The Travel Institute has announced the loss of board of trustees and executive committee member, industry thought leader and travel advisor advocate Scott Ahlsmith. He passed away December 25 after a long-term illness.
“We bid goodbye to a friend and a leader. Scott leaves a legacy of innovation in business and technology that helped propel the industry forward for many decades,” said Gary Pollard, CTC, chairman of the board of trustees for The Travel Institute. With a career dating back to 1972, Ahlsmith first joined The Travel Institute board in 2002, was the longest sitting member and served as its chairman for eight years.
From owning his own agency to being an expert on travel technology and distribution, Ahlsmith brought a depth of knowledge to his board role, where he was considered a thought leader amongst thought leaders. His travel industry career included stops with Apple Leisure Group, Virtuoso, Megellan Travel Technologies and others.
“Scott’s dedication to our non-profit mission has made a lasting and positive impact. He led by example, and by engaging on a meaningful level through mentoring, training, coaching and investing in the education of others,” added Pollard. “He was a forward-thinker with big ideas. We are grateful for his many contributions.”
Ahlsmith was also active beyond the travel industry, volunteering on the Tacoma-area KPLU Community Advisory Council and as a board member for KNKX Public Radio. “Scott had wisdom of mind and clarity of thought. He listened more than he talked but always had something insightful to contribute,” said Joey Cohn, KNKX president and general manager. He added Ahlsmith “pushed the station to get serious about cyber security and, more recently, to embrace AI technology.”
Scott is survived by his mother, Eleanor; brother-in-law, Duane; son, Taylor; daughter-in-law, Rachel; granddaughter, Olivia; and partner and friend, Kristi Jones.