ASTA Honors Advisors and Suppliers of the Year at Global Convention

by Daniel McCarthy
ASTA Honors Advisors and Suppliers of the Year at Global Convention

ASTA's chair, David R. Hershberger, CTC, VTA, presenting the awards at this week's Global Convention. Photo: ASTA. 

During this year’s ASTA’s Global Convention in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, ASTA took time to honor those advisors and suppliers who have excelled over the past year, making long-lasting contributions to the travel industry and the trade as a whole.

“As the national trade association for the travel advisor community, ASTA strives to promote excellence within the trade,” said ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby.

“We’re pleased to use the occasion of our annual convention to lift up those professionals and companies who make lasting and meaningful contributions to the travel industry.”

This year’s ASTA Travel Advisor of the Year award, which used to be the organization’s Extra Mile award, was given to Marisel Aleman, the co-owner and vice president of Cruise Elite, Inc. in Ormond Beach, Florida. The award recognizes the advisor who went above and beyond to provide clients with exceptional experiences during the past year.

Aleman, a graduate of New York’s St. John’s University, started with Cruise Elite, Inc. nearly 15 years ago. She was a runner-up for the award last year during ASTA’s Washington, D.C., Global Convention.

This year’s runners-up were Sylvia Longmire, an independent agent with Nexion from Irving, Texas; and Jayne Knutsen, an advisor with World Travel, Inc. in Morgantown, Pennsylvania.

This year’s Susan D. Tanzman Inspiration Award, which was created to honor the legacy of long-time advisor advocate Susan Tanzman, was given to Jenn Lee of Travel Planners International.

Other partnership and chapter awards include ASTA’s Great Lakes chapter winning ASTA’s Chapter of the Year Award; and its Greater Seattle chapter winning the Chapter on the Rise Award. The International Chapter of the Year award was given to Myanmar.

On the supplier side, AmaWaterways was honored with ASTA’s Supplier Partner of the Year Award. The honor, along with all other supplier awards, was voted on by ASTA membership.

Other supplier awards include: Royal Caribbean’s Vicki Freed winning the Supplier Representative of the Year Award; American Airlines winning the Airline Partner of the Year Award; Enterprise Holdings winning the Transportation Partner of the Year Award; Sabre winning the GDS Partner of the Year Award; the Travel Corp. winning Tour Operator Partner of the Year Award; and Marriott International winning the Hotel Partner of the Year Award. 

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