HSMAI Recognizes Michelle Fee As One Of The Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds In Sales And Marketing

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Michelle Fee, Co-Founder and CEO of Cruise Planners/American Express, the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the cruise industry, has been named one of the “top 25 most extraordinary minds” in sales and marketing for 2009 by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI). Fee will be honored Feb.1 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized by such a well-respected organization as the HSMAI,” said Fee. “I have always loved working in the travel business and to be recognized as an innovator because of that passion and dedication is a humbling experience.”

Cruise Planners recently celebrated their 15th year anniversary. What began as a small business with only five students in the first training class has grown into the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the cruise industry. Recently Cruise Planners ranked No. 62 in Entrepreneur’s 31st Annual Franchise 500 Issue and for the seventh year in a row, the company is ranked No. 1 in the cruise travel franchise category.

Fee is also responsible for the launch of the company’s two innovative, turn-key programs: CPpod, a Print-on-Demand portal with a 1:1 Marketing element that matches the clients to psycho/demographic data and truly ‘talks directly’ to the customer with a targeted message, and a Website program that allows the franchisees to completely customize their own sites with special group departures. The Website program also features a proprietary registration tool for the participants to sign up to the group departures, as well as create custom landing pages – all with an easy editor tool for the least technical user to understand.

Fee sits on the advisory boards of Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises and the Cruise Line International Association, as well as the Executive Forum for Carnival Cruise Lines. In 2003, she was named one of Travel Agent Magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Travel, and in 2006, was named Travel Agent of the Year by Travel Trade Magazine.

Michelle Fee will be honored February 1 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City…