Sadly, we learned that timeshare pioneer Clayton A. Barnes RRP passed away earlier this year. Barnes got his start in the industry when he joined Lehigh Corporation (one of the first companies to affiliate with RCI) in 1973. After that his resume was peppered with the names of legendary pioneers. For example, it was Art Zimand who introduced him to Perry Snyderman and Shelly Ginsburg who were in the process of purchasing Vistana. Zimand and Barnes both joined the Vistana team and Barnes was vice-president of sales from February of 1980 to June of 1985. Later, he joined The Welk Resort Group where he reported to another industry icon, David R. Clifton. Barnes was instrumental in organizing and launching start-up sales and marketing programs for new timeshare projects including Hilton Hotels Corporation’s Flamingo Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, and helping Jim Watkins [that’s right…another iconic figure] restructure the historic 54-room Gaslamp Plaza Suites in downtown San Diego, before rejoining The Shell Group in 1996.
Still fresh in everyone’s mind was earlier news of the death of Jay C. Finley III, another powerful influence on the timeshare industry scene. Finley, of Branson, Missouri, passed away January 20, 2015 in his home. He was born April 22, 1947 in Jersey City, New Jersey and was raised in West New York, New Jersey. Jay entered the land development business after receiving an honorable discharge from the army. He spent 38 years in the vacation ownership business and was most recently president of Compass Resort Group. He really made a difference to the ARDA Awards program during his 25 years on that committee. Jay was united in marriage to Theresa Kathleen Law on October 19, 2013.
This author had the distinct pleasure and privilege of assisting Jay and his partners Jeff Alexander and Chuck Fry at Compass Resort Group to promote their company as their PR provider several years earlier. Pictured here is a treasured personal memento of the evening when Jay, assisted by Deb Linden, presented Concord Servicing Corporation President Bob Bertrand and me with an ARDY.