Grand Prize Winner Will Be Selected at Sept. 27 Event in Houston Featuring Daymond John


Carnival Cruise Line today named the travel advisors who are semi-finalists now competing for the top prize in the “Your Winning Plan” business success series. One semi-finalist was chosen from each of the six in-person events and two were chosen from the virtual event.

The semi-finalists selected are:











  • Gwendolyn Johnson, CTC of GMN Vacations, LLC in Charlotte, N.C.
  • Margaret Gomes of Gomes Travel Planners/Dream Vacations in Los Banos, Calif.
  • Paula McDonald of Family 1st Travelers, LLC in Livonia, Mich.
  • Kimberly Stanley of Adventure by Kim in Tupelo, Miss.
  • Leigh Lee of Our Next Adventure Travels in Johnstown, Colo.
  • Charvon Parker of Gateway Travel in Garner, N.C.
  • Juan Velazquez of Cruise Planners in Fort Mill, S.C.
  • Maureen Adams of Inteletravel in Charleston, S.C.

One of the semi-finalists will be named the grand prize winner when celebrated entrepreneur Daymond John, star of ABC’s Shark Tank, helps to conclude the series at a grand finale event in Houston on Sept. 27.

The series brought together travel advisors across the country and provided opportunities for learning, development, and business growth. Carnival encouraged the advisors to develop business plans with a tool created in cooperation with America’s Small Business Development Centers, a partner of the U.S. Small Business Association. The advisors were then invited to submit their plans and compete for cash to use toward implementing them. More than one thousand plans were submitted during the program.

“We are looking forward to recognizing each of these eight semi-finalists at our exciting grand finale event at the end of September. I’m impressed by the creativity and passion we’ve seen from the advisors who shared their business plans with us and I’m delighted by our continued partnership and thrilled to play a part in their future growth,” said Adolfo Perez, Carnival Cruise Line’s senior vice president of global sales and trade marketing.

Creativity and passion, along with the quality of each plan’s attention to driving business results, played a role in the criteria for selecting the semi-finalists. A panel from Carnival, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) judged the business plans submitted. Each semi-finalist earned a $2500 prize and the chance at taking home the additional grand prize of $5000 to use toward executing the winning plan.

Christine Duffy, Carnival’s President, will join John during the event to discuss tips for entrepreneurial success and John will also name the grand prize winner during an onstage celebration. For those who cannot attend in person, the event will be streamed live online – registration is now open and available by clicking here.

Additionally, Carnival has made the virtual event, which took place on Aug. 5, available for replay online, so that advisors who could not attend an event may still access the helpful information shared during the series. To watch the virtual event, visit

For additional information on Carnival Cruise Line and to book a cruise vacation on Carnival, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, visit, or contact your favorite travel advisor or online travel site.