Cruise Planners today announced the promotion of three award-winning team members to executive positions – Brian Shultz, Dan Hicks and Cathy Kusuma.
The promotions underline Cruise Planners’ commitment to professional development and the internal growth and cultivation of staff in its South Florida home office and its nationwide network of travel advisors.
“We believe in surrounding ourselves with dedicated, hard-working team players who exemplify our corporate culture,” said Vicky Garcia COO and co-owner of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel representative. “As Cruise Planners continues to evolve, these travel industry powerhouses are assets to our team and we are proud to have a stellar team of professionals who contribute to the overall success of our operations and truly have a positive ‘Cruisitude.’”
Brian Shultz was promoted to Executive Vice President, Technology and Operations after four and a half years with the company. In his new role, Shultz will be taking on an even greater leadership role within the executive team leveraging his pragmatic, strategic and forward-thinking leadership skills. Shultz, who closely monitors the travel industry and the company, is expected to improve efficiencies and find opportunities for operational enhancements and savings.
On the franchise side, Dan Hicks has been promoted to Vice President of Franchise Development. Under Hicks’ leadership in Franchise Development, Cruise Planners has reached record number of franchisees joining the growing company, which has been ranked on Entrepreneur magazine’s top franchises to own list for 11 consecutive years. Hicks will continue to lead the franchise sales team and focuses on lead generation, process improvement and fiscal management.
Cathy Kusuma has been promoted to Senior Director of Training and Strategic Partnerships where she will continue to manage the new franchisee training class held six times a year, bootcmaps and regional meetings. Kusuma will also overseeing the continual development of Cruise Planners University, and work to secure value-add and training partnerships for Cruise Planers agents.
Kusuma, who was the recipient of the 2013 Rising Star Award by Vacation Agent Magazine, will now spearhead the company’s annual Convention – the largest training and development event of the year.  
The promotions mark significant milestones for Cruise Planners, as the company continues to expand and grow internally.