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October 14, 2020 36 min

This episode of Lessons from Leaders is brought to you by Smart Meetings, the go-to source of information for meeting and event professionals. For more information on Smart Meetings, please go to

Our guest on this episode is Roger Dow, the President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the national trade association that represents all segments of America’s $2.6 trillion travel industry.

Since joining U.S. Travel in 2005, Roger has led the transformation of the formerly fragmented organization into a united advocacy force now recognized as one of the most effective industry associations in the world.

Prior to his current role, Roger advanced through the ranks at Marriott International in a career that spanned 34 years. He joined Marriott as a summer lifeguard at the sixth Marriott property, and eventually rose to Senior Vice President of Global & Field Sales, where he led Marriott’s 10,000-person worldwide sales organization. 

For his efforts to unify the travel industry and increase its effectiveness on Capitol Hill, Roger has been the recipient of multiple honors, including MPI’s 2018 Industry Leader Award. He has also served on multiple boards, including ASAE, MPI Foundation, and the Travel Institute among many others.

In this episode, Roger tells us how he went from being a lifeguard at one of the first Marriott hotels in the U.S. to leading their worldwide sales force. From there, he took the reins of the U.S. Travel Association where he has been the preeminent advocate for the travel industry.  Roger and his team work tirelessly to advance policies that benefit and protect the broader travel industry, particularly during the pandemic where the unemployment rate among travel/hospitality industry workers has reached 50%.

Tune in to hear Roger's fascinating background and hear his update on the efforts he is engaged in to help the travel and tourism industry get back on its feet in these unprecedented times.


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