I just got off the
phone with Jim Smith, CTC, whom Id known when he was at National
Car Rental and Certified Vacations. He told me he hooked up with a
company called the Solutionz Group. I clicked on the Solutionz.com
Web site and -- wham! -- my past flashed before my eyes.
There was former
Sabre CEO Kathy Misunas and her husband, Bill. The last I heard,
they were involved with motorcycles (or joined a gang).
Terry Jones was
there, as well. I thought he had retired from Travelocity and went
to live the good life.
Mitchell was there, too. I thought she was still with
All of this made me
start thinking, Where has everyone gone?
Where is Peter
Sontag of the Sontag Annis and Associates consultancy, the man who
later headed USTravel and 800 Travel Systems and used to
pontificate on the front page of every trade magazine and
What happened to
Stevan Trooboff, who seemed to chair every industry
That one I know --
he is living the good life in New Hampshire and is heading up the
Council on International Educational Exchange.
But what about former Avis
CEO Joe Vittoria, who went on to launch Travel Services
International? He cant be just sitting on his boat with a fishing
What happened to
TACO? Remember them? Way before it was fashionable to eat meat
wrapped in a tortilla, TACO was the Travel Agents Computer
Organization, started by the Garber folks in Boston. The Garbers
seemed to think that automation might be here to stay. They may
have been on to something.
Electronic Distribution Network Association) is still around and
successful. Did you know it started out as Hot Mama? It stood for
Hotel Marketing Automation Managers Association.
We had to change
the name after the late Scott Pruner of Stouffers (yes, Stouffers used to run hotels and make frozen
lasagna) refused to check in for a meeting saying he was with the
Hot Mama group.
deliberation during a sumptuous Sunday brunch in Chicago, we
decided to call it EDNA, short and simple -- but then we didnt want
the car guys to be a part of it, so we added the hotel qualifier.
Go Hedna! I feel like a very proud parent.
But, speaking of
Hedna, where is Scott Heintzeman these days?
I just realized
that Marsha (Marriotts Automated Reservation System for Hotel
Accommodations) is now in her 20s. They grow up so fast, dont
That reminds me,
when I was at Marriott, the company had just added its 100th hotel
and the only woman VP was head of gift shops!
[Editors notes: Peter Sontag is
consulting and is CEO of Fast Lane Travel, a Clearwater, Fla.-based
organizer of tours involving fast cars. Joseph Vittoria is chairman
of the board of PuraDyn, a manufacturer of oil filtration systems
in Boynton Beach, Fla. Scott Heintzeman is chief information
officer for Carlson Hospitality Worldwide.]
Pat Going is a
semiretired former marketing automation executive and a recovering
workaholic. Her e-mail address is pat [email protected].