Three Travel Leaders execs run for ASTA board seats
In an extraordinary move, the presidents of three Travel Leaders Group units are vying for seats on the ASTA board of directors in an election set for this month.
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They are Roger Block, Travel Leaders Franchise Group; Jackie Friedman, Nexion; and John Lovell, Vacation.com. They, along with five other candidates, are vying for four open slots for at-large national directors.
Steve Loucks, Travel Leaders’ chief communications officer, said the three leaders entered the race “because they care deeply about ASTA’s direction.”
The concern, however, is not about ASTA’s policies, he said, but a concern about its ability to represent the trade effectively while working with reduced membership rolls and the resulting constraints on income.
Loucks said Travel Leaders, which accounts for 30% of all traditional U.S. travel agents, is encouraging all members to join ASTA.
He said Travel Leaders is committed to keeping ASTA viable, as it is important for the trade to be properly represented in dealings with the government, suppliers and the public.
“It has to succeed on behalf of all of us,” Loucks said.
Travel Leaders already provides significant support to the organization, both in time and money. Examples, Loucks said, are company participation on the Corporate Advisory Council; the participation of headquarters staffer Gloria Stock Mickelson as the Upper Midwest chapter president; and his own role chairing the ASTA public relations committee.
In a press statement, Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben said that “financial support over the last few years has totaled well into the six figures.”
Loucks said the bulk of that support is in the form of special contributions for specific projects.
Ballots go out on July 5.