ASTA’s Board of Directors Meets at IDE

At ASTA’s most recent meeting of its Board of Directors in Istanbul, ASTA’s senior staff provided an overview of the current travel agency marketplace and potential for membership growth, future revenue earning possibilities and the Society’s consumer awareness efforts, along with an update on THETRADESHOW and future International Destination Expos.

Additionally, in view of the need to assure continuity of management of the Society while a new CEO and new Chief Financial Officer are retained and assume their responsibilities, a process that likely will take many months, the Board of Directors, through an interim, one-time amendment to the bylaws, waived applicable term limits and advanced the date of the election of the Executive Committee from the September THETRADESHOW to the Istanbul meeting. The board then extended, for one year only, the terms of the current Executive Committee—President and Chair Chris Russo; Vice President and Secretary Hope Wallace, CTC; Treasurer Nina Meyer, CTC, MCC, DS; and CAC Member-at-Large Ellen Bettridge—for a second, single year term, subject to re-election to the Board of Directors when required. The sitting Executive Committee abstained from the vote, which was unanimous among the remaining members present.

In the wake of this decision, ASTA's Board issued the following statement:

We currently find ourselves in a position where we have the chance to make significant and positive changes in the way ASTA is structured and run, changes that will make ASTA more efficient and better able to provide for its members. But in order to make those changes and ensure that ASTA continues in its current positive and forward path, the Board felt strongly that continuity in leadership was necessary. Under the bylaws, the Board elects its own leadership and there was complete agreement that this temporary step was in the best interests of the Society.

To facilitate the Board's ongoing responsibilities, it was decided that the upcoming meeting in August, which was originally scheduled to be held via Web conference, would be a face-to-face meeting held in conjunction with THETRADESHOW (Orlando, Sept. 12-14).

    The Board also voted unanimously to:
  • re-engage through staff in active support of lifting the current ban on U.S. citizen travel to Cuba. This action is in accord with ASTA\u2019s longstanding policy in favor of freedom of travel, independent of political considerations and under which individuals, not the government, make the decision where and when to travel. This position is in accord with the majority of public opinion polls on the subject, including a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, which found that 64 percent of Americans think the United States should lift the ban.
  • merge ASTA's Hong Kong Chapter into the China Chapter, effective immediately.

Additionally, ASTA Treasurer Nina Meyer, CTC, MCC, DS, was appointed to fill a vacant position on the Board of the National Association of Career Travel Agents, until a new CEO is hired for ASTA.