2019 Excellence in Leadership Award
Matthew D. Upchurch
TravelAge West’s Excellence in Leadership Award honors
individuals who, in the course of their career in travel, have consistently
demonstrated leadership and insight, affected change or innovation and made
extraordinary contributions to both organizations and the industry at large.
For 2019, TravelAge West is honored to present this award to Matthew D.
Upchurch, CEO of Virtuoso.
A travel industry visionary with a lifetime of experience in
numerous sectors of the field, Upchurch has been at the helm of Virtuoso
(formerly Allied Percival International) since the organization’s founding in
1986. He’s the innovator behind the travel industry’s foremost retail luxury
travel brand and its luxury event, Virtuoso Travel Week (formerly Travel Mart).
In 2004, Upchurch was named to the American Society of
Travel Advisors Hall of Fame, and in 2010, to the Cruise Lines International
Association Hall of Fame. He has also served as the chairman of The Travel
Frequently sought after for his expertise on luxury travel,
Upchurch speaks regularly on the topic at industry conferences around the world
and with major media outlets.
He attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas,
and he holds a Certified Travel Counselor accreditation from The Travel
“Virtuoso is a leader in innovation and has constantly
raised the bar for the entire industry,” said Kenneth Shapiro, Editor-in-Chief
of TravelAge West. “Matthew’s passion for travel and travel advisors has not
only helped the organization grow and succeed; it has also made bucket-list
experiences more attainable for all travelers.”
Upchurch joins previous Excellence in Leadership award
winners who are also champions of the travel agent community.