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At the recently held 2013 WAVE Awards, Susan Tanzman became the second annual recipient of the TravelAge West Excellence in Leadership Award for her extraordinary contributions to the travel industry.
Drawing from more than 40 years of industry experience, Tanzman serves as president of Martin’s Travel and Tours in Los Angeles, is a current member of the board of directors of Ensemble Travel Group and has been named a Conde Nast World Travel Specialist for Hawaii for five consecutive years.
“It was a humbling experience, and I am very proud to receive this honor from my favorite publication,” Tanzman said of receiving the award.
Tanzman has previously served as president of both ASTA and SoCal ASTA, in addition to holding many other officer positions for the two organizations and receiving awards and distinctions from them. In 2002, she chaired an ASTA World Congress with more than 4,000 delegates in attendance.
In addition, Tanzman was instrumental in getting the California Seller of Travel Law written and enacted, serving as lead negotiator and author of many of its provisions. She has also held important roles in other legal battles for the travel industry, including offering testimony in the 1980s that helped enact legislation against travel scams.
“Susan is passionate and persuasive about our industry, even after being in it for more than four decades,” said Pamela Irwin, current president of SoCal ASTA, upon presenting Tanzman with the award. “She uses intelligence and innovation to the extreme, working tirelessly around the clock for all of us.”
“It was an emotional day, and to receive a standing ovation was truly a validation of my principles and my love of the industry that I believe in,” Tanzman said via Facebook. “We are a wonderful industry and, in our own way, we bring people together to celebrate our diversity. I am proud of my award as it is an award that is shared by all of us who stand up and make a difference.”
Michael Weldon, Viking River CruisesFavorite River Cruise Line Sales RepresentativeFor the second year in a row, Michael Weldon, sales manager for Viking River Cruises, took home the WAVE Award for Favorite River Cruise Line Sales Representative.
“It is my privilege to work on one of the best teams in the industry and to have the agents pick Michael for best sales manager is a great honor,” said Michele Saegesser, Viking’s vice president of sales. “Viking is very pleased to have one of our very best recognized for the second year in a row. Michael is one of the most respected cruise sales managers with great integrity and skill. We are so pleased to see the industry honor him once again.”
Megan Gillespie, Pleasant Holidays Favorite Tour Operator Sales RepresentativeTravel is second nature to Megan Gillespie, this year’s WAVE Award winner for Favorite Tour Operator Sales Representative, a category determined by travel agents’ write-in votes. She has traveled to more than 25 countries and she lived in Singapore for eight years.
Prior to joining Pleasant Holidays in 2010, Gillespie was the national training manager for a travel company focused on the young adult market. Currently, she utilizes her exceptional training and communication skills to assist her accounts in realizing their revenue and growth goals.
Jeff Pettus, director of sales at Pleasant Holidays, had this to say about Gillespie’s award: “I am extremely proud of Megan. It is exciting to see that our travel counselor partners agree that she is an exceptional sales representative, consistently providing the training, support and service needed to maximize revenue growth for their agencies.”
Randy Raudt, Royal Caribbean internationalFavorite Cruise Line Sales RepresentativeRandy Raudt’s love for the cruise industry began when his family sailed on Home Lines’ Oceanic in 1967 followed by Royal Caribbean’s relatively new Song of Norway in 1972. During his studies at the University of Florida and Nova Southeastern University, where he earned his law degree, Raudt financed his education by working onboard cruise ships. Although he left the industry for 10 years to practice law, he returned in 1996 and has held a variety of positions over the years.
In 2008, he moved to Southern California and has been working closely with his travel partners ever since.
Raudt sees his position as a blessing that allows him to work with some of the most creative entrepreneurial minds in the industry. Travel professionals working closely with Raudt describe him as passionate, caring and an “idea guy” with an infectious energy.
“Randy’s passion for where our ships visit and how our guests interact with our onboard experience comes out in everything that he does,” said Doug Grau, director of business development and sales west, for Royal Caribbean International. “Not only is it inspiring, but it’s something you can’t teach or learn — it just comes naturally. He reminds us all why we’re in the travel business.”
Diane Fraser, Aston Hotels & Resorts Favorite Hotel Company Sales RepresentativeDiane Fraser, from Aston Hotels & Resorts, and the WAVE winner in the category of Favorite Hotel Company Sales Representative, is no stranger to this honor, having won for the fifth year in a row.
Fraser serves as Aston’s regional sales manager for Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada and Oklahoma.
“Diane continues to demonstrate dedication and enthusiasm to support our travel agents each year,” said Shari Chang, senior vice president at Aston, “and many agents have contacted me personally to advise that they are loyal supporters of Aston because they know Diane will make sure their clients are taken care of. In the hospitality industry that makes a big difference and we are so very proud of her.”
