Crystal Green’s story is one of assuredness and persistence. She has been in the industry for 35 years, working for several different companies as well as spending time as an independent contractor, but always moving ahead. Green has spent the last decade with Luxe Travel, where she was just named vice president operations.
When Luxe Travel President and CEO Craig Carter decided to open offices in Boca Raton, FL, he reached out to Green through a recommendation based on her reputation. “To this day, we still chat about our mutual leap of faith when Craig asked me to join the company and I accepted,” she says.
Green got her start in the industry after she enrolled in Florida Atlantic University’s travel agent course. She was hired by the company that she interned with but was stuck being the ticket delivery person for months. One day, Green approached the owner to tell him to give her a chance; he told her he would determine when she was ready to sell. Two days later, he had her working as a corporate agent handling IBM. “When I asked why he changed his mind, he simply said because I had the confidence to ask for more,” she tells Luxury Travel Advisor.
Her parents opened their own travel agency and Green worked with them side by side for years. “I don’t remember things always being easy but we certainly loved working together as a team,” she notes. “We had lots of fun and enjoyed tremendous opportunities to travel.” She says the hijacking of the Achille Lauro in 1985 started “huge travel fears” and they closed the family agency.
She kept going and when she asked her travel school teacher for a letter of recommendation, the teacher, who also owned an agency, hired her on the spot. “Her trust gave me tremendous drive to excel,” Green says. In time, she would manage the office, and after it was acquired by a national company, Green was promoted to director of East Coast operations. When the agency consolidated, Green was tasked with converting the in-house staff to home-based advisors.
Always a believer in “pushing herself,” Green became president of a South Florida travel organization, despite truly fearing public speaking. Luckily, she often had two mentors cheering her on during meetings. “I tell that story because it was the driving force that moved me forward in my career,” Green says.
At Luxe, Green helped open the Boca Raton and Clearwater offices; she also assisted with the transition after the company’s purchase of Boca Raton Travel & Cruises. In her new role, Green will help oversee the $450 million company on a national level, where she will be crunching numbers, implementing projects, training and strategizing with her team as well as helping new clients and ICs.
Green’s colleagues selected her as Luxe Travel’s trendsetter to serve as an inspiration for others. “Although they know it has not always been easy, they recognize my passion, desire and hard work as I have advanced my career from delivering tickets to my recent promotion to vice president of operations,” she says.