Remembering Shari Wallack

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The incentive industry has lost one of its brightest lights with the passing of Shari Wallack this past week.

The president of Buy the Sea, an incentive cruise and all-inclusive resort brokerage firm, is most recently known for taking a brave step in 2020 and deciding to buy a van and travel across the country in the midst of the COVID crisis. She connected with colleagues during a three-month road trip, baking challah loafs with them. The memoir she wrote about that journey, From Hell to Challah, chronicles her personal journey with depression and discoveries she made along the way.
Her goal with the book, she told Prevue’s Regina Baraban in a 2021 interview, was to show that happiness and purpose can be found even in the most difficult of  times.
“I wrote the book as a love letter to the travel industry,” she said. “I have always gotten friendly with my clients and suppliers. I think that we do business with people who have a special place in our hearts. In the pandemic, I learned that I was right about this because people welcomed me with open arms. My message is that everyone can create meaningful partnerships, but you have to be authentic.”
Shari has worked closely with the Prevue team through the years, and recently was a featured speaker at the Annual Conference of Financial & Insurance Conference Professionals, with which she has been involved for more than 20 years. “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Shari for many years and admired her for her brilliant entrepreneurship and love of the incentive industry,” said Laurel Herman, Prevue Publisher and Editorial Director. “She always made me laugh and I enjoyed her company. I will miss her.”
Those hearing the news about Shari can take comfort knowing that her book and her journey inspired many of us—and likely changed lives and career paths that had been devastated by the COVID crisis, as hers had. “Dig deep and find your passion and your hidden talents. Don’t wait for another world crisis to discover just how cool and capable you really are,” she said in a 2020 interview for Wandering Educators. “Your day job is what pays you. Make sure you find the things that really fulfill you.”
A Celebration of the Life of Shari Wallack will be held this Sunday, April 3 at 10:30 a.m. at Signature Grand in Davie, Fla. and via Zoom at
Meeting ID: 890 9358 4984. There is no need to pre-register.
Shari is survived by her Mom and siblings; two children, Rachel and Jake; and other family members, along with her Buy the Sea family.
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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.