These are individuals and organizations who have made a significant contribution to the cruise industry in the United States and Canada. They were inducted during a gala dinner at the CLIA Cruise360 conference in Hollywood, Florida.
Scott Koepf, SVP strategic development, Cruise Planners, was recognized as a lifetime champion of cruise travel who has made monumental contributions to the cruise industry. He has served in leadership positions for the National Association of Cruise Only Agencies, National Association of Career Travel Advisors and American Society of Travel Advisors. He currently chairs CLIA's Strategic Trade Advisory and Review Board (STARBoard).
Just two weeks after his first cruise, Koepf opened one of the country’s first cruise-only travel agencies. He's also worked for Club Med, Sitmar Cruises, Cruise Holidays International, GalaxSea Cruises, Sabre, Nexion and Avoya Travel. In his current Cruise Planners role, he leads events, training and strategic partnerships that impact the network’s 2,500 travel advisors across the country.
Koepf also writes sales articles tapping into his personal stories about being a football player, opera singer and shipboard entertainer, leading to his two well-known monikers, 'The Sales Coach' and 'The Singing Salesman.' A natural entertainer, he leverages his on-stage presence with tried-and-true sales advice to inspire travel advisors all over the world.
Travel agency innovator
KHM Travel Group was recognized for demonstrating innovative and visionary leadership in its approach to promoting cruise travel, growing cruise sales and supporting affiliated travel advisors.
A CLIA Premier Agency Member and a leading host agency based in Brunswick, Ohio, with over 4,000 independent agents across the country, KHM Travel Group empowers, educates, supports and promotes independent travel agents with a program focused on personal support and agent development. Led by a set of 13 core values, KHM Travel Group’s 70-plus dedicated team members share their knowledge and passion to help agents reach their goals.
Founded in 2005, KHM Travel Group is committed to helping new and experienced agents grow their businesses through a variety of innovative educational opportunities and resources. Webinars, Facebook Live and hands-on events and a weekly talk show are just a few of the ways KHM Travel Group connects agents with the latest information from CLIA and other industry partners and associations.
As a STARBoard member, KHM Travel Group has contributed ideas and feedback to help CLIA develop a variety of training tools for its members.
Elite Cruise Counsellor
Jeannie Lipphard was recognized for demonstrating a career commitment to professional development by achieving Elite Cruise Counsellor and Elite Cruise Counsellor Scholar status (the pinnacle of CLIA certification) with the requisite sales requirements, and for having a significant impact at her agency.
Lipphard began her travel career in 2001 with mentor Diane Mason, ECCS, and by 2005 went out on her own after obtaining her CLIA certifications: ACC, MCC, ECC then ECCS (as well as LCS). She has maintained ECCS status since 2005.
Within just a few years of entering the cruise industry, Lipphard became a top-producing cruise seller. Since moving to host agency Nexion Travel Group (Travel Leaders) in 2013, she has been a top 10 or top five producing agent each year.