While other travel agencies were succumbing to the advent of online search engines and post-9/11 woes, Tammy Levent grew her company, Elite Travel, into a 100-million-dollar business. But economic setbacks are just a fraction of the obstacles the respected entrepreneur and branding expert has overcome. As a speaker, best-selling author, and highly sought-after consultant, Levent inspires and teaches others how to build and leverage strategic partnerships along with her other tried-and-tested techniques for turning failing businesses around and growing brands from scratch.
At age 17, Levent co-founded 7 Islands Shipping, a leading export company. Following her love of diamonds, she sold 7 Islands and opened up a jewelry store. However, an armed robbery stripped Levent of her inventory and her savings. Just a few months later, a car accident killed her grandmother and left Levent’s two young children in the Intensive Care Unit. With $180,000 in business and medical debt and mouths to feed, Levent jumpstarted her career in the travel industry, equipped only with a phone line, a fax machine, and a relentless drive to succeed.
Mixing sharp business acumen with interpersonal savvy, Levent sought and formed numerous partnerships to build Elite Travel into one of the top travel groups in the nation. Today, she is an internationally known name within the travel industry, though her proven techniques and strategies have helped her cross over to numerous other industries as a speaker and consultant. She is a 3-time recipient of Business Journal’s Fast 50, Top 30 List of Women-Owned Businesses for 16 years in a row, winner of the Best of the Best American Express Global award for 6 years straight, and multiple Magellan and Travvy Awards for most Innovative Travel Agency.
Levent is seen by 30 million households during her weekly travel segment, JustGoTrav, on NBC Daytime. Additionally, she is the author of the best-selling book Sink or Swim and a contributing author to Women Who Mean Business.