Announcing our 2017 Compass Photo Contest Winner: Callie Ritsema

Written by: Michelle on September 11, 2017

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Over the past two years, KHM Travel Group’s Show Us Your Compass Photo Contest has literally taken us across the globe. From snapshots in exotic destinations around the world to photos in our travel agents’ backyards, we’ve seen a variety of creative takes on how agents read The Compass Magazine.

Last year’s winner featured an animated and memorable trip to the mailbox.

Our 2017 winner Callie Ritsema posted a photo that caused us to scratch our heads and ask, “How did she do that?” It was the first photo of its kind and one that took us somewhere we’ve never been for this contest…underwater!

Not only was the photo remarkable, but her caption perfectly summed up what it means to be a travel agent.

We asked our winner, Callie Ritsema of Ritz World Travel in Grand Rapids, Michigan to share her story and the inspiration for this incredible photo. Not only will this photo be published in the next issue of The Compass Magazine, but it also helped land Callie a spot on the 2018 Crystal Conference and Awards cruise this January.

When did you become a travel agent with KHM Travel Group?
I signed up in April 2016, but didn’t start working until October 2016.

What types of travel do you specialize in?
Most of my clients travel to all-inclusive resorts, but I’m beginning to specialize in groups, and luxury travel such as river cruises, escorted tours, etc.

What gave you the idea for your #MyKHMCompass photo submission?
When running out the door to our snorkel excursion in Bali, I saw my Compass magazine sitting on the nightstand of the hotel room, and that’s when the idea hit me. With the help of my husband and our GoPro, we were able to capture the shot!

What do you think made your photo stand out?
Creativity and uniqueness!

You won a spot on our Crystal Conference & Awards cruise next year! What was your reaction when you found out?
I was ecstatic, of course! I called my husband right away – we’re both thrilled and grateful for this opportunity!

What are you most looking forward to on the Crystal Conference & Awards cruise?
I had a blast meeting fellow agents and learning more about our suppliers at the last FAM trip I attended (AMResorts and Travel Impressions FAM to the Dominican Republic in June), so I’m most excited for that. And the vacation part, I’ll always look forward to vacations.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with your fellow agents, to help them for future photo contests?
Be unique with both the picture and the caption! Don’t be afraid to look at what other agents are doing, and do something that sets you apart.

What is your favorite part of your job as a travel agent?
I believe that traveling gives us more wholesome and charitable views of the world. Vegetating in one little corner of the earth for one’s entire lifetime is not going to shatter walls and stereotypes, but immersing ourselves in different cultures and spending time with people that live different lifestyles certainly will. I absolutely love that I get to play a small role in that every day. Sharing my passion and helping people see the world and all the beauty it beholds brings me so much joy each day!

Congratulations Callie on submitting the prize-winning photo! We look forward to seeing you at the 2018 Crystal Conference and Awards early next year.

You can check out all the entries we received by searching the hashtag #MyKHMCompass on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

Do you want to be a part of host agency family and attend live events like the Crystal Conference and Awards as a KHM Travel Group Agent? Download our free information packet by completing the form to the right or by calling 1-888-611-1220.

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