1919 – 1994
Joseph R. Stone was born in Meriden and went to local schools. After graduation, he served in the Navy during World War II. Upon his return, he worked for a brief time at New Departure before deciding to begin his own business, Stone Travel Inc. and Stone Insurance Inc. He built these businesses into multi-million dollar operations, serving the travel and insurance needs of businesses and individuals throughout central Connecticut.
Mr. Stone served on the board of directors of the YMCA and as its president. He was also active in the Boys Club, was president of the Unison Club, was a member of the Knights of Columbus and was a Connecticut State Representative from 1953 - 1954.
In the late 1960s Mr. Stone became involved with the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). He held virtually every office in the organization, including an unprecedented four years as Chairman. Mr. Stone received numerous awards from the travel industry including the Rosenbluth Award, the Travel Trade’s Travel Person of the Quarter Century Award and in 1989 was elected into ASTA’s Travel Hall of Fame. He was the first retailer to be included into this prestigious group.
In his position at ASTA, Mr. Stone worked with many of the world’s government leaders and developed friendships with Egypt’s Anwar Sadat, the Phillipines’ Fernando Marcos and Mexico’s Miguel Alemain, to name a few.
In recognition of Mr. Stone’s contributions to the advancement of international tourism, he received awards from a number of foreign governments worldwide. Amongst these were the highest civilian honors from Brazil, Mexico and France. In addition, he received the Commenda Deli Ordine Della Republica Italiana, the highest honorary title conferred by the President of Italy.