Robert Duglin, also known as Bob Duglin, the longtime American Society of Travel Advisors employee and passionate industry advocate, passed away on Sunday at his home in Ft. Lauderdale.
Duglin’s career in the travel trade and with ASTA goes back to 2009 when he was hired by Scott Koepf, the then president of the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA), working to organize FAM trips for NACTA, which is now known as ASTA Small Business Network.
Duglin was a steadfast presence for ASTA ever since that hiring and sat on the association’s senior staff for the past 8 years, most recently as the vice president of international membership and host agencies, and the managing director of ASTA’s Small Business Network.
ASTA president Zane Kerby issued a statement about Duglin’s passing on Tuesday morning:
“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.
“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,” Kerby finished.
"Bob’s infectious smile lit up every room he was in," said Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg, co-president of Valerie Wilson Travel. "After reading Zane’s letter this morning, I instantly thought of seeing Bob in Tahoe, San Diego, Washington, DC, and remembering his genuine warm welcome, smile, hug, and 'How are you?' at each industry event. He epitomizes having the passion for one’s career. He will be dearly missed."