New Board of Directors and Officers as approved by the WITS Membership 4/21/15:
2015 - 2016 WITS Board of Directors
President: Lori Gédon (continues as President from 7/2014 - 6/2016, then one year as Past President) VP: Dominic Karl (will be VP 7/2015 - 6/2017) Treasurer: Phyllis Rathbun ('til 6/2017) Recording Secretary: Elaine Cuilik (1 year extension 'til 6/2016) Corresponding Secretary: Gloria Vanderpoel (1 year extension 'til 6/2016) Membership Director: Eileen Seery (1 year extension 'til 6/2016)
BOARD: Carolyn Graham (7/2014 - 6/2016)
Rich Giordano (7/2015 - 6/2017 - term extension)
Cynthia Miller-Aird (7/2014 - 6/2016)
New BOARD Members: Amy Gerling (7/2015 - 6/2017)
Pat Colongione (7/2015 - 6/2017)
August 1, 2014
Dear WITS Members:
I am very pleased to be at the helm of New York State's most dedicated travel industry organization.
Much has changed in our industry since I started my first company, VHR, WORLDWIDE (Vacation Home Rentals, Worldwide) back in 1992. Living in New Jersey, I joined and/or became a Board Member of NJ TIPS (New Jersey Travel Industry Professionals - similar to WITS), NJ ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents), and the NJ and CT Chapters of the CTO (Caribbean Tourism Organization). I also developed a good working relationship with the leaders of other area associations, through support of their monthly meetings and/or trade shows, including but not limited to LITAA (Long Island Travel Agents Association), ETA (Eastern PA Travel Agents), TABS (Travel Agents of Brooklyn and Staten Island), TASC (Travel Agents of Suffolk County), VSTA (Vermont Society of Travel Agents) and AWTA (Alliance of Westchester Travel Agents).
In short, the experience garnered from the strategic alliances I have built over the years allows me to make recommendations that will assist WITS in holding steadfast in an unstable economy, and help the Organization grow.
WITS has a very diversified and dedicated Board of Directors - a group of savvy pros who work hard behind the scenes to organize appealing, educational programs that enhance our membership's familiarity with a wide variety of travel and hospitality options, sharpens our skills, and broadens the scope of our knowledge. While many of the dinner meetings' line-ups are already being finalized, we always welcome your suggestions regarding topics of interest that we might pursue during the coming year.
As we move forward, I would like to remind you of the importance of demonstrating your loyalty to the hoteliers, villa rental agents, tour operators, airlines, cruise lines, transportation services, and other travel suppliers that appear on our website. These are the people who sponsor our monthly meetings and annual Meet Your Rep trade show. They see our Organization as being an integral part of their marketing plan for the region, and have included WITS in their budgets, so you should keep them front-of-mind when seeking services to offer your clients. After all, it is that personal relationship that becomes of utmost importance when planning travel. And with so many travel agents working from home these days, the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the suppliers and reps becomes tantamount to keeping on top of the latest trends and new developments.
I have a wealth of experience, and know a lot of people in the industry. Please do not hesitate to drop me a note to LuxuryTravelMarketing@ yahoo.com if I can be of assistance.
Working In Travel Services Capital District Area WITS www.witscapital.com
Lori Gédon, CTC, has been active in the travel, tourism and hospitality arena since 1982 when she established her first company, Vacation Home Rentals, Worldwide (VHR, WORLDWIDE ). She has since added a second business, Marketing in Motion (luxuryhotelmarketing.com), which focuses on sales, marketing, public relations, social media networking and reservations services for hotels, resorts, private islands and, most recently, travel agencies and wholesalers. Lori has travelled extensively throughout - and is an expert on travel to - The Bahamas, Caribbean, Central America, Europe and Mexico.