2013 WAVE Award Recipients
AirBest Airline, DomesticDelta Air Lines
Best Airline, InternationalSingapore Airlines
Car RentalCar Rental Company Providing the Best Travel Agent SupportEnterprise Rent-a-Car
CruiseBest Onboard EntertainmentRoyal Caribbean International
Best Onboard Dining (ocean-going)Celebrity Cruises
Best Shore Excursion (ocean-going)Holland America Line
Cruise Line with the Highest Client Satisfaction (less than 1,100 passengers)Crystal Cruises
Cruise Line with the Highest Client Satisfaction (more than 1,100 passengers)Celebrity Cruises
Best New Ship (ocean-going)Disney Fantasy, Disney Cruise Line
Cruise Line Providing the Best Travel Agent SupportRoyal Caribbean International
Best Overall Cruise Line for River CruisingViking River Cruises
Best Onboard Dining (river cruise)Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Best New Ship (river cruise)AmaCerto, AmaWaterways
Best Shore Excursions (river cruise)Viking River Cruises
River Cruise Line Providing the Best Travel Agent SupportViking River Cruises
DestinationsDestination with the Highest Client Satisfaction, AsiaThailand
Destination with the Highest Client Satisfaction, EuropeItaly
Best Destination for Adventure, USAAlaska
Best of the West: Best Western Destination for Gay TravelSan Francisco
Favorite Three Night Weekend Destination to SellLas Vegas
Destination with the Highest Client Satisfaction, USAHawaii
Hotels/ResortsHotel/Resort Chain Providing the Best Travel Agent SupportStarwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide
Best New Property or Major Renovation, HawaiiOutrigger Waikiki on the Beach
Best New Property or Major Renovation, MexicoSecrets The Vine Cancun
Best New Property or Major Renovation, CaribbeanSandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort
Best Resort for Families, MexicoDreams Cancun Resort & Spa
Best Resort for Families, CaribbeanBeaches Turks & Caicos
Best Resort for Couples, HawaiiGrand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa
Best All-Inclusive Resort, MexicoSecrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun
Best All-Inclusive Resort, CaribbeanSandals Emerald Bay
Best Hotel Chain USA/CanadaMarriott International
InsuranceBest Travel Insurance CompanyTravel Guard
Tour OperatorsBest Tour Operator, EscortedGlobus Family of Brands
Best Tour Operator, FITTravel Impressions
Best Tour Operator, Africa/Middle EastAbercrombie & Kent
Best Tour Operator, AsiaPacific Delight Tours
Best Tour Operator, CaribbeanGogo Vacations
Best Tour Operator, Central/South AmericaGlobus Family of Brands
Best Tour Operator, EuropeTrafalgar
Best Tour Operator, HawaiiPleasant Holidays
Best Tour Operator, MexicoApple Vacations
Best Tour Operator, USA/CanadaTauck
Tour Operator Providing the Best Travel Agent SupportGlobus Family of Brands
Tourism BoardOfficial International Tourist Board Providing the Best Travel Agent SupportMexico Tourism Board
RailBest North American Rail Vacation ProviderRocky Mountaineer
Laurie Doerschlen,TravelAge West, Greg Bernd, Classic Vacations and Julie Zadeh, Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau
Susan Tanzman/Martin's Travel & Tours, Theresa Lock and Joy Tanzman
Kenneth Shapiro, Editor-in-Chief, TravelAge West
Jonathan Alder, a Trendsetter Winner (Far Right) with friends
Jorge Gamboa, Mexico Tourism Board (L), Vicente Madrigal/Paradisus Playa del Carmen and guests
L-R: Vicky Tomasino/Carnival Cruise Lines, Paul Wiseman/Trafalgar, Elayne Raksyns/Insight Vacations & Jennifer Buenrostro/Carnival Cruise Lines
Michele Saegesser/Viking Cruises, Rachel Gutierrez/Travel Weekly, Adriann Dunlop/Viking Cruises, Michelle Rosenberg/NTM, Erik De La Cruz,/Viking Cruises
Marc Mancini/Marc Mancini Seminars & Consulting (L) and Frank Marini/Yankee Leisure Group
Jessica Barrow/G Adventures and guest Robert Potts
Ron Cerko/Enterprise Holdings (L) and Bruce Shulman/Northstar Travel Media
Doug Grau/Royal Caribbean International
Michelle Rosenberg/Northstar Marketing Solutions and Willie Montano/CIE Tours International
John Glowicki/Montecito Travel, Randy Raudt/Royal Caribbean International, Edie Bornstein/Azamara Club Cruises
Joshua Poole/Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
Andi Myza/Montrose Travel (L) and Susie Casillas/Club Med
Viola De Velasco, Pam Koepf and Laura Beaulieu with Avoya Travel
L-R: Theresa Lock, Donna Cook, Denise Schaefer and Wendi Adamson
Greg Bernd/Classic Vacations (L) and Brad Anderson/Avoya Travel
Vicente Madrigal and Guest/Paradisus Playa del Carmen
Guests from All-Travel
Monzerrath Gonzalez/TravelAge West (L) and Kulpramote Wannalert/Tourism Authority of Thailand
Melissa Krueger/Travel Impressions (L) and Tammy Wright/Wright Travel
Guests from Avoya Travel, TravelAge West and Collette Vacations
L-R: Tom Kemp/ Northstar Travel Media, Bob Sullivan/Northstar Travel Media, Ron Cerko/Enterprise Holdings, Bruce Shulman/Northstar Travel Media
Guests enjoying the garden at the Four Seasons
Guests from G Adventures, Sandals Resorts and Mexico Tourism Board
Viking Cruises Representatives & Guests
Enjoying the garden at the WAVE Awards/Four Seasons Hotel
Ken Shapiro with Susan Tanzman of Martin Travel and Tours // © 2013 Volker Corell
Michael Weldon, Viking River Cruises // © 2013 Volker Corell
Megan Gillespie, Pleasant Holidays // © 2013 Volker Corell
Randy Raudt, Royal Caribbean international // © 2013 Volker Corell
Diane Fraser, Aston Hotels & Resorts // © 2013 Volker Corell