KHM Travel Group’s 2017 Agent of the Year: Emily Kladivo

Written by: Amanda Bailey on March 16, 2018

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Emily Kladivo, of Emily’s Travel in Hibbing, Minnesota, is not one to rest on her laurels. In fact, she started her travel business after a bad experience with another local agent left her thinking, “I can do this better.”

When we first featured Emily in a Travel Agent Spotlight post in 2016, she was climbing through the ranks of our Pinnacle Elite program. At our Crystal Conference and Awards event that year, she accepted her first Crystal Award for being our top-selling agent with Delta Vacations.

It ended up being the first of many. The following year, her business hit new levels of success, and her hard work earned her our 2017 Agent of the Year award. She was recognized at this year’s Crystal Conference and Awards on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas for this achievement, along with awards for Agency of the Year, and top-producing agent with Avanti Destinations, Blue Sky Tours, Delta Vacations, and Funjet Vacations.

While the recognition is motivating, Emily is driven by her desire to provide the absolute best experience to her clients.

“We care about our clients…they’re not just another number,” she adds. “They’re like family!”

As she explained in 2016, it took dedication and an investment of time for Emily to get to her business to where it is today. It didn’t happen overnight, but she knew she was doing it for the right reasons.

Her travel business gives her the chance to meet new people all the time. She says one of her favorite aspects of her job is developing friendship with both her clients, and fellow agents.

“There’s no secret, but being a people person, and being extremely outgoing I feel is one advantage,” says Emily. “Working with KHM is a favorite. Truly family! As well as many agents who are now my best friends.”

Success comes with it’s own hurdles, and for Emily, one struggle has been balancing her business with her personal life. Her advice to new agents is to set boundaries with clients from get-go.

“You are setting a precedent,” she says. “If you work until midnight now for your clients, they will want you to in three years too!”

It takes knowing your value, and the ability to recognize when a client just isn’t the right fit, to find some equilibrium. Emily’s Travels is currently only promoted through Facebook and Instagram, and Emily herself is now more selective about the clients she works with personally.

We are thrilled to have Emily as part of our family of agents, as well as a valued member of our Travel Agent Advisory Board. Our Director of Industry Affairs Bill Coyle, who oversees the board, says that the foundation Emily has established for her business will define her success for years to come.

“Emily’s ability to read a client and adapt her knowledge into the equation helps her get the booking,” says Bill. “She listens and makes the best fit work. She doesn’t let the client control the outcome.”

Congratulations to Emily and her agency on an outstanding year with KHM Travel Group, and thank you for sharing your story and advice!


If you’d like to learn more about how you can start a fun, rewarding travel agent career from home, fill out the form on the right side of the screen or call 1-888-611-1220 to gain access to KHM Travel’s free Travel Agent Information Guide.