Active Board of Director: Jennifer Deutsch
Director of Operations, Educational Travel Adventures
Watch candidate interview.
Please describe your experience as a volunteer within or outside the travel community.
I’ve been active on SYTA Conference and Summit committees for the last 8 years, including acting as Chairperson for the Summit in Punta Cana. I’ve also volunteered as the Manager for my son’s hockey team for several years and my family has participated in the Lemonade Cup to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand. At ETA’s annual Arts for Autism event, I’m a staff volunteer making sure that the talent is happy, working to make sure communication is working throughout the theatre, and that everything is running smoothly. I’m also active blood donor to the American Red Cross.
Please describe your professional experience in the student travel industry.
I’ve worked for ETA for more than 22 years. We’re a small company that has grown exponentially over the years, and when I started, it was just a few people wearing many, many different hats. I’ve been a sales person, an office manager, a tour guide, in charge of all domestic operations, and at one point I was even a client.
Please describe other professional or personal experience that would benefit you as a Board member.
I survived working through the aftermath of 9/11 and other world issues that affected travel and the economy. With what we’re dealing with now, I feel as if I’ve seen it all. I started in this industry as a 20 something trying to figure out what I actually wanted to do in this world. As I’ve gone through the years in this industry, my life has changed, giving me different perspectives on how people look at things. I’m now a parent and understand the needs of our clients in a different way than I did when I first started. I know and understand the importance of safety, trust, and experience when working with a tour company for your school trip. When I was in high school, I was also lucky enough to travel with my school band every year and understand the wonder and excitement of the kids when they travel and how much of an effect it can have on their lives. These experiences allow me to understand just how influential our industry is in shaping lives.
Please describe why you would like to serve as a Board of Director (Active).
I feel as if it’s time to do more. I’ve been hanging around in the background now for years and feel like my confidence has grown enough where I have something to offer the Association and its Membership. I’ve cultivated incredible relationships with so many members, both Active and Associate, and feel like I have a good idea of what people want and where they want the Association to go.
What do you see as the challenges facing the student travel industry? What can SYTA do to meet those challenges?
Our industry now faces many new challenges with the COVID-19 Pandemic. It will be an uphill battle to figure out how we can keep our clients and staff safe while traveling, and give our clients the confidence that we can do this. This is something we should be doing as an industry and not just individually. We’re all affected and the only way people will trust us to take them places, is if we have industry standards that we’re all abiding by.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Nominating Committee?
ETA has been a long time member of SYTA. We have grown to be a competitive force in this industry and have every intention of surviving the current climate. I believe that as a part of the SYTA Board of Directors, I can use that positive force towards helping our industry as a whole.