2019 AIC Showstopper Awards Recognizes Top Producing Agents

LOS CABOS – Work hard, play harder.

That’s what happens when you’re a top producing agent for AIC Hotel Group.

Over 200 agents from North America were awarded for all their hard work in selling AIC Hotel Group over the last year at the new Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos on Tuesday, October 22. The numbers that determined this year’s winners are based on 2018’s production.

Tour operators like Flight Centre, Travel Impressions, Delta Vacations, Funjet Vacations, United Vacations, Southwest Vacations, Air Canada Vacations, Transat Tours and more were also recognized for their efforts as well.

In its fourth year, the AIC Showstopper Awards provides the best agents and tour operators the rock star treatment – for more than just one night.

“This is our most important event of the year,” said Frank Maduro, Vice President of Marketing for AIC. “Travel agents make our business. They make it possible for us to do what we do.”

Ash Tembe, Vice President of Global Field Sales for AIC, echoed those sentiments.

“Agents are a key source for our distribution,” said Tembe. “We believe in travel agents. We do this for them. The investment we spend here is worth it to reward our top agents. Just wait until you see tonight.”

Tembe also said it’s not just US agents selling their properties.

“If you look at the top players for AIC, a lot of them are Canadians. Canada is pretty much our number two market in the world (behind the US),” said Tembe.

The show began with an opening performance from the Freddie Mercury Experience and continued on with the top agents collecting their awards on stage and getting their photo taken with Maduro and AIC Hotel Group COO Rafael Chapur.

For agents, receiving these awards and the trip to Los Cabos is a great reward for all their hard work.

“It’s a great recognition of our office and our whole team,” said Kim Cook, owner of Love to Travel and Triple Platinum award winner. “It’s truly remarkable. I’m very grateful to our team. Hard Rock puts on amazing presentation and it’s so nice to be appreciated and the way they recognize travel agents.”

In addition to the trip to Mexico for the awards show, agents are here through the week to celebrate the official grand opening of Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos.

“It’s amazing and I’m very grateful that I’m here and to experience the grand opening of Hard Rock Los Cabos,” said Kristi Mackedanz, travel agent and Triple Platinum award winner for Travel Leaders / Market Square. “In our industry, Hard Rock is the best at listening to their agents and they take our feedback to heart. They truly value agents and treat us so well.”

These award-winning agents will get to witness not only a live performance by rock-star Bret Michaels on Wednesday night but also the iconic guitar smash to commemorate the official grand opening on Thursday as well as a grand opening performance by Enrique Iglesias.

Of course, the party doesn’t stop on Thursday as in true Hard Rock fashion, it continues on to the weekend. An afternoon pool party with rapper Lil Jon on Friday is sure to kick the weekend off with a bang.

For travel agents who want to be part of the 2020 AIC Showstopper Awards, continue to sell the AIC properties as much as possible and you could be in a paradise location reaping the rewards.

The 2018 awards took place in Punta Cana. It is not yet known where the 2020 awards will take place, but agents can certainly expect a memorable week once again. Normally the event takes place in May, but this year was pushed back so agents could experience the new Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos. AIC Hotel Group plans to return the event back to the month of May in 2020.

The full list of 2019 AIC Showstopper Award winners is below:

Gold = 16-40 bookings in one year

Gayle Ailishe

Karen Baker

Grace Bonaguro

Marshall Bostic

Carmine Calderado

Jayne Carlton

Kimberly Deliz

Carey Driscoll

April Farmer

Kristin Garrett

Louisa Giampaolo

Karen Gill

Nicholas Gramenidas

Karynn Gross

Kim Guse

Raymond Howells

Geri Jones

Patty Jordan

Holly D Kaiser

Veronica Kastukevich

Julie Lanham

Wendy LaPorte

Chris Lee

Marisa Marciano

Michael McHugh

Kathy McKeon

Will Medina

Wanda Minx

Terri Nash

Karin O’Keefe

Jill Owen

Marta Perez

Elizabeth Randall

Karen Rose

Lauren Rubin

Shonta Smith

Suzanne Spradlin

Isabella Stankovait

Melissa Strebing

Barbara Vong

Trinity Taylor

Andre Xavier

Toby Wills

Platinum = 41-75 bookings in one year

Colleen Aaberg

Megan Baugh

Nikki Bond

Kate Breiter

Jennifer Brown

Wendy Burch

Corinne Burkhart

Denise Canon

Jennifer Carr

Chad Cotter

Dawn Coyne

Karen Daly

Deborah DeSmit

Alyssa Dial

Tami Dickinson

Shalene Dudley

Justin Dunn

Anna Duran

Sonia Estrada

Kelli Flake

Teresa Gangelhoff

Hollie Gomes

Clavia Howard

Angela Hughes

Sonja Hunt-Gray

Tiffani Inserra

Kim Jacoby

Brandi Sue Johnson

Phyllis Kaufman

Michelle Kindvall

Lynn Kirby

Sarah Kline

Alina Kosmanrimskaya

Trudy Lagerman

Stephanie Lockhart

Latasha Mabin

Dawn MacCrae

Angel Mateo

Tara McCoy

Terry McKinney

Julie McManus

Ashley Morris

Corrine Mutarelli

Whitney Norman

Amy Peterson

Angie Pope

Lori Power

Steffani Pratico

Tammy Prost

Niki Rakowitz

Lisa Ratner

Debbie Roberts

Itzel Rodriguez

Lisa Saint

Kathy Santos

Jessica Scharper

Brittany Schiffler

Amanda Scott

Cathy Seminara

Angee Shields

Dane Steele Green

Michele Thornburg

Karen VanWesten

Jennifer Waldron

Donna Watson

Melodie Williams

David Waldes

Noel Zanvettor

Jennifer Yokum

Double Platinum = 76-150 bookings in one year

Canary Travel

Classic Travel Connection

Destinations by Amy

Gareri Travel

Imagine Travel


LaMacchia Travel


Travel Concepts

Travel Savvi

Travel Professionals International


Veranda Adkins

Silvia Alard

Kelley Austin

Sharon Benoff

Carolyn Bujitas

Julie Cary-Gaines

Alexandra Case

Joanne Castner

Anna Crawford

Jessica Denis

Al Destefano

Tracy Espina

Lindsay Foerster

Joseph Frachillia

Vickie Gamble

Kim Goldstein

Katie Kapel

Jerry Katz

Matt Lennon

Josh Martinez

Toni Porter

Brandi Poss

Connie Riker

Camille Sanders

Christine Sholander

Jatinder Singh

Lindsay Smith

Ruby Stanfield

Jody Valentine Melissa

Varela Amy Vecchione

Shannon Vega

Arnold Velazquez

Rene Wills

Triple Platinum = 151-250 bookings in one year


Allied Travel


KHM Travel Group

Romance Travel Group

Modern Vacations & Destination Weddings


The Tropical Travelers

Travel Quest MN

TripGuy Travel

VIP Vacations


Kim Cook

Kristi MacKedanz

Deepa Mahal

Ketti Menne

Jenni Parks

Carol Ann Payne-Johnson

Diamond = 250+ bookings in one year


Paradise Weddings & Travel

Enchanted Honeymoons

All Inclusive Outlet

Travel Leaders/ Market Square Travel

Travel Tom

Beach Bum Vacation


Flight Centre

Cruise Planners

Destination Weddings Travel Group


Cherie Peninger

Chantelle Nugent

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