Zane Kerby, President and CEO of The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), issues the following statement on the passing of ASTA colleague and friend, Robert (Bob) Duglin:
“With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of our friend, colleague, and industry statesman, Bob Duglin. Bob passed away on Sunday at his home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. More than ten years ago, Bob was hired by Scott Koepf, who served as President of the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) at the time. Bob’s initial role was to organize FAM trips for NACTA, now known as the ASTA Small Business Network. Through the years, Bob rose steadily in responsibility. At the time of his passing, he held the title of Vice President, International Membership & Host Agencies, and Managing Director, ASTA Small Business Network.
“Bob sat on ASTA’s Senior Staff for the past eight years and was a constant positive contributor to all ASTA’s initiatives. We fondly remember over the past year, how his beloved cats would often join him on Tuesday’s Senior Staff calls.
“Always ready to help, Bob rolled up his sleeves during the pandemic. He coordinated ASTA's efforts assisting our Independent Advisor members navigate the labyrinth of state unemployment forms and regulations to ensure they received the benefits they needed. With a keen eye for market developments, Bob was the driving force behind ASTA’s new River Cruise Expo event. And although Bob traveled the world, his real passion was people. It’s hard to think of Bob without picturing him in the midst of friends. To know him was to like him.
“David Brooks at The New York Times has written about resume virtues and eulogy virtues. Bob was a rich blend of both. But his eulogy virtues were always on display. His mind went automatically to people and how they would view or react to a decision. Bob worked closely with former NACTA/ASTA Small Business Network President, Ann Chamberlain. Ann and I spoke last night, and after a good cry, we talked about his gentle nature, his kindness and patience. ‘Bob would never hurt anyone,’ was Ann’s heartfelt observation.
“I scrolled through our recent text messages to imagine hearing his voice again, and a recent exchange made me smile. When we parted ways in Croatia a few weeks ago, Bob on to vacation and me on to home, I mentioned that in all our years of working together, I’d never met his life partner, Paul. He sent me a picture of Paul and told me how blessed he felt to have Paul in his life. I remarked, ‘Well, Bob, it appears that we both married up!’ to which he replied, ‘I definitely agree on both cases!’
“Bob’s sudden passing leaves a huge hole in ASTA’s heart. We’ll miss you, brother. Your wise counsel, your humor, your dogged devotion to the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles. Though the pain of your absence is sharp, as we watch your ship disappear out of sight over the horizon, there are others remarking, ‘Hey, here comes Bob.’ Till we meet again.”
“We’ll apprise ASTA members and friends of memorial details as soon as they are available.”