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In this issue, we present coverage of our annual Western Agents Votes of Excellence (WAVE) Awards, which were created to acknowledge advisors’ favorite travel companies. This is our 13th annual event, and I know the suppliers are truly honored by the agents’ votes.
In conjunction with the WAVE Awards, we also celebrate some of the top advisors in the West with our Trendsetter Awards. You can read about these agents — along with all the WAVE Award winners — starting on page 16 of this issue.
We’ve been presenting the Trendsetter Awards for 11 years, and I was recently asked if I noticed any traits that the winners have in common. Certainly, they all demonstrate the courage to think creatively and try something new, but they are also comfortable leading rather than following. It’s common to see Trendsetter finalists later become familiar names.
Whether they go on to win more awards, become top sellers or rise to executive roles in their companies, these advisors often go on to become industry leaders.
I used to pat myself on the back and think, “Wow, we really launched this person’s career” — until it occurred to me that all we do is recognize their inevitable success. We don’t create these top agents; we’re just a step along their path to greatness. In any case, it’s no less satisfying or inspiring to be part of that journey.
Finally, in completely practical terms, another trait all the Trendsetters have in common is the confidence to share their successes with others in the industry. They all understand the power of independent accolades as a way of enhancing their business reputations. Simply put: You have to enter to win, and all the Trendsetter finalists are willing to enter. So, if you think you have the qualities of an elite travel agent, keep an eye out for next year’s Trendsetter Awards (we usually call for entries in January). We know there are plenty of stars out there, and we are thrilled to shine the spotlight your way.