Best in Class 2017: ASTA Recognizes Industry SuperstarsPress Releases - News - ASTA

September 7, 2017

Contact: Erika Richter

Best in Class 2017: ASTA Recognizes Industry Superstars

Alexandria, VA, September 7, 2017 – The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) recognized the superstars of the travel industry last week at the ASTA Global Convention (AGC) in San Diego, August 27-29. During the convention, attended by more than 1,000 agents, suppliers and industry professionals, ASTA recognized frontline travel agents and agency owners who go above and beyond in caring for their customers as well as those suppliers most supportive of the trade as voted on by ASTA members.

“As the national trade association for travel agencies and agents of all business models, 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.”

Extra Mile Award:
The top annual award for agents is the ASTA Extra Mile Award, sponsored again this year by Enterprise Holdings. The award recognizes the travel agent who has gone the extra mile in the last 12 months to provide exceptional service for a client in a new and creative way that goes above and beyond the normal course of business. Congratulations Lisa Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Travel!

Entrepreneur of the Year Award: 
Established by the Dan and Gloria Bohan Foundation to promote entrepreneurship in the travel and hospitality industry. Each year, the Foundation, in conjunction with ASTA, selects one person or organization that best exemplifies this spirit of entrepreneurship to receive the award and a $10,000 cash prize. Congratulations toDavid Chait from Travefy!

Individual supplier awards given to companies that recognized the agency community for the value they provide, as voted on by the ASTA membership:

  • Partner Company of the Year: Carnival Corporation
  • Partner Representatives of the Year: Jeff Coggin, Enterprise Holdings and Cynthia Perry, Marriott International
  • International Airline Partner of the Year: Emirates
  • River Cruise Line Partner of the Year: AmaWaterways
  • Tour Operator Partner of the Year: The Mark Travel Corporation
  • Wholesale Partner of the Year: Classic Vacations
  • Destination Partner of the Year: Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau
  • Technology & Transaction Partner of the Year: UATP
  • GDS Partner of the Year: Sabre
  • Travel Insurance Partner of the Year: AIG - Travel Guard
  • North American Airline Partner of the Year: Alaska Airlines
  • Transportation Partner of the Year: Enterprise Holdings
  • All-Inclusive Property Partner of the Year: AMResorts
  • Hotel Partner of the Year: Marriott International
  • Contemporary Cruise Line Partner of the Year: Royal Caribbean International
  • Luxury Cruise Line Partner of the Year: Crystal Cruises
  • Premium Cruise Line Partner of the Year: Celebrity Cruises

Partnership awards were also given to ASTA members, chapters and partner organizations:

  • Host Agency of the Year: UNIGLOBE Travel Center and KHM Travel Group
  • Consortia of the Year: Virtuoso
  • International Chapter of the Year: ASTA Kenya Chapter
  • Chapter of the Year: ASTA Mid America
  • Young Professional of the Year: Jeffrey Pawid
  • ASTA Lifetime Achievement Award: Rick Mazza, TravelSavers

ASTA advocates on behalf of the travel agency community at all levels of government, within the industry and before the traveling public. The following awards were presented at ASTA’s black-tie Advocacy Dinner during Global Convention:

  • Chapter Advocacy Award: ASTA Long Island Chapter
  • Paul Ruden Industry Ambassador Award: Alex Sharpe, Signature Travel Network 
  • Barbara O’Hara Advocacy Award: William Haire, Travelink/American Express Travel and Gloria Stock Mickelson, Travel Leaders Network

For more information on previous award winners, visit or check out these great pictures ofall our award winners!


About the ASTA Awards Program:
All awards are voted on by the ASTA membership and presented at the ASTA Global Convention. The awards recognize professionals who make lasting contributions to the industry and recognize suppliers who show a willingness to partner with agencies and reward their travel agent sales force accordingly.

Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit Consumers can connect with an ASTA travel advisor at

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