Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) pumps his fist as he runs off the field after an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, in Chicago. The Cardinals won 48-23. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) Top Stories 0 Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires It’s clear that while blocking may not have been a priority for Fitzgerald — and still, he gets paid as much as he does to catch the ball — it is now a big part of his game that will continue to help the Cardinals win. While Chris Johnson, David Johnson and Andre Ellington get the credit for running with the ball and the offensive line is praised for opening holes, the work of Fitzgerald and his fellow wideouts may not be easy to see, but it is not unnecessary.Or unnoticed.“As a football player either you’ve got it or you don’t have it,” Goodwin said. “You have to be a tough guy, first of all. There are a lot of guys that play in this league that are not tough — they’re just athletic and they can make plays.“But when it comes down to it, the dirty part of the game, be it blocking in the trenches or blocking on the perimeter, it’s got to be a will, it’s got to be an attitude, it’s got to be a want-to, and Larry has that.” – / 44 “His heart. You block with your heart,” Arians said of what makes Fitzgerald a good blocker. “You see a lot of wide receivers go, ‘I could’ve got him.’ No, you could’ve got him and you just didn’t. He gets it.”Fitzgerald, though, admits that hasn’t always been the case.“It wasn’t something that was really high on my priority list when I was younger, but here for us to be able to have great team success it requires the wide receivers to do some blocking,” Fitzgerald said. “And so for us to be able to have the success I know that we’re capable of, guys have to do some things that maybe they weren’t good at before.“But I’ve worked at it, we practice on it every single day. I’m much more comfortable doing it and I just hope to continue to improve at it.”His ability to be an extra blocker, especially when lined up in the slot as often as he is, is a central reason for the team’s improvement in the run game. Offensive coordinator said Fitzgerald reminds him of former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward, who was also a physical blocker. He said the receiver is always talking to him about how he can improve as a blocker, and that mentality trickles down to the rest of the receiver group. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo TEMPE, Ariz. — Around the country, Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald is earning rave reviews for his resurgence as a weapon in the passing game.Through two games, the 32-year-old is tied for 10th in the league with 14 receptions, is fifth with 199 receiving yards and is tied for second with three receiving touchdowns. His fantasy football owners are very pleased with the early returns.But inside the organization, while everyone is undoubtedly excited about the box scores the veteran is producing, it is something that does not show up in the stat book that has everyone talking. Specifically, Fitzgerald’s blocking in the run game.Asked what has changed in that department this season, as the Cardinals are averaging 4.4 yards per carry through two games this year after gaining just 3.3 yards per tote last season, head coach Bruce Arians pointed to the tight ends, offensive line and receivers blocking, singling out Fitzgerald as someone who has excelled.Quarterback Carson Palmer, who has made a living throwing to players like Fitzgerald, has noticed the receiver’s ability there, too.“I think he is the best in the game,” Palmer said. “I would take him over a lot of tight ends in the blocking game and it’s nothing but will and want-to. There are a lot of guys that don’t want to and a lot of guys that look like they can. He obviously looks like he can and does it. There are not a lot of guys that do that at his position.”At 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds, Fitzgerald no doubt has enough size to at least get in the way of defenders, if not beat them outright. But just being big does not make a player a good blocker, especially when said player is a eight-time Pro Bowler who is going to enter the Hall of Fame because of his ability to stretch the field and make big-time catches. