“Cruise Planners is such an amazing franchise because we have the best travel advisors in the industry. I am proud that we have created a company where entrepreneurs are able to run their own businesses and create their own wealth.”
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (PRWEB) November 12, 2019
Michelle Fee, CEO and founder of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, was recognized as a distinguished CEO by the South Florida Business & Wealth (SFBW) at their annual Apogee Awards.
The Apogee Awards honors C-suite executives for their dedication to their industry, along with leadership, innovation, ability to overcome obstacles and their impact on the community. Honorees are selected from South Florida’s tri-county area.
“As the only female CEO honored in the Hospitality category, it is a pleasure to be an Apogee Award honoree,” says Fee. “Cruise Planners is such an amazing franchise because we have the best travel advisors in the industry. I am proud that we have created a company where entrepreneurs are able to run their own businesses and create their own wealth.”
Fee, a native Floridian, founded Cruise Planners 25 years ago in Coral Springs, Florida and reimagined the travel world. She was a trailblazer well before her time and her visionary leadership spearheaded Cruise Planners to become the nation’s largest network of home-based travel agents with more than 2,500 travel advisors across all 50 U.S. states today. The company has evolved to sell all types of travel from all-inclusive resort vacations, guided land tours and cruises.
Cements Position as Industry Leader
The Apogee Awards comes hot on the heels of Fee highlighted as one of the most influential executives in the 2019 Florida Trend’s Florida 500 List for the second year in a row. The power list recognizes Florida’s most prestigious business leaders who are movers and shakers within their community and beyond.
Recently in the South Florida Business Journal, Cruise Planners was named No. 2 South Florida Women-Owned Business and Fee earned a spot on the 2019 Power Leaders list, an elite group of 250 local professionals who have helped transform South Florida into a dynamic marketplace.
Positive Impact on Broward County
Cruise Planners’ positive economic impact on Broward County includes ongoing travel advisor training sessions held historically at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/ Broward County Convention Center with more than 800 cruise and travel agents annually, as well as additional specialty training events such as the company’s annual convention, being held again next month at the Diplomat Resort &
Furthermore, the company positively contributes to Broward County and Greater Fort Lauderdale’s tourism engine helping bring in the more than four million cruisers sailing from Port Everglades each year. Cruise Planners employs 135 employees and has consistently been voted “Top Workplaces in South Florida” by the Sun Sentinel with jobs in technology, marketing, sales and business development all within the hospitality industry.
Fee is actively involved in CP Cares™ – Cruise Planners’ non-profit organization supporting local, national and international charities and other noble causes and through various fundraising efforts has raised more than $2 million. Cruise Planners champions the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s goal of a world without blood cancer where Fee was named the Woman of the Year by the South Florida Chapter after raising a record-breaking $292,000 for cancer research. She maintains a commitment to helping the community while positively impacting people’s lives and inspiring Cruisitude® – the company’s coined term describing a positive state of mind combined with a passion for travel.
“I’m beyond proud of my BFF Michelle and her success and feel incredibly lucky to be on this incredible journey alongside her every day,” says Vicky Garcia, Cruise Planners’ COO and Fee’s business partner as co-owner. “She’s an inspiration to so many and continues shaking things up to challenge the status quo, which makes our team rise above to drive the unstoppable innovation at Cruise Planners.”
About Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, is the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the travel industry. Cruise Planners operates a network of more than 2,500 franchise owners who independently book vacation and travel experiences for their clients. Headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla. since 1994, Cruise Planners supports its network of franchise owners with innovative marketing, booking and technology tools, professional development and training with the industry’s top executives. Cruise Planners and has been named the No. 1 travel franchise by Entrepreneur magazine for 16 consecutive years and was recently featured in Entrepreneur as one of the top 30 franchise innovators in technology. Consistently named as one of the Top Women-Owned Businesses by the South Florida Business Journal, Cruise Planners is on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, has been ranked as the No. 1 travel franchise by Franchise Business Review for 6 years and is recognized as one of the Top Workplaces by the Sun Sentinel.
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