Meet Brad Hecht, CITP, MBA
Trustee at SITE Foundation &
Vice President, Travel at Motivation Excellence
SITE Foundation works hand-in-glove with SITE on research, education and advocacy and is steered by a sterling board of Trustees under the leadership of John Iannini, CIS, CITP, CTC. Two new incentive travel professionals have joined the Board of Trustees in 2019, one of whom is Brad Hecht, CITP, MBA, Vice President of Travel at Motivation Excellence. SITESource recently caught up with Brad and chatted with him about his career in incentive travel and his membership of SITE.
He’s a legacy incentive travel professional with a career dating back 35 years to 1984 when, like so many of today’s icons of incentive travel, he worked with Maritz as a Travel Director. His time with Maritz culminated with a VP role there until he moved to Motivation Excellence in 1999 – he celebrates his 20th anniversary with the Schaumburg, ILL based incentive agency this year.
Brad is VP of Travel at Motivation Excellence and his role there encompasses operations, marketing, sales, finance and management. He has global responsibility for all facets of the company’s meeting, event management & incentive travel business. He’s following in the footsteps of his mentor – his Dad, an industry veteran in his own right - and doing what he always wanted to do, ever since he was knee-high to a grasshopper!
An undergraduate degree in Business Communications led eventually to a Master’s in Marketing, a qualification that helped him develop a “people first” strategic focus for his work as an incentive travel professional. “I believe that events, meetings and incentives are more emotional than transactional because, at the end of the day, they’re about people”.
The “people first” priority has been his guiding light throughout almost 4 decades as an incentive professional - Brad’s greatest source of pride are, in fact, the long term friendships he has built with suppliers and clients.
Brad values his membership of SITE because it provides him with a platform for giving back. “For everything our industry has provided me, I wanted the opportunity on a global platform to help develop our young talent through education and certification. Many of us did not have these resources when we started years ago.”
Over his years as an incentive travel professional, Brad has made many extraordinary memories. The one he singles out for special mention is a trip to the UK: “I was required to advance a 75 room Manor House outside London for an exclusive buy-out. For 3 days prior to the group arrival I had a staff of 12 … for just me!”
Family members, free-spirited entrepreneurs and a politician feature at his “ideal” dinner party – it’s an all-male affair – maybe black tie? - with his father and father-in-law (both deceased), George H.W. Bush, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos. Regarding the best advice he ever received, Brad offers these timeless words: “Always take the high road and don’t take the easy way out.”
Favorite movie? Shawshank Redemption
Favorite Song? Your Song – Elton John (Wedding song for my wife and I)
Favorite Book? Anything by Nelson Demille
Favorite Meal? Pretty simple. Prime cut bone-in filet, lobster mashed potatoes, sautéed spinach, accompanied by carrot cake. Also my favorite Cabernet – Spottswoode!