Roy Peterson was nominated as one of the 2018 Groups Today Top 10 Next Gens by readers for making a difference in the industry. Roy is President of Fly My Group, Inc. and Flight Sugar. Fly My Group, Inc. was the recipient of the 2018 TODAY! Award.
Groups Today: Can you give us a brief overview of your career? How did you become involved in the group travel industry?
Roy Peterson: My first glance at the group travel industry was as an accounting intern. Shortly after this internship began, my eyes were opened to this amazing industry full of opportunity and the ability to make an impact on the world and those around me.
I quickly moved into other areas beyond accounting in the industry. Through my experience as a tour guide, I learned about the group travel industry from beginning to end.
After many years and hundreds of school visits, I gained a comprehensive understanding of the group travel business, educators as clients, group travel needs and the obstacles the industry faced.
I took a short leave and pursued business development and finance while earning the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation. While I was away from the industry, I spent a lot of time evaluating areas that I could add value and give back to the group travel industry. After a lot of reflection, I kept coming back to the obstacles the group travel industry faced when managing their air needs.
This was an area where I knew I could make a difference!
GT: What inspired you to start Fly My Group and Flight Sugar?
RP: After I understood our clients' perspective and realized that there were very little services geared toward them on the air side, we decided to launch Fly My Group and Flight Sugar.
GT: You have a background in finance and fraud preventative accounting. How does this give you a competitive edge in the industry?
RP: The travel industry is considered a money service business, which financial institutions flag for higher risk. Operators and sellers alike move large amounts of money back and forth daily. With a background of finance and fraud preventive accounting, I have been able to work with organizations large and small to help streamline processes and implement internal controls focused on airfare, as it is one of the largest line items for many organizations.
GT: What is your most prized accomplishment in your career so far?
RP: It probably is not an accomplishment but more of a blessing: I am truly grateful for the team that I get to work with every day.
Our group really values and believes in the mission and serves our customers with a passion that I have not seen in many places.
GT: How do you hope to make a difference in the travel industry?
RP: We have some sayings at Fly My Group and Flight Sugar. We love to save our clients "fat stacks of greenbacks" on their airfare and "crush it" for them when dealing with difficult travel issues. We work hard to do that every day! We also get to invest in organizations like Global Doing Good, which excels in making tangible impacts around the world through its Homebuilding, Leaf Cutter and Two Roads projects.