Signature Travel Network announced the 2020 recipient of the Michelle Morgan Leadership Award at its annual Owner’s Meeting, which was held virtually last week. Zane Kerby, president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), was awarded this year’s title, along with a $1,000 donation from the Michelle Morgan Memorial Fund to his preferred charity on his behalf.
“Prior to COVID, Zane Kerby was instrumental in turning a struggling ASTA into a powerhouse that is recognized both in the industry and most critically in the U.S. Congress,” said Alex Sharpe, president and CEO of Signature Travel Network, in a statement. “The impact of ASTA with Zane’s leadership was even more critical as they successfully fought for travel advisor’s inclusion in the COVID financial rescue programs this year. For this and many more initiatives, we owe him and his team a tremendous debt.”
Kerby added: "I am so honored to receive the highly acclaimed ‘Michelle Morgan Leadership Award.’ As the first consortia group to mandate membership in ASTA, Signature Travel Network has long understood the need for a strong national trade association. It’s because of this support that we’re able to advocate for our industry and work together for a brighter future.”
In 2013, Signature Travel Network’s board of directors chose to create a Michelle Morgan Leadership Award as a way of honoring the memory and work of Morgan and recognizing other travel industry professionals who embody the qualities that made her successful in both her professional and personal life. Award recipients include (in order):
- Carol Lekki, CTC, MCC, DS, President, Carol’s Travel Service
- Tim Smith, former owner, Carefree Vacations
- Vicki Freed, Senior Vice President of Sales, Trade Support and Service, Royal Caribbean
- Cathie Lentz-Fryer, President, CTA Travel
- Betty Cox, former owner, Travel Concepts
- Dan Ilves, CTC, MCC, DS, Senior Vice President, Leisure Sales & Marketing, TravelStore
Morgan led Signature Travel Network from $30 million in agency sales to over $5 billion in sales during her 22 years of service. According to the network, she was known for lifting up small agency owners and allowing them to battle with the big guys. Morgan developed personal relationships with everyone in the industry from travel agency owners, front-line sales personnel and supplier representatives, believing that building solid relationships was a key to good business and success.