Rick is America’s most respected authority on European travel. Rick took his first trip to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a piano importer. As an 18-year-old, Rick began traveling on his own, funding his trips by teaching piano lessons. In 1976, he started his business, Rick Steves’ Europe, which has grown from a one-man operation to a company with a staff of 100 full-time, well-travelled employees at his headquarters in Washington state. There he produces more than 50 guidebooks on European travel, America’s most popular travel series on public television, a weekly hour-long national public radio show, a weekly syndicated column and free travel information available through his travel center and ricksteves.com. Rick Steves’ Europe also runs a successful European tour program. Rick Steves lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington. His office window overlooks his old junior high school.
Roger joined the Washington, D.C.-based national umbrella organization representing all segments of travel in America — an industry responsible for generating $2.1 trillion in annual economic output — in 2005. In 2014, he launched Project: Time Off, a multifaceted, research-driven initiative aimed at shifting American culture so time off is understood as essential to personal well-being, professional success, business performance and economic expansion. This new venture builds on other successes during his tenure, including the growth of U.S. Travel’s annual IPW international marketplace, each of which generates $4.7 billion in direct bookings to U.S. destinations over the following three years. Additionally, Roger and U.S. Travel are both leaders of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition, which provides resources to promote and defend the value of face-to-face business meetings and travel on our economy. Previously, Roger advanced through the ranks at Marriott International in a tenure spanning 34 years, where he rose to senior vice president of global and field sales. He has held seats on the boards of ASAE, ASAE Foundation, PCMA, MPI Foundation, GWSAE, the Travel Institute, RE/MAX International and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100.