Vacation.com reports that two if its most successful long-time members are receiving industry recognition. Sherrie and Charlie Funk, of Just Cruisin’ Plus in Nashville, TN, will be inducted into the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Hall of Fame during a VIP reception on Saturday, April 28, 2012, at the cruise3sixty conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
The Funks will be receiving CLIA’s Cruise Retailer award, which “recognizes individuals whose efforts and accomplishments represent a significant contribution to noteworthy achievement that has positively affected the development of the business of cruise vacations.”
“Sherrie and Charlie Funk are two of our industry’s most talented cruise-focused agency owners and great supporters of Vacation.com,” said Vacation.com President John Lovell. “They are incredibly deserving of the honor.”
Combined, according to Vacation.com, the Funks have 66 years of experience in the travel industry and have earned multiple industry awards and certifications. Sherrie and Charlie met while doing business together in 1974. Sherrie started booking travel for collegiate sporting events, the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, and tours – and business took off from there.
Shortly after they married in 1981, Sherrie – along with two other business partners – started Pacesetter Tours. Sherrie and Charlie eventually bought all shares of the company, changed its direction to concentrate primarily on cruises, and adopted a new company name. In 1988, Just Cruisin’ Plus was born. It became Tennessee’s first cruise-only travel agency. Charlie then joined the company full time in 1993.
“It’s truly an honor to be recognized by CLIA. I really don’t think Charlie and I could run this company without the help of each other,” Sherrie said. “Charlie is the pragmatic one; I’m the dreamer. The synergy between the two of us makes working together and living together a wonderful thing.”
Members of Vacation.com since its inception in 1998, the Funks credit the organization for helping them boost their profits and continue to offer their clients superior service.
“Vacation.com is and has been instrumental in the success of our business through the many leading-edge marketing programs, technology, and training programs,” Charlie said. “I believe our selection into the CLIA Hall of Fame is based in part on our training and sharing activities for the benefit of other agencies. Vacation.com provided the opportunity and the venue for us to share with other members those things we find important in operating a retail agency productively and profitably.”
Producers of one of the largest consumer cruise and vacation shows in the Southeastern U.S., the Funks are nationally recognized speakers and trainers in the travel industry, and the authors of numerous books on the travel industry business, Vacation.com says. Their company has earned several honors, including sales awards from the industry’s largest cruise lines, and recognition for cruise and travel promotions.
“To even be named in the same context with those previously inducted into CLIA’s Hall of Fame is an honor,” Charlie continued. “To be seen as having made a contribution to the cruise industry as other members have is humbling and gratifying.”