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2018 NTA Awards

NTA’s awards honor its members and industry leaders who have made significant and meaningful contributions to our association and/or the tourism industry overall. Awards are presented annually at Travel Exchange unless otherwise noted. Email your nominations to NTA’s Doug Rentz.

The NTA Board makes the final determination on the recipients of the following awards:

  • Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement
  • Pioneer ^
  • Woman of Vision ^
  • James D. Santini
  • Top 5 Young Professionals
  • Shining Star *
  • Volunteer of the Year *

^ Pioneer Award and Woman of Vision award presented at Contact
* Shining Star and Volunteer of the Year nominated by NTA staff and approved by the NTA Board

  • Pioneer Award

    The Pioneer Award honors individuals whose accomplishments have resulted in a significant change in the travel industry from which NTA and its members (specifically tour operators) have benefited. (It’s not required that nominees be an NTA member). Email your nominations to NTA’s Doug Rentz.

    Criteria

    All nominees should have played an active role in pioneering a significant change in the travel industry that benefited the industry as a whole, NTA, and its members.

    Nomination & Selection Process

    NTA Board will review all nominations and select an honoree if it determines all qualifications were met. In 2018, the Pioneer Award presentation was moved from Travel Exchange to Contact.

    Past recipients

    2006: Charles “Chuck” West, Westours and Cruise West, first recipient (given posthumously)
    2007: Earl Harmon, Harmon Travel, Boise, ID (given posthumously)
    2008: Kirk Lanterman, Holland America Line,  and Arthur C. Tauck Jr., Tauck World Discovery
    2009: Gordon Bell, Three Valley Gap Heritage Ghost Town and Chateau Three Valley Lake (given posthumously) and Sam Farr, California Congressman
    2010: Bob Whitley (given posthumously)
    2011: Bruce Beckham, CTP, Tourism Cares
    2013: Dan Dipert (Dan Dipert Tours)
    2014: Sen. Mark Begich
    2015: Christopher L. Thompson (Brand USA)
    2016: Georgiana Clark (Roaring Camp Railroads)
    2017: Terry MacRae (Hornblower Cruises & Events)

  • Woman of Vision Award

    The Woman of Vision Award honors a woman in travel and tourism who has contributed significantly to the growth and prosperity of the industry as a whole and NTA specifically. This award is given in honor of the trailblazing women who played an integral part in the formation of NTA and paved the way for others to follow. Email your nominations to NTA’s Doug Rentz.

    Criteria

    • Holds or has held a leadership position within her company or organization.
    • Serves as a mentor or role model to other women in the travel industry.
    • Through her ideas and foresight has led significant improvements and advancements within the industry.
    • Consistently conducted herself in a manner consistent with the ethics, quality and sense of community espoused by NTA.

    Nomination & Selection Process

    • Any person employed by an NTA member company is eligible to make a nomination.
    • At minimum, a nomination should include a brief narrative (approximately 250 words) about the nominee. Additional information or material may be included with the narrative.
    • The NTA Board of Directors will review all nominations and make a final determination as to the recipient.
  • Top 5 Young Professionals

    New in 2017, the NTA Young Professionals Advisory Group has introduced a Top 5 recognition program, which is the newest addition to the association awards family. Please email your nominations to NTA’s Morgan Maravich.

    Eligibility

    NTA member 40 years of age or younger.

    Critieria

    • Only one candidate per organization, nominated by supervisor
    • Demonstrates commitment and passion for the industry
    • Recognized for leadership and efforts beyond their job
    • Attended at least one NTA event (Travel Exchange, Contact, Meet-up, Destination Capitol Hill)

    Nomination & Selection Process

    The committee will oversee the call for nominations and narrow down the top 10 candidates. The NTA YP group will select the winners with final approval from the NTA Board of Directors.

    If selected as a finalist, the nominee must provide a brief (500 words or less) essay describing what makes them a top NTA YP. Have they completed continuing education, such as the CTP program? Do they sit on any NTA committees? How have they put in effort that goes beyond their job description? How have they impacted the travel industry? Have they volunteered for any NTA events?

    Finalists will be announced in Tuesday e-newsletter, and awards will be presented at Travel Exchange ’18 in Milwaukee. Award winner profiles also will be published in Courier.

  • Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award

    The Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award was created to recognize and honor individuals who have made outstanding lifetime contributions to NTA and its members.

    Eligibility

    The award is presented to an individual whose personal and professional contributions to NTA and its members have spanned a minimum of 20 years.

    Criteria

    • Active dedication to the mission of NTA and the best interests of its members
    • Extensive volunteer contributions to NTA and its members
    • Consistently conducted himself/herself in a manner consistent with the ethics, quality and sense of community espoused by NTA

    Nomination & Selection Process

    NTA Board will review all nominations and select an honoree if it determines all qualifications are met.

