Northstar Travel Group, the parent company of TravelAge West, has named two travel advisors as the new co-chairs of its Black Travel Advisory Board (BTAB). Taking the helm are Valerie Dorsey, franchise owner of Cruise Planners, and Stephen Scott, owner and founder of Travel Hub 365.
Both Dorsey and Scott are founding board members, and they replace Orlando Ashford as he moves out of the travel industry. The co-chairs took over in their new roles at the first Black Travel Advisory Board meeting of 2023, held virtually on Feb. 28.
“The Black Travel Advisory Board is filled with leaders, and it is an honor to be among them,” Dorsey said. “I hope to continue our quest to recognize that, as Black people, our place in tourism/the world crosses all boundaries and we want a place at every table. We have done a lot of work to date, and I am proud of Northstar for continuing to want to grow.”
Northstar’s Black Travel Advisory Board was formed in 2020 in an effort to help foster a more inclusive travel industry, through efforts including the recruitment of Black talent to the industry; the amplification of Black voices and perspectives in content and editorial spaces; and increasing the participation of Black professionals at events as both attendees and speakers. Members of the board include travel advisors, industry suppliers and Northstar executive team members (TravelAge West editors are also active on the board).
“Since the inception of the BTAB, I have seen a shift in media coverage and events, where we are beginning to see more emphasis on topics surrounding the Black traveler, and those who are Black in the travel industry,” Scott said. “As a co-chair, I am looking forward to having a more holistic view of the amazing work that is happening throughout each of the board’s core committees that helps push our mission forward.”
At the recent meeting, Northstar also welcomed four new members to the board: Belvin Baldwin, owner of Showtime Travel; Shawn Cole, vice president of global sales for Delta Air Lines; Shirnett Fleet, chief marketing officer of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises; and Sanya Weston, CEO of Your Premier Travel Service Group.
“We are honored to have Valerie and Scott co-chairing the board, as their insights and leadership have helped generate several impactful initiatives thus far,” said Bob Sullivan, Chief Commercial Officer/President of Northstar Travel Group. “We’re looking forward to continuing to grow and making an imprint on the travel industry under their guidance.”