Troy McQuagge’s Mission of Hope

Troy McQuagge was born and raised in Panama City, Florida. He obtained his Bachelors degree at the University of Central Florida in 1983, securing a job with Allstate Insurance Company not long, thereafter. After a little over ten years of a successful working relationship with the company, he went on to join the student department of United Insurance Companies (UICI). In just two years, he was named the president of the United Insurance Company’s Agency, UGA. Troy well exceeded all of his bosses expectations by setting several single-year sales records.

Troy continued his ventures with UICI, which was eventually purchased by a private company, until he joined the USHEALTH Group, Inc., and was elected as the company’s Executive Vice President and Chieft Marketing Officer. In just a year later, he was promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer of the company. In the years that Troy McQuagge has worked for USHEALTH, the company has grown ten times larger in all aspects of the operation.

One of Troy’s most prized accomplishments would be an initiative he started in 2010 within USHEALTH called HOPE, which is a clever acronym for Helping Other People Everyday. HOPE is an organization that lives by being centered around helping everyday people that may be in need. One of their very first projects was partnering with Phoenix of New Orleans (PNOLA) organization to help as an aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Together, they donated supplies, resources, and volunteered hundreds of man hours to help rebuild homes and the lives of the hardest hit communities in the city. They ensured that residents of the lower-mid city areas were provided with safe and sound housing.

HOPE has also teamed up with The Crisis Nursery, which is a non-profit organization that shelters children in the Phoenix/Scottsdale metropolitan area, to provide thousands of dollars in shoes, clothing, formula, and supplies to children in need. The leaders behind the HOPE initiative has made it their purpose to give back to those cites that host their annual Leaders Meetings. Read more about Troy McQuagge US Health at Slideshare

HOPE has gone on to make many other contributions to all sorts of organizations. For instance, in 2012, when the Leadership meeting returned back to Phoenix, hope presented a check for more than $25,000 to HOPEKids Arizona. After they found out that HOPEKids had opened up a chapter near it’s Texas headquarters a year later, they donated another $45,000, and then some. In 2015, USHA made one of the largest donations, $100,000, in less than 20 minutes to the Semper FI and America’s Fund, which is geared towards providing immediate financial aid towards wounded 9/11 veterans to ensure that they have the resources that they need to transition back into everyday life.

Troy McQuagge USHEALTH did more than just initiate the HOPE mission, but it’s something that they have lived by everyday. They have proven that they are more than dedicated to make the way of life better for everyday people.

Learn more:https://www.streetinsider.com/Press+Releases/Troy+McQuagge+Honored+as+Most+Innovative+CEO+of+the+Year%3A+Insurance+in+the+Annual+2016+CEO+World+Awards%C2%AE/11952264.html

World Travel Tips for Saving Money

If you travel a lot, then there are some things you should do to make your experience a better one and save money.

First of all, when it comes to booking flights, realize that a round trip will not always be cheaper. Sometimes, it is worth looking into two one-way tickets. In addition, although you might always book economy class tickets, consider looking into business class tickets and economy plus tickets (if the airline offers it). Depending on the time of the year, they may not be as expensive as you think and you will be able to experience a better flight.

You should also choose your timing wisely. If you really need to get somewhere and you want to save money, you may want to travel on days when business is slow for airlines. People travel a lot before Christmas, but on Christmas itself, you may be able to get cheaper flights.

Another way to save money is by signing up for frequent flyer programs and mile rewards credit card programs. This is true if you fly a lot, and even if your miles are not as many as others, you might still be able to get better customer support because of your participation.

When choosing an airline, choose an airline that has great customer service and actually arrives on time. If the airline has too many delays, you may end up missing your meeting or get-together.

HappyOrNot Releases First Report On The “World’s Happiest Airports”

If you’re a frequent flyer, you’ve probably seen a few HappyOrNot satisfaction stations with cute smiley face buttons around various airports. Developed by the Finnish engineers Heikki Väänänen and Ville Levaniemi, these stations have four buttons on them that are designed to gauge customers’ satisfaction at a wide variety of areas.

All HappyOrNot stands have four buttons on them ranging from perfectly content green to a furious deep red. There are also two lighter shades of red and green to indicate a less intense reaction. All people have to do is press the button corresponding to how they feel and the data is sent into HappyOrNot’s databank.

Just a few weeks ago, Heikki Väänänen and Ville Levaniemi released their first HappyOrNot global report. All of the airports on this list had to have at least 120,000 button-presses in two different sections of the airport between 2016 and 2017.

According to the data, the UK’s Exeter Airport is the happiest in the world. This tiny airport scored an 88.66 percent satisfaction rating, which is well above the average score of 76.52 percent.

The number two spot was a tie between Cork Airport in Ireland and the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome. Both of these airports scored 88.45 percent.

Rounding out the top five was Dallas Fort Worth International in Texas and Newcastle International Airport in the UK. These airports scored 87.35 percent and 87.05 percent, respectively.

Analysts noted that most of the airports on their top ten list were smaller, local, and lacked the amenities of major hubs. The only two exceptions were Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport and Dallas Fort Worth. Study authors believe travelers like the increased convenience and general lack of stress these tinier airports provide.