    Past Recipients

    2003: Lois Anderson, Gadabout Tours
    2004: Bill Shepler,  Shepler’s Macinaw Ferry
    2005: Jim Santini,  NTA legislative representative
    2006: John Shaffer, Luray Caverns
    2007: Pete Anderson, formerly of Maupintour, and Jim Host, founder of Host Communications
    2008: Ann Thomas, CTP, Western Discovery
    2009: Ruth McKinney, CTP, formerly of Good Will Tours
    2010: John Stachnik, CTP, Mayflower Tours
    2011: Mikie Wall, CTP, Cape Fear Coast CVB
    2013: Ed Dresel, Destinations Unlimited
    2015: Suzanne Slavitter, Sports Empire Inc. & Red Hot Celebrations;
    Steve Richer (NTA public affairs advocate)
    2016: Mark Hoffmann, CTP, Sports Leisure Vacations
    2017: Paul Nakamoto, Aquarium of the Bay

     

  • James D. Santini Award

    The James D. Santini Award recognizes members who have made significant contributions to NTA’s advocacy efforts. The late Santini, who was NTA’s legislative counsel for 25 years, served four terms in the U.S. Congress as the only member of the House of Representatives from Nevada. He was a founder and the first secretary/treasurer of the U.S. Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus in the House.

    Criteria

    • An NTA member in good standing
    • Active dedication to the mission of NTA and the best interests of its members
    • Conducts himself/herself in a manner consistent with the ethics, quality and sense of community espoused by NTA
    • An active contributer to NTA’s TourPAC fund
    • Significant contributions and/or raise awarenessto NTA’s advocacy efforts
    • Substantial role in influencing and impacting legislation

    Nomination & Selection Process

    • Nominations will be sought from the NTA membership, Board of Directors and the Advocacy Advisory Group.
    • At minimum, a nomination should include a brief narrative (approximately 100-250 words) about the nominee. Additional information may be included with the narrative.
    • The NTA Board of Directors will review nominations and select an award winner.

    Past Recipients

    2010: Neil Amrine
    2012: Mark Hoffmann, CTP
    2013: Patti Culp
    2014: Keith Griffall, CTP
    2016: Brian Butterworth
    2017: Tom Jaffa, CTP, Jaffa Tour & Receptive Services

  • Volunteer of the Year Award

    The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes and honors individuals who volunteer their time to NTA for the benefit of its members.

    Eligibility

    Any NTA member volunteer (examples: at annual convention, by serving on a committee, a champion for NTA).

    Criteria

    Extensive volunteer contributions to NTA and its members

    Nomination & Selection Process

    • Nominations sought from NTA staff based on work with members.
    • NTA Board reviews recommendation and makes final determination as to the honoree.

    Past Recipients

    2007: Clayton Whitehead, CTP, Sports Leisure Vacations
    2008: Barb Bowman, Grand Junction VCB
    2009: Theresa Krieg, The Carolina Opry
    2010: Scott Hartcorn, Shilo Inns Suites Hotels
    2011: Ed Hall, VisitRochester
    2013: Olga Ramudo, Express Travel
    2013: Katrina White, Rhode Island Tourism Division
    2014: Paul Larsen, Ed-Ventures Inc. & Tom Jaffa, CTP, Jaffa Travel & Receptive Services
    2015: Laura Elkin, Crescent Hotels & Resorts
    2016: Michael Weinberg, CTP, Hiltons of Chicago
    2017: Patti Culp, Alabama Travel Council
    2018: Renee Eichelberger, CTP, Explore St. Louis

  • Shining Star Award

    NTA’s Shining Star Award recognizes an organization that has made a significant contribution (financial or otherwise) to NTA. Potential recipients could include (but not be limited to) sponsors, corporate partners, strategic partners and members).

    Criteria

    • The organization has a strong level of support in the current year.
    • The organization has a history of involvement in and support of NTA.

    Nomination & Selection Process

    • Nominations sought from NTA staff based on work with members.
    • NTA Board reviews recommendation and makes final determination as to the honoree.

    Past Recipients

    2010: Broadway.com/Groups
    2011: Team Texas
    2013: Best Western International
    2014: State of Alaska
    2015: Visit California
    2016: Aon
    2017: Travel Oregon and Travel Portland
    2018: Broadway Inbound

  • NTA has provided us the research and atmosphere to brainstorm new ways of doing things and fresh additions to trips, which has led to successful business development. Rachel Ranck, WorldStrides, NTA member since 1985
  • What NTA does is provide the right buyers. They provide the right people who make decisions. This is what makes this organization one I can’t afford to take off my list. John Stachnik CTP, Mayflower Tours, NTA member since 1979
  • I came to NTA to build a business, and that’s exactly what it did for us, as sales came in. For me, it’s the only outlet for new ideas. Matthew Squire, Select Travel Service (UK), NTA member since 2002
  • NTA membership and our attendance at the convention have provided us with more clients, more business relationships and more ideas. We are proud to belong to NTA. Daniele Panzarin, Target Travel (Italy), NTA member since 2007
  • The No. 1 member benefit of NTA has to be all the great professional and personal connections we’ve made over the past decade. Taunya Wolfe Finn, CTP, Wolfe Adventures & Tours, NTA member since 2005
  • We have not found a more reliable, more profitable or more consistent tourism venue in which to acquire new business than NTA. Diane Hohnstein, Hospitality Management Services, NTA member since 1999
  • I believe attending the NTA conferences allow me to create valuable relationships and work together with U.S. operators in creating great Scotland product. Maggie Anderson, VisitScotland, NTA member since 2003
  • NTA events provide us with beneficial networking with many top tour operators. It’s national and international in scope providing a global perspective. Tim and Elaine Moulder, Brilliant Edventures, NTA member since 2015