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Hundreds Turn Out for Milestone Event

Posted by on Jul 14th, 2016 and filed under Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Photos by Robin GOLDSWORTHY Montrose Travel celebrated its diamond anniversary with a party on Saturday evening.

Photos by Robin GOLDSWORTHY
Montrose Travel celebrated its diamond anniversary with a party on Saturday evening.

By Robin GOLDSWORTHY

Montrose Travel celebrated its 60th anniversary like it does most things – in a family kind of way. On Saturday at its Honolulu Avenue location, the company hosted a family-friendly party that included two food stations, beverages and awards. And though the thermometer might have read mid-80s at Montrose Travel, there was snow on the ground – about 35 tons of it – trucked in for the kids for the annual Snowpalooza event.

Typically held in the fall, Montrose Travel co-president Andi McClure-Mysza said it was decided to incorporate Snowpalooza into the anniversary festivities, adding to the fun.

“This [party] is a team building and family building event,” said McClure-Mysza.

Montrose Travel was started in 1956. In 1972, Joe and Leora McClure bought the company and built it into a thriving business. In 1989, the couple decided to sell their business, which sold about $6 million in travel annually, to their children Joe III and McClure-Mysza. Joe and McClure-Mysza had worked in many different departments of the company and were well- versed in its operation.

Excited about their new roles, the younger McClures set their goals high. Under their stewardship, along with Joe’s wife Julie, the business exploded with sales estimated at $300 million. The buildings that house Montrose Travel have expanded including a new facility recently added in Palmdale. And whereas the employees in 1989 numbered 14, today Montrose Travel is proud to have a crew of over 200 people. The company also expanded its offerings by providing specialized travel for vacations, romance, businesses and groups and also offers a loyalty rewards program, which since its inception in 1994 has grown to be the third largest loyalty travel solution in the U.S.

But, according to company president Joe, a key component to the company’s success is their employees.

“The people make the business successful,” he said.

That importance of having passionate people has resulted in high retention levels and keeping their employees on the payroll even during hard times.

“We’ve never laid anyone off,” Joe added. “We also promote a family atmosphere.”

That family atmosphere is one reason Daren Autