ASTA Honors Industry Advocates

by Richard D’Ambrosio

ASTA awarded Roger Hale, president and CEO of ADTRAV Travel Management in Birmingham, AL, and the ASTA Midwest Chapter this year’s Barbara O'Hara Advocacy Award for their work advocating for travel agents.

Hale and the Midwest Chapter were honored jointly by ASTA and the Travel Technology Association at the 2016 ASTA Global Convention in Reno, NV, this week. The awards were presented at the ASTA Advocacy Dinner.

Hale was recognized for a PAC fundraising campaign that raised more than $2,500 from 46 employees year-to-date.

ASTA's Midwest Chapter was celebrated for its work to prevent an expansion of Illinois’ sales tax to travel agency services. The chapter raised over $41,000 in the first eight months of this year and recorded a 99% chapter participation rate.

Consortiums and chapter recognition
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. The chapter raised $71 per member on average and had an 89% chapter participation rate.

ASTA also presented the inaugural ASTA Paul M. Ruden Award to Marc Casto, president and CEO of Casto Travel in San Jose, CA. Casto is the outgoing chair of ASTA’s Corporate Advisory Council. 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.

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