Portugal Wins Top Honors At 2017 World Travel Awards

Portugal was the big winner at this year’s World Travel Awards ceremony. Travel experts and average tourists agreed that Portugal deserves the 2017 title of “World’s Leading Destination.”

In addition to winning “World’s Leading Destination,” Portugal’s capital city Lisbon won World Travel Awards’ “Leading City Break Destination.” Portugal’s Parques de Sintra – Monte da Lua won the award for “World’s Leading Conservation Company” and Portugal’s Pine Cliffs Resort won the title of “World’s Leading Luxury Leisure Resort.”

Just a few decades ago, Portugal struggled to attract international tourists. Nowadays, however, Portugal is flooded with tourists interested in the country’s natural wonders and cultural treasures. Many travelers feel Portugal is a safer and cheaper travel alternative to other Western European nations.

Although Portugal stood out this year, there were other surprising wins at the World Travel Awards ceremony. Interestingly, Bolivia was awarded the “Leading Cultural Destination.” Reviewers say they respect the Bolivian people’s commitment to putting together festivals and special events on a monthly basis.

Singapore once again led the way in the airlines department. The “World’s Leading Airline” went to Singapore Airlines and Singapore’s Changi Airport was voted “World’s Leading Airport.” However, AirAsia won this year’s prize for “Leading Low-Cost Airline.”

This year’s “Best Beach Destination” went to the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean. As for the “Best Culinary Destination,” Peru took home the top prize.

A few other winners at this year’s festival include Wynn Las Vegas for the “World’s Leading Casino Resort,” the Armani Hotel Dubai for the “World’s Leading Hotel,” and Machu Picchu for “World’s Leading Tourist Attraction.”

Anyone can vote for their favorite travel destinations on the World Travel Awards website throughout the year. Travel experts’ ballots count double ordinary tourists’ ballots.

The 24th annual World Travel Awards took place on December 10th in Vietnam’s JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Hotel. To see a full list of winners, anyone can visit World Travel Awards’ website.

Things World Travelers Should Take With Them

Do you travel a lot? There are some things you should always take with you around the world.

For example, if you are someone who often misplaces things, then you should use a tool that lets you track your items. There are many products that let you use Bluetooth devices to keep track of your personal items such as your wallet or cellphone. This way, you will not have to worry about leaving your wallet behind in your old hotel.

A laptop briefcase is another thing that is useful to take around if you use a laptop on your vacations. This is especially suitable for business travelers.

If you travel around the world, you may want to consider getting travel insurance. This can help you out if you suddenly run into a tough situation and you need medical help, for example.

You may also want to take electrolyte tablets. This will help you from becoming dehydrated. Remember that you can not take drinks with you on flights. If you are dehydrated, electrolytes can energize you.

Another idea, especially if you fly a lot, is a little divider for your armrest. This way, you will not have to fight over the armrest between you and another passenger. You can also take a little pillow with you.

Of course, do not forget the simple things, like a toothbrush and a comb.

The Best Vacation Destinations For Star Wars Fans

With the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, travel experts expect Star Wars-themed tourism to grow exponentially. There are dozens of locations Star Wars fans can (and do) choose to visit every year. Anyone putting together their own intergalactic bucket list should take a look at the locales listed below.

First, fans who wants to see Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine must visit the Tunisian desert Djerba. Here you’ll get to tour Skywalker’s home and the infamous Mos Eisley cantina. You can also take a short trip to the nearby cities of Tozeur and Matmata to see more Star Wars filming locations and stay in the Hotel Sidi Driss.

For a soothing Star Wars voyage, travel experts recommend booking a trip to Villa del Balbianello, which is alongside Italy’s Lake Como. All of the scenes that took place on the planet Naboo in Star Wars: Episode III were filmed right here. This is an exceptional vacation idea for couples looking for a Star Wars-themed romantic getaway.

Probably the easiest Star Wars filming location for Americans to visit is the Redwoods State Park in California. This site was used to film all the scenes on the forest planet Endor in Star Wars: Episode VI. While you’re in California, you should also check out Death Valley National Park. A few Tatooine scenes were filmed in Death Valley.

Finally, if you don’t mind the cold, take a trip to the Hardangerjøkulen Glacier in Norway to experience the planet Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. Locals are used to Star Wars fans visiting this region and a few hotels host special “Visit Hoth” events. Note, you can only take a tour of the glacier between July and September.

A Culturally Diverse Israeli Cycling Team Travels the World Bringing a Message of Peace and Coexistance

The Israeli Cycling Academy was founded in December 2014 and includes members with similar social values including members of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Their mission is to become ambassadors for peace. They plan to serve as role models for a younger generation that people from different countries, with different beliefs, can work together toward a common goal.

The 2018 team includes champions like Israel’s Roy Goldstein, Spain’s Ruben Plaza, Italy’s Kristian Sbaragli, and Turkish rider Ahmet Orkin. Having a Turkish and an Israeli rider on the same team sends a message of coexistence and peace.

In 2017 the Israeli Cycling Academy competed across three continents, including Australia, South America, and Europe. This diverse team includes members with strong ability but who wouldn’t be able to really show off their skills in their home countries.

The Giro D’Italia is a race second only to the Tour de France in the competitive biking world. This team will compete in a traditional race that will leave the continent of Europe for the first time and pass through Israel.

The Israeli Cycling Academy has members from 22 countries if you count support staff, trainers, and technicians. The Israeli Ministry of Tourism and corporate sponsors including De Rosa Road-racing bikes of Italy sponsor the team.

“The vision and main goal of the team is to instill a love of cycling among young Israelis from all backgrounds,“ Roni Baron of the Peres Center and co-founder of the team said in November. The team for 2018 includes riders from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Turkey, and the United States.

20 Michelin Stars Enhance Bangkok’s Status As A Culinary Capital

If you’re still looking for excuses to finally book a trip to Bangkok, the city’s first Michelin Guide was released at the start of December. In total, Michelin handed out 20 stars to 17 Bangkok-based restaurants.

Only three of these 17 restaurants received two stars each. These restaurants include the Indian-themed Gaggan, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bangkok’s Le Normandie, and Lebua Hotel’s Mezzaluna.

But perhaps the most famous Michelin star winner in Bangkok was the street-food vendor Jay Fai. Located at 327 Samran Rat Intersection, Phra Nakhon, Jay Fai serves exceptional crab omelets and crab curries to hungry locals every day of the year. Fai was awarded one Michelin star.

The 13 remaining restaurants received one star each. These restaurants include the following names: Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, Ginza Sushi Ichi, Bo.Lan, J’aime by Jean-Michel Lorain, Nahm, Saneh Jaan, Suhring, Savelberg, Paste, Chim by Siam Winsdom, Elements, L’atelier de Joel Robuchon, and Upstairs at Mikkeller.

Many Thais were surprised only one of the city’s famed street-food vendors made the cut for a Michelin star. In particular, locals were disappointed that Tipsamai Pad Thai near Golden Mount didn’t earn a spot in Michelin’s 2018 Guide.

All of these Michelin stars greatly enhance Bangkok’s status as one of Asia’s premier cities for high-class dining. Many culinary experts now consider Bangkok on par with cities like Tokyo, Macau, and Singapore.

Michelin officials released their 2018 Bangkok Guide at an event in the Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok. After the awards were handed out, Siam Kempinski staff hosted a gala dinner with dishes from other Michelin-starred chefs. Tickets to this special event cost $614 per person.

Travel + Leisure Announces Top 15 Cities In Europe

Spain and Italy claimed most of the top prizes in Travel + Leisure’s 2017 reader’s survey of the top tourist draws in Europe. Out of this list of 15 cities, eight spots went to locales in these two nations.

The top prize went to Italy’s Florence. This shouldn’t come as a shock to readers, especially considering Florence won the top honor ten out of the past eleven years. Out of a possible score of 100, Florence got a 90.75.

Italy also clinched second place with the capital city Rome. “The Eternal City” raked in a score of 89.73 from Travel + Leisure’s readers.

Coming in third place was Spain’s second largest city: Barcelona. Barcelona’s score of 89.52 was extremely close to Rome this year.

Rounding out the top five European cities on this list were San Sebastián in Spain and Hungary’s capital Budapest. These two cities scored 89.52 and 89.19, respectively.

The only other nation that had more than one city on this year’s list was Portugal. The Portuguese capital Lisbon came in tenth place and the city of Porto came in ninth. Travel experts say this is yet more evidence of Portugal’s rising status as a major player in the European tourism industry. Both cities scored in the 88-point range.

Travel + Leisure authors asked readers to rank major tourist destinations in areas such as friendliness, cost, food quality, shopping opportunities, and cultural experiences. Respondents praised Florence’s efforts to preserve its cultural identity by blocking off fast-food chains from the city center and planning renovations at the Uffizi Gallery.

From sixth place to fifteenth, this is how Travel + Leisure’s list broke down: Siena, Seville, Kraków, Porto, Lisbon, Prague, Venice, Edinburgh, Istanbul, and Madrid.

3 Romantic Places to Ring in 2018

If you are looking for a place to hang out with some friends to see 2017 out, then you may want to consider an Airbnb. There are some unique choices that would be super for you and a gang of friends.

Irish Castle

You and 11 of your closest friends can celebrate at an Irish castle near Galway, Ireland. Prepare your own feast in the well-stocked kitchen before serving it in the formal dining room. Then, head upstairs to dance in the new year in the great hall as the clock strikes midnight.

Ski Chalet in France

Hit the slopes on December 31 before relaxing with 10 of your friends at your own private chalet in the Mont Blanc region of France. Soak sore muscles away in the secluded hot tub before snuggling up in front of the fireplace to welcome 2018 in with someone special.

Private Island in the Philippines

Relax in the warm tropical atmosphere by staying in your own bungalow on this private island escape located just three hours from Manila. Enjoy seeing your own lake out your bedroom window when you first wake up in 2018. This one-bedroom home is the perfect place to escape the winter doldrums.

These three places each have their own unique style, so choose the one that is right for you. Then, decide who you want to spend New Year’s Eve with as it may be the start of a beautiful relationship.