ARTA History & Vision

On October 18, 1963, ARTA was officially incorporated as a nonprofit trade association. Michael Flynn, owner of World Wide Travel of Gary, Indiana was selected to serve as the first-ever president.

To maintain the focus upon which the organization was founded, the leadership voted that the association's membership would be comprised only of retail travel agents.  Hotels, wholesalers, tour operators, “steamship” lines, airlines, and “car hire” companies were excluded from membership so that ARTA could concentrate exclusively on the issues and concerns of retail travel agents.

Today, ARTA remains the largest association that admits only travel agents as members.  ARTA's policies are grounded in the determination that small and medium sized agencies must, and can, remain a viable component of the travel industry sales channel, regardless of the competitive pressures. Its close affiliate is ARTA Canada.

ARTA performs a variety of functions to further the interests of its membership, with particular emphasis in the areas of education and training and participation on international industry committees.  Those efforts have been led by:

1963 - 1966  Michael Flynn, President

1966 - 1968  Mort Kauffman, Executive Director

1968 - 1989  Ron Santana, President and Chief Executive Officer

1990 - 1994  Paul Bessel, President

1994 - 1996  Lauraday Kelley, CTC, MCC, President

1996 - 2006  John Hawks, APR, President

1996 - 2001  Lynn Hayes, CTC, Chairwoman

2002 - 2007  Nancy Linares, CTC, Chairwoman

2007 - 2008  Barry Richcreek, CTC, Chairman

2009  Lynn Hayes, CTC, Chairwoman

2010  Sally Watkins, CTC, Chairwoman

2011 - 2021  Nancy Linares, CTC, Chairwoman

2022 - Present  Gordon Macaw, MA, BSBA, Chairman

Copyright 2023 Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA).  All Rights Reserved.