Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced three inductees into the 2013 Cruise Industry Hall of Fame. Honored at the Hall of Fame Dinner & Awards gala at the ninth annual cruise3sixty conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre will be: Mark Conroy, executive advisor for Prestige Cruise Holdings and past president of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Michelle Fee, CEO of CruisePlanners, and Michael Drever, past president, CEO and founder of Expedia CruiseShipCenters.
CLIA’s Hall of Fame is one of the highlights of the conference, providing an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of individuals whose efforts and accomplishments represent a significant contribution to the development and growth of cruise vacations.
The Hall of Fame Dinner & Awards gala on Friday, June 21, will feature entertainment from Celebrity Cruises, in Partnership with 54 Below – Broadway’s Nightclub, a performance by stage & screen star and recording artist, Megan Hilty. Sponsored by Royal Caribbean International, an innovative vocal collaboration, MOSAIC combines elements of funk, pop, rock, jazz, R&B, and even opera to create a musical experience produced entirely by the human voice. The evening closes with a chic GlowH20 nightclub-style after party, sponsored by Norwegian Cruise Line.
The 2013 inductees join a prestigious group of more than 33 Hall of Fame industry leaders, including last year’s winners Maurice Zarmati, a cruise industry pioneer who held senior positions with Carnival Cruise Lines and Costa Cruises, Sherrie and Charlie Funk of Just Cruisin’ Plus in Nashville, and Brad and Van Anderson, co-presidents of Avoya Travel/American Express.
Winners are selected based on open nominations from CLIA’s membership. The 2013 inductees were chosen in three categories: Cruise Line Executive, Travel Advisor and Travel Advisor Innovator.
Mark Conroy – Cruise Line Executive Award
Cruise industry veteran and former president of Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC). As president for RSSC, Mark Conroy was responsible for the overall management of the line’s four luxury cruise ships. He currently acts as a strategic advisor to the company. Previously, Conroy was president and chief executive officer of Diamond Cruise and has served as president of both Renaissance Cruises and Commodore Cruise Line and as vice president of sales for Royal Viking Line. He was chairman of the CLIA Executive Committee from 2002-2004. Conroy’s cruise industry career began in 1973 in the mailroom of Norwegian Cruise Line, while studying at the University of Miami. He graduated summa cum laude in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in business.
Michelle Fee – Travel Advisor Award
Michelle Fee is co-founder and CEO of Cruise Planners – American Express Travel. After several successful years of running her own full-service travel agency, Fee joined forces with some of the best in the industry and co-founded Cruise Planners in 1994. Nearly 20 years ago and with just 5 franchisees in the first training class, Fee knew this was the new way of entrepreneurship and she never looked back. Today, Cruise Planners is one of the nation’s largest home-based travel franchise organizations and has been named No. 1 Cruise Tour/Travel Agent by Entrepreneur magazine. Under her leadership, she has created a business that positions franchise owners for success by providing them with unique marketing programs, hands-on training, technology and tools that allows them to conduct business anywhere, anytime.
Michael Drever - Travel Advisor Innovator Award
At the age of 26, Michael Drever founded CruiseShipCenters International Inc. and served as CEO until 2011. Under his visionary leadership, the company grew from a niche franchise concept to a dominant seller of cruise vacations with more than $500 million in annual sales. In 2007, Drever spearheaded a partnership with Expedia Inc. and re-branding to Expedia CruiseShipCenters. In addition to his many accomplishments in the cruise industry, Drever is well known for his contributions to entrepreneurship and franchising. He has served as President of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) Vancouver chapter, as a board member of the Canadian Franchise Association, and on Travel Agent Advisory Boards of several cruise lines. Expedia CruiseShipCenters has also been honoured for excellence in franchising with induction into the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) Hall of Fame in 2010.
Recognizing Past CLIA Hall of Award Recipients
- Joe Ewart – CruiseOne/Cruises, Inc. - 2005
- Bob & Judy Falcone – Cruises, Inc., - 2005
- Marvin Davis – Cruise Planners - 2005
- Fred Kassner – GoGo Vacations / Liberty Travel -2006
- Kathy and Leo Falkensammer, owners, Prestige Travel -2007
- Joanie Ogg – Past President, NACTA - 2008
- Walter Sherota – Gold Coast Travel -2009
- Phil & Doris Davidoff – Belair Travel - 2010
- Matthew Upchurch - Virtuoso– 2010
- Michelle Morgan – Signature Travel – 2011
- Charlie & Sherri Funk – Just Cruisin’ Plus - 2012
Cruise Sales Innovator:
- Brad & Van Anderson - Avoya Travel™ / American Express® - 2012
Cruise Line Executive:
- Ted Arison – Carnival Cruise Lines - 2005
- Richard Revnes – Royal Cruise Line - 2005
- Warren Titus – Royal Viking Line - 2005
- Bob Dickinson – Carnival Cruise Line - 2006
- Knut Kloster – Norwegian Cruise Line - 2007
- Richard D. Fain -- Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. - 2007
- A. Kirk Lanterman – Holland America Line - 2008
- Edwin Stephan – Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.-2009
- Micky Arison – Carnival Corporation – 2010
- Richard Sasso – MSC Cruises – 2011
- Maurice Zarmati – Carnival Cruise Lines - 2012
At – Large:
- Joel Abels – Travel Trade - 2005
- Bob Kwortnik – CLIA (Special Recognition Award) - 2005
- “The Love Boat” Television Series - 2006
- Deborah Natansohn – Orient Lines, Cunard, Seabourn Cruise Line - 2007
- Donna Flora – American Express - 2008
- Joyce Landry & Jo Kling, Landry & Kling - 2009
- Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH) – 2010
- United States Coast Guard - 2011