Honours Top Members, Partners

VacationDOTcom-group-May11 recently honoured top member agencies and partners with its ninth annual “Power of the Partnership” (POP) Awards.

This year’s POP Awards recognized 15 of the organization’s most successful Canadian and US member agencies and 15 top supplier partners. The honours were announced during the farewell reception on May 1 at’s 17th International Conference & Trade Show onboard Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas.

“Our members are as influential in’s success as we are in their success. Each of our outstanding member winners has excelled in their profit-making ability and personalized customer service and has worked diligently to earn this distinction,” said Christine James, vice-president, Canada.

Two Chairman’s Awards were given to Canadian and US agencies with the highest supplier sales in 2014. A total of seven agencies earned the President’s Award for the largest supplier sales growth in three categories in 2014. The winners included:
2015 Chairman’s Award: Robert Q Travel; Nancy Woodworth (London, Ont.).

2015 President’s Award: Canadian Large Agency – The Destination Experts; Deanna Byrne (Windsor, Ont.); Canadian Medium Agency – Sunrise Travel Services; Jessica St. John (Halifax); Canadian Small Agency – Adria Travel Services Ltd.; Sonja Paunovic (Winnipeg). also recognized CruisePRO Members of the Year. This award was presented to member agencies with the most sales using the organization’s exclusive cruise booking tool. The winners included: KVI Travel; Kyle Oram (Kelowna, BC).

In addition, the Top Newcomer Member of the Year award honoured one new Canadian and US agency each that has immediately demonstrated support for the organization by adopting its programs, embraced its suppliers, given valuable feedback and attended key events. The Canadian winner was Marco Polo Travel; Jackie Ma (Vancouver). also presented awards to its top agencies utilizing Travel Leaders Group’s proprietary Worldwide Hotel Program. The winners included Custom Travel Solutions Calgary; Beth Gardner (Calgary).

The 2015 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 its partners based on their specific product category, they were also recognized based on’s 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 preferred partner awards were voted on by members.

This year’s supplier winners included: Pinnacle Award (North America Partner of the Year) – Viking Cruises; Air Partner of the Year – Air New Zealand; Ground Transportation Partner of the Year – The Hertz Corporation; Cruise Partner of the Year – Celebrity Cruises; Specialty Cruise Partner of the Year – Crystal Cruises; Escorted Tour Partner of the Year – Globus family of brands; Canadian Package Tour of the Year – WestJet Vacations; Canadian Insurance Partner of the Year – Manulife/RBC Insurance’ Canadian “Belong” Partner of the Year – TravelBrands; Canadian “Inspire” Partner of the Year – Globus family of brands; Canadian “Grow” Partner of the Year – Sunwing Vacations/Signature Vacations.

Pictured with James (third from left) at the conference are some of the Canadian winners (l-r) Jennifer Waver, Manulife Insurance; Rob Iafrate, Manulife Insurance; Stephanie Bishop, Globus family of brands; Bilal Chaudhary, WestJet Vacations; Maggie Valz, Vacation Express (attending on behalf of Sunwing); and Shelley Kopys, Manulife Insurance.