Alan Thomas Waddell, 74 years young, of London, England passed away unexpectedly from virulent double pneumonia on September 12, 2012 at the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guilford, Surrey.
Alan enjoyed a distinguished career as a top Travel and Tourism Industry Executive, with British Airways, American Express, BBC and most recently serving for ten years as the Chief Operating Officer for the Visit USA Association - UK. Alan's career included management training at British Airways with subsequent senior roles in North Atlantic Marketing, Marketing Canada, Managing Director of Speedbird Holidays, Assistant General Manager Europe and as Managing Director of British Airways Holidays. He went on to join American Express, headed up their UK tour operations and was later promoted to the Card side of American Express, where his role involved managing major trading relationships.
During his career, Alan Waddell was very involved in trade activities including an elected Council Member of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and work with the prestigious Business Travel Liaison Group (BTLG) involving introduction of a system of airfare benchmarking. In 1990 he became an Industry Consultant with assignments including Forte Hotels, BUPA, PPP and TransBrasil Airlines plus the BBC where he made long-term recommendations on their corporate travel strategy. His role at the BBC was later expanded to that of full time Head of Trading Operations, managing all the BBC's substantial travel, transport related, printing and vehicle leasing contracts. In 2000, he was one of three nominees for UK Business Travel Manager of the year by Business Travel World magazine for his work on the management of the BBC's very demanding and complex travel needs.
In 2002, Alan joined the Visit USA Association UK as Chief Operating Officer to stimulate the growth of this important trade organisation. Visit USA enjoys a great deal of success in the UK and is the largest of its kind in the world. Alan introduced a number of marketing initiatives and member services, including their very successful website and major charitable programs to benefit Just A Drop.
In 2006, Alan married Helen Marano, former director of the US Department of Commerce/Office of Travel & Tourism Industries and current VP with the World Travel & Tourism Association based in London. Helen Marano stated: "We are so very, very sad to lose Alan, such a dynamic and vital person, loved by so many. He loved his role in developing opportunities for increasing British travel to the USA. His friendships throughout the industry were precious to him."