by Lisa A. Grimaldi | May 23, 2017
Jane E. Schuldt,  CITE, CIS, a long-time member and supporter of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence and founder of destination marketing firm World Marketing Group, passed away this weekend at age 63. The cause was pancreatic cancer.
 
In her long association with SITE, Schuldt co-founded the association's Minnesota chapter, achieved her Certified Incentive Travel Executive (CITE) credential, became a board director, SITE President and served as a mentor to many individuals. As a past president, she remained one of SITE's most active volunteer contributors and in 2013 served as president of the association's Foundation Board of Trustees. According to a statement released by SITE, Jane directly influenced the projects, white papers and other studies funded and produced through the Foundation, including the first study on destination management companies' best practices. The statement added that she "helped the motivation industry gain traction and support and helped amplify its voice as part of the industry and business conversation."
 
SITE also noted that "Jane's style was admired far and wide. She was a knowledgeable, strong and graceful leader, filled with gratitude for the companionship of her industry friends. She appreciated the incentive industry ecosystem, the business models of every segment, the individuals who make it work and how transformative travel is to people's lives. Being a voice for the incentive travel industry was her favorite cause. When the incentive industry suffered a down cycle, she was there to push it up and overcome whatever obstacles challenged it. She was a curious learner, listener and not afraid to point out what could be done better. She was a role model and mentor to men and women and willingly shared what she knew. As one industry colleague said, 'I don't think she knew it, but I kept a notebook of her quotes; her thoughts always inspired me.'"
 
SITE also relayed a recent observation Jane made to a friend: "I love my life, but there is such a short time to complete it. Regardless of the future, I don't regret anything in this journey. It's been rich and full because of friends, family and the opportunities I've been afforded around the world."
 
Jane built World Marketing Group, a destination marketing firm headquartered in Minneapolis, to educate clients about her portfolio countries. Along the way, she ensured that her customers had exceptional service while seeing to it that WMG was a great place in which to work.
 
Schuldt was the recipient of several major industry awards, including her 2015 enshrinement in the Events Industry Council (formerly the Convention Industry Council) Hall of Leaders. She also was awarded the IMEX Academy Award-Americas in 2008. Last Wednesday at IMEX Frankfurt 2017 in Germany, Ray Bloom opened the awards ceremony by recognizing Jane as a long-time cherished supporter of IMEX since the inception of the trade show. During the gala, SITE CEO Kevin Hinton announced that the SITE Master Motivator Award, given annually at IMEX, would change its name permanently to the Jane E. Schuldt Master Motivator Award in her honor.