Category Archives: Women in the Industry

Cathy Backus photo

Resort Trades Says, “We Are Huge Cathy Backus Fans!”

As many of my readers know, I am the publisher of Resort Trades, as well as ResortTrades.com, and Resort Trades Weekly (our award-winning B2B eNewsletter distributed to resort and vacation industry executives). All of us at The Trades Publishing Company admire and love our friend Cathy Backus, the founder and president of the philanthropy, Send Me On Vacation (SMOV).

When we learned Cathy had taken early retirement from the travel insurance company, Vacation Guard, we were eager to speak with her about joining our team. I am super-excited to announce that when I made the offer during the recent ARDA World convention in Orlando, she accepted the position of Associate Editor for The Trades!

A highly respected travel and tourism industry professional, Cathy became a Certified Travel Counselor in the ‘80s when she worked for Club Med. After leaving the company, she began working with resort developers and managers as a supplier of owners’ insurance products.

During this time, Cathy watched as her best friend grappled with emotional and economic challenges on her way back to health and serenity after twice combatting breast cancer. Cathy was moved to see her friend virtually left adrift after her ordeal. When she saw how much her friend needed a break from the day-to-day realities, Cathy crafted a plan to reach out to her contacts in the travel and timeshare industry to donate unused inventory to send survivors on a much-needed vacation. Inspired by her friend’s tenacity, and aided by her husband and “partner in giving” Gene Backus, Send Me On Vacation (SMOV) was granted 501 (c)(3) status after filing in 2011.

Send Me On Vacation is an all-volunteer organization and raises funds for survivors to become thrivers through events such as galas, a High Tea, and an annual poker tournament held prior to the annual ARDA World convention. Each time an event is held, SMOV sends local survivors from that state away for exotic vacations. This concept allows the charity to support the communities which are supporting their state’s survivors. The organization brings together travel industry professionals to contribute resort accommodations, airlines, cruises, entertainment, and dollars to change the lives of breast cancer survivors “one vacation at a time.”

For years, Resort Trades has gladly supported SMOV, as well as Christel House, with monthly, donated advertising space for the purpose of soliciting support for these fine organizations. We are honored beyond measure to be able to have Cathy join our editorial team. For more than ten years we have witnessed her abundant energy and talent as she writes compelling articles each month about the courage and fortitude of survivors as they overcome the challenges of picking up the pieces of their lives.”

“While philanthropy will be her principle ‘beat,’ she is being given free reign and is at liberty to cover any other topic of interest,” says Resort Trades Founder & CEO Tim Wilson. “We are simply delighted to have on-board such a gifted, energetic, and charismatic person.”

DORS–Christel DeHaan’s efforts to save futures!

Can we find a woman to admire more than our own beloved Christel DeHaan? I don’t think so! Read her letter to me:

One of the most gratifying aspects of my role as Founder and CEO of Christel House is sharing student success stories. Our kids around the globe are accomplishing great things and their lives are being transformed.

On June 5, we celebrated another milestone – this time for adult students in our Dropout Recovery School (DORS) program. On that day, twenty graduates – aged 18 to 56 – received their high school diplomas, including a mother and son.

Our students’ stories are unique, and their reasons for having dropped out of high school vary. But, all demonstrate important qualities that point to their future success, including a strong work ethic, determination and perseverance.

I applaud their courageous efforts, and thought you would enjoy this short video of our graduates telling in their own words what Christel House means to them.