Alexandria, VA, September 27, 2016 – The American Society of Travel agents (ASTA), which advocates on behalf of the travel agency community at all levels of government, honored its most active members for their participation in this mission at the 2016 ASTA Global Convention in Reno Tahoe, NV.
Two Barbara O'Hara Advocacy Awards were given jointly by ASTA and the Travel Technology Association at the awards ceremony during the black-tie Advocacy Dinner, held at the Nevada Museum of Art. The first was presented to Roger Hale, President & CEO of ADTRAV Travel Management in Birmingham, AL, in recognition of his support for ASTA’s advocacy work, including an in-house PAC fundraising campaign that has raised more than $2,500 from 46 employees year-to-date. The second was presented to ASTA's Midwest Chapter on the strength of its PAC fundraising and grassroots work to prevent an expansion of Illinois’ sales tax to travel agency services. The chapter raised over $41,000 year-to-date through August with a 99 percent chapter participation rate.
At the dinner, two 2016 ASTA Consortia of the Year Awards were also presented to Signature Travel Network and to Virtuoso in recognition of consortiums, franchises, or coops that have displayed outstanding support for ASTA and its mission to promote and defend the travel agency community.
Awards were also given to local chapters in recognition of their support for ASTAPAC and grassroots advocacy campaigns. ASTA's Long Island Chapter won the Chapter Advocacy Award as well as exemplary PAC fundraising (raising $71 per member on average with an 89 percent chapter participation rate).
Finally, ASTA presented the inaugural ASTA Paul M. Ruden Award to Marc Casto, President & CEO of Casto Travel in San Jose, CA. Casto is the outgoing chair of ASTA’s Corporate agenty Council, and the award was presented by incoming chair Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg of Valerie Wilson Travel in New York, NY. The award honors Paul Ruden, ASTA's former Executive Vice President, Legal & Industry Affairs, who retired last September after more than 25 years on the ASTA staff.
Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit ASTA.org. Consumers can connect with an ASTA travel advisor at TravelSense.org.