C.A.R.E. Celebrates 25th Anniversary At New Orleans Conference

Presents Awards, Names Board Members & Works With Charity Food Bank

There was a great deal of prideful celebrating going on in New Orleans as the Cooperative Association of Resort Exchangers (C.A.R.E.) reached a significant milestone in its 25-year history by welcoming members to its 50th semi-annual conference, held in late April. The Silver and Gold Conference celebrated not only C.A.R.E.’s quarter of a century as an organization, but also recognized special members who have helped their group succeed over the years.

Held at the landmark Hilton New Orleans St. Charles Avenue, the historical spring conference attracted over 160 member representatives in spite of the current economy. New Orleans was also the site of the first C.A.R.E. (www.care-online.org) conference 25 years ago. Former board members and award winners were recognized for their contributions in bringing the organization to its current respected status. [member]

Emily Ceruzzi of Global Connections was honored at the conference with the prestigious Richard Gallardo Award. Emily was instrumental in raising sponsorship funds to help defray speaker and conference costs. Emily has been a C.A.R.E. member for 11 years and serves on the Membership Benefits and Sponsorship Committees. Presented annually in recognition of outstanding service to C.A.R.E., the award was created in honor of Richard Gallardo, who served the organization for many years. The award was presented to Emily by Ricky Gallardo, the son of Kathleen and Richard Gallardo, who were one of C.A.R.E.’s founding member families and present at the organization’s inaugural conference 25 years ago.

Emily Ceruzzi of Global Connections and Alain Carr, President of C.A.R.E

Another special celebratory event included honoring Travel Advantage Network (TAN) of Millersville, MD with the Silver & Gold award for contributing more than $300,000 in C.A.R.E. sponsorship donations over the past 25 years.

New officers installed at the conference were Vice Presidents, Debi Mongan of Travel Advantage Network (TAN), who was newly elected for a one-year term and incumbent Linda Mayhugh of Accommodations Unlimited, re-elected for a three-year term. Alain Carr remains C.A.R.E.President.

Since several C.A.R.E. members had expressed an interest in participating in a charitable activity to give back to the resort communities that have served them for many years. Board member Dave Dawson and others helped locate the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana. After the close of the conference, several C.A.R.E. members donated their time and efforts by working at the food bank for half a day in a warehouse facility.

Described Dave: “Our volunteers sorted and repacked food donated by major grocery chains prior to distribution to soup kitchens that feed the homeless abused, and women’s shelters. Everyone was exhilarated by the team coming together and felt a great deal of gratitude for being able to serve the community through their efforts. It was an experience we will long remember.”

With leadership by Jeanette Bunn, the conference’s silent/live auction raised over $10,000 to help promote C.A.R.E. through advertising to attract new member companies. Five percent of the total auction proceeds were donated to the New Orleans chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Auction items donated included five RCI weeks, three Global Connections weeks, accommodations in Colorado, California and Branson, and ads in Resort Trades and the Management & Operations magazine, plus other popular items.

C.A.R.E. is comprised of resort developers and service companies, property management firms, homeowners associations, rental and exchange organizations and travel clubs engaged within the vacation industry. Members are located in the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia. The member companies of the association offer over 2,500 vacation properties and services to over a million vacation owner members, along with the tools to provide outstanding vacation services while remaining committed to the highest standards and ethics. www.care-online.org [/member]