— Menachem Mendel Schneerson

That quote comes from a friend of my father whom I have come to find out, he greatly admired. In one of his wallets, there was a picture of a Rabbi and laminated cards with quotes on the back of them, which I was curious about, so I Googled him. As I was looking at his most notable quotes, the one above stood out because it reminded me that my father lived his life just like that, and this apple didn’t fall far from the tree. For as long as I can remember, #diewithmemoriesnotdreams is something I have committed my time to, for my wife, my children, sister and parents. And I too believe that our lives should be committed to filling our loved one’s hearts with as many moments as we can, so when we’re gone, their hearts don’t just feel loss, but full because of a lifetime of memories we shared together…my father did that for me, my sisters, his friends and many of his staff.

In April of 2016, the Travel Industry lost a man that was loved, admired and cherished by so many people; from around the world, a pioneer and visionary who was dedicated and loyal, not just to his family and friends, but to all those that worked with him and for him…. but for me, I lost my Dad. I’m sure you can understand, that this letter introducing our new vision and brochure without having him by my side, regardless of the pride I feel with taking over the role and title he had for decades, is bittersweet, as anyone who has lost a parent or been in my position would understand.

As I’m writing this letter, United Airlines just announced they are retiring the 747, and if you look at one of the pictures to your left, you will see my father, sister and I, in the upstairs lounge onboard one of United Airlines’ first 747 flights to Hawaii, one of those #diewithmemoriesnotdreams moments that didn’t really resonate with me, until now. When looking at that picture, I can’t help but feel that it was one of those moments that sparked my love for traveling the world, along with beginning to understand and appreciate that time, is our most valuable commodity in life; who we spend it with, and what we choose to do with it. There’s no doubt that the role I am taking on today was destined to be, and the lessons of life that those two young children started learning from their father back then, (my younger sister Liz and I) was to appreciate the gift of time, travel, and sharing life’s journeys with those you love most. Who could have imagined almost 50 years ago, that wearing that three-piece suit and tie was merely a dress rehearsal for one day truly following in my father’s footsteps. I know they are big shoes to fill, they were then too for that little boy, but I couldn’t think of a better place I would rather be now, than spending my time as part of the team that my father loved and trusted. I look forward in continuing his legacy of creating special moments for you, your loved ones and your clients, and help navigate this company to greatness, just like my father did….

With that being said, I am beyond thrilled to introduce you to our new brand, IWorld of Travel, Memories Beyond, An Ady Gelber Legacy company, formerly Isramworld. IWorld of Travel with our divisions Latour, Europe Too, Belder Gray and Asian Vistas not only embodies who we are, with servicing 56 countries on 5 continents, but it also solidifies our goal of being committed to continuing to create “memories beyond” for you and your clients. While we know our new name will help simplify and clarify more succinctly our global reach, I felt having my father’s name as part of the brand was an important reminder that we are not just representing a company, but him too, and all he did and sacrificed to get us to this point.

This year we celebrate our 50th anniversary in business, quite a milestone, and will be providing itineraries that are priced at $1967 in honor of the year we launched, along with special group packages for those that were born in 1967 and 1968. In those 50 years, our company has seen the travel industry go through many changes, the most important being a more educated and knowledgeable traveler, that has unlimited choices. But being more knowledgeable doesn’t equate to experience, and it’s our hope that you will continue to entrust your clients’ needs with our success, experience and relationships that we have established globally over the past 50 years, as we launch our new brand, brochure and website.

Finally, I feel I would be remiss in not acknowledging that during the last few years of my father’s illness and certainly after his passing, that it didn’t have an effect on our business, how could it not. When you lose a man that was the voice and leadership of a company for almost 4 decades, there are always going to be some effects and adjustments that need to be addressed. The silver lining is that it required us to take a hard look at some of our initiatives and alliances, and by doing so, we did some restructuring internally along with tightening up our operational focus to establish a more relevant and consistent foundation for the future. While we still love New York, and maintain offices and staff there, we have recently relocated our global headquarters to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to expand our access and reach. With 2018 just around the corner, we feel invigorated for the future and thankful for all the renewed relationships, partnerships and support we have been able to solidify globally. As my father would say, “I see a light at the end of the tunnel, and I don’t think it’s a train.”

Michael Gelber
CEO & Chairman of the Board

# D I E W I T H M E M O R I E S N O T D R E A M S