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Independent Agent Community Celebrates Professionalism with Awards Ceremony, Unique Training

Alexandria, VA, September 22, 2017-The National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) is celebrating another successful, business-building annual conference bringing together in Anchorage, Alaska.

"Our ASTA Small Business Network community is stronger than ever before and our annual conference gives us a chance to connect and celebrate,” said Ann Chamberlin, President of ASTA Small Business Network. “We come together to share knowledge and teach advirsors how to take their business to the next level, including this year a chance to engage with ASTA’s recently-launched Verified Travel Advisor certification program. We are so grateful to all our members and industry partners who continuously show their support and commitment to ASTA Small Business Network and the travel professional."

Among the unique features for conference attendees was the chance to take part in an exclusive opportunity to complete three of the nine courses of the new Verified Travel Advisor program, launched last month by the American Society of Travel Advirsors (ASTA). The three courses offered on-site (valued at $570) at the conference included: “The Art and Science of Negotiation” and “Advanced Public Speaking” presented by Peter Kerr and “Ethics for Travel Advisors” presented by ASTA General Counsel Peter Lobasso.

Another highlight was the NACTA Gala Awards Cocktail Reception & Dinner, sponsored by Holland America Line, Visit Anchorage, Travel Juneau and Explore Fairbanks, where Ann Chamberlin and Bob Duglin, VP Businesses Development at NACTA, announced the Association’s 2017 award winners:

  • NACTA River Cruise Line Partner of the Year: AmaWaterways
  • NACTA Luxury Cruise Line Partner of the Year: Seabourn
  • NACTA Premium Cruise Line Partner of the Year: Celebrity Cruises
  • NACTA Contemporary Cruise Line Partner of the Year: Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
  • NACTA Tour Partner of the Year: Globus Family of Brands
  • NACTA Boutique Tour Partner of the Year: Salmon Berry Travel & Tours
  • NACTA Niche Partner of the Year: Alaska Railroad
  • NACTA Destination Partner of the Year: Hawaii Tourism United States
  • NACTA Hotel Partner of the Year: Hotel Captain Cook
  • NACTA All-Inclusive Partner of the Year: Playa Hotels & Resorts
  • Chris Kai’aokamalie – Spirit of NACTA - Supplier Liaison of the Year: Ron Gulaskey, Celebrity Cruises
  • NACTA Partner on the Rise: Alaska Airlines
  • Tania Hancock - Spirit of NACTA - Partner of the Year: Visit Anchorage
  • NACTA Chapter Excellence Award: Mid-Michigan Chapter
  • Regional Director of the Year: Ken Kimi
  • Chapter Director of the Year: Eugenia Chinsman
  • David M. Thrower - Spirit of NACTA - Member of the Year: Dan Smith

For 2018, the NACTA Annual Conference will take place in Washington, D.C. on August 23-26 following the ASTA Global Convention, August 21-24, 2018.


ASTA Small Business Network (formerly NACTA) is the travel industry’s leading national trade association representing independent contractors, outside sales consultants, cruise and tour oriented consultants, group oriented travel professionals and traditional ARC-appointed travel agencies that provide services and support to such professionals. Established in 1986, ASTA Small Business Network’s mission is to represent the interest of independent travel entrepreneurs and to promote professionalism and recognition for the professional independent consultant. ASTA Small Business Network is an affiliate of ASTA, the American Society of Travel Advirsors, the world’s largest travel trade association.