Cathy Backus is the current Vice President for Resort Development for International Cruise & Excursions, Inc. (ICE). She is the former Global Director for CSA Travel Protection / Europ-Assistance headquartered in San Diego CA, Bethesda MD and Paris France. During the past 9 years at CSA Travel Protection, Ms. Backus has developed a travel insurance vertical in the loyalty and vacation ownership market that has met with tremendous success, landing some of the industries’ largest customers as her clientele.
Ms. Backus is the founding President of Women in the Industry (WIN). WIN is a dynamic, diverse, non-partisan international organization dedicated to fostering the growth of women in the vacation industry. WIN is a 501 (3) (6) organization that engages in education, research, networking and philanthropy. Ms. Backus has successfully developed the philanthropic arm of WIN, creating programs for Girls, Inc. (assisting young inner city adolescent girls in Harlem NY go away to college) and “Send Me on Vacation” (sending women who have recently completed treatment for breast cancer on vacation to renew their body, mind and spirit.)
Ms. Backus founded Corporate Citizenship Charities, Inc., a 501 (c ) ( 3) charitable tax exempt organization that develops and manages private label corporate citizenship programs for small to mid-size companies. She is on the cutting edge of social responsibility in the corporate world, creating ways in which these companies can be noteworthy corporate citizens with their own unique charitable programs.
Ms. Backus graduated from Illinois State University in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in urban education. At Illinois State, Ms. Backus was a nationally recognized gymnast, a varsity cheerleader and also participated in Gamma Phi, the oldest collegiate circus in the country.
Ms. Backus started her vacation industry career with Club Med as Director of Sales for North America. Following her career at Club Med, she expanded her vacation industry experience by working in the travel insurance industry.
Ms. Backus has written and lectured in the vacation industry. She has been a keynote speaker at national women’s organizations, travel industry forums and charitable venues.