First Annual Vacation Commitment Summit Hits NYC in June

Listen to Execs from MasterCard, GoDaddy, others talk "vacation deprivation"

May 19, 2015, 12:32 ET from

SEATTLE, May 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Overwork is an epidemic in America. Last year 46% of the nation's work force did not take their paid vacation leave.   Based on this finding and research conducted by Diamond Resorts International,, a non-profit, pro-vacation organization, is hosting the first annual Vacation Commitment Summit, scheduled to take place on June 15, 2015 in New York City.

John de Graaf, President of, made the announcement. "The Vacation Commitment Summit will be a day devoted to addressing vacation deprivation and the American worker," he said. "People are afraid to leave their jobs and truly unwind, and the costs in general health and productivity are enormous." At the Summit, the U.S. Travel Association will present data that includes a session on The Mind of the Manager: What Your Boss Really Thinks About Vacation Time. Leaders in business, academia and media will gather to discuss the issues and develop strategies to encourage people to take their well-earned time off.

Advocating vacation-positive corporate environments

Keynote speakers include industry thought leaders such as Susan Kunreuther, MasterCard's Executive Vice President—Global Total Rewards and M&A, and Laurie Brednich, Director, Employee Benefits for Go Daddy. Additional speakers and panelists include:

  • Peter Shankman, Marketing & Customer Service Futurist and Author
  • Kenneth Matos, Senior Director of Research at Families and Work Institute
  • Gary Oster, Executive Vice President-Member Services & Managing Director-Project: Time Off. U.S.Travel Association
  • Camille Hoheb, Founder & Managing Director, Wellness Tourism Worldwide
  • Dr. Leigh Vinocur, Physician and Spokesperson for American College of Emergency Physicians 
  • Joe Robinson, Author and Work-life Balance and Stress Management Trainer

The Take Back Your Time Vacation Commitment Initiative was launched on March 17 of this year, and is receiving substantial economic support from firms that believe in the importance of vacations.  One such firm is Diamond Resorts International®, a global leader in the hospitality and vacation ownership industry. As Diamond Resorts CEO David Palmer put it, "We're dedicated to helping people lead healthier and happier lives by encouraging families to Stay Vacationed.™ The Vacation Commitment Initiative is the perfect fit for our mission as well."

The Summit is another step towards changing the culture around paid vacation in America, by fostering corporate and individual support. "We want employees to take their vacations as if their lives depended on it," added De Graaf, "because they just might."

To view the Vacation Commitment Summit agenda and/or register for the event, please visit:

To learn more about the Vacation Commitment Initiative, please visit

Based in Seattle, Washington, Take Back Your Time is a non-profit coalition dedicated to improving lives by eliminating the epidemic of overwork in the United States and Canada. Take Back Your Time advocates for broader cultural change in the workplace and has committed to promoting policy change and cultural attitudes to improve quality of life and influence better outcomes for all of us. To learn more, visit

Liz Feldman
Hillman Communications