Chances are, if you’ve found our website, you are, or are looking to become, a home based travel agent. I’m writing this post to inform my readers of the ASTA National Director Elections 2012 coming up. Home based agents are a growing segment of the industry and it’s important that the interests unique to home based agents, be represented at the national level with ASTA.
A Candidate for Home Based Travel Agents
This year, there are eight candidates running for ASTA’s four National Director positions. While all candidates have strong backgrounds and are working towards strengthening the travel agent community, we want to highlight one in particular. Jackie Freidman, president of the host agency Nexion, is running in the ASTA National Director elections. She has been in the industry for 28 years, the past of eight serving as the president of Nexion – the largest host agency in the United States. We are highlighting Jackie due to her understanding of home based travel agent needs as well as having been a leader in home based agent advocacy through the years. She has experience and skill sets far beyond the home based agent niche while also being considered an expert in the field of home based travel agents; that’s why we recommend o’ur readers vote for her for the ASTA National Director Elections 2012.
I encourage you to read all candidates campaign statements, while keeping in mind the unique skill set Jackie Friedman brings to the table and how that could benefit your home based travel agency.
Election Details and Dates
The ASTA National Director Elections 2012 will be held in July. Ballots will be conducted online starting July 5th, 2012. Qualifying voters will receive instructions via email July 5th, 2012. Ballots must be received by 5pm ET on July 19th, 2012.
You will need to be a member to vote in the ASTA National Director Elections 2012. If you are not an ASTA member, you can become an ASTA member as either a U.S. travel agent ($277/yr) or an international travel agent ($399/yr).
As a smaller agency or someone just starting out, the price may seem daunting. Please remember the industry education, networking with successful agencies, and, painting an even larger picture, supporting an organization that represents travel agents in our government, is easily worth the cost of membership. If you’re still unsure, remember that membership into professional organizations like ASTA that help you carry out the duties of your job are tax deductible.
Friedman’s Campaign Statement:
The following is the ASTA National Director Elections 2012 campaign statement of Jackie Friedman:
As a 28 year travel industry veteran, I simply can’t imagine a career in any other business. My current role as president of Nexion, a network of over 3,000 agents, enables me to help agents grow their business. I have been a proud ASTA member for over 8 years, but I want to do so much more for our industry, particularly for other travel agents like you who understand the overriding importance of ASTA, which is devoted to protecting and promoting our interests!
I am running for the ASTA Board of Directors because I have a passion for the travel industry and want to play an active role in ensuring that the professional travel agent not only survives, but thrives. I bring a wealth of travel industry leadership experience along with the experience and energy that ASTA needs. I want to give back to an industry that has been so good to me.
I welcome an opportunity to help ASTA help you in three fundamentally important ways:
As the issues facing our industry become exponentially more complex, it becomes more important for all travel agents to become fully invested in supporting ASTA’s advocacy and research efforts. They can’t do it without our support and conversely, we can’t do it without their support. We are a team. If elected, I will focus my efforts on educating agencies and independent agents on why supporting our trade association with both membership dollars and involvement in local chapters is crucially important for our industry. I’ll certainly lead by example by actively promoting ASTA membership to all agents operating independently under Nexion’s growing umbrella.
ASTA continues to drive consumer awareness of the value of the travel agent, and this effort is really starting to gain traction through excellent news coverage that’s no longer predicting our demise, but indicating we’re here to stay. Hand in hand with this effort, we must work together as an industry to ensure that there are standard training and agent certification programs to meet the increased expectation of quality and knowledge that this new awareness brings with it.
Professional travel agents need to be aware of the issues at both the state and federal levels that could impact their business and how ASTA is proactively looking out for their best interests. As an industry, we must all do our part to support these efforts at the grassroots level, not only by joining ASTA, but also in demonstrating to our elected officials the potent force that the travel agency community continues to be. We simply can’t afford not to.
I’d like to personally ask for your vote so that we can make a difference together.