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I never had the opportunity to watch Mickey Mantle play, but for a whole generation of baseball fans, there was nobody better suited for the game than “The Mick.” To many, it was like he was born to play centerfield for the Yankees.
While I might have missed out on Mantle, over the years, I’ve encountered people who also seemed perfect for their jobs. At the top of this list is my good friend and boss, Bruce Shulman, who recently announced that he is retiring at the end of this month from full-time duty as Senior Vice President/Group Publisher (see page 6).
Bruce might laugh at the comparison to Mantle (even though he’ll secretly love it), but I have never met anyone who gets more joy out of working in the travel industry than he does. I remember one early morning when I woke up bleary-eyed during a particularly hectic conference and met Bruce for breakfast. He had already been up for hours at the gym and he was annoyingly full of energy.
“What a great day,” he said. “Is there anything better than meeting people and talking about travel? How lucky are we?”
And he meant it.
Bruce got the travel bug as a child growing up on the Jersey Shore. He has told me that one of the only negatives to working in our industry is that while he gets to travel to many interesting places, he never gets to be just a tourist. But he always keeps the big picture in focus.
“The travel industry holds a lot of promise for the future of our country and other parts of the world,” he said. “It has a lot to teach us in an age dominated by technology — to help our ability to relate to one another on a personal level.”
Fortunately for me, I’ll still get to work with Bruce as he transitions into an advisory role. I’m looking forward to many more years of benefiting from his experience, exuberance and love of the game.