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CLIA announces 2017 Cruise Industry Hall of Fame Award Winners at 13th Annual Cruise360 Conference

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Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is proud to announce the 2017 Cruise Industry Hall of Fame Award Winners.

The awards recognize individuals and organizations whose efforts and accomplishments represent a significant contribution to the cruise industry. The 2017 Award Winners were honored at the Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards dinner during the CLIA Cruise360 conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL on Saturday, April 22, 2017.
“The nominees for Hall of Fame represent the best and brightest individuals in the cruise industry and our winners this year are the most talented and dedicated members of this group,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “We are proud to host the Hall of Fame Awards to highlight the ongoing dedication and passion for advancing the cruise industry forward.”
Congratulations to the 2017 Cruise Industry Hall of Fame Award Winners:
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER – Awarded to an individual or individuals from any aspect of the cruise industry that is an advocate for cruise travel and has made remarkable positive contributions to the cruise industry.
David Crooks- Senior Vice President of Product & Operations, World Travel Holdings, Wilmington, MA- David Crooks has served as Senior Vice President of Product & Operations where he is responsible for overseeing the growth and profitability of all cruise and land sales through its various distribution channels as well as for overseeing all supplier relationships. He has been with World Travel Holdings/NLG since NLG’s inception in 1986 and has held a variety of positions including Director of Sales and Training. Crooks began his career in the travel industry as a tour director for Paragon Tours and Travel and then served as its Director of Tour Escorts. He also worked for the St. Moritz-on-the-Park, New York, NY, and for Cunard Line as a member of the onboard cruise staff. Crooks is a graduate of Niagara University. A video about David Crooks is available here.
“David is an industry veteran and icon with a career spanning over 30 years with World Trade Holdings.  I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with David over most of his 30 years in different capacities.  He is an expert negotiator and works hard to get a deal that works for him but is also fair to the supplier.  He is extremely well respected at WTH and with all of the cruise suppliers,” says Adolfo M. Perez, Vice President of Trade Sales and Marketing, Carnival Cruise Line. “David is a household name in the cruise industry.  He is passionate about his work, he is passionate about the cruise industry, and he is passionate about doing the right thing for his customers and his suppliers.  His long and respected career, his ability to not only work hard for his company but for the suppliers he’s loyal to, and his vast knowledge and understanding of our sometimes very complicated industry make David a perfect choice for a CLIA Lifetime Achievement Award.”
TRAVEL AGENCY INNOVATOR AWARD WINNER – Awarded to a travel agency that has demonstrated innovation in their approach to promoting the benefits and value of cruise travel.
Travel Leaders Network – Plymouth, MN – Travel Leaders Network was nominated by a variety of travel professionals due to their dedication to transforming travel and their commitment to vacation and business travel clients via a progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. As one of America’s top ten-ranked travel companies, Travel Leaders has assisted millions of travelers through strong roots with the former Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates, TraveLeaders and Tzell Travel Group joining together in 2008 to form one of the industry’s fastest-growing and robust networks of travel agents. Travel Leaders Franchise Group began in 1984 as the franchise system “Ask Mr. Foster Travel,” which itself was North America’s first travel agency chain established in 1888.
ELITE CRUISE COUNSELLOR OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER – Awarded to an Individual Travel Agent who has demonstrated their commitment to professional development through achievement of Elite Cruise Counsellor or Elite Cruise Counsellor Scholar status, the pinnacle of CLIA certification, as well as significantly impacted the travel agent landscape through contributions to their agency.
Joni Cohen – Party Cruisers, Etc., New York, NY – Joni Cohen has been in the travel industry since 1981 and is an Elite Cruise Counselor Scholar, the highest accreditation in the cruise industry. She was originally affiliated with a large travel organization as their cruise specialist and after six successful years when she founded and formed Party Cruiser’s Etc. Joni centered the company on exceptional personal service and highly competitive pricing. Joni also leverages her unique business practices including personal visits that accommodate clients’ schedules and creating “Cruise Nights” for organizations to create a continuously successful organization.
The 2017 Cruise Industry Hall of Fame Awards give CLIA Members the opportunity to nominate and select the award recipients in the three aforementioned categories.  CLIA Members and leaders from the CLIA STARBoard and Trade Relations Committee nominated and voted for the 2017 winners.

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