TPI raises a glass to top advisors and suppliers at awards gala
Morris Chia

TPI raises a glass to top advisors and suppliers at awards gala

TORONTO — Morris Chia had good reason to be excited last night – it was the first time in weeks that he had an excuse to put on a dinner jacket.

The charismatic and very well-dressed founder of TPI modelled his fancy threads during the company’s Awards Gala, which closed the highly successful TPI: Re-Ignite virtual conference.

“Manitoba just entered the red zone, meaning restaurants and other places are now closed,” he said. “So for Gala Night, the fact that I get to put on a jacket? This is about as good as it gets!”

TPI raises a glass to top advisors and suppliers at awards gala

Left to right: Zeina Gedeon, Caroline Hay, Colton Chia

Chia raised a glass of champagne to all of the night’s winners and those who attended over the course of the four-day event. He thanked everyone for their “participation, engagement and continued commitment to business,” especially considering the year’s challenging circumstances.

“I see a light at the end of the tunnel and we’re going to get through it as an organization, as a family, as friends and as peers. So, to our advisors, you are the champions in our family. Keep your chin up and keep on fighting,” he said.

Chia’s optimism is not unfounded; the day before the gala, CEO Zeina Gedeon reported the company’s highest sales total since March 15.

“I’m very optimistic that the trend is moving forward,” said Chia. “I’m not underplaying what we’ve all been through but one thing I know for sure is that travel will return.”

Prior to handing out the evening’s awards, TPI’s executive team – Gedeon, National Director of Sales Caroline Hay, and Director of Partnerships Colton Chia – gave a round of applause to the company’s Silver-, Gold-, Elite-, Diamond-, Platinum- and Chairman-level advisors.

“One of the things we’ve been spending a lot of time on is what it is to surround yourself with great people. The reason for that is outstanding people have one thing in common and that is an absolute sense of mission,” said Hay. “The reason we can go on every day and why we at head office are smiling is because we’re surrounded by you – our advisors – and our supplier partners who are truly outstanding professionals and the best of the best in the entire travel industry.”

The evening continued with travel advisors and partner suppliers accepting their awards, albeit from home. Upon winning the Marketing Award, travel advisor Clara Power admitted that marketing has definitely been tough this year, “but try to keep on top of it and try to stay connected to people.”

Shari Tucker, who won the Travel Advisor Global Citizen Award, gave a shoutout to all the suppliers “who helped me grow and understand what sustainability is and how that’s important to tourism.”

And Diane Cook, who accepted the award for Top Virtuoso Engagement, said she was truly surprised and humbled, and encouraged other advisors to be vulnerable and share their stories as they can inspire and help others learn how to forward on their own journeys.

“The quote goes, a dream without a plan is just a wish,” said Cook. “We each have our own dreams, we have the tools available to us, if you need help, ask for it. Dare to dream, create your plans and your success will follow.”

Over on the supplier side, Susan Lawson accepted the award for Best Partner Training on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance. Addressing the entire TPI family, she said: “You have been my rock and you have held me up and I am so grateful for that. I hope when you look back on this year you see all the good that you have done.”

Celebrity Cruises’ Maxine Gunderman, who accepted the award for Best Partner Book and Tech Tools, said that travel agents are more valuable and more needed now than ever. “I think of each and every one of you individually, with your own path and own goals, and want to make sure you succeed,” she said. “Thank you for making Celebrity Cruises part of that success.”

And Royal Caribbean’s Eric St. Pierre, who accepted the award for Top Cruise, assured advisors that the cruise line will always have their backs.

“You are my light at the end of this tunnel but now it’s time for us to turn the tables. It’s time for us, Royal Caribbean, to become your light at the end of this tunnel,” he said. “I’m sure you are as eager as we are to go back to service and to give your valued customers who you entrust to us the best vacations of their lives.”

Here is the full list of last night’s winners:




Walktober Challenge – Sherri Lavigne

Top Contributor to TPI Insider – Dorothy Beaton

Top Ambassador and Lead Source – Sheila Aue

Top Virtuoso Engagement – Diane Cook

Global Citizen Award – Shari Tucker

Marketing Award – Clara Power

Most Engaged Team Leader (West) – Jaime Murphy

Most Engaged Team Member (West) – Karen Tatum

Most Engaged Team Leader (ON) – Michele Smith

Most Engaged Team Member (ON) – Julie Baertsoen

Most Engaged Team Leader (ATL) – Lois Barbour

Most Engaged Team Member (ATL) – Collette Rideout

Top Professional Fees (Corporate) – Angela Randell

Top Professional Fees (Leisure) – Kori Brazeau

Rookie of the Year (Affiliate) – Iren Monge

Rookie of the Year (Associate) – Jakki Prince

Future Leader of Tomorrow – Grant Baker-Maltais

Top Sales Insurance – Claire Langan

Top Sales Cruise – Linda Dinsmore

Top Sales FIT – Shirley Noel

Top Sales Luxury – Carl Henderson

Top Sales Tour (Chris Lucas)

Top Team Member Commission – Natasha Lewis, Randell Travel

Top Individual Commission – Johnny Ioannou

Top Team Commission – Victor TooToo & Nan Travel





Best Partner Training – Allianz Global Assistance

Best Partner Booking and Tech Tools – Celebrity Cruises

Best Customer Service – Collette

Partner Marketing Tools – Playa Hotels & Resorts

Global Citizen – G Adventures

Specialty or Niche Partner – Virtuoso

Guided or FIT Partner – Goway

Hotel Partner – Sandals & Beaches Resorts

River Cruise or Specialty Cruise Partner – AmaWaterways

Top Cruise – Royal Caribbean

Top Tour – Air Canada Vacations

Partner Rep of the Year – Susan Lawson, Allianz Global Assistance



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