Vacation.com said its goodbyes to Lauraday Kelley, CTC, MCC, whose recent retirement ended a 43-year career in the travel industry. A key figure at Vacation.com since its inception, Kelley was the vice president in charge of education and training for the entire network, including the planning of the annual International Conference & Trade Show. Her role as master of ceremonies — defined by an enthusiastic stage presence — was always a highlight at each yearly conference. Kelley has both CTC and MCC designations.
"Lauraday’s importance to Vacation.com cannot easily be put into words," said Vacation.com President & CEO Steve Tracas. “Through her Conference leadership, Lauraday has been the face of our organization since day one. She is a recognized leader of women in travel and has been an exceptional role model for those entering our industry. You don’t really replace a Lauraday Kelley.”
Prior to assuming her role with Vacation.com, Kelley, along with her husband, owned and operated an agency specializing in group travel. Later, Kelley joined ARTA, where she served on the board of directors and was elected chairman before being appointed the first female president in ARTA’s history. Kelley then joined the GEM/CruiseLink consortia as vice president of education and training.
Kelley has been honored numerous times throughout her career, including CruiseLink's "Silver Compass Award," GEM's "Travel Person of the Decade" and GEM's "Gemsetter of the Year." In addition, Kelley has often been named to Travel Agent's "Top 100 Women In Travel" list, she took home Travel Trade's "Travel Agent of the Year" in 1994, and in 1995 and 1996, she was named to Tour & Travel News’ “The Most Influential 25 Executives” in the travel industry.
“I’ve been blessed to have a career in the most exciting industry in the world,” said Kelley. “We professional travel agents have the privilege of fulfilling the dreams of so many people. It’s been a great ride, and I could not have planned a better ending to my long career than being part of Vacation.com. I will miss all of the members who I have become friends with over the years. However, I am looking forward to turning the page to the next chapter of my life and to spending more time with my family.”
Vacation.com members and suppliers can visit www.JoinVacation.com/2011 to register for the conference. All other agents can visit www.JoinVacation.com to learn more about the benefits Vacation.com offers.
“Even though we will miss Lauraday’s energetic presence at headquarters and at conference, she will always remain a valuable part of the Vacation.com family,” added Tracas. “To ensure our conference continues to be produced at the highest standard of professionalism for our membership, Lauraday has turned over the reins to her longtime associate Bernadette Stark, who has been at Lauraday’s side for the past six years."