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, right, a first round draft pick from Mississippi, battles with offensive lineman Cole Toner, left, a fifth round draft pick from Harvard, during the team’s NFL football rookie camp practice Friday, May 6, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Cardinals are coming off their finest season since 1948, leading the NFL in points and yards per game. Carson Palmer owns the NFL’s best winning percentage (.870) since the start of the 2014 season, playing the best ball of his 12-year career. He’s 36 years old, though, tossing passes to Larry Fitzgerald, who is also entering the twilight years of a sterling career.After watching the Cardinals pressure Cam Newton on a season-low 20.7 percent of dropbacks in their season-ending loss, Arians and general manager Steve Keim prioritized finding a blue-goose pass rusher this offseason. Keim promptly traded for Pro Bowl edge rusher Chandler Jones while selecting talented defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche in the first round of the draft. If Palmer and Fitzgerald don’t reach the Super Bowl in the next two years, it won’t be for lack of front-office support. Arians and Keim understand it’s time to seize the moment.The acquisition of Jones from New England was widely praised in NFL circles as it gives the Cardinals a premier edge pass rush threat. Since entering the league in 2012, Jones has 36 quarterback sacks, tied for the 11th-most in the league.Nkemdiche, the 29th overall selection in the draft earlier this month, had seven sacks, 19 tackles for loss and 11 quarterback hurries in his three-year college career. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Carpe Diem.It means “seize the day.”According to NFL.com writer Chris Wesseling, the Arizona Cardinals did just that in terms of reconstructing their pass rush — an element of their defense thought to be a weakness despite their trip to the NFC Championship Game last January.Wesseling gave out his NFL Roster Reconstruction Awards for 2016, and gave the Cardinals the “Carpe Diem” Award. Jones and Nkemdiche aren’t the only new pieces on Arizona’s defensive line. Veteran tackle Corey Peters is back from a left Achilles tendon injury that he suffered in training camp last summer. – / 28 Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Reddick understands much of this weekend is about the coaches throwing as much as they can at players in an effort to see who can learn quickly and improve their game.“To see who’s really going home and studying, who really wants to be here,” he said. “You get to weed out who’s just out here and who’s seriously trying to make a living.”Though his roster spot is not exactly up for debate, Reddick plants himself squarely in the latter group. He is trying to be a leader on the field because, as he said, it is his job, both as a middle linebacker and a first-round draft pick.He won’t get it all down in one practice, but with his first on-field experience as a Cardinal in the books, the former Temple star is pleased.“Very nice, just to see how things are going to go, what’s being expected of you, what’s the tempo like, what mistakes you’re making,” he said. “So that you can try to come back and correct them the next day.”Impressive startsOverall, Arians said on Friday he was very impressed with his group, with the team’s draft choices as well as some undrafted free agents and tryout players catching his eye. “Larry, from Colorado State Pueblo, wide receiver — I gotta get his last name yet — but I learned his first name already, so that’s a really good thing.“And Carlton, from Rutgers, looked really good; the two wideouts. A couple of the corners broke on balls really well. Budda (Baker) showed his ball skills.”The “Larry” Arians was referring to is Larry Clark (pictured), a 6-foot-3, 182-pound player who is in town on a tryout. In five games for the ThunderWolves last season, he caught 22 passes for 248 yards and four touchdowns.Taking a look for down the roadOne of the more interesting players in rookie camp is Air Force linebacker Ryan Watson.Practicing on a tryout basis, even if the coaches are impressed and the Cardinals would like to keep him around, he could not join the team for another two years.According to a rule handed down in late April by the United States Air Force to the Academy, all cadets must serve two years of active duty before they earn “ready reserve” status, at which point they could enter professional sports.“I think it’s dumb,” Arians said of the rule.Be that as it may, Watson, who notched 99 career tackles along with 16 sacks, one pass breakup, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery, could not possibly suit up for the Cardinals — or any other team — until 2019. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Arizona Cardinals first round draft pick Haason Reddick works out during an NFL football rookie minicamp at the team’s training facility, Friday, May 12, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) TEMPE, Ariz. — About this time last year, Robert Nkemdiche’s first practice of rookie minicamp raised some eyebrows.As you might recall, afterwards Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said the first-round pick “was killing people in walk-through” and was “bench-pressing linemen already.”For a variety of reasons, that did not foreshadow a dominant initial campaign for the defensive lineman. “Like always, I’ll only answer questions about guys on our team,” the coach said. “So you can put the pen away. If the guy’s not on our team, don’t ask me a question.”And that was that.Follow Adam Green on Twitter Comments Share As he told ESPN.com’s Josh Weinfuss, having to wait will be very tough, but he pointed out that he went to the United States Air Force Academy, so the easy road is not one he is familiar with anyway.“Oh, it’s definitely a tease,” he said. “But I’d rather be here than not be here, so I’m blessed to have the opportunity. I will never be upset coming in here and leaving.”At this point, Watson is trying to soak it all in while the Cardinals and their coach are just hoping to learn more about him.“Just give him a good look and give him the opportunity, he’s earned it,” Arians said. “I love working with the service guys and giving them that chance.“And you never know, they’ll impress you enough that you’ll think about them two years from now.”One final thought — sort of — on Daryl WashingtonYou knew it was going to come up.After the Cardinals surprisingly released recently-reinstated linebacker Daryl Washington on Thursday, Friday was the first chance to ask any of the team’s decisionmakers about what transpired.Expecting it, Arians pivoted mid-point while talking about players who impressed him in rookie camp with a quote most could have anticipated. And, on Friday, a similar occurrence happened with Arizona’s 2017 first-round pick, linebacker Haason Reddick.Playing middle linebacker after primarily being an edge rusher in college, the No. 13 overall pick in the draft caught Arians’ eye.“He tried to make a damn tackle,” Arians said. “And flying across the field and trying to get an interception.“But like I always say, I’d rather say ‘woah’ than ‘sick ’em,’ and he looked natural at the position.”This early, that’s a good sign.Because while pretty much every player on the field this weekend in Tempe is learning a new system, Reddick is at the disadvantage of doing so while at an unfamiliar role in the defense.“It’s very tough, it’s very tough,” he said of learning a new position at the same time as a different defense. “But I’m dedicated. I’m going to be in here watching film, getting in there with Coach (Larry) Foote, making sure that I’m learning.“I’m looking forward to being the biggest impact this season and getting out there and making some plays, so I’m definitely out here and I’m taking it seriously.”
Arizona Cardinals defensive end Kareem Martin (96) sacks St. Louis Rams quarterback Austin Davis to cause a fumble for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “I just wanted to go out there and do everything right. Have my right angle, have good get-offs, setting edges because this is a zone team—they hit the edge,” he said of the Bears, “and get after the passer standing on the edge and I felt like I accomplished that.”Martin, 25, has made plays in all three of the Cardinals’ preseason games. He had three tackles and a pass defensed in the Hall of Fame Game and then registered a half-sack and tackle for loss last week against Oakland.Martin is playing how he’s practiced, according to head coach Bruce Arians.“He’s been outstanding,” Arians said recently. “He’s another guy that kind of became our best special teams player. His pass-rush skills as his strength has gotten better. For him, standing up, that took some time having always played with his hand down. But, he’s got that length and he’s got a couple of good pass-rush moves now so, yeah, he’s earning his stripes.”A defensive end in college, Martin, who stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 272 pounds, transitioned to outside linebacker in 2015, after his rookie year. In the two seasons since, he’s made 16 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 29 games.“My pass rushing and just having overall confidence in myself to go out there and complete the task,” he said, referring to his progress. “This being my third year now at the position, I feel so much more comfortable doing every thing that Coach Bob (Sanders) and Coach (James) Bettcher ask me to do in the defense, and that’s the biggest thing when you’re playing outside backer because there’s so much to do.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Besides Martin, the other outside linebackers in training camp looking for playing time behind Golden and Jones are Alex Bazzie, Cap Capi, Jarvis Jones and Terrence Waugh. Jones is the only one with an NFL resume, though, having played the past four seasons in Pittsburgh. But Jarvis Jones has been dealing with a back issue, keeping him on the sidelines for much of camp.In other words, Martin appears to be the clear front-runner to be that third outside linebacker.“He is right now,” Arians said. “Jarvis isn’t practicing, so he’s winning that job.”It would be quite the story: from special teams standout to key contributor defensively. It’s a story Martin hopes is written in 2017.“The biggest thing is just make an impact, on special teams and hopefully being that guy on that third down sub package to be able to rush the passer with my guys out there. That’s the biggest thing,” he said. “That was my goal coming in, to be able to get in that third-down package. I’m trying to showcase it in camp and in the games that I can be out there and be dependable, be that third guy they can depend on.”Follow Craig Grialou on Twitter GLENDALE, Ariz. – With Markus Golden on one side and Chandler Jones on the other, the Arizona Cardinals are set at outside linebacker; and perhaps for quite some time. Golden is 26 and eligible for a contract extension after this season, while Jones, 27, was just rewarded with a five-year deal back in March.But those two, who had a combined 23.5 sacks last season, can’t play every snap of every game; and often a third linebacker is used on the outside, especially in obvious passing situations. That third backer was Alex Okafor in 2016. He, however, departed in the offseason, signing a free-agent contract with the New Orleans Saints.The most likely player to step into that role in 2017 is Kareem Martin.“Definitely that’s the goal,” he said, following Saturday’s preseason loss to the Chicago Bears. “We got two great pass rushers in Markus and Chandler, so hopefully I can take over that spot that Okafor left here and continue what we had last year to be the top outside linebacker sack leaders in the NFL.”Against the Bears, Martin nearly had a sack and perhaps would’ve if it weren’t for a botched snap by center Taylor Boggs. Quarterback Mark Sanchez recovered the football and Martin, in on the play immediately, was credited with a one-yard tackle for loss.“I felt like if he didn’t fumble the ball I would have had a cleaner hit on him,” Martin said. “I felt like I had a good get-off. I jumped the snap it felt like, got around the edge. I beat the guy a few plays earlier so I knew I was going to be able to run around him and he just happened to fumble that when I was lucky to get my hands on him.”It was another solid effort by Martin, who also recorded a quarterback hit during his 19 defensive snaps. 1 Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones (55) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) So, this is what happens when you beat a good team?The Arizona Cardinals scored their most impressive win of 2017 by beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-24 at University of Phoenix Stadium last Sunday. Jacksonville came into the game riding a four-game winning streak powered by the league’s best defense and running game. The Cardinals were able to move the ball against the Jags while bottling up Leonard Fournette, who managed only 25 yards on the ground. Ultimately, Arizona is an average team that is going to struggle to maintain consistency down the stretch. That stretch is tough, and I don’t see the Cardinals getting back in the playoff hunt this season. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact As you’d expect, the pundits noticed the Cardinals’ win.Here’s a look at where Arizona lands in NFL Power Rankings from around the country. NFL Power Rankings: Chargers are in mix for AFC West crown after 0-4 startCardinals rank: #22 (▲5) Like Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said: They are still alive. But they face a must-win against the Rams this week. NFL Power Rankings: Where Does Every Team Stand Heading into Week 13?Cardinals rank: #23 (▲4)This was the perfect matchup for the Arizona Cardinals to steal a win. When the Cardinals can run the ball with some consistency, they can be tough to stop. Bruce Arians is going to find creative ways to throw the ball downfield. The problem is they haven’t been able to run consistently this season.Fortunately, the Jaguars’ biggest defensive weakness is against the run. This helped open the passing game up for Blaine Gabbert, who does have some arm talent and who can make some nice throws.It also helped that the Jaguars have a one-dimensional offense. Arizona was able to sell out against the run and put Jacksonville in a lot of unfavorable situations. Cardinals rank: #22 (▲4)Beat the Rams on Sunday, and the Cardinals could be on to something. 4 Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo NFL Power Rankings Poll: Chargers Making Their RunCardinals rank: #22 (▲4)Boy, it was nice to see the Cardinals win a game on special teams play rather than lose one. Though, as they surely know, Blaine Gabbert as a quarterback means they are prohibited from a top-20 spot in the Power Rankings Poll. Top Stories NFL Power Rankings: Mike Tomlin’s Super Bowl proclamation wasn’t wrongCardinals rank: #21 (▲1)Have the Cardinals unearthed a gem in Ricky Seals-Jones? Seals-Jones was a big-time wide receiver recruit to Texas A&M but didn’t do much there. He never had more than 560 yards in a season. As a senior he had 333 yards and one touchdown. But he switched to tight end with the Cardinals after not being drafted, and after starting the season on the practice squad and not catching a pass before Week 11, Seals-Jones has 128 yards and three touchdowns the last two weeks. He has a great size-speed combination (6-foot-5, 243 pounds, ran a 4.69-second 40-yard dash at the combine) and we might be seeing the start of a really fun breakout.USA Today Power Rankings – Week 13Cardinals rank: #20 (▲9)Dare we ask if Bruce Arians is making a legit quarterback out of Blaine Gabbert, who’s looked un-Gabbert-like against two quality defenses? Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Week 13 NFL Power Rankings: Eagles keep soaring; Falcons, Ravens rise upCardinals rank: #22 (▲1)Blaine Gabbert got some type of revenge on the Jaguars and earned more opportunities to be the Cards’ starting quarterback. The team still needs to look at a QB early in the 2018 draft, but it’s good for Bruce Arians to get a long look at what the 2011 first-rounder can still do. – / 51 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Week 12 power rankings Arizona Sports Week 13 NFL Power Rankings: Top two the sameCardinals rank: #19 (▲6) Gabbert should start the rest of the season. He has shown great upside. — Mike JureckiWeek 13 NFL Power Rankings: Where every team ranks No. 1 (well, almost)Cardinals rank: #18 (▲3) Punters need love, too. Cardinals punter Andy Lee continues to be one of the best in the league. He has pinned opponents inside the 5-yard line five times this season, most in the NFL.NFL Power Rankings, Week 13: Chargers hit top 10; Chiefs dropCardinals rank: #21 (▲6)Gotta hand it to Blaine Gabbert, who spread clutch passes around in the fourth quarter as easily as he purportedly spread blame around while in Jacksonville. While myriad factors played into the former No. 10 overall pick’s failures with the Jags, Gabbert is a different player now. Despite seemingly never getting any credit, Gabbert always competed in San Francisco — and had a few moments of glory — before eventually being overshadowed by the Colin Kaepernick question (pre-kneeling). Gabbert clearly outplayed Kap in 2015, before giving way last season. When I saw him perform in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton this past August, I thought some folks might have bailed on him too early. Gabbert was 9 years old when Phil Dawson started launching field goals in 1999. What a kick.
Go back to the e-newsletter >Cruise Passenger Magazine has named Scenic winner of the Best River Cruise Line category for 2015 for the fourth year running. The annual Reader’s Choice Awards accredit the best cruise operators within the travel industry as ranked in order of readers’ choice.Michelle Black, GM Sales and Marketing, commented: “It is such a huge honour to have won the Cruise Passenger Readers’ Choice Award for Best River Cruise Line for the fourth consecutive year. This is a fantastic achievement and we are so grateful to our loyal past guests for taking the time to vote for us year after year.“These awards really do mean so much to us as they are proof that we are delivering a world class luxury river cruise product that we can be proud of. 2015 has been a huge year for us in terms of river cruising with the launch of four new ships in three new destinations, including our expansion into South East Asia, and we can’t wait to welcome our guests on board and share these new destinations with them in 2016.”Scenic marks the award as the end of another successful year after winning Best Cruise Company and Best Tour Operator in Luxury Travel Magazine’s prestigious 2015 Gold List Awards in April. The annual awards accredit the best luxury travel operators and destinations as voted for by their readers.Go back to the e-newsletter >
The Peninsula Shanghai has been awarded a total of three Michelin stars in the second edition of The Michelin Guide Shanghai that celebrated its inauguration in 2016. The result marks the second year that Yi Long Court enjoys a prestigious two-Michelin-star rating, while Sir Elly’s upholds its one Michelin star.The Peninsula Shanghai has also retained its title as the only hotel in Mainland China with two Michelin-starred restaurants simultaneously. The 28th edition of the Michelin restaurant guide and the very first in Mainland China, the Michelin Guide Shanghai 2017 reinforces and develops the foundations laid by the French publication since its arrival in China.The awarding of Michelin stars to Sir Elly’s – which serves modern European fare crafted by Chef de Cuisine Hans Zahner and Executive Pastry Chef Lucien Gautier – and Yi Long Court – which is helmed by Michelin-starred Executive Chinese Chef Tang Chi Keung and specialises in refined Cantonese dining – represented an important milestone for The Peninsula Shanghai. Under the guidance of Executive Chef Terrence Crandall, The Peninsula Shanghai has established itself as a critically acclaimed Bund-side dining destination that pushes the boundaries in luxury service and gastronomic innovation.Diners at Yi Long Court can enjoy Cantonese dishes, regional Chinese and dim sum favourites, plus creations inspired by the culinary travels of Michelin-starred Executive Chinese Chef Tang Chi Keung. Hong Kong-born Chef Tang, who opened Yi Long Court in October 2009, returned to The Peninsula Shanghai in April 2016. He previously spent five years creating Cantonese-inspired menus at Hei Fung Terrace at The Peninsula Tokyo, which earned a Michelin star during his tenure.At Sir Elly’s, French-born Zahner and Gautier combine their skills to create European menus for Shanghai diners to savour. Inspired by classically trained techniques, both chefs share an abiding passion for pairing French culinary inspiration with fresh Asian and European ingredients.The latest rotational menu at Sir Elly’s offers a gastronomic journey featuring ocean-fresh fish and seafood, Australian lamb shoulder and decadent desserts. The l’aventurier captures the beauty and nuances of Western fine dining, highlight dishes such as royal oyster with schrencki caviar, black cod confit with carrot escabeche and fresh mango, and pop corn with corn lemon ice-cream, white chocolate and caramel sauce.
Go back to the enewsletterTravelManagers’ 2018 annual national conference, consisting of three days of inspiring presentations, informative workshops, exciting announcements and entertaining activities, concluded in Hawaii on Sunday 19 August 2018 with their customary gala awards dinner.The Prince Waikiki, located at the northern end of Honolulu’s most famous beach, acted as home base for the duration of the conference and it was only fitting that the awards dinner should take place in the hotel’s Prince Waikiki Pi’inaio Ballroom.TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, explained that personal travel managers (PTMs) received awards in a range of categories, including Top New PTM, Most Improved PTM and Top PTM (all three of which were awarded by state and overall).One of the evening’s big winners was Sally Seward, who was awarded Top PTM for South Australia and Western Australia, as well as one of the Top Ten PTMs overall: an accomplishment that Gazal says was made even more remarkable given it was her first year with TravelManagers. As a result, Seward, who is representative for Cottesloe, WA, earned awards for Top New PTM both in her state and nationally.Other Best New PTM by state included Samantha Harman for Victoria/Tasmania, Shannon Walford for Queensland and Michelle Lehn for NSW/ACT.PTMs that have been with TravelManagers for 10 years were recognised with a Dedication Award. They included Heather Taylor, Cathy Moir, Aileen Collins, Sue Kuti, Pamela Edwards, Nicole Edgar, Alma Araullo, Simone Fraser, Stephanie Fung, Alison Johnson, Allan Roser, Moira de Vos, Ric Pattero, Agatha Vicario, Beverly Burt, Kylie Cilek, Allen Suss, Trine Rynehart, Ken Simpson, Penny Hall, Melinda Rowe, Maria Miller, Rebecca Dibbs, Tania McGuire and Jo Ainscough.Dedication Award Winners: PTMs recognised for achieving 10 years in Partnership with TravelManagers are PTMs Ric Pattaro, Sue Kuti, Nicole Edgar, (Michael Gazal NPO), Aileen Collins, Maria Miller, Alma Araullo, Trina Rynehart.