Honors Members and Partners

blue reports it honored top member agencies and partners with its eighth annual “Power of the Partnership” (POP) Awards recognizing 12 of the most successful United States and Canadian member agencies and 17 top supplier partners. The honors were announced during’s 16th International Conference in Las Vegas, NV. 

“It’s an exceptional honor to recognize these members as our POP Award winners based on their achievements over the past year. These savvy, successful agencies consistently provide top-notch customer service and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to their clientele that resulted in tremendous success,” said president John Lovell.

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Two Chairman’s Awards were given to the United States and Canadian agencies with the highest supplier sales in 2013. A total of six agencies earned the President’s Award for largest supplier sales growth in three categories in 2013. 

The winners included: 

2014 Chairman’s Award

  • U.S. Agency – CruCon Cruise Outlet Plus; Sandra Cleary (Moultonborough, NH)
  • Canadian Agency – Robert Q Travel; Nancy Woodworth (London, ON) 

2014 President’s Award

  • U.S. Large Agency – KHM Travel Group; Rick Zimmerman (Brunswick, OH)
  • U.S. Medium Agency – Uniglobe Travel Designers; Richard Holycross (Columbus, OH)
  • U.S. Small Agency – The Travel Store, Inc.; Joyce Taylor (Oyster Bay, NY)
  • Canadian Large Agency – Custom Travel Solutions; Beth Gardner (Calgary, AB)
  • Canadian Medium Agency – All In One Travel & Services Ltd.; Miroslava Plihtiak (Mississauga, ON)
  • Canadian Small Agency – Pose Travel; Kristy Melse (Peachland, BC) also recognized the CruisePRO Member of the Year – awarded to the U.S and Canadian member agencies with the most sales using the organization’s cruise booking tool. The winners: 

2014 CruisePRO Member of the Year

·         U.S. Agency – Yankee Trails World Travel; Jeff Adams (Rensselaer, NY)
·         Canadian Agency – KVI Travel; Kyle Oram (Kelowna, BC) 

In addition, the Top Newcomer Member of the Year award honored one new U.S. and Canadian agency that has immediately demonstrated support for the organization by adopting its program, embraced its suppliers, given valuable feedback and attended key events. The winners included: 

2014 Top Newcomer Member of the Year

  • U.S. Agency – Custom Travel Professionals, LLC; Jill Hiers (Clinton, MS)
  • Canadian Agency – Handa Travel; Inder Handa (Ottawa, ON) 

The 2014 Supplier POP Award winners were chosen based on exceeding overall needs and providing supreme support in specific areas of agent interest such as marketing, technology and education and training. 

In addition to honoring partners based on their specific product category, they were also recognized based on’s new membership concept of “Belong. Inspire. Grow.”

The “Pinnacle” award was presented to the overall top performing supplier in hotel, car, tour, insurance and cruise in North America. All partner awards were voted on by members. 

“ prides itself on selecting and working with the best suppliers the industry has to offer. It’s very gratifying to know that our members’ needs are being met at the highest standard,” said Dave Spinelli,’s vice president of industry relations.

This year’s supplier winners were:

  • Pinnacle Award (North America Partner of the Year) – Celebrity Cruises
  • Cruise Partner of the Year – Royal Caribbean International
  • Escorted Tour Partner of the Year – Globus family of brands
  • Ground Transportation Partner of the Year – The Hertz Corporation
  • Hotel Partner of the Year – Marriott International
  • Specialty Cruise Partner of the Year – Viking Cruises
  • U.S. Individual Tour Partner of the Year – Funjet Vacations
  • U.S. Insurance Partner of the Year – Travel Guard
  • Canadian Package Tour Partner of the Year – WestJet Vacations
  • Canadian Insurance Partner of the Year – RBC Insurance
  • Air Partner of the Year – Virgin Atlantic Airways
  • U.S. ‘Belong’ Partner of the Year – Royal Caribbean International
  • U.S. ‘Inspire’ Partner of the Year – Norwegian Cruise Line
  • U.S. ‘Grow’ Partner of the Year – Celebrity Cruises
  • Canadian ‘Belong’ Partner of the Year – Globus family of brands
  • Canadian ‘Inspire’ Partner of the Year – G Adventures
  • Canadian ‘Grow’ Partner of the Year – Sunwing Vacations