At our owners' request, the current board members have written these biographical sketches to give you insight into who they are, and what unique experiences they have to offer.
Gene Hensley, President
Lives in: Kenmore, Washington
WorldMark owner since: 1989
Current term expires: 2007
Experience: I started my career in the vacation ownership industry in 1978. I began with Trendwest in January of 1990 when we had one unit and 14 employees. I have been active in the development of the club up until my retirement from the day-to-day operations in December 2005.
Affiliations or associations: I have worked closely with both RCI and II. In 1995 I successfully negotiated the "Search First" agreement between WorldMark and RCI. I also worked closely with Owner Services and various cruise lines to introduce the first use of credits as a "vacation currency" through our Cruise for Credits program, and the first experiential vacation through Footloose Excursions. I also serve as a trustee for the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), the trade association for timeshare professionals. As well, I serve on the East King County Habitat for Humanity advisory board.
Favorite WorldMark resort: Discovery Bay. It is so peaceful, and it's only an hour and fifteen minutes from my home. To me, it epitomizes what WorldMark is all about: beautiful places within a reasonable drive from home. The view is spectacular, and there isn't a bad time of year to be there. Port Townsend is a great day trip, as is the Olympic Peninsula—one of the last homes of the primordial forest.
Vision for WorldMark's products, features and services in the next five years: I am anxious to see a cohesive network of resorts, stretching from Canada, the Northwest, down the Pacific Coast, across the great Sunbelt states to Florida, then up the Atlantic seaboard to the Northeast and back through the Heartland, utilizing opportunities for great urban locations, as well as regional drive-to resorts all along the way. Second, I believe our vacation credits should work for us just like currency. It is time for WorldMark to expand the use of vacation credits to all the services available through Trendwest Travel, including airfares, all major hotels, rental cars, and all-inclusive tour packages.
One initiative or program WorldMark should pursue to enhance the WorldMark program: Increased functionality of our Web site for all club applications and services.
The obstacles/challenges facing WorldMark in the coming years: My greatest concern is that as we grow we may forget or lose sight of the vital role the developer, Trendwest, plays in developing an evolving club. I say this because I have watched and participated in this relationship first hand. I worry that, as owners, we could become complacent or feel that there's no need for WorldMark to continue to evolve. As a former Trendwest executive and as a WorldMark owner, I believe I offer a different perspective. I understand where best to leverage Trendwest's assets to WorldMark's advantage—which, in fact, is to Trendwest's advantage.
WorldMark experience that was truly magical or memorable: When we added our second location on the Oregon coast in 1990.
John Henley, Secretary
Lives in: Gold Coast, Australia
WorldMark owner since: 1992
Current term expires: 2006
Affiliations or associations:
- Bachelor of Commerce with honors.
- 18 years financial management with Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
- Eight years senior and executive management experience with RCMP.
- Eight years timeshare/hospitality experience with WorldMark and Trendwest.
- Five years of executive positions on homeowners' associations (HOAs) prior to timeshare.
- 11 years on WorldMark board with last five as secretary. Timeshare/hospitality experience with WorldMark and Trendwest.
- Executive and/or representative positions on timeshare HOAs at Discovery Bay, Cascade Lodge, and Whale Pointe.
- Fellow Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Favorite WorldMark resort: A new favorite – WorldMark Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand. There's so much that is new and unique!
Vision for WorldMark's products, features and services in the next five years:
- Product: A continuation of the upgrading of WorldMark resort and amenity options and locations. Some will likely be more expensive to use, but it is all about giving our owners options.
- Services: This is an easy one but my personal agenda item: more open and regular communications between WorldMark, The Club, the board, and owners, concerning the things that are important to those of us who consider owners to be family.
One initiative or program WorldMark should pursue to enhance the WorldMark program: WorldMark has prospered primarily because of the program developed by Bill Peare, Mike Moyer, and Jeff Sites. They dared to be different by providing a flexibility that is still not matched by many. In addition, we provided a family feel and service level that made us stand out. The two clubs—WorldMark and WorldMark South Pacific—have a combined ownership of over a quarter of a million. But just being bigger does not mean we are getting better. WorldMark needs to address our cultural diversity; and continue to enhance the ability of owners to feel at home no matter where they go, be it Florida, the Southwest, Mexico, or New Zealand. If we don't continue to grow the club for the benefit of the club and all owners, it won't happen.
The obstacles/challenges facing WorldMark in the coming years:
There are two.
- In the shorter term, the continuing saga of the computer systems changeover will eventually be solved, and we will be provided with a more user friendly, timely and accurate reservation and service platform.
- In the longer term, product differentiation—meaning our combination of destinations and people—is what made us a leader in owner satisfaction. We must continually strive to maintain and expand those differences. In an industry marked by consolidation, this will not be an easy task.
WorldMark experiences that were truly magical or memorable: Two, but really one common component—family. Fishing with family and new friends at the new resort in Rotorua, New Zealand; and walking on Seven Mile Beach, Tasmania, with my wife and daughter.
Lives in: Snohomish, WA
WorldMark owner since: 1996
Current term expires: 2007
32 years vacation industry experience
13 years with Trendwest Resorts
Certified facilitator for personal growth and service programs:
Washington State Real Estate license
Travel Insurance license (13 states)
- Zinger Miller Staff Training
- Gordon Graham Personal Growth
- Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certified
Favorite WorldMark Resort: This is a hard question for me. I've been an owner since '93, so I've had the opportunity to take my family to many resorts. Being a single parent, WorldMark provides me with a safe and fun way to enjoy family time together. We spend a few days at Ocean Shores and Leavenworth every year so I guess they'd be our "local" favorites. One year when I asked the kids where we should go for our big week-long vacation, they said with a sigh, "Well, we've been to Hawaii … Mexico … Orlando …." It was at that moment that I knew what a great investment WorldMark was to my family's emotional bank account. WorldMark has created a family legacy with memories to last a lifetime.
Vision for WorldMark's products, features and services in the next five years: My vision is to see WorldMark continue to grow but remain consistent in service and owner satisfaction by providing feedback to management. I see WorldMark continue to grow in the markets where owners live, not just in new markets. I see programs offering new products and services for those owners who wish to use them. I also see WorldMark continuing to grow its services online for owners who prefer to serve themselves.
One initiative or program WorldMark should pursue to enhance the WorldMark program: I'd like to see the programs branch out to include RV parks with full hook-ups, swimming pools, rental trailers, etc., for use with credits. We are a vacation club, and camping is just another venue that owners could enjoy with the safety and service of WorldMark.
The obstacles/challenges facing WorldMark in the coming years: Growth—maintaining the small company personal touches and services in a multi-billion dollar organization.
Lives in: Kirkland, Washington
WorldMark owner since: 1991
Current term expires: 2007
Experience: I served on the planning board for the city of Sultan, Wash. I was elected and served two four-year terms as Mayor of Sultan. As city administrator, I managed employees and an annual budget. I served on the Snohomish County Community Transit Board of Directors for six years, two of those as chairman of the board. I served on the Snohomish County Boundary Review Board for six years. I have been employed with Cadman Concrete for 23 years. I hold an inactive Washington State real estate license.
Favorite WorldMark Resort: This past summer we had a family reunion at WorldMark Seaside. We had a wonderful time. Last week we returned from spending two weeks at WorldMark Kona, where we visited with our daughter and her family. It is pretty hard to pick one favorite resort as each one has its own distinct qualities. For me the best part is sharing our WorldMark vacations with our family and friends.
Vision for WorldMark's products, features, and services in the next five years: Over the next five years I would like to see WorldMark advance into the European market. I would also like to see RV and camping resorts added to the inventory here in the U.S.
One initiative or program WorldMark should pursue to enhance the WorldMark program: Concierge service is a vital and necessary part of travel. I would like to see concierge desks in every resort destination. We also should encourage owners to make better use of Bonus Time and inventory specials.
The obstacles/challenges facing WorldMark in the coming years: We as a board need to watch and stay ahead of property tax increases, and unexpected costs such as additional costs of the phone system.
WorldMark experience that was truly magical or memorable: We always feel special when we stay at a WorldMark resort. Every sunset, every celebration, and every visit to WorldMark has truly been a special occasion for our family.
Dave Herrick, Senior Vice President
WorldMark by Wyndham Hospitality Division
Lives in: Kirkland, Washington
WorldMark owner since: 2000
Current term expires: 2008
Experience: I started my hospitality career in the late 1970’s at a resort on Kaanapali Beach on Maui. After 12 years managing resort condominium-hotels, I began my timeshare career with Vacation Internationale (VI) in 1990. I spent nine years as Vice President Resort Operations with VI before I was attracted to the exciting growth I was observing at Trendwest. I joined Trendwest Resorts in 1998 and for the past nine years I have been responsible for overseeing all aspects of WorldMark, The Club operations including the Vacation Planning Center and resort operations.
Affiliations or associations: The American Resort Development Corporation (ARDA) is the trade association for timeshare developers and professionals. I have been a member of ARDA since the early 1990’s through my professional involvement with VI and Trendwest. I also work closely with the major affiliates of WorldMark which include WorldMark Asia Pacific, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, RCI and II.
Favorite WorldMark resort: That is hard to say as we have so many great locations. My household is a classic timeshare family who has enjoyed a wide variety of vacation experiences - from ski vacations at Whistler to “fun in the sun” experiences in Hawaii. My girls have grown up on timeshare vacations. We have enjoyed many shorter getaways to locations such as Seaside and Depoe Bay as well. I could not pick just one location because my family has truly enjoyed the diversity the Club has to offer and we’ve taken advantage of the wide range of choices.
Vision for WorldMark's products, features and services in the next five years: The new regional areas of growth that we should see will be in Alberta, Canada, New Mexico and in Texas. To support these new markets we’ll see exciting new locations such as our new facility that recently opened near Banff, Alberta called WorldMark Canmore-Banff. To support New Mexico, we’ll see new resorts in Taos and Red River, New Mexico. We’re currently searching for locations in Texas as well. We will continue to identify many new locations in our existing markets that will support the ongoing owner growth in our more mature regions such as in Las Vegas, Southern California, Colorado, the Pacific Northwest, etc.
We will continue to monitor program features that owners desire and will do our best to work them into our network, such as high speed internet in all WorldMark (self managed) locations that should be installed by the end of 2007.
One initiative or program WorldMark should pursue to enhance the WorldMark program: Enhance owner communication to ensure our owners are getting timely, accurate WorldMark news and information as quickly as possible.
The obstacles/challenges facing WorldMark in the coming years: As we continue to evolve as one of the major timeshare club companies in the industry, I believe it is critical for the WorldMark management team and the WorldMark Board to continue to have a positive, proactive relationship with Wyndham Resort Development Corporation (WRDC/formerly Trendwest Resorts, Inc.) and to work closely with the developer in identifying desirable new resort locations for our owners to enjoy. The WorldMark management team will work collaboratively through some of the more challenging market condition changes that are impacting many new resort credit values, including increased real estate costs and escalating construction costs.