C.A.R.E. Celebrates Milestone in Annapolis – 30 Years Strong

Cooperative Association of Resort Exchangers (C.A.R.E.) recently hosted its 60th Semi-Annual Conference at the Westin Annapolis in Maryland from May 2-5, 2015 with a grand celebration in honor of its 30th Anniversary. Conference attendees experienced a fantastic venue with intimate meeting spaces ideal for panel discussions and plenty of networking. Throughout the weekend attendees enjoyed delicious meals, toured D.C., and engaged in a spirited speed networking event. Hot topics covered during the conference included the fundamentals of extraordinary leadership and how to get results from Facebook marketing.

Conference Kick Off
The conference began with attendees volunteering at Clagett Farm, a part of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which uses truly sustainable farming methods – both economically and environmentally. Their efforts are used to provide free or reduced priced fresh produce to people living in poverty and near poverty in Washington, D.C.

The first order of official conference business was to celebrate the C.A.R.E. member sponsors who collectively contributed more than $45,000 at a reception sponsored by CondoWarehouse.com, followed by an evening dinner with a Live/Silent Auction that raised nearly $15,000 for the marketing efforts of C.A.R.E.

The first full conference day was packed with media marketplace presentations by members, C.A.R.E.’s famous “Roll Call”; as well as an engaging Keynote Session presented by Colonel Arthur J. Athens, USMCR (Ret.) – Back to the Basics of Extraordinary Leadership. If that wasn’t enough for the day…RTX-Resort Travel and Xchange hosted an always energetic Speed Networking Session and TAN-Travel Advantage Network hosted the evening awards night dinner aboard a private yacht – the Catherine Marie, while sailing the Chesapeake Bay at sunset.

The conference continued the next day with another full agenda that included two break-out sessions. The first was moderated by Jeff Ingram of Carefree Journey’s on the Basics of Direct Exchange along with panelists Spence Witten, Carol Demler and Corina Violette. Simultaneously, Paul Mattimoe of the Perspective Group moderated a discussion on Facebook Marketing in 4 Easy Steps.

D.C. City Tour and Dinner
Endless Vacation Rentals and Global Connections sponsored a D.C. City Tour, filled with plenty of sightseeing and historical narrative; in addition to sponsoring an extravagant Italian style dinner at Buca di Beppo. This all lead up to the closing of an amazing conference of C.A.R.E. members learning, networking and growing their businesses.

Official C.A.R.E. business was last on the agenda with the voting and selection of the 2016 Fall Conference site which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe in Incline Village, Nevada from October 22-25, 2016. In addition, several Board of Directors were elected to new terms. Linda Mayhugh of Advantage Travel (Accommodations Unlimited) was elected as C.A.R.E. President with other executive positions being filled by incumbents Debbie Sansom for Secretary (I.C.S. Management) and Vikki Lessard for Treasurer (Club Resort Intervals). Incumbent Jim Wehrle with CTC Travel was re-elected to a three-year Vice Presidency position. Tina Hill, Resort Inventory Group, was also elected to a three-year term. Torie Quakenbush of VacationCondos.com was elected to fill Mayhugh’s remaining one year Vice President term.

Alain Carr with American Resorts International and Dave Dawson of Global Connections were both recognized by the Board of Directors and attendees for their years of service and dedication as C.A.R.E. Board Members. Both having just completed two three-year terms brought invaluable knowledge, input and growth to the C.A.R.E. organization. While Dave decided not to seek re-election, he will no doubt remain involved as will Alain Carr who will act in an advisory capacity as Past President to the Board. The contributions and service of both Dave and Alain are greatly appreciated.

Interview with Linda Mayhugh – C.A.R.E. President

With Linda Mayhugh of Advantage Travel (Accommodations Unlimited) serving her current term as the elected president of C.A.R.E., Perspective Group interviewed Mayhugh to discuss her extensive background in the timeshare industry as well as her plans for the association.

1. Can you tell us a little about your professional background and your experience at Advantage Travel?
I started working in the daycare center at the French Lick Springs Villas in French Lick, Indiana when I was 15 years old and have been working in the timeshare/hospitality industry now for almost 35 years. By the time I graduated college from Vincennes University in 1987 with an Associate Degree in Child Care Administration, I had worked my way up to assistant sales office manager and in 1990 was asked to move to Florida as an office manager for a sales and marketing firm doing upgrades in membership camping. This led to me being hired by the third largest reciprocal camping network, Adventure Outdoor Resorts in 1993, where I worked for my current business partner. He formed Advantage Travel in 1995 and asked me to join him, making me a partner several years later. We are a very small agency today, but in our 20 years in business we’ve had as many as 450 employees in 5 sales locations, 3 telemarketing call centers and 1 corporate agency call center. As Chief Operating Officer of Advantage Travel my responsibilities have spanned the entire corporate structure in operations, human resources/finance, compliance/legal, marketing/sales and member services.

2. What will your involvement as President of C.A.R.E. entail?
As President of C.A.R.E. I’ve been elected to serve, alongside eight other elected officials in our Secretary, Treasurer and Vice Presidents, as the Board of Directors to the C.A.R.E. membership. It is my responsibility to lead the organization by managing the administration and operation of the association as a corporate, not for profit, entity. My duties also include organization and management of board meetings and board member duties as well as rendering final decisions when necessary. Though I’ve been elected as the leader of the association, it is the responsibility of the entire Board to keep the organization financially strong rendering two successful conferences every year as a collective team. The ultimate goal is to carry out C.A.R.E.’s mission statement…“promote ethical and outstanding vacation services by providing education and networking opportunities”.

3. What do you look forward to the most as the president of C.A.R.E.?
C.A.R.E.’s 30th Anniversary and I’m elected President…what is not to look forward to? Truly, I look forward to the professional and personal growth. But more importantly, there are so many exciting opportunities for an already strong association and yet there are always areas needing focus and improvement. It will challenge me and I look forward to being a part of all of it while bringing my industry tenure, business experience, acumen and passion for our industry to an organization that holds a special place in my heart.

4. What changes and opportunities do you plan to bring?
I want to seek opportunities that ensure the platform of our conferences are educational while fun but also relevant, beneficial and cost effective. I also want to educate our members on how to make C.A.R.E. work for their organization; one of the ways that I’ll be doing this is with a new webinar series set to start this summer. I think growth is always on the forefront with many of our members and our board. I’d like to work toward better member retention, growth of the membership and keeping C.A.R.E. relevant in the industry among our association peers. I want to bring change that makes sense to the organization, change that the membership looks to the board to produce yet still serves the purpose of the association as outlined in our by-laws and code of standards and ethics. I’m certainly open to change and I hope our members are too.