Liz Sutton has successfully guided Alabama World Travel (AWT) by staying ahead of changes in the travel industry. She has altered the focus of the business twice, and just this summer the agency became part of a new program.
AWT is one of 300 services worldwide, and only two in Alabama, that will be part of the Virtuoso program, which promises to beat Internet offers on vacations and cruises, Sutton said.
The first change of direction for the enterprise came in the late 1980s when Liz Sutton and her husband, Bill, bought the business from her parents.
She said at that time almost all the work involved corporate travel, but with changes coming in the airline industry, a different direction was needed. The Suttons transitioned AWT into a cruise and vacation agency and flourished.
About 10 years later when the impact of the Internet was starting to be felt and seen, Sutton again sought another change and opened an incentive division to help businesses reward and retain productive employees by providing their best workers with vacations.
The decisions to make these changes and the timing of them have helped Sutton rack up numerous honors and awards in the travel industry.
She also has trained dozens of people involved in the field. From her Taylor Road office, she now oversees a staff of 12 that she calls AWT's greatest asset.