Cruise Planners’ CIO Honored as Top Workplace Professional and Wins 2016 CIO Award

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Brian Shultz, CIO, is recognized for his leadership and technology developments at Cruise Planners

Brian Shultz, CIO of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, is being commended for his innovative and advanced technology skills.

“His goal at Cruise Planners has been to create seamless opportunities for the travel agents to focus on selling travel while creating tools to make everyone more efficient and effective."

This year Brian Shultz, CIO of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the industry, is being commended for his innovative and advanced technology skills.

Shultz has been named as a 2016 CIO Awards Finalist in the South Florida Business Journal’s 2016 Technology Awards. This program recognizes CIOs who lead their organizations in delivering business value and innovative use of technology. This comes on the heels of him being awarded Top Workplace Professional, being recognized by Sun Sentinel.

“We are so proud of Brian and all that he has accomplished with Cruise Planners technology – keeping us cutting edge,” said Cruise Planners CEO and co-founder Michelle Fee. “His goal at Cruise Planners has been to create seamless opportunities for the travel agents to focus on selling travel while creating tools to make everyone more efficient and effective. He has fulfilled those goals and then some while being a strong leader.”

During the past five years, Shultz’s team has grown from four to more than 20 people as he leads one of the largest technology teams within the home-based travel franchise industry. Under Shultz’s leadership his team recently introduced a variety of new products and technologies, expanded the company’s infrastructure and grew the user base by nearly 25 percent.

As such, Cruise Planners launched eREZ Mobile, which is one of the most technologically advanced mobile applications within the industry. This app makes it possible for travel agents to run their business from virtually anywhere in the world. In addition, Shultz’s team also launched Cruise Planners Mobile which is an app for customers. The consumer app allows travelers to access their itineraries, book trip add-ons and connect with their travel agent. On his IT team, Shultz has introduced new roles and processes in order to improve efficiency and increase output.

“Brian hasn’t just made an impact on Cruise Planners, he has made an impact on the industry as a whole,” Fee said. “He developed a strong team that challenges each other to improve and create the best technology in the industry.”

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 1,400 franchise owners who independently book amazing vacation and travel experiences for their clients. The Florida-based Home Office Team positions a nation-wide network of franchise owners for success by providing innovative marketing, booking and technology tools, as well as professional development and hands-on training with the industry’s top executives. The company continues to be lauded and has been named the No.1 travel franchise by Entrepreneur magazine for 13 consecutive years. Cruise Planners was recently featured in Entrepreneur as one of the top 30 franchise innovators in technology, has been consistently named as one of the Top Women-Owned Businesses by the South Florida Business Journal, is on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, has been ranked as the #1 travel franchise by Franchise Business Review for 5 years in a row, and was recognized as one of the Top Workplaces by the Sun Sentinel since it started ranking companies.

Headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla. with more than 22 years of experience, Cruise Planners has achieved top producer status with every major cruise line. Accolades include numerous Magellan Awards from Travel Weekly for the past seven years, American Express Travel Representative Excellence Award for 11 consecutive years (2004-2014), American Express Agency of the Year (2010), Royal Caribbean International Chairman’s Award (2015), Royal Caribbean International President’s Award for Overall Achievement (2012 and 2014), Royal Caribbean International Home-Based Partner of the Year (2007-2013), Norwegian Cruise Line Franchise Agency of the Year (2011-2015), Celebrity Cruises Field Sales Account of the Year (2015), Celebrity Cruises Home-Based Account of the Year (2013-2014) and Celebrity Cruises Southeast Region Travel Agent Partner of the Year (2010), American Express Vacations Best of the Best Globe Award (2008-2015), Globus Family of Brands Premier Agency Partner (2009-2014), Platinum Member of the 500 Club for Sales Excellence (2014), Platinum Circle Member with Viking River Cruises (2009-2012), Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Top Producer (2008-2014) and Regent Seven Seas Cruises Top Producer. Cruise Planners is one of the Top 50 franchises for Veterans according to GI magazine, the Top Franchise Brand for Veterans according to Franchise Business Review, has been named one of the Top 25 franchises for African-Americans by Black Enterprise magazine and is a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. For more information, visit http://www.cruiseplanners.com.

Stay in Touch: Media can stay up-to-date with Cruise Planners by visiting our media room, following us on Twitter @Cruisitude or on Facebook. For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should locate a travel advisor near them. For those interested in becoming a franchise owner, please visit our franchise website.

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Caitlin Murphy Gardner
Cruise Planners
+1 (954) 344-8060 Ext: 117
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