FTA Board Interview:
Carylann Assante

“The FTA is focused on providing value for its members
and advocating for the importance of family travel.
I see a lot of excitement and opportunities for growth.”
Carylann Assante, CEO, SYTA and SYTA Youth Foundation

A seasoned tourism and association executive with more than 30 years of experience in the industry, Carylann Assante, CAE serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Student & Youth Travel Association, the international association that promotes student and youth travel worldwide. Carylann is also the Chief Staff Officer of the SYTA Youth Foundation, the philanthropic arm that provides scholarships and education experiences for students and youth who are unable to travel due to financial and personal hardship.

FTA Board Interview:
Dan Austin

“Behind every adversity is an equal
or greater advantage, you just have to find it.
The FTA’s focus on family is more
relevant than ever.”
Dan Austin, Founder of Austin Adventures

After 20 years as founder and President of a large international commercial construction company, Dan Austin was looking for new adventures. In 1994, Dan acquired Backcountry Tours, which evolved over the years to become what Austin Adventures is today. In addition to serving on the FTA’s board of directors, Dan also served as President of Southeast Montana Tourism Board, on the State of Montana Governor’s Advisory Council on Tourism and as President of Zoo Montana—one of the only privately funded zoos in the country.

Dan lives in Billings, Montana with his family who, like Dan, also embrace an active lifestyle.

FTA Board Interview:
Wanda Goodman

“Seeing the impact the tourism industry has on
South Dakota, and on my family, made me realize how
important tourism is from an economic perspective.”
Wanda Goodman

Always a South Dakotan, FTA board member Wanda Goodman grew up in the southeastern corner of the state and is now a resident of the state’s capital, Pierre. When she’s not enthusiastically promoting the state she loves and calls home, she and her family (husband, two young children and three yellow labs!) can be found fishing or boating on South Dakota’s Lake Oahe, hiking in South Dakota’s outdoors, or traveling to explore a new destination.

FTA Board Interview:
Laura Davidson

“By supporting each other within the FTA,
we can help jumpstart the industry as a whole.”
Laura Davidson

In this optimistic and heartfelt interview, FTA board member Laura Davidson shares a peek into her professional and personal worlds. You’ll also get a free public relations lesson, as Laura breaks down the basics of establishing yourself as an expert in your field.

Laura is the creative force behind Laura Davidson Public Relations (LDPR), a leading New York-based public relations agency that specializes in travel and lifestyle clients. For more than 25 years, LDPR has been in the vanguard of its industry, constantly stretching the traditional boundaries of PR, embracing new digital solutions and adding services for its roster of top international clients.

FTA Board Interview:
Randy Garfield

For over 20 years, Randy Garfield served as President of Walt Disney Travel Company and Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Travel Operations for Disney Destinations.

Randy now brings his nearly five decades of travel industry experience to the Family Travel Association’s board of directors.

In this interview Randy shares the story of his journey through the travel industry, which he began in 1971 as a reservations agent for TWA.

FTA Board Interview:
Rainer Jenss

“The travel industry has some of the greatest people that I’ve ever met. They’re fun, smart, creative, and open-minded.”

“It’s amazing to see how children’s lives are transformed through travel.”

These are just a couple of the timeless quotes provided by FTA founder Rainer Jenss in our latest board member video profile.

In 2009, Rainer put his professional expertise and personal passion to the ultimate test by traveling around the world for a year with his wife and two young children, and he has remained a dedicated advocate for family travel ever since.

In 2015, Rainer created the Family Travel Association to establish a collective and unified industry voice to help change the way families travel.

FTA Board Interview:
Peter Bopp

What’s it like to go through life thinking you have a highly unusual surname, only to visit Frankfurt, Germany, and find four pages of the phone book dedicated to it?

Hear this story and much more in our interview with Peter Bopp, the FTA’s Director of Strategy.

Peter has been with the FTA since the beginning, and he is perhaps best known for managing our family travel research partnership with New York University’s NYU Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality. The FTA’s partnership with NYU is currently in its sixth year.

FTA Board Interview:
Gregg Kaminsky

FTA board member Gregg Kaminsky has a superpower that helps him stay cool in a crisis.

This brief video interview will help you get to know Gregg, and his superpowers, a little bit better.

Gregg is one of the founding partners of R Family Vacations, the first travel company to offer vacations designed for LGBTQ families. More than 20,000 guests have traveled with R Family to date.

FTA Board Interview:
Jeff Ment

Get to know FTA board member Jeff Ment in this brief video interview. For more than 20 years, Jeff has represented companies and individuals in the travel industry. He relies on his experience as a travel advisor, sales manager for two airlines and work as a tour guide to understand what his clients need most.

FTA Board Interview:
Ron Gulaskey

Family Travel Radio host Aaron Schlein chats with Family Travel Association’s board of directors member Ron Gulaskey.

Ron is the Associate Vice President North America, National Accounts & Trade Relations for Celebrity Cruises.

FTA Board Interview:
Jessica Griscavage

Family Travel Radio host Aaron Schlein chats with Family Travel Association’s board of directors member Jessica Griscavage.

Jessica is the Director of Marketing for McCabe World Travel.

FTA Board Interview:
Ken Shapiro

Family Travel Radio host Aaron Schlein chats with Ken Shapiro, president of the Family Travel Association’s board of directors.

Ken is the Vice President, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, TravelAge West, Family Getaways, & Explorer.

SYTA #TakeFamilyTime Family Travel PSA

Pledging to Take Family Time:
Family Travel Radio

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