|September 10, 2015|
Signature Travel Network's Annual Owners' Meeting
|Signature Travel Network's annual Owners' Meeting commenced today at The Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston, Massachusetts. The meeting includes 261 member attendees as well as 53 senior executives from Signature's key preferred-supplier partners. Close to 90 percent of all Signature members are in attendance this year.|
Alex Sharpe, Signature's president and CEO, anticipates this year's meeting will yet again exceed attendees' expectations. "Members and partners often tell us that the Signature's Owners' Meeting is the best meeting of the year," states Sharpe. "The mix of workshops, speakers, casual networking opportunities and members-only sessions, enable us to effectively combine strategic conversations with the impromptu sharing of best practices and new ideas. In addition, we have a number of special events in store, including a pre-meeting Boston Red Sox game, a private event at Fenway Park, complimentary tours exploring the best of Boston, and an unforgettable dinner event at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
During the members-only portion of the meeting, Sharpe and Eric Maryanov, chairman of Signature's Board of Directors, will provide shareholders a financial review and strategic plan for the coming year. Sharpe notes positive returns and sales trends, stating, "For our 2014-2015 fiscal year, we are pleased to announce the recent highest patronage dividends distribution in the organization's history, and we are excited to see strong sales numbers continuing throughout 2015 and into 2016. Future sales are up 15 percent overall, with some key segments tracking 30 percent above same time last 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 share hotel industry trends, and how the Signature Hotels & Resorts program is being improved and expanded for 2016 with more than 900 of the world's finest properties.
- Karen Yeates, executive vice president, information technologies, will provide an overview of new programs and enhancements that will assist members to connect with clients by using Signature's proprietary technology solutions.
- Karryn Christopher, senior vice president sales and marketing, will show how Signature helped members expand their reach and grow their sales with new list services and the most sophisticated customer database management in the industry.
- Gina Weyer, vice president, training and member services, will report on the successful launch of Signature's Travel Experts program and the new training opportunities available at the upcoming November 2015 Sales Meeting and throughout 2016.
- Kimberly Waters, vice president, national sales & member engagement, will share success stories from Signature's membership support and engagement initiatives as well as the launch of a new membership website.
The general session on Thursday, September 10, will also feature keynote speaker, Harry Kraemer Jr., a professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, and executive partner of Madison Dearborn Partners (MDP). In addition to teaching management and strategy as well as consulting with CEOs and other senior executives of companies in MDP's extensive portfolio, Kraemer is a best-selling author on the topic of value-based leadership.
On Friday, September 11, the general session will include three keynote speakers: Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president and group head of market insights at MasterCard, and an expert on macro-to-micro economic trends related to consumer spending; Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises, who will share his insights on selling and marketing to discriminating travelers in the luxury travel segment; and Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, who will explore strategies for recruiting and retaining new talent of all ages.
"My management team and I feel privileged to serve all of our members and believe we are well positioned for continued growth in 2016 and beyond," states 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 197 member agencies with 440 retail locations in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and New Zealand. Collectively, Signature members generate more than $6 billion in annual travel sales.