“Having joined TravelManagers in late-2016 and having started trading in 2017 after 32 years as an agency owner, the TravelManagers business model has provided me with the freedom and flexibility to focus on looking after my clients, without being responsible for the other demands of a traditional bricks and mortar agency,” Seward explained.Another PTM to take home multiple awards was Tanya Tyler, representative for Riverview, NSW, who received awards for Most Improved PTM for both her state and nationwide. Tyler, who returned to the travel industry after a five-year absence, had to establish her own new database from scratch.Most improved PTM: NPOs Kellie Browning (left) congratulates PTM Tanya Tyler for Most Improved PTM NSW & National.“As a goal-oriented person, Tanya started out by setting daily commission targets to write. That target has increased three-fold over the past two years: an achievement which has been key to her success,” says Gazal.Natalie Miller, representative for Belmont, NSW, made the move to TravelManagers despite her concerns around having to learn completely new systems. Her willingness to embrace the challenge of those changes, and her reputation as one of the most helpful PTMs in the network, earned her the Recognition Award.Recognition Award: PTM Natalie Miller (left) is thrilled to receive her ‘Recognition’ Award from Operations Manager Pru Gallagher.Another of TravelManagers’ Top Ten PTMs for 2017 was David Hull, representative for Mount Martha, Victoria, who left his role as a travel agency owner with a staff of 12 to join TravelManagers in 2011.PTM of the Year: Joe Araullo (left) congratulates PTM of the Year David Hull.“David is a highly successful agent who has embraced the lifestyle choices made possible by a career with TravelManagers,” says Gazal. “He’s able to balance the demands of work with taking his son to and from school, keeping fit and enjoying plenty of family holidays, but always has time to share his highly valuable knowledge and experience with his colleagues.”Cassandra Zayonce was the winner of the Choice Award, which is chosen by the PTM network and specifically recognises a fellow PTM for their willingness to help their peers.TMA Choice Award: Jose Canas awards PTM Cassandra Zayonce (right) TravelManagers’ Choice Award.“This award also reflects also Cassandra’s professionalism and her dedication to upholding the TravelManagers brand and culture,” Gazal added.The winner of this year’s Spirit Award, Tanya Patterson, took home the Choice Award in 2017 and the Advocate Award in 2016, making her the only PTM to have achieved this hat-trick of accolades.Spirit Award: PTM Tania Patterson was presented with her ‘Spirit’ award by Chairman Barry Mayo.“Tanya is a great representative and advocate for TravelManagers,” says Gazal. “She’s always enthusiastic and happy to assist other PTMs, and frequently reaches out to new PTMs to ensure they are going well.”Hoot Holidays was named Partner Supplier of the Year, while Jo Patton won the award for Most Successful Marketing Campaign.At the end of the awards section of the gala dinner, the entire TravelManagers team of PTMs and the NPO team were thanked for their continued hard work, dedication and commitment.With next year’s annual national conference confirmed for 9–11 August 2019 in Perth, Gazal says the company is already looking forward to celebrating what looks set to be another record-breaking year.Denise Dean Advocate Award: PTM Rebecca Tiedgen receives Denise Dean Advocate Award presented by Karen Dowling (right) and Suzanne Laister (left).Top Ten PTMs: Celebrating Top 10 PTMs (from left to right) Grant Campbell (NPO), Peter Carmichael, Ric Pattaro, John Lengacher, Julieanne Gazal-Rizk, David Hull, James Hermiston, & Tanyu Cilek (NPO). Absent: Sally Seward, Matthew Collins, Luke Vaughan, Simon Tinkler. Suppliers’ Choice Award: Proud recipient of Supplier Choice Award Julieanne Gazal-Rizk (centre) with Marlene Lane and Tania MylesGo back to the enewsletter