Oct. 4, 2020

Episode 37: Dave Kartagener - President of KAI, Enabling more people to see more of the world

Episode 37: Dave Kartagener - President of KAI, Enabling more people to see more of the world

Today’s guest is Dave Kartagener. Having grown up in the industry, Dave has always had a passion for travel. He went on his first safari at the age of seven and has been exploring the world ever since, having now visited more than 50 countries. Today,


Today’s guest is Dave Kartagener. Having grown up in the industry, Dave has always had a passion for travel. He went on his first safari at the age of seven and has been exploring the world ever since, having now visited more than 50 countries. Today, Dave is President of Kartagener Associates (or “KAI”), a leader in marketing and sales representation for the travel industry. The KAI portfolio includes exclusive safari lodges in Africa, award winning Palaces in India, luxury cruise ships and Destination Management Companies around the globe. Dave hasn’t always worked in travel and was reluctant after graduating college to join the company his dad started. So, prior to KAI, he spent several years quickly rising through the sales ranks at Madison Square Garden before eventually joining the family business in 2010. In this interview, we get into the impact that travel has had on his life, the benefits of travel, his years grinding it out selling tickets at MSG, and his company KAI and how Covid has changed everything in the industry.

Timestamps

00:02:20 Growing up and traveling

00:09:46 Traveling for self-discovery

00:10:40 Early career ambitions

00:13:07 College days at Tulane

00:17:05 Getting the job at Madison Square Garden (MSG)

00:21:22 First role at MSG

00:27:22 Moving up the ranks at MSG

00:31:04 Leaving MSG and joining KAI

00:37:52 Overview of KAI

00:42:20 Inception of the business

00:46:05 Focus on long-haul destinations

00:48:35 His role at KAI

00:52:04 The KAI Foundation

00:56:43 Covid's impact on the business

01:04:33 How he's coping and moving forward in the Covid world

01:09:05 Ultimate vision for KAI

01:10:22 Young Travel Professionals organization

01:17:30 His daily routine

01:20:55 His driving force

01:23:10 Parting career advice for the young professional listening