Associate Board of Director Candidate: Ruthann Crust

Ruthann Crust

Senior Sales Executive, Titanic Museum Attraction

Please describe your experience as a volunteer within or outside the travel community.

I am currently in my second year as the Chair for the Student Committee for the Branson CVB. In 2015, SYTA was held in Branson and I was the Chair for the volunteer committee for Branson CVB . I have also served as a Band Boosters for many years while my children were in high school and in 2014-2015 served as the Band Booster President. I have had the pleasure of volunteering at ABA and SYTA conventions in the CTIS and CSTP booths to encourage others to join.

Please describe your professional experience in the student travel industry.

I’m Senior Sales Executive for the Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, MO and Pigeon Forge, TN. For the past 10 years it has been my responsibility to bring groups to each of the destinations. I have heavily went after the student market via tour operators, music association shows as well as school educators. The efforts that I have put forth have shown tremendous growth and will continue to grow each year. I believe the key to the continuing growth is the relationships that have been built.

Please describe other professional or personal experience that would benefit you as a Board member.

Building relationships with operators as well as educators, you find out their needs, concerns and wants. This information can be brought back to the SYTA board for discussion so we can help with what the issues are and continue to build a stronger foundation.

Please describe why you would like to serve as a Board of Director (Associate).

Student travel is my passion. There are many opportunities to reach students and I want to be involved with that process. I want to work beside the people who share the enthusiasm as I do for the student market. I want to be apart of making a difference in a students life and that is what SYTA does on a daily basis.

What do you see as the challenges facing the student travel industry? What can SYTA do to meet those challenges?

I hear about students from poverty stricken areas that can’t afford travel. If they can travel they can’t bring the entire band (for instance) as they don’t have good enough grades or the student couldn’t raise enough money. I believe that SYTA can help with schools that are in need through scholarships, etc… I also think that we could help with suggestion on how to raise the money. We promoted Adopt A Band Student as our fundraiser. This would at least help pay for the students who couldn’t afford the band fees.