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Top 100: Hospitality and tourism

SPOTLIGHT: Shaun Balani, president
COMPANY: Travel Time Travel Agency Inc.

SPOTLIGHT: Shaun Balani, president
COMPANY: Travel Time Travel Agency Inc.

Shaun Balani’s motivation lies within the memory of his hard-working and dedicated father. Before entering the hospitality industry, Balani was an engineer, just like his dad. Although Balani branched into the world of travel in 1984 when he purchased Lancaster County-based Travel Time Travel Agency Inc., his determination to succeed remained rooted in the foundation his father created. This foundation helped his firm grow 20.3 percent between 2005 and 2008.

INDUSTRY LEADER: Hospitality & tourism
THREE-YEAR GROWTH: 20.3 percent 
 
My Background

Mother’s occupation: Being raised in conservative India, my mother didn’t have much of a choice besides being a housewife and mother, both of which she excelled at.

Father’s occupation: My dad was an engineer. (He) grew up in a very poor family and studied under street lamps at night. He came out at the top of his engineering class in what was, at that time, the top engineering school in India.  He retired as the general manager of an aluminum company.

Previous jobs: I followed in my father’s footsteps to get an engineering degree. Finished my engineering career as division manager for Exterior Products Division of Alumax. Previous to that, I was the quality control manager at Howmet Aluminum. Howmet was sold to Alumax in 1984, and Alumax was sold to Alcoa somewhere in the late 1990s.

My Company

Its origins: Started by Jim Guerin in 1977 as a private company. Purchased by me in 1985. It’s been a good run!

Why it’s successful:
The trust I have in the people that work here, and their ability to do what it takes to keep customers happy. We have always also done our very best to keep up with the technology that drives the travel industry. We can, in my opinion, compete with the best and biggest travel management companies in the country.

 How I Work

Where I get my inspiration: Thinking about what my dad achieved during his lifetime, with what little he started with. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish he were around to guide me.

What I lose sleep over: My son’s future when I am not around anymore. And a succession plan for my business. I am 61 now and know I need to start doing something about that.

The worst part of my job:
Disciplinary action against the people that work here. Unfortunately, every once in a while that’s a necessary part of my job.

The best part of my job:
Interacting with the people that work here. We have an absolutely tremendous group of people here, and I enjoy coming to work because of them.

TOP HOSPITALTY & TOURISM

1. Travel Time Travel Agency Inc., $12.4 million

2.
Rydbom Express Inc., $11 million

3.
Wolf’s Bus Lines Inc., $4.5 million

4. Krouse Group Travel, $4 million

5. Altland House Catering and Events, $3.5 million

From list of TOP 250 Privately Held Companies.

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