From left, Travel Weekly editor in chief Arnie Weissmann; Collette CEO Dan Sullivan Jr.; Bruce Shulman, former group publisher of Travel Weekly and TravelAge West; Andy Stuart, former president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line; Michelle Fee, CEO and founder of Cruise Planners; Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-owner of AmaWaterways; Rudi Schreiner, president and co-owner of AmaWaterways; Valerie Ann Wilson, founder of Valerie Wilson Travel; and Bob Sullivan, Travel Group president at Northstar. Shulman, Stuart, Fee, Karst and Schreiner received Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 2019 Readers Choice Awards ceremony. Sullivan Jr. and Wilson are past recipients. Photo Credit: Andrei Jackamets
During the 2019 Readers Choice Awards ceremony, Travel Weekly named five Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.
CEO and founder of Cruise Planners
Fee started her career nearly 40 years ago, running a traditional travel agency before founding Cruise Planners in 1994. Today, Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, is the nation's largest home-based travel agent franchise network, with more than 2,000 franchise owners.
In 2015, AmaWaterways named Fee godmother of the AmaSerena. She serves on the advisory boards of Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises and CLIA and on the Executive Partner Advisory Board for Carnival Cruise Line.
Executive vice president and co-owner of AmaWaterways
A native of Dresden, Germany, Kristin Karst graduated from the University of Dresden with a bachelor's degree in the economics of tourism and business management and a Master of Business Administration, after which she worked for American Express for eight years, first as manager of leisure travel in Dresden, then as manager of special groups in Zurich.
Karst relocated to the U.S. and in 1999 began working for Viking River Cruises as manager of groups and incentives. Three years later, she co-founded AmaWaterways with Rudi Schreiner and Jimmy Murphy.
In 2018 she received the Person of the Year Award from the Family Travel Association.
President and co-owner of AmaWaterways
Schreiner, a native of Vienna, graduated with a Master of Business Administration from Loyola University in New Orleans. After graduating, Schreiner headed to the Amazon River on a journalism assignment; it was there that he designed his first ship, a raft that would take him up and down the river during the next seven months.
In 2002, he co-founded AmaWaterways with Kristin Karst and Jimmy Murphy. In 2016, he was presented with CLIA's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Former group publisher of Travel Weekly and TravelAge West
Prior to joining Northstar Travel Group, parent company of Travel Weekly and TravelAge West, Shulman was vice president of sales and marketing for Holiday Inns of the Caribbean and the Sands Hotels and Casinos as well as president of tourism for Grand Bahama Island.
Shulman joined Northstar in 1999 as national director of Hotel & Travel Index. He joined Travel Weekly in 2005 as director of advertising and was named associate publisher in 2008. In 2015, he was named group publisher of Travel Weekly and TravelAge West, and last year he announced his retirement.
During a fundraising event before the Readers Choice Awards ceremony, Tourism Cares honored Shulman for what the organization called "an incredible contribution to the travel industry," adding that his support of the organization provided "an outlet to promote our social impact partners and a voice in the industry."
Former president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line
Stuart's 31-year career at Norwegian began in 1988, when he was named the company's sales and marketing director in the U.K. He served in that role until December 1996, and the following month he was named vice president of sales planning and relocated to the company's Miami headquarters.
He would go on to hold a number of executive positions with Norwegian. In 2000, he was promoted to senior vice president of marketing and sales. In 2003, Stuart was named executive vice president of marketing, sales and passenger services, and in that position he introduced Partners First, the company's signature program for travel agents, in 2011.
He was named president and CEO in 2015. Last year, he stepped down from the role following the delivery of the last Breakaway Plus vessel, the Norwegian Encore.