Nominations for Diamond Awards are open until midnight October 15th

We have received many notable nominations for our annual SoCal ASTA Diamond Awards to be held in January 2016. Click here to nominate



No donation is too small.  For every $25 donation, your name will be entered into our ASTAPAC drawing for some special travel prizes to be announced at our November Millennials and Mentors Thanksgiving Mixer.

Our Luxury Travel Showcase and Symposium was a huge success. Thank you to all of the over 250 agents that attended, our supplier partners –

Crystal Cruises, MH Ross Travel Insurance Services, Qatar Airways, Travel Insured International, JDB Fine Hotels and Resorts, Private Trade Winds, Turkish Airlines, Avalon Hotels, SIT Italy,    Auto Europe, Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, Occidental Hotels & Resorts, The Royal Hideaway, Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, Sports Empire, The Dorchester Collection, Ya’lla Tours USA,  Fiji Fantastic by Marso Travel Marketing, The Resort at Pelican Hill, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, Magister Tours – Experts in travel to Turkey, Starwood Hotels, Disney Destinations, Travel Guard, Noble House Hotels and Resorts, TRAVELEX Insurance Services, AM Resorts, Celebrity Cruises, Goway Travel Inc, ICS Travel Group, Insight Vacations, Pebble Beach Resorts, Melia Hotels International, Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates, Tahiti Legends by Roberts Representation, Super Value Tours, AMAWaterways, Cunard Line, Hard Rock Hotels All Inclusive Collection, Emirates, The Address Hotel & Resorts, Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort and Andaz Penninsula Papagayo Resort Costa Rica, Allianz Global Assistance, Personalized Services, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism, The Haven by Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Marival Hotel Group – Riviera Nayarit, Hotel Zephyr, Corinthia Hotels London & Budapest, International Expeditions,  Silversea, Air Calin, Azamara Club Cruises, Insider Journeys – Asia Specialists since 1993, Czech Tourist Authority , Phillippine Department of Tourism, GOGO Worldwide Vacations, CIE Tours International and all of our distinguished panelists.

Panelists from left – Tama Holve, Lois Mitchell, Mickey Weill, Andi McClure-Mysza, Robin Sanchez, Dan Ilves, Bell deSouza

SoCal Millennials and Mentors will be hosting our next Thanksgiving Member Mixer in November…..Details TBA

 “Uniting today’s leaders in travel with tomorrow’s leaders in travel. Partnering together with an honest and open sharing of ideas and values where we embrace and welcome all members of the travel community for networking and shared learning designed to strengthen the entire travel industry. “ 

News from ASTA Headquarters –

ASTA Welcomes More Than 900 Attendees to the Global Convention in D.C.

The Southern California Chapter for ASTA was named first runner up for

“Chapter of The Year 2015”.

The buzz was almost audible, the vibe was electric and ASTA delegates to the 2015 AGC were agreeing—ASTA is back. The convention program was diverse, and in fact drew heavy press coverage of travel agent issues during and after the show. Among the many highlights – a panel of consortia executives, an intergenerational discussion by well-known industry members, and a keynote address on branding and social media by an animated speaker from outside the travel industry, Sasha Srauss.

For international members, networking was the key focus of ASTA’s Global Travel Exchange (GTE). ASTA chapters from Kenya and Nigeria had a particularly large contingent at GTE, connecting with American agents who are in a position to send them business. The tradeshow floor was also sold out on both Monday and Tuesday, where attendees were able to connect with more than 125 exhibitors. And, for the first time in almost 20 years, three top airline executives from Delta, United, and American appeared on stage at the opening session. In the spirit of forging new relationships, Bob Somers of Delta Air Lines said, “Shame on us for being absent for so long [but] the importance of the travel agent was never lost on us. You have our commitment to have your back and provide you with the service you need.”                                                          

                                  Registration Opens for 2016 ASTA Events 

As you may already know, we have opened registration for three shows next year where you can see all Hawaii has to offer, learn to Flamenco dance in Spain or possibly soar in a hot air balloon over Reno and see lovely Lake Tahoe. We hope you’ll join us at one of our 2016 shows.

  • ASTA Maui Showcase – May 11-15, 2016: It’s always a good time to go to Maui! Space will be limited. Register today.
  • ASTA Destination Expo – June 2-5, 2016: Nothing beats actually being there. ASTA returns to Europe in a big way, Seville, Spain. Register here.
  • ASTA Global Convention – September 25-28, 2016: Laugh at midnight, dance ’til dawn. Reno Tahoe has all the excitement you can imagine. Online registration form is now available.

Very best wishes,

Pamela Irwin, CTA, CTC

SoCal ASTA Chapter President

and your

SoCal ASTA Board Members 2014-2016

Vice President – Tama Holve

Treasurer – Patty Thorington

Secretary – Rhonda Shumway 

Allied Committee Chair – Sheri Machat

Venue Committee Chair – Bell de Souza

Past Presidents Committee Chair – Stan Jones 

Legislation Committee Chair – Susan Tanzman

Membership and ASTAPAC Committee Chair – Steve Orens

Social Media and M & M Committee Chair – Gabriella Latini

P.S. Please let us know if you would like to volunteer to assist us with our SoCal ASTA chapter. We would love to have you on our team.

Please support all of the suppliers that support our SoCal ASTA chapter.  They are all listed on our website and at the bottom of this newsletter.

If you have any questions, please let us know or call the ASTA Membership Department at 800.ASK.ASTA or email


  • ASTA Maui Showcase – May 11-15, 2016: It’s always a good time to go to Maui! Space will be limited. Register today.
  • ASTA Destination Expo – June 2-5, 2016: Nothing beats actually being there. ASTA returns to Europe in a big way, Seville, Spain. Register here.
  • ASTA Global Convention – September 25-28, 2016: Laugh at midnight, dance ’til dawn. Reno Tahoe has all the excitement you can imagine. Online registration form is now available.


SoCal ASTA Millenials and Mentors Mixer – November 2015

SoCal ASTA Holiday Meeting December 2015

SoCal ASTA Diamond Awards January 2016

Upcoming Webinars from ASTA Headquarters

 ASTAPAC- Representing Travel Agents | October 8, 2015 | 2pm ET

Recent ASTA Member Alerts & Press Releases

ASTA Inducts New Board of Directors, Executive Committee | September 3, 2015

Jay Ellenby, Jackie Friedman Honored for Advocacy Work| September 2, 2015

ASTA Global Convention Attendees Get First Peak at New 2016 Event—The ASTA Maui Showcase | August 19, 2015

Signature Travel Network Supports ASTA with Renewed Membership Contract | August 18, 2015

Our Luxury Showcase and Symposium was a Great Success

This was a wonderful event and we would like to thank all of our volunteers, travel agent attendees, panelists and supplier partners that attended.

Crystal Cruises
MH Ross Travel Insurance Services
Qatar Airways
Travel Insured International
JDB Fine Hotels and Resorts
Private Trade Winds
Turkish Airlines
Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau
Occidental Hotels & Resorts, The Royal Hideaway
Outrigger Hotels & Resorts
Sports Empire
The Dorchester Collection
Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau
Avalon Hotels
Ya’lla Tours USA
Auto Europe
Fiji Fantastic by Marso Travel Marketing
The Resort at Pelican Hill
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
SIT Italy
Magister Tours – Experts in travel to Turkey
Starwood Hotels
Disney Destinations
Travel Guard
Noble House Hotels and Resorts
TRAVELEX Insurance Services
AM Resorts
Celebrity Cruises
Goway Travel Inc
ICS Travel Group
Insight Vacations
Pebble Beach Resorts
Melia Hotels International
Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates
Tahiti Legends by Roberts Representation
Super Value Tours
Cunard Line
Hard Rock Hotels All Inclusive Collection
The Address Hotel & Resorts
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort and Andaz Penninsula Papagayo Resort Costa Rica
Allianz Global Assistance
Personalized Services
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism
The Haven by Norwegian Cruise Line
Oceania Cruises
Marival Hotel Group – Riviera Nayarit
Hotel Zephyr
Corinthia Hotels London & Budapest
International Expeditions
Insider Journeys – Asia Specialists since 1993
Phillippine Department of Tourism
GOGO Worldwide Vacations
Azamara Club Cruises
Czech Tourist Authority
Air Calin
CIE Tours International

SoCal ASTA Celebrates Diamond Awards & 80th Anniversary

More than 175 travel agents, owners, suppliers, and consortia executives attended the Southern California Chapter of ASTA’s 80th anniversary gala on January 17 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The black-tie gathering is SoCal ASTA’s premier annual event that showcases the chapter’s accomplishments and honors the significant achievements of several of its members.

This year’s honorees include:

The late Jerry Healy of Pleasant Holidays – 2014 SoCal ASTA Diamond Award, for his untiring support of the travel agent community, his passion for life, and his unwavering support of the travel industry in Southern California and SoCal ASTA.

Miriam Rand – 2014 SoCal ASTA Diamond Award, for her commitment to travel and strong support of the travel industry in Southern California and SoCal ASTA. Known as the “First Lady of Luxury Travel,” Rand is 98 years young and owned and worked at Rand Fields Travel in Beverly Hills for 60 years before retiring.

Julie Johnson of Azzurro Travel – 2014 SoCal ASTA Travel Agent of the Year, for her time and commitment devoted to the chapter for more than four years. She is the former chapter vice president.

Nancy Lovino of Paul Gaugin Cruises – 2014 SoCal ASTA Allied Member of the Year, for her unwavering support of ASTA and SoCal ASTA.

Princess Cruises – 2014 SoCal ASTA Compass Award, for the best travel agent training program through its OneSource Academy educational resource.

Roger Block and Travel Leaders Board of Directors – 2014 SoCal ASTA Advocate of the Year, for their commitment to ASTA by requiring their members to belong to the travel industry’s premier professional organization. Signature Travel Network also received this award for going above and beyond in requiring its members to join ASTA.

In his role as chairman of ASTA, Block spoke to guests about the importance of ASTA membership and what the organization does for the industry and every American citizen by protecting their travel rights.

The evening began with a champagne reception and silent auction followed by recognition of past chapter presidents in attendance: Ada Brown of Seaside Travel, Klaus Billep of Universal Travel System, Stan Jones of Harcourt Travel, and Susan Tanzman of Martin’s Travel and Tours.  SoCal ASTA Chapter President Pamela Irwin, CTC, and previous SoCal ASTA Diamond honorees Wido Schaefer, Vicki Freed, Susan Tanzman, Marc Mancini, Joe Watters, and Ed and Lynn Hogan led an Irish toast and blessing to Diamond honoree Jimmy Murphy who passed away in December.

2015 Diamond Awards 224 from left Pamela Irwin Nancy Ioving Tama Holve Patty Thorington 2015 Diamond Awards 261 Pamela Irwin Julie Johnson Sheri Machat 2015 Diamond Awards 248 Pamela Irwin Roger Block 2015 Diamond Awards 246 Elena Rodriguez Pamela Irwin Selena Luketic Tama Holve Marc Mancini 2015 Diamond Awards 241 Pamela Irwin Miriam Rand Tama Holve 2015 Diamond Awards 231 Pamela Irwin Jack Richards Tama Holve 2015 Diamond Awards 201 Past Diamond Toast from rt Vicki Freed Wido Schaefer, Marc Mancini Susan Tanzman Ed and Lynn Hogan Joe Watters Pamela Irwin 2015 Diamond Awards 100a Stan Jones Susan Tanzman Ada Brown Klaus Billep 2015 Diamond Awards 280 Julie Baker Patty Thorington Tama Holve Pamela Irwin Gabriella Latini Sheri Machat Sarah Machat Wendy Moriarty Susie Hogan