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CLIA announces 2021 North America Hall of Fame cruise industry award winners

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Award winners were inducted at the Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards Gala Dinner during the CLIA Cruise360 conference in Hollywood, Florida on Thursday, July 29, 2021.

WASHINGTON D.C. - Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced the 2021 North America Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards. The awards identify individuals and organizations whose efforts and accomplishments represent a significant contribution to the cruise industry in the United States and Canada. Award winners were inducted at the Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards Gala Dinner during the CLIA Cruise360 conference in Hollywood, Florida on Thursday, July 29, 2021.

“The Hall Of Fame winners represent the best of the best -innovative, visionary and committed-this group demonstrates passion, dedication and a continued commitment to propel the cruise industry forward,” said Kelly Craighead, CLIA President and CEO. “CLIA is honored to acknowledge the hard work of these exceptional industry leaders.”

CLIA congratulates the 2021 North America Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Award winners:

Lifetime Achivement Award Winner
Awarded to an individual who is a lifetime champion of cruise travel and has made monumental contributions to the cruise industry.

Scott Koepf – Senior Vice President of Strategic Development, Cruise Planners
After getting bitten by the travel bug, Scott was compelled to open one of the country’s first cruise-only travel agencies just two weeks after his first cruise. Over the course of his career, Scott took on many leadership roles including with Club Med, Sitmar Cruises, Cruise Holidays International, GalaxSea Cruises, Sabre, Nexion, Avoya Travel – his impact was wide-reaching. Today, he is Cruise Planners’ Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning leading events, training, and strategic partnerships where he is able to make a positive impact on the network’s 2,500 travel advisors across the country. 

Scott also gives back to the industry by writing regular sales articles tapping into his personal stories about being a football player, opera singer and shipboard entertainer, leading to his two well-known monikers “The Sales Coach” and “The Singing Salesman.” As a natural entertainer, Scott leverages his on-stage presence with tried-and-true sales advice to inspire travel advisors from all walks of life and all over the world including in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

He has passionately served in leadership positions for National Association of Cruise Only Agencies (NACOA), National Association of Career Travel Advisors (NACTA) and American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA). Scott is the current chair of the Strategic Trade Advisory and Review Board (STARBoard) for CLIA.

Travel Agency Innovator Award Winner
Awarded to a CLIA Travel Agency Member or Premier Agency Member that has demonstrated innovative and visionary leadership in their approach to promoting cruise travel, growing their cruise travel sales, and supporting their affiliated travel advisors.

KHM Travel Group
A CLIA Premier Agency Member and a leading host agency, KHM Travel Group empowers, educates, supports, and promotes independent travel agents through a unique program focused on personal support and agent development. Led by a set of thirteen Core Values, KHM Travel Group’s 70+ dedicated team members share their knowledge and passion to help agents reach their goals in the rewarding travel industry.

Founded in 2005, KHM Travel Group has always been committed to helping both new and experienced agents grow their businesses through a variety of innovative educational opportunities and resources. Webinars, Facebook Lives, hands-on events, and even a weekly talk show are just a few of the ways KHM Travel Group connects agents with the latest information from CLIA and other important industry partners and associations.

As a proud CLIA Premier Member and CLIA Strategic Trade Advisory and Review Board (STARBoard) Member, KHM Travel Group champions the efforts of CLIA to amplify the reach of its campaigns to both the travel community and the traveling public. Over the years, the host agency has also contributed ideas and feedback to help CLIA develop a variety of training tools for its members.

KHM Travel Group is located in Brunswick, Ohio with over 4,000 independent agents across the country.

Elite Cruise Counsellor of the Year Award Winner
Awarded to an Individual Agent Member who has demonstrated their career commitment to professional development through achievement of Elite Cruise Counsellor or Elite Cruise Counsellor Scholar status – the pinnacle of CLIA certification – with the requisite sales requirements, as well as, someone that has significantly impacted the travel agent landscape through contributions to their agency.

Jeannie Lipphard, ECC
Jeannie began her travel career in 2001 with mentor Diane Mason, ECCS, and by 2005 went out on her own after obtaining her CLIA certifications: ACC, MCC, ECC, then ECCS (as well as LCS).  Jeannie has maintained ECCS status with CLIA since 2005.  CLIA education in the early part of her career set Jeannie up to be successful and within just a few years of entering the cruise travel industry, she became a top producing cruise travel advisor.  Since moving over to host agency Nexion Travel Group (Travel Leaders) in 2013, Jeannie has been a top 10 or top 5 producing agent each year using the education provided by CLIA as well as the support and tools provided by Nexion. 

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