I’ve always liked the following remark, attributed to Sir Isaac Newton: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
I was thinking about this quote this past weekend at the 75th Anniversary Gala for the Southern California Chapter of ASTA. Current SoCal ASTA president Jason Coleman and his executive board, along with volunteers, hosted a great evening. The sold-out event celebrated the history of one of ASTA’s largest and most influential chapters, as well as saluting several of the travel industry’s most important individuals with the inaugural Diamond Awards.
One recurring theme of the night was the debt we all owe to those “giants” of the industry that came before us. Not only do we owe the travel agents who first founded ASTA in the 1930s to stand up for agents’ rights, but each of us, individually, was most likely influenced by someone who offered a helping hand at a point that proved pivotal to our careers.
At the dinner, I happened to be sitting next to Chris Russo, the current national president of ASTA. Russo and I talked about the importance of the people that influence you early in your career, and he told me that one of the things that he is most proud of is seeing the success of those agents that he has been able to guide in turn.
“When I see the agents who I have personally brought into ASTA, and I know they will be the future leaders of our industry, well that’s my legacy. That’s the thing I’m most proud of,” he said.
It’s a good point to remember as you work with less experienced agents and suppliers. Our industry as a whole can only benefit by continuing this tradition of camaraderie and support as we nurture the leaders of tomorrow.