, and be merry. Be ready to leave by 9 am tomorrow, we are
going on this cruise.” And I, you know, gave them my little spiel
on what I would be able to do for them and what I wouldn’t do for them on the cruise. You know, you’re an adult, go to Guest Services
first before you hunt me down, that type of thing. But one of the guests stood up and said “I
have cruised quite a bit, but I’ve never had a travel agent go with me on a cruise. I will always book my cruises with you.” That was a great moment for me. Donna: I would tell any agent watching this:
Do your homework. Before you start asking a lot of questions,
do your homework, this is what you’re supposed to do. Do your own research, then reach out to others. Put some skin in the game, you have to have
some skin in the game. This is your business, work your business. And treat it like a business, not a hobby. If you treat it like a business, you will
grow like a business. You treat it like a hobby, you may give it
up sooner than later, and if you give it up, send your clients to me. [laughter]

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