So much has happened in 45 years at VIKTOR, the company we aptly named after Viktor Weyand who celebrates 45 years with the company today!
The year was 1974. Richard Nixon was in the White House and William Milliken was Michigan’s governor. The Watergate scandal hit a peak and Nixon resigned under pressure of being removed from office by Congress. Gerald Ford took office as President (and took a break from family ski instructions from Viktor Weyand!). Newspaper heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the SLA. The first UPC code was scanned (on a pack of Wrigley’s gum). AT&T was found to be violating anti-trust laws, leading to the break up of its telephone system monopoly. Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record. The “Rumble in the Jungle” took place in Africa where Muhammad Ali knocked out George Foreman. Crews on the USA’s space station, Skylab, set records for longevity in space. And the biggest news of that year… Viktor Weyand opened Viktor Weyand Travel Service!
Viktor, who arrived in northern Michigan as a ski instructor at Boyne Mountain during the 1960-61 ski season, spent a few years pursuing that professional passion by traveling back and forth between the northern hemisphere (Aspen and Boyne) and the southern hemisphere (Argentina). After meeting Alice and getting married in 1967, they settled upon Michigan as home and Viktor spent a few years in Detroit as a ski consultant for the J.L. Hudson Company.
Eventually lured back to northern Michigan, he began his ultimate professional path in the meetings industry, selling conventions and meetings for Boyne. After realizing he could help those same clients with their international travel incentive programs, with the financial support of Bob Andrews, he pulled together enough startup money to open Viktor Weyand Travel Service, Inc. We’re all thankful for Viktor following this path, because none of us would be here today, and our lives would have all taken another course, if he had not.
So now we celebrate the 45th anniversary of VIKTOR. It’s hard to believe how much the company has evolved over the years, yet how essential to adapt the way we do business to remain viable and successful, particularly in our ever-changing industry of travel incentives. Each and every one of VIKTOR’s current and past staff members have contributed to that success. Some of us, such as Ron in the 30+ Year Club, and Patty, Trisha, and Beth join Mark in the 20+ Year Club, have seen much! Kelli, who approaches 20 years, and Shawn who isn’t far behind, have also contributed a tremendous amount to the company in their important roles.
Viktor and Mark issue a big thank you to each and every one of the staff for all you have done, standing side by side together over the years. We must also acknowledge so many VIKTOR associates who have come and gone, like the late Chris Burak who played as large of a role as anyone in VIKTOR’s growth and development. The list of others is long, and includes Barb Woodrow, who led the team in the early years with their pencils, pads of paper, and eventually the Selectric typewriters, Telex, and fax machines. Can you imagine that today?