CLIA honors Cruise Planners' Scott Koepf

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T0819ScottKoepf_C_HR [credit: Courtesy of Cruise Planners]
Scott Koepf, Cruise Planners’ senior vice president of strategic partnerships, is CLIA's 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Cruise Planners

Cruise Planners senior vice president of strategic partnerships Scott Koepf was named CLIA's 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award winner during the association's annual North America Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards event, which was held last week in Hollywood, Fla.

A 35-year-plus industry veteran, Koepf began his travel career with early stints as a Club Med GO and a cruise ship entertainer. He is also credited with opening one of the country's first cruise-only travel agencies. 

Throughout his career, he has gone on to hold leadership roles with a variety of travel companies, including Sitmar Cruises, Cruise Holidays International, GalaxSea Cruises, Sabre, Nexion and Avoya Travel. Additionally, he has taken on key positions with trade groups like National Association of Cruise Only Agencies, National Association of Career Travel Advisors and ASTA, among others. 

In his current role, Koepf is charged with spearheading events and training initiatives for Cruise Planners' nationwide network of more than 2,500 travel advisors.

"Scott's positive reputation extends from the C-suite of major travel suppliers to new-to-the-industry travel advisors -- he goes out of his way to make everyone feel valuable," said Michelle Fee, CEO and founder of Cruise Planners, in a statement. "From his strong stage presence, to his booming singing voice, to his years of selling cruises and travel, he continues to impart his knowledge and passion into our beloved industry."  

KHM receives Travel Agency Innovator Award

Also earning top honors at the event was Brunswick, Ohio-based KHM Travel Group, which took home CLIA's Travel Agency Innovator Award, receiving recognition for its cutting-edge advisor education and development efforts.

Founded in 2005, KHM Travel Group is a CLIA Premier Member and leading host agency, comprising over 70 team members and more than 4,000 independent advisors nationwide. The company has earned a reputation for its innovative ability to connect and communicate with advisors via webinars, Facebook Live, hands-on events and a weekly talk show.

Jeannie Lipphard is Elite Cruise Consellor of the Year

Lastly, Jeannie Lipphard was named CLIA's Elite Cruise Counsellor of the Year Award, which is awarded to an outstanding individual agent member who has achieved Elite Cruise Counsellor or Elite Cruise Counsellor Scholar status, the pinnacle of CLIA certification. 

Lipphard, who has been in the industry since 2001, joined host agency Nexion Travel Group in 2013 and has consistently emerged as a top-10 or top-five producing agent over the years. 

"The Hall of Fame winners represent the best of the best -- innovative, visionary and committed -- this group demonstrates passion, dedication and a continued commitment to propel the cruise industry forward," said CLIA CEO Kelly Craighead. "CLIA is honored to acknowledge the hard work of these exceptional industry leaders."

Update: This story was updated to correct that the North America Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards event was held in Hollywood, Fla.

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