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La Macchia to Join National Tourism Foundation Hall of Fame

Foundation Announces 2003 Hall of Fame Recipient, William E. La Macchia LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2003) – The National Tourism Foundation announced that William E. La Macchia, founder and owner of The Mark Travel Corporation of Milwaukee, will be inducted into the National Tourism Foundation Hall of Fame in 2004. “Mr. La Macchia has had a long and distinguished career in the travel industry,” said Foundation President Kevin Brewer of the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau. “His induction into the National Tourism Foundation Hall of Fame not only celebrates his great contributions to our industry, but also recognizes his continuous support of the Foundation’s mission to advance travel education and research.” La Macchia began his career as a travel agent in 1963. In 1974, he founded Funjet Vacations, and nine years later, he established The Mark Travel Corporation to serve as parent company to Funjet Vacations and other travel- related brands. Today, La Macchia serves as president and CEO of The Mark Travel Corporation, which is recognized as one of the largest and most diversified leisure travel companies in the United States. The company owns and manages 17 of the nation's most respected leisure travel vacation companies, employs more than 1,500 people, operates 12 offices worldwide and serves more than 2.5 million passengers each year. La Macchia will be officially inducted into the National Tourism Foundation Hall of Fame on June 10, 2004, during a formal ceremony at The Westin Chicago River North. He will join the ranks of 11 other travel professionals who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since its inception in 1998. Past winners include Arthur C. Tauck Jr., who was inducted in 2003, and Eric Friedheim, who was inducted in 2001. “I am honored and humbled to receive this honor on behalf of my family, all of our employees, the travel agency community and all of our suppliers who have been working together for 30 years to fulfill the vacation dreams of our customers,” said La Macchia. “I am just one part of this, but I am gratified, and we will continue to work together on behalf of the millions of travelers who trust their vacations to us.” The National Tourism Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports research and education in travel and tourism. Since 1982, the National Tourism Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million to travel and tourism students in the form of grants, scholarships and awards. For more information, contact the Foundation at 800-682-8886.