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Travel Agents

 September 10, 2014
Signature Travel Network's Annual Owners Meeting Gets Started

 Signature Travel Network's annual Owners' Meeting started today. This year's meeting is being held at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, California. The meeting includes 260 member attendees as well as senior executives from Signature's key preferred supplier partners. Over 85% of all Signature members are in attendance this year, a new record for the network.

Alex Sharpe, Signature's president and CEO, anticipates that this year's meeting will prove to be the best yet. "We have crafted an agenda that focuses on forging connections, presents our business plan for success in the coming year, and gives our members the opportunity to learn from each other's experiences. In addition, we will celebrate our many achievements over the past year, host a special gala dinner for our members on Friday night, and provide attendees with time to enjoy the spectacular facilities of this wonderful resort."

The theme of the meeting this year is how Signature provides members a "blueprint for success," which represents Signature's dedication to developing customizable technology solutions and state-of-the-art sales and marketing campaigns that every member can adapt to their unique business needs and priorities.

During the members-only portion of the meeting, Eric Maryanov, chairman of Signature's Board of Directors, and Alex Sharpe will provide shareholders a financial review and strategic plan for the coming year. The general session will feature the latest news and updates from Signature's executive team. Highlights include:

Ignacio Maza, Signature's executive vice president, will officially launch the much anticipated Hotels & Resorts Collection microsite, offering members and preferred hotel and resort partners a new marketing and sales tool to promote Signature's successful hotel and resort program, now comprising more than 850 of the world's finest properties.

Karen Yeates, executive vice president, information technologies, will provide an update on the next wave of new developments that build on the success of ClientReach, Signature's proprietary technology solution that delivers automated, highly-customized messages to clients throughout the travel experience, from time of booking until travel is completed and the planning of the next vacation begins.
Gina Weyer, vice president, training & member services, will debut a new training program and resource guide designed to help members attract and train new talent.

Kimberly Waters, vice president, national sales & member engagement, will share success stories from Signature's membership support and engagement initiatives.

The general session on Thursday, September 11th, will also feature keynote speaker, Douglas Quinby, vice president and leader of PhoCusWright. Quinby designs and leads PhoCusWright research and is a recognized expert on online travel and travel distribution. He is frequently cited in leading media outlets including Bloomberg, CNN, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

On Friday, September 12th, the general session will include two keynote speakers: Lynne Lancaster, co-founder of BridgeWorks, and Mark King, president of the Adidas Group North America and chairman of TaylorMade Golf Company. An expert on customer segments and generations, Lancaster advises leaders, managers, and employees how to conduct business more successfully by bridging generation gaps at work and in the marketplace. King will share examples of how distributive leadership instills the belief that everyone can make a difference.

To celebrate distinguished leadership, Signature has created two awards in the name of its late president, Michelle Morgan. A visionary within the industry, Michelle was also a wonderful mentor to many. The new Michelle Morgan Leadership Awards will be awarded at the Signature Sales Meeting in Las Vegas in November. One award will be presented to an owner or industry leader, and the second will be awarded to a Signature travel consultant who exhibits leadership in our industry. Candidates will be vetted and chosen by a small committee of Michelle's family and business colleagues. The two awards will be conferred annually.

"2014 has been a year of great success for Signature, which is a testament to the strong foundation that Michelle Morgan built during her tenure. Michelle's brilliance and selfless commitment to serving others inspire us. We are excited to celebrate the ideals Michelle valued, along with the remarkable successes of Signature members and colleagues this year," states Alex Sharpe.

Signature Travel Network:

Signature Travel Network is a member-owned, travel cooperative, headquartered in Marina del Rey, California, with a regional office in New York City. The network was established in 1956 and today includes 195 member agencies with 442 retail locations throughout USA and Canada. Collectively, Signature members generate $6 billion in annual travel sales.