At a black-tie celebration on Tuesday, April 25 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Southern California chapter of the American Society of Travel Agents (SoCal ASTA) honored two travel industry stalwarts – Anastasia Mann of Corniche Travel and Lois Mitchell of Protravel – with the its Diamond Award.
The event, which also celebrated the chapter’s 82-year anniversary, was attended by over 250 notables in the luxury travel industry from Southern California, ranging from agency owners and supplier executives to top frontline travel advisors.
Mann and Mitchell were recognized for their unique, lasting, and extraordinary contributions to the travel industry and for their ongoing support of ASTA on a local, state, and national level, SoCal ASTA said. Previous Diamond Honorees include Matthew Upchurch, Edie Rodriguez, Ken Shapiro, Susan Tanzman, Joe Watters, Marc Mancini, Ed Hogan, Vicki Freed, Randy Garfield, The Orens Family, The McClure Family, Wido Schaefer, Jimmy Murphy, Michelle Morgan, Jerry Healy, and Miriam Rand.
The evening’s other notable SoCal ASTA award winners were:
- Professional Development Award: Virtuoso
- Susan D. Tanzman Advocacy Award: Ensemble Travel Group
- Travel Agent of the Year: Katie Cadar, TravelStore
- Millennial of the Year: Myste Wylde, Protravel
- Allied Member of the Year: Geraldine Harvey, Outrigger Hotels
- Cruise Representative of the Year: Randall Raudt, JD, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
- Hotel Representative of the Year: Aiko Accame, Dorchester Hotels
- Air Representative of the Year: Ranjan Goswami, Delta Air Lines
- Tour Representative of the Year: Robbe Pollack , Trafalgar Tours
- Travel Insurance Representative of the Year: Julie Baker, TripAssure
SoCal ASTA President Tama Holve and Treasurer and Immediate Past President Pamela Irwin thanked SoCal ASTA members and volunteers for their continued support and their efforts in making the evening a success. They also thanked the Beverly Hills Hotel for playing host to the Diamond Awards for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, ASTA’s Chairman of the Board Jay Ellenby, of Safe Harbors Business Travel Group, highlighted ASTA’s recent legislative accomplishments. Active SoCal ASTA chapter members Mansour Travel and Plaza Travel were also congratulated for being recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal as being among the best places to work in the area.
A portion of the proceeds from the evening’s silent auction will be donated to ASTAPAC, the California Coalition of Travel Organizations, and local charities: St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, Children’s Hospital, ALS, Crysalis, Feed Appalachia, Mobile Loaves and Fishes, and The Fred Jordan Mission.
In addition to Holve and Irwin, the SoCal ASTA Board includes: Patricia Thorington, vice president; Rhonda Shumway, secretary; Stan Jones, Past President’s Committee chair; Bell O. de Souza, Venues Committee chair; Sheri Machat, Supplier Relations Committee chair; Susan Tanzman, Legislative Committee chair; Steve Orens, Membership Committee chair; and John Smith, ASTAPAC chair.
This year, SoCal ASTA partnered with PBS in a consumer awareness campaign and with The Travel Institute to provide 20 full scholarships to help travel professionals complete their CTA, CTC, or CTIE programs.