Jackie Friedman at the CoNexion show aboard the Norwegian Getaway.
Jackie Friedman at the CoNexion show aboard the Norwegian Getaway. Photo Credit: Jamie Biesiada

Following other women who are leaders in the travel industry, Nexion President Jackie Friedman has been named the godmother of an AmaWaterways river ship.

The AmaViola is due to enter service next April. As godmother, Friedman will christen the ship in a ceremony next June.

The announcement, made by AmaWaterways executive vice president and co-owner Kristin Karst, took place during a general session of the host agency’s annual conference, CoNexion, aboard the Norwegian Getaway.

Karst made the announcement after receiving Nexion’s Agent Choice Supplier Award for best river cruise line, which her company received for the second year in a row.

Karst said that she admires Friedman’s ability to connect with and motivate Nexion members, suppliers and employees.

Friedman joins good company in being named the godmother of an AmaWaterways ship. Previous honorees include the late Michelle Morgan, former president of Signature Travel Network; Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Lines and former president of CLIA; Valerie Ann Wilson, founder and CEO of Valerie Wilson Travel; Brenda Kyllo, national vice president of travel with the Canadian Automobile Association; and Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners.

“She’s a pioneer,” Karst said of Friedman. “She is such an honest person. She stands up for her agents, and also for her suppliers. So for me, this is truly a partnership and friendship. She deserves it.”

The AmaViola features connecting cabins that can sleep up to five — an amenity that caters to families, Karst said, considering AmaWaterways’ partnership with Adventures by Disney.

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