MOULTONBOROUGH — Sandy Cleary, founder and owner of New Hampshire-based CruConCruise Outlet, has been named the 2018 Business Leader of the Year by Business NH Magazine. Cleary received the award at a May 17 ceremony at the Manchester Downtown Hotel. Businesses were nominated for the award by chamber of commerce executives, with a Panel of Excellence, consisting of other New Hampshire business leaders selecting this year’s recipients.

“I am beyond thrilled and humbled to win one of New Hampshire’s most prestigious awards and be recognized as the 2018 Business Leader of the year,” said Cleary. “I started this business more than 25 years ago and I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the hard work, support and expertise of my team of 135 employees who take amazing care of our clients each and every day.”

In addition to supporting the travel industry, Cleary donated over $1.3 million dollars this year to a number of New Hampshire charitable organizations. Among those is the Greater Lakes Region Children’s Auction, which funds a variety of non-profits that help children in Lakes Region communities; David’s House, which houses families of patients at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth; and the Lakes Region Boys and Girls Club, which was the recipient of a $350,000 donation from Cleary to renovate their facility.

“I am extremely proud of Sandy and CruCon, as they continue to be a shining example in the travel industry along with contributing to the community,” said John Lovell, president of Travel Leaders Network and LeisureGroup. “The passion and enthusiasm both Sandy and her team has is truly instrumental for the clients they serve. I cannot think of someone more deserving of this award than Sandy.”

In addition to being recognized as Business Leader of the Year, Cleary was recognized last month by the Cruise Lines International Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Founded in 1997, CruCon Cruise Outlet is a full-service North American cruise travel agency working with guests from across the world. With its headquarters in the Lakes Region, the company sends over 100,000 people on cruises every year.

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