Sandy Cleary, Vicki Freed Honored by CLIA

Vicki Freed Trade Relations Committee Chair Editorial
Vicki Freed was among those honored by CLIA at the Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards at Cruise360.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced the winners of the 2018 Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards at the Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards dinner during the CLIA Cruise360 conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL. These awards recognize individuals and organizations whose efforts and accomplishments represent a significant contribution to the cruise industry, CLIA said. 

Here are this year’s winners:

Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

Awarded to an individual from any aspect of the cruise industry who is an advocate for cruise travel and has made remarkable, positive contributions to the cruise industry. This year the selection committee elected to award Lifetime Achievement Awards to two individuals:

Sandy Cleary- Founder and CEO, CruCon Cruise Outlet: Cleary started CruCon Cruise Outlet 25 years ago in her mother’s basement because of her love of cruise travel. Due to Cleary’s leadership and innovative marketing strategy, CruCon Cruise Outlet is now among the largest sellers of cruises, with more than $135 million in annual cruise volume, CLIA said. She has won a number of awards and honors throughout her career for both her achievements in the cruise industry and her philanthropic efforts.

Vicki L. Freed, Senior Vice President, Sales and Trade Support & Service, Royal Caribbean International: Freed oversees Royal Caribbean’s sales force, the largest sales team in the cruise industry, as well as the global cruise line’s Trade Support and Service division, which includes Reservations, Group Sales and Customer Service plus the cruise line’s Consumer Outreach division. Freed joined the company after 29 years with Carnival Cruise Line, where she spent the last 15 years as senior vice president of Sales and Marketing. An industry pioneer, Freed also served as the first female chairman of CLIA from 1998 to 2000, CLIA said.

Travel Agency Innovator Award Winner

Awarded to a CLIA Travel Agency Member who has demonstrated innovation in their approach to promoting cruise travel and growing their cruise travel sales.

Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative: Founded by travel professionals, Cruise Planners is a home-based travel agent franchise network with more than 1,800+ franchise owners. 

Elite Cruise Counsellor of the Year Award Winner

Awarded to an Individual Agent Member who has demonstrated their commitment to professional development through achievement of Elite Cruise Counsellor or Elite Cruise Counsellor Scholar status – the pinnacle of CLIA certification with the requisite sales requirements – as well as significantly impacted the travel agent landscape through contributions to their agency.

Gary E. Smith, ECCS- TravelPerks Dream Vacations: Gary Smith has been in the travel industry for more than 15 years and is an Elite Cruise Counselor Scholar, the highest accreditation in the cruise industry. He is one of Dream Vacations’ top-producing travel agents and has forged strong connections with the cruise lines and is very involved with the development and growth of the industry, CLIA said.

The 2018 Cruise Industry Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards draw nominations from throughout the CLIA membership, CLIA said. Recipients of the awards are determined by a selection panel that includes representatives from the CLIA Strategic Trade Advisory and Review Board (STARBoard) and Trade Relations Committee.

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