Terrell B. Jones, 1970
B.A., Denison University
Citation awarded June, 2004
In 1970, as Terry Jones was about to graduate, he didn’t have a plan. But he and two Denison roommates, one of whose father was a TWA pilot, decided to take a trip around the world. By the time he returned, he had discovered his life’s passion: travel. The rest is history.
Terry entered the travel industry in 1971 as a travel agent (after having taken a vocational course on the subject). He later served as vice president of Travel Advisors for five years, a company specializing in travel to Eastern Europe and the USSR, with offices in Chicago and Moscow. In 1975 he merged his interest in travel with his lifelong interest in computing and joined Agency DataSystems (ADS), a Florida-based travel-agent account systems company. When American acquired ADS, Terry was appointed vice president of product development and later became president of the division when it moved to Dallas/Fort Worth.
In 1996, Terry created Travelocity.com by taking a small internal department of the SABRE Group and creating a profitable dot-com with over 33 million members, 13 million visitors per month, and over $3.3 billion in bookings. Terry took Travelocity public, creating what is now the 2nd largest on-line travel company with more than $4 billion dollars in annual sales. Terry led the new company through the details of its 1999 merger with Preview Travel, the exclusive booking service for America Online, Inc., and served as president and CEO until 2002.
When the company went private, Terry retired from Sabre. He is now managing principal of Essential Ideas, a consulting firm he co-founded to help companies in their transition to the digital economy. Terry still has his hand in the travel business as chairman of Kayak, Inc., a new internet company focused on travel search. He is also a sought-after speaker who challenges his audiences to think outside the box and envision the future—the hallmarks of a true entrepreneur. Terry is a frequent commentator on e-commerce on CNN, CNNfn, MSNBC, CBS’s Good Morning, and WMAQ-Chicago.
Terry serves on the board of directors of Earthlink, Inc., and LaQuinta Corporation. He also is a special venture partner with General Catalyst Partners.