Signature Travel Network highlighted its ability to be flexible after canceling its Owners' Meeting after a surge of the delta variant hit Hawaii. The event was shifted to a virtual format but continued with its optimistic message.
"Signature's strength and advantage has always been our dynamic, diverse and nimble membership working with the top partners in the industry. The past 18 months have shown these attributes and partnerships to be critical in not just weathering the storm, but ensuring our Owners, Members and Signature team are well-positioned to quickly capitalize on the recovery. We are moving full-speed ahead, even if there may be a few speed bumps in our path."
The network reported that it added 33 members since its 2019 Owners' Meeting for a total of 210 members in the U.S. and 71 international agencies.
During its virtual meeting, Signature also showcased the success of its Sherpa tool, which simplifies access to information on international travel regulations, as well as its Signature Cruise Pro Booking Engine, which helps advisors with reporting on future cruise and trip credits.
Signature announced that it added 115 new hotel partners in 2020 and 80 in 2021. The network also added new partners to its land program, reflecting a new interest in FIT travel, small groups and more.
"Every challenge offers opportunities, and the Signature family has embraced every COVID-inspired opportunity," said Sharpe. "Our expanded membership has already experienced the first benefits of the recovery and is looking ahead to a very bright future, arm in arm with the entire travel industry."
At the Owners' Meeting, Signature elected a new board of directors to a two-year term.
"The commitment of the Signature Board in sharing both their time and expertise during this most challenging time has been critical to me, our members and our team. Their leadership has left us all in a strong position to reap the benefits of the emerging travel recovery. For that and their always positive guidance I am grateful," said Alex Sharpe, president and CEO of Signature Travel Network.
Sharpe also praised the leadership of retiring board chair, Eric Maryanov: "The tireless leadership, support and friendship from Eric over the past 8 years has been indispensable to me and all of Signature. His advice is always informed by his vast knowledge of the entire travel industry and a concern for every one of our Signature members. For that and so much more, I will always be grateful. I am glad that he will continue to serve on our Board. Thank you, Eric."
"I would like to extend my deepest appreciation for the privilege of serving as Signature's chairman for the past 8 years. It's been an opportunity of a lifetime," said Maryanov.
The new board chair is Olga Placeres, president and CEO of Preferred Travel of Naples.
"It is a privilege to serve the Network that has continually supported us and to work alongside an incredibly dedicated Board and outstanding Signature staff," said Placeres. "I have big shoes to fill, as Eric Maryanov was a great leader for many years and l look forward to our continued collaboration. Our future is bright, I trust that together we will thrive as our beloved travel industry recovers."
This is the new Signature 2021/2022:
Chair: Olga Placeres, Preferred Travel of Naples, Naples, FL
Vice-Chair: Scott Caddow, Legendary World, Las Vegas, NV
Treasurer: Ryan Hansen, Bon Voyage Travel, Tucson, AZ
Secretary: Brent Jenson, Morris Murdock Travel, Salt Lake City, UT
Director: Annette Stellhorn, Accent on Travel, Rehoboth Beach, DE
Director: Eric Maryanov, CTC, All-Travel, Los Angeles, CA
Director: Cathie Lentz Fryer, CTA Travel, Cerritos, CA
Director: Marc Kazlauskas, FROSCH, New York, NY
Director: Paul Coleman, CTA, Sun Travel, El Paso, TX
Director: John Heimburger, TravelPlex Travel & Cruise, St. Louis, MO
Director: Ron Russo, Vacation Superstore Network, Inc., Port St. Lucie, FL
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