Active Board of Director Candidate: Steve Maehl
Vice President, Global Travel Alliance
In my 15+ years in the student travel industry, I have had the opportunity to build bridges and change lives for countless students through student travel across our country and the world. I believe my experience in all arenas of student travel, and my extensive international student travel experience, will be an asset to the board. I hope to offer as many resources as possible for other student tour companies and suppliers to increase their businesses, advance their professional networks, and to help address some of the challenges our industry faces today.
Briefly describe your experience in the student travel industry, including any volunteer or leadership positions which you have held.
I have worked fulltime in the student travel industry for over 15 years. These roles have included, but not limited to: Sales director, reservations, operations, tour director and tour guide, operations manager, emergency response, staff management and training, international travel experience, and Vice President. In addition I serve on the Board of Global Doing Good and volunteer on SYTA conference committees.
Why do you want to serve on the SYTA Board of Directors and how will SYTA benefit if you are elected to the Board of Directors?
SYTA has been a large part of my professional growth in the student travel industry through the numerous conferences and events and relationships that have developed as a result. I would like to give back and help grow an industry that has continually changed my life, both personally and professionally. I believe my experience can complement the other board members and will bring additional years of experience to the table, including additional international experience.
In referring to SYTA’s Strategic Plan, what aspects of the plan are you most engaged in and how do you feel you can help SYTA achieve these strategic objectives?
As per SYTA’s plans, I think that I can contribute to growing student travel in the areas of safely, liability, engaging new companies that would like to join SYTA, and expanding our reach in the international markets.
What do you see as the challenges facing the student travel industry? What can SYTA do to meet those challenges?
Safety, liability, and efficiency.
I believe SYTA can help equip any size student tour operator with the tools they need to be successful. One thing I love about SYTA is that we are gathered around a single goal of advancing student travel, and together finding solutions to the many challenges we all face.
Please comment on the significance of the SYTA Youth Foundation and its role in furthering SYTA as the Voice of Student & Youth Travel?
Too often travel is a privilege instead of a right. The SYTA Youth Foundation is able to offer the gift of travel to countless students who may have otherwise never had that opportunity. That opportunity may in turn change their lives. It may give them hope of a bigger and better world outside of their current scope. It allows them a chance to see a world of opportunities and maybe dream bigger than they ever have before. And I hope that inspires them to go home and make a change in the world around them.