For First Time, 2011 ITSA Advocacy Awards Honors Two Recipients


Michael Greenwald// (c) 2011 ASTA

During the American Society of Travel Agents’ (ASTA) annual advocacy dinner in Las Vegas, the Interactive Travel Services Association (ITSA) presented the Barbara O'Hara Advocacy Award to two recipients.

They are Mike Greenwald, owner of Personalized Travel Inc. in Oakland Park, FL, and John W. Lewis, president and CEO of Travel Management Partners Inc. in Raleigh, N.C.

ITSA presents this award each year to the ASTA member or members who have made the most significant contribution in advocating for the interests of the travel agency community before federal, state and/or local governmental authorities.

This year’s event marked the first time in which two awards were given.

Greenwald was recognized for his widespread activities in connection with tax and regulatory issues in Florida. Bruce Charendoff, ITSA's immediate past president, commented on Greenwald’s constant willingness to travel where he would engage as an advocate for his industry.

“For years, he has been rock-solid in his determination that travel agents be treated fairly and has been fearless in verbal combat,” explained Charendoff.


John Lewis// (c) 2011 ASTA

Lewis, in turn, received accolades for his extensive support of ASTAPAC and ASTA’s government relations agenda at all levels.

Charendoff cited Lewis’ meeting this year with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to discuss the role of travel management companies in travel distribution. He also urged LaHood to pursue regulatory policies that benefit both TMCs (travel management companies) and the consumers they serve.

“He’s recently helped ASTA staff create a relationship with an influential member of Congress where one had not existed before,” said Charendoff.

Held on September 12, the advocacy dinner celebrated ASTAPAC and ASTA's influences in shaping policies that affect the retail travel business.
ITSA's Board of Directors selects the winner from a pool of candidates nominated by ASTA's Government Affairs department.

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