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Top Marks: American Society of Travel Advisors Congratulates Award Winners at Global Convention 2023

The best and the brightest in the travel industry were honored both for their excellence and support of the travel industry at large. 


San Juan, Puerto Rico — The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) recognized the superstars of the travel industry this week at the 2023 ASTA Global Convention (AGC) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 2-4 and at their annual Advocacy Dinner. 

During the convention, attended by almost 1,000 travel advisors, suppliers and industry professionals, the Society recognized frontline travel advisors and agency owners who go above and beyond in caring for their customers as well as those suppliers most supportive of the trade and its broader advocacy efforts, as voted on by ASTA members. 

"The overarching message of this convention has been that our organization and our wider industry are in an incredible position of strength—that is a credit to our staff, board, members and supplier partners,” said ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby who is celebrating 10 years at ASTA’s helm. “We’re pleased to use the occasion of our annual convention to celebrate the many in our community who selflessly invest their time and their efforts in support of the entire industry.” 

The annual Advocacy Dinner is ASTA’s black-tie gala where the Society celebrates the year’s advocacy wins and honors its top supporters. The following awards were presented at the celebration: 

  • ASTA Lifetime Achievement Award: Frank Del Rio, Norwegian Cruise Lines 
  • Paul Ruden Industry Ambassador Award: Roger Block, Travel Leaders Network 
  • Barbara O’Hara Advocacy Award: Rick Ardis, Ardis Travel 
  • John Haskins Chapter Advocacy Award: ASTA Mid-Michigan Chapter 


ASTA’s Advocacy Dinner raised over $325,000 for ASTA’s advocacy and political efforts.  

Also at Global Convention, the Society hands out its supplier and partnership awards, which are voted on by the membership and go to the supplier partners, members and chapters which best support ASTA’s overall mission: to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. We are also the leading advocate for travel advisors and the entire travel agency community—including suppliers and the traveling public.

Each year, ASTA members vote on which supplier company and representative best embody the spirit of partnership. They vote from a substantial list of suppliers from every sector to be awarded Partner Company of the Year and Partner Representative of the Year. Because ASTA tries to be fair, we also allow members to write in the supplier representative who exhibits both leadership and excellence. ASTA awards that person the Supplier Medal of Excellence. Kristin Karst and AmaWaterways swept all three categories in 2023. 

The ASTA Chapter that exudes special qualities of conscientiousness, community building, and overall excellence is awarded the Robert L. Duglin Chapter Excellence Award. This award honors the late Bob Duglin, who served as Vice President, International Membership and Host Agencies and the Managing Director of ASTA’s Small Business Network until his passing in 2021. His dedicated service as a volunteer leader and staff member continues to be an example for so many in the travel community. We congratulate this year’s winner, the New York City Small Business Network Chapter.  

The ASTA Chapter President who not only leads their own chapter to excellence and accomplishments but also best exemplifies the spirit of cooperation and helps fellow chapters launch, grow and thrive to best fulfill their mission of connecting ASTA members is awarded the newly renamed George “Eddie” Woodham Chapter President of the Year Award. We congratulate this year’s winner: Kyle Bohman, Central Florida Chapter.  

The Entrepreneur of the Year competition took center stage at the ASTA Global Convention. This year, the audience voted for the winner after each of the three finalists presented their case. In the end, the winner of the $10,000 grand prize from the Dan & Gloria Bohan Foundation and the honor of ASTA’s 2023 Entrepreneur of the Year was Cabana.  

Supplier Awards 

  • Partner Company of the Year: AmaWaterways 
  • Partner Representative of the Year: Kristin Karst, AmaWaterways 
  • Airline Partner of the Year: Delta Air Lines 
  • Transportation Partner of the Year: Enterprise Holdings 
  • GDS Partner of the Year: Sabre 
  • Hotel Partner of the Year: Hilton Hotels & Resorts 
  • Ocean Cruise Line Partner of the Year: Royal Caribbean International 
  • River Cruise Line Partner of the Year: AmaWaterways 
  • Tour Operator Partner of the Year: Globus 
  • Travel Insurance Partner of the Year: Allianz Partners 
  • North American Destination Partner of the Year: The Hawaiian Islands 
  • International Destination Partner of the Year: Visit Hungary 
  • Supplier Medal of Excellence: Kristin Karst, AmaWaterways 


Partnership Awards  

  • ASTA Travel Advisor of the Year: Terika L. Haynes, Dynamite Travel LLC 
  • President's Travel Advisor Leadership Award: Edouard Jean, Massive Travels Inc 
  • ASTA Entrepreneur of the Year: Scott Kubly, Cabana 
  • ASTA Consortium Partner of the Year: Signature Travel Network & Virtuoso  
  • ASTA Regional Consortium of the Year: MAST Travel Network 
  • ASTA Host Agency of the Year: Gifted Travel Network & Uniglobe Travel Center 
  • ASTA Member Service Award: Mary Peters, Friendly Travel Inc 
  • ASTA Chapter on the Rise: Missouri/Kansas Chapter, Central Pennsylvania Chapter 
  • George “Eddie” Woodham Chapter President of the Year Award: Kyle Bohman, Central Florida Chapter 
  • Regional Director of the Year: Lynda Philippi, Northwest Region 
  • Young Professionals Society (YPS) Award: Brandi McBride, Connoisseur Travel 
  • Robert L. Duglin Chapter Excellence Award: New York City Small Business Network Chapter 



    Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit our mission statement.  




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