AAA Honors Top Advisors, Suppliers at Conference

Henry Dennis being honored with AAA's Superlative Award for Highest Revenue(Photo by AAA)

AAA Travel hosted its annual conference October 20-22 in Seattle, Washington. With a theme of “Travel: Transforming the Member Experience,” the event hosted speakers including author and motivational speaker, Erik Qualman; journalist Ron Insana; and travel industry experts Terry Dale, CEO of the United States Tour Operators Association; Emmy Award-winning travel host Samantha Brown; Tourism Cares’ chief impact officer, Paula Vlamings; and more.

During the conference, AAA presented travel industry suppliers with Partner of the Year Awards in 14 categories. These awards recognize the partners’ commitment to providing AAA travel agents and members with exemplary travel services in their respective product categories, AAA said, and for marketing, member service and travel agency support. Additionally, four of AAA’s top-performing agents were honored with Travel Agent Superlative Awards.

2019 Partner of the Year Awards

Ocean Cruise Partner of the Year:
Royal Caribbean International

River Cruise Partner of the Year:
Viking Rivers

Guided Tour Partner of the Year:
Member Choice Vacations

Independent Tour Partner of the Year:
Pleasant Holidays

Lodging Partner of the Year:
BWH Hotel Group (Best Western)

Best in Marketing:

  • Cruise: Viking Rivers
  • Tour: Trafalgar
  • Lodging: Marriott International

Best in Member Service:

  • Cruise: AmaWaterways
  • Tour: African Travel
  • Lodging: BWH Hotel Group (Best Western)

Best in Travel Agency Support:

  • Cruise: Royal Caribbean International
  • Tour: Trafalgar
  • Lodging: BWH Hotel Group (Best Western)

2019 Travel Agent Superlative Awards

Henry Dennis, AAA Carolinas
Highest Sales Volume

Henry Dennis, a six-time Superlative Award winner, has more than 30 years of experience in the travel industry. In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree in in Tourism Management from Northeastern State University, he is a Certified Travel Counselor and Accredited Cruise Counselor. He holds multiple destination specialist accreditations, as well as numerous supplier and destination certifications. Dennis is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he has served AAA Carolinas’ members for more than 23 years.

Rhonda Bartnikowski, Auto Club Enterprises
Highest Revenue

Rhonda Bartnikowski, a nearly 25-year veteran of the travel industry, is an agent with Auto Club Enterprises, based in Williamsburg, Virginia. Her success comes from a philosophy of creating value and offering indispensable information, AAA said. She also relies on a wealth of product and destination expertise, helping her provide members a consistently high level of service.

Mary Brown, Auto Club Enterprises
Highest Preferred Cruise Sales

Mary Brown began working at Auto Club Enterprises in 2002 as a member service representative at the La Quinta, California, branch office. She was promoted to travel agent in 2010. Since then, she has received numerous awards for her performance and client service, including the club’s top cruise sales Superlative Award in 2012.

Julie Hill, AAA Auto Club Group
Highest Preferred Tour Sales

Julie Hill’s journey in the travel industry began in 1989 in her hometown of Camden, Maine. Realizing her passion for travel and wanting to advance her career, she became a travel agent with AAA Northern New England before eventually relocating to Naples, Florida. She has been with the Auto Club Group in Naples for the last 21 years, expanding her knowledge and expertise, earning her Certified Travel Associate designation, and destination specialist certifications for Hawaii, Africa and many travel suppliers.

The Partner of the Year Award selection process included surveys and evaluations from the association’s club travel agency executives. Superlative Awards are based on agents’ leisure travel productivity and leisure group sales from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019. Thousands of agents were eligible for the awards, and AAA clubs nominated their top achievers.

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