Grand Circle Corp. chairman Alan Lewis, 74, has died.
The leader and former CEO of Grand Circle Travel unexpectedly passed away at his home in Kensington, N.H., on Nov. 2, his family said in a message posted on the company's website.
Harriet Lewis will serve as chair of Grand Circle Corp., while Edward and Charlotte Lewis will each serve as vice chair. All three will continue to serve on the company's board of advisors.
Brian FitzGerald will remain CEO of Grand Circle and the company's brands, Overseas Adventure Travel, Grand Circle Travel and Grand Circle Cruise Line. Christopher Zigmont will continue to serve as CFO and contracting, air operations and ship operations. Andrew Tullis will serve as executive vice president, strategic planning and product development.
Lewis, who first purchased Grand Circle in 1985, grew the company into one of the most successful and one of the biggest tour operations in the world.
He was also well-known for his controversial stance on not using travel advisors and prioritizing Grand Circle's business model as direct-to-consumer only, a move he said in a 2005 Travel Weekly cover story "cut out all the middlemen around the world."
Lewis later issued a statement, walking back some of his comments and acknowledged the importance and the value of the travel advisor in the industry.
Lewis is survived by his wife, Harriet, and two children, Edward and Charlotte, along with their spouses and several grandchildren.