Auto Rental News honored two car rental professionals with the Professional of the Year award at the 2019 International Car Rental Show at Paris Las Vegas.
In the vendor category, the judging was based on several elements including customer service, operations management, sales, leadership, and industry and community involvement. In the operator category, which honored an associate from a corporate, franchise, or independent location, judges looked for a person who demonstrated and promoted outstanding customer satisfaction within the car rental process.
Presented with trophies at the 2019 International Car Rental Show, the winners follow:
Alaska Auto Rental's David Justice was chosen as the 2019 Professional of the Year in the operator category. With over 20 years of experience in the car rental industry, Justice has transformed several car rental companies into successful rental agencies.
As the south central region rental manager, Justice is responsible for all aspects of operations, including team leading and training, developing partnerships with hospitality and transportation providers, ensuring positive customer experience, developing new market segments, identify and growing partnerships with service vendors, and negotiating preferred rates for services.
He acts as an ambassador of Alaska to tourists and visitors, quickly and professionally resolves customer service, and identifies and institutes new services and offerings based on customer needs and preferences.
"The 2019 Auto Rental Professional of the Year is an individual who has spent over two decades actively involved in the auto rental industry assisting multiple independent car rental operators in growing and improving their businesses," Chris Brown, executive editor of Auto Rental News, said of Justice at the award ceremony. "This individual has initiated and implemented innovative ideas to bring improvements to the marketing efforts, customer service processes, and management of auto rental businesses, and consistently has gone beyond the call of duty by tirelessly investing their time and energy year after year to ensure their customers receive the best possible rental experience. These efforts, combined with a unique ability to establish strategic partnerships with associated industries, has increased customer satisfaction and revenue growth at every car rental business that has been privileged to have him on their team."
Teresa Quale, executive director of Sonoran National Insurance Group, was honored as a Professional of the Year in the vendor category. Her agency specializes in providing insurance products to the rental industry.
With 35 years of insurance experience, Quale has developed marketing and underwriting solutions. She joined Sonoran National Insurance in 2008 as an expert in the rental field.
Quale's dedication to educating clients was highlighted throughout her nomination forms.
"[Quale] shares resources that she has accumulated over the years of being in a specialized industry," one of her anonymous nominators wrote. "Many agency directors do not get directly involved with concerns of the client, closing a sale, or answering questions — that's left up to the producer or rep. She is an invaluable source of information and eager to share and help. She is an advocate for the client by offering solutions and by developing her staff to their utmost potential."
Quale was furthered described as a "model for how she wants her employees to be and how she would like to be known in the industry — responsible, knowledgeable, and resourceful."
Outside of the office, Quale chair of the Public Library Board, a member of the Board of Independent Insurance Agents and the Board of a Reinsurance Corporation, and is involved in numerous community organizations.