The American Society of Travel Advisors elected Nexion Travel Group President Jackie Friedman as its new chair for 2023-2024.

ASTA elected Jackie Friedman, president of Nexion Travel Group, as its new chair. Source: Nexion Travel Group

Friedman replaced Marc Casto, who served as board chair for the past two years. Friedman’s post likewise has a two-year term.

“It’s an incredible honor to be the new chair for the ASTA Board of Directors,” said Friedman in a statement. “My sincere thanks go to Marc Casto for his leadership over the past two terms, and I am excited to work with this tremendous group of travel professionals.”

The changing of the guard took place at the trade group’s annual convention in Puerto Rico last week.

In a LinkedIn post, Casto, cited the growth of ASTA’s membership, as well as the passage of the Travel & Tourism Act, as among the the organization’s accomplishments during his tenure.

Casto was a long-time corporate travel executive, and currently is a senior vice president at Flight Centre.

“We have made extraordinary growth in our three goals of achieving 20,000 members by 2025, defining a path for net zero by 2030, and expanding ASTA’s influence and operations globally,” Casto wrote.

One challenge for travel agencies, many of which deal heavily with clients seeking luxury vacations, will be to see whether inflationary concerns weigh down their businesses. So far, by most accounts, the luxury space remains robust.

In addition to Friedman, ASTA elected the following officers, according to the group’s announcement:

  • Corporate Advisory Council Chair – Kathy Bedell, senior vice president, BCD Travel
    • Vice Chair/Secretary – Lee Thomaschief operating officer, Altour; president, Business Travel & The Travel Authority 
    • Treasurer – Kelly Bergin, CEO, Duglin Travel Group
    • Corporate Advisory Council Chair – Kathy Bedell, senior vice president, BCD Travel

    Tags: asta, bcd travel, flight centre, meetings and events, nexion, travel advisors