Three Travel Leaders Group Executives to Run for ASTA Board
By James Shillinglaw
June 27, 2012 12:48 PM
Three top executives of Travel Leaders Group, in an unprecedented move, have officially announced their candidacies for the open at-large national director positions on the board of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). Roger Block, CTC, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group; Jackie Friedman, CTC and CTIE, president of Nexion; and John Lovell, CTC, president of Vacation.com, are running for three of the four seats. Travel Leaders Group says its various units now include approximately 30 percent of all traditional travel agents and generate gross travel sales of nearly $17 billion.
Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben has endorsed all three for board posts. “In the history of ASTA, there has never been a more critical time for its voice to be heard in the halls of government or with the traveling public,” Liben said. “We all need a strong ASTA to effectively make our collective voices heard. But because of the declining base of U.S. travel agencies over the last 15 years, ASTA’s membership has decreased so dramatically that the very underpinnings of its essential advocacy role are threatened. The very future of ASTA requires nothing short of the strongest leaders possible who not only possess excellent business acumen, but also already have their hands firmly on the pulse of the agency community. “
Liben said he strongly supports Block, Friedman and Lovell for ASTA national directors because they each have repeatedly demonstrated a passion for ASTA and the travel agency community. “Time and again, they have put their money where their mouths are by strongly advocating on ASTA’s behalf in working to increase membership and overall agency support for the organization,” he said. “In fact, not counting the support from our own member agencies, Travel Leaders Group’s financial support over the last few years has totaled well into the six figures. As evidenced by Roger, Jackie and John’s candidacies, our entire company -- whose heart and soul are deeply rooted in the travel agency industry -- stands ready to offer even more support and leadership toward ensuring ASTA’s viability for years to come. I strongly encourage all ASTA agents to support Roger, Jackie and John.”