Travel Industry Trailblazer Paula Twidale Announces Retirement from AAA at the End of 2024

Stacey Barber, Executive Director, steps into new role as Vice President of Travel Services

Orlando, Fla., (June 21, 2024) – Paula Twidale, current senior Vice President of AAA Travel, wraps up a momentous 40-year career in the travel industry at the end of December. Twidale began her career as a leader in the airline industry at Boston’s Logan International Airport before transitioning to the tour and leisure side of the travel industry. Since then, she marked many milestones, including serving as the first woman board chair of the United States Tour Operators Association and being nominated five times by Travel Agent Magazine as one of the most powerful women in travel.

As a leader in the travel and tourism industry, Twidale successfully managed multiple large-scale operations with an innate ability to combine innovation, technology, and community to position organizations for growth. Additionally, Twidale established strong relationships with tourism and media outlets through her numerous public speaking and media appearances.

“Travelers know they have a trusted advocate and advisor in AAA when it comes to planning their dream vacations,” said Gene Boehm, president and CEO designate for AAA. “Paula has played an integral role in transforming AAA Travel. Bringing new and exciting offerings, expert advice, and excellent benefits to our members and beyond.”

During her time at AAA, Twidale has successfully led the travel business through critical negotiations, systems design, and implementation of numerous initiatives to increase awareness, utilization of travel services, and overall satisfaction with the brand. In 2022 and 2023, Morning Consult named AAA Travel the second most trusted travel and hospitality brand. She has also advocated on behalf of travelers, engaging in regular visits to Capitol Hill to speak with legislators about important issues related to consumer protection.

Most notable was her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, which upended the travel industry. She recognized an opportunity for AAA to fill a critical role and helped the organization pivot to provide travelers with reliable and reassuring advice throughout the pandemic, as well as advocate for them to protect their travel investments.

In her spare time, Twidale served as a board trustee of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to fiscal responsibility in government and economic opportunities. Twidale also served as chair of the Rhode Island Chapter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and continues to promote cancer awareness as a AAA executive stakeholder for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides for Breast Cancer.

Stacey Barber, Executive Director for AAA Travel, will succeed Twidale as Vice President of Travel Services. In her new role, Barber will lead the vision for AAA Travel’s products and services, continuing to build on the transformation and momentum gained under Twidale’s leadership. As Executive Director for AAA Travel, Barber led a number of high-priority strategic projects, such as the launch of Trip Canvas, the reimagining of the AAA Diamond program, including the introduction of surface testing for cleanliness, and the digitization of the AAA TourBook.

“Stacey is an integral part of the AAA Travel team and is well-prepared to take on this new role,” said Paula Twidale. “Since joining AAA, she has demonstrated exemplary leadership over AAA Travel’s editorial content, travel technology, and Diamond Inspection program.”

Barber brings diverse experience to the position, including 15 years as an industry leader in the technology field. Prior to joining AAA in 2015, Barber held positions at TravelClick, LightMaker, Darden Restaurants, RG Crown Bank, and Hannover Life RE. She holds a bachelor’s in Management Information from the University of Central Florida.

About AAA

Started in 1902 by automotive enthusiasts who wanted to chart a path for better roads in America and advocate for safe mobility, AAA has transformed into one of North America’s largest membership organizations. Today, AAA provides roadside assistance, travel, discounts, and financial and insurance services to enhance the life journey of over 64 million members across North America, including over 57 million in the United States. To learn more about all AAA offers or become a member, visit