Michael Batt is the Founder and Chairman of Travel Leaders Group, a North American travel company that generates gross travel sales of approximately $20 billion and directly employs over 1,000 staff managing operations of more than 6,500 company-owned, franchised and affiliated travel agencies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. Today, Travel Leaders Group has over 40,000 travel agents working directly for the organization or under one of its brands.
Prior to his role as Founder and Chairman of Travel Leaders Group, Mr. Batt served as an executive with Carlson Companies where he was President of Carlson Leisure Group (CLG) and a Board member of Carlson Wagonlit Travel. He joined Carlson in 1996 and was responsible for leisure travel operations in the US for 11 years as well as Carlson's investment in the Thomas Cook Group in the UK. Under Mr. Batt, CLG grew significantly with sales growing from a combined $2 billion in 1996 to over $5 billion in 2007. In January 2008, Mr. Batt led a management buyout of Carlson Leisure Group, and in April 2008, secured investment support and partnership with One Equity Partners – the private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase. The company has subsequently merged with Tzell Travel (ranked number one in Business Travel news ranking of US business travel agencies), and acquired Nexion (now a group of over 3,300 home-based agents), and Vacation.com – the largest leisure US travel seller with over 5,300 travel agency members. Most recently, Travel Leaders Group completed the merger of Tzell with Protravel International, Inc. in December 2012.
Before joining Carlson, Mr. Batt was Executive Vice President, sales and marketing for Alamo Rent-A-Car. He was responsible for worldwide sales and marketing for the car rental giant. Prior to Alamo, Mr. Batt served as Marketing Director (and member of the executive board) of British Airways where he was responsible for all advertising and promotion, product development and delivery of service standards (1987-1994). Mr. Batt started his business career working for M and M Mars, enjoying a 12-year tenure with the company in various sales and brand management positions working in the United Kingdom, Spain, Africa and the Middle East.
Mr. Batt was inducted into the British Travel Industry Hall of Fame in 2014. Mr. Batt is a native of the United Kingdom and holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Materials from the University of Wales.
J.D. O'Hara serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Travel Leaders Group, one of the largest vacation, corporate and entertainment travel companies in North America and the UK, with sales of over $20 billion. With more than 4,000 employees, Travel Leaders Group is comprised of over 6,000 travel agency locations with over 52,000 travel advisors. Mr. O'Hara became CEO of the company in January 2020 after serving as President.
Mr. O'Hara's key tenets for Travel Leaders Group's success is to provide impeccable service to its travelers, the highest quality support and tools to its travel advisors, and unsurpassed value to its preferred supplier partners.
Prior to rejoining the company as President in 2018, Mr. O'Hara was Senior Partner at Certares Management, LLC., the company owner. Mr. O'Hara serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Travel Leaders Group.
Mr. O'Hara has played a key role in the growth and evolution of Travel Leaders Group since its inception in 2008. He was part of the original management buyout of Carlson Leisure Group from Carlson Companies in January 2008 that eventually led to the formation of Travel Leaders Group. The company most recently ranked 7th among Travel Weekly's 2019 Power List of the largest travel agencies and ranked 8th among the top 50 travel management companies in the UK by Buying Business Travel.
In his various operating roles within Travel Leaders Group and as a member of the company's Board of Directors, O'Hara has had direct oversight of Travel Leaders Group's vast investment activity, including the mergers and acquisitions of Tzell Travel Group, Nexion Travel Group, Vacation.com, Protravel International, Andrew Harper Travel and Altour. As the company sought to expand beyond its core U.S. footprint, O'Hara led Travel Leaders Group's international growth strategy with the acquisitions of Mexico-based Corporate Travel Services, and UK-based agencies Colletts Travel and Barrhead Travel, as well as event services company YES.
Prior to joining Travel Leaders Group, Mr. O'Hara served in the investment banking industry at Lehman Brothers in New York. He received a Master of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
John Lovell, CTC, is President of Travel Leaders Network and Leisure Group, which is part of Travel Leaders Group, a North American travel company that generates gross travel sales approaching $21 billion annually and directly employs over 1,000 staff managing operations of more than 7,000 company-owned, franchised and affiliated travel agencies in the United States, Canada, Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Australia. While Travel Leaders Group is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mr. Lovell is based in Alexandria, Virginia.
Mr. Lovell is responsible for the strategic operations, sales, marketing and overall growth of Travel Leaders Network and Leisure Group. With nearly 7,000 Associate (franchise) and Member travel agencies in Canada and the United States, over 35,000 individual travel agents and more than $17 billion in annual sales, Travel Leaders Network is the largest seller of luxury travel, cruises, river cruises and tours in the travel agency industry; Travel Leaders Network was formed in 2017 when Travel Leaders Franchise Group (Travel Leaders Associates and Results! Travel) combined with Vacation.com. Travel Leaders Leisure Group represents Travel Leaders Group’s wholly-owned leisure businesses, including All Aboard Travel, Cruise Specialists, CruiseDeals.com and SinglesCruise.com.
Prior to taking on responsibilities for all of Travel Leaders Group’s franchise, consortia and leisure operations in 2014, Mr. Lovell first served as the President of Vacation.com beginning in 2011. He also serves on numerous Advisory Boards, including Azamara Club Cruises, Travel Insured International and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, among others. Mr. Lovell formerly served as a member of the Board of Directors for both Tourism Cares and the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA).
From 2006 to 2011, Mr. Lovell served as Vice President of Sales, Industry Relations and Revenue Management for Vacation.com, where he was responsible for all sales activities in the United States and for managing and overseeing preferred supplier negotiations and relationships, as well as expanding marketing and revenue opportunities. Mr. Lovell was originally hired to serve as Vacation.com’s Vice President of Sales and Business Development in January of 2002.
Before joining Vacation.com, Mr. Lovell held the position of Director of Travel Industry Sales at ANC Rental Corporation, where he was responsible for all car rental sales activity within the travel agency, tour operator, travel association and government channels. Previous to his employment at ANC, Mr. Lovell served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Renaissance Travel Solutions, where he was responsible for increasing the Baltimore-based tour operator’s brand presence by establishing the brand offerings of Adventure Vacations, Sea World Busch Gardens Vacations, Spirit Vacations, AirTran Vacations and Frontier Airlines Vacations. Mr. Lovell first joined the travel industry at the Hertz Corporation as Regional Sales Manager for the state of Florida. Additionally, Mr. Lovell spent nine years working for BAT Industries, working his way up to Director of Global Accounts for the tobacco giant while based in London.
Roger E. Block is president of Travel Leaders Network, part of Travel Leaders Group, a North American travel company that generates gross travel sales approaching $21 billion annually and directly employs over 1,000 staff managing operations of more than 7,000 company-owned, franchised and affiliated travel agencies in the United States, Canada, Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Australia. Both Travel Leaders Network and Travel Leaders Group are headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In his current role, Mr. Block oversees the strategic development and growth of Travel Leaders Network. With nearly 7,000 Associate (franchise) and Member travel agencies in Canada and the United States, over 35,000 individual travel agents and more than $17 billion in annual sales, Travel Leaders Network is the largest seller of luxury travel, cruises, river cruises and tours in the travel agency industry. Travel Leaders Network was formed in 2017 when Travel Leaders Franchise Group (Travel Leaders Associates and Results! Travel) combined with Vacation.com.
Prior to serving as President of Travel Leaders Network, Block served as the President of Travel Leaders Franchise Group, which was spun off from travel and hospitality company, Carlson, in January 2008. Mr. Block had served as Executive Vice President of Carlson Travel Franchise Group, responsible for the company’s travel franchise operations, including Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates, Cruise Holidays, Results! Travel and SeaMaster Cruises brands. Under Mr. Block, over a thousand locations were added to the franchise system network.
Mr. Block joined Carlson in 1997 following the acquisition of Travel Agents International (TAI) by Carlson Leisure Group, into which most TAI franchisees converted. Mr. Block was the Chairman, President and Founder of TAI. Before TAI, Block was Senior Vice President, Director and Corporate Treasurer of Community Banks of Florida, Inc., with responsibility for fund management of the Holding Company banks.
In addition to his leadership within Travel Leaders Network, Mr. Block currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and is also on ASTA’s Executive Committee as its Chairman. He has been on the ASTA Board since 2012. Mr. Block was one of three founding members and founding officer of ASTA’s Corporate Advisory Committee (CAC) and served as Treasurer from 2003 to 2005, Vice Chairman from 2005 to 2007 and Chairman from 2007 to 2009. Additionally, in tandem with his prior CAC leadership role, Mr. Block previously served on the ASTA Board from 2005 to 2009 and served as an ASTA Executive Committee member from 2007-2009. Previously, Mr. Block served on the board of trustees of ICTA, now The Travel Institute.