NEW YORK, Dec. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Travel industry leaders – including luxury hoteliers, resort and cruise line operators, airlines and their teams from across the United States and around the world - gathered in New York City last week to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Valerie Wilson Travel (VWT). The event featured two days of instruction and networking amongst some of the best luxury travel representatives in the industry. But, the highlight of the celebration culminated Wednesday evening with an exclusive black-tie evening gala at Cipriani 42nd Street®.
VWT is one of the largest, family-managed full service travel consulting agencies specializing in high-touch services. Chairman & CEO Valerie Ann Wilson founded the company in 1981 in New York City. Today, Valerie continues to run the company along with her two daughters, Co-Presidents and Co-Owners Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg and Kimberly Wilson Wetty. With a diverse client base, there are 16 offices nationwide with a network of 315 Travel Advisors and Associate Agents.
"Our future is rooted in the past and our 35th anniversary is the perfect time to reflect upon that," said Valerie Ann Wilson to a crowd of over 600 guests. "We would not be the success we are today without our people. It is our advisors who are curating, facilitating, protecting, and enhancing the travel needs, significant life events, and adventures for our clients. And, that is why it was so important to invite them to New York to personally thank them in a momentous way."
In true "VWT" fashion, the gala event was celebrated with a global experience and an attention to detail that created a path to "Paint the World Peach" (the VWT iconic brand color) where a "who's who in luxury travel" walked the Peach Carpet. "I was thrilled, yet humbled to have so many friends, clients, and partners celebrate with us," said Valerie Ann Wilson who personally greeted guests – each with a hug and a kiss. "It is so important for us to honor the relationships that we have. That personal touch truly makes a difference and goes a long way."
A Celebration of Integrity, Trust, and Loyalty.
The heart of the celebration focused on gratitude and giving. During the evening, Valerie, Jennifer, and Kimberly presented the Longevity Awards to almost 90 individuals whom have been VWT partners and employees for 15 years or more. "Who we are as a company comes down to a simple, yet powerful concept of people caring for people," said Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg. "We wanted to show our gratitude to those with whom we work with in a great way. The Longevity Awards are our way of saying 'thank you' to those who exemplify our core values of consistency, loyalty, and longevity. They are an inspiration, and without them, we would not have all of the successes that we have today."
VWT Gives Back.
During the gala, VWT announced their continued dedication to making a difference in the world and the lives of others. Over the past five years, VWT has donated $1 million dollars through the combination of cash and in-kind gifts to hundreds of organizations across the globe – and the journey continues. As VWT commemorates their 35th anniversary, in lieu of gifts, they will be donating $35,000 of charitable gifts to 20 hand-selected, non-profit organizations. VWT engaged their leadership and staff to establish two tiers of giving. Tier 1 features five charities (three that were selected individually by Valerie, Jennifer, and Kimberly), and two additional charities that support the travel industry. The five charities are: American Heart Association (AHA), Dream Foundation, Swim Across America, Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP), and Tourism Cares. Tier 2 includes 15 additional charities handpicked by VWT associates and employees that will receive smaller donations. "This is part of the role we play in our global footprint," said Kimberly Wilson Wetty, "and giving back is a part of our DNA."
The Future is Rooted in the Past.
The evening was filled with memorable stories, live entertainment, and exquisite food and drink. The night concluded with a toast to three-and-a half decades of integrity, trust, and loyalty, and an inspirational speech by Valerie. "Our journey in travel advocacy and travel management continues to evolve," she said. "After 35 years, we are still committed to servicing our clients, and we look forward to further enhancing our preferred partner relationships, expanding our Power of Access®, increasing our presence worldwide, and continuing to make a difference in the world in which we travel."
About Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc.
Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc. headquartered in New York, NY, was founded by Valerie Ann Wilson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, in 1981, and managed along with her two daughters, Co-Presidents and Co-Owners Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg and Kimberly Wilson Wetty. It is an award-winning travel management company that has grown as an industry leader with 16 offices in the United States servicing business, leisure and meeting/incentive travelers. All VWT locations are proud members of Virtuoso® - the travel industry's leading luxury network. The agency has been consistently named on the annual Travel Weekly Power List as well as Travel + Leisure's A-List, and most recently as the 33rd largest in the United States.
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SOURCE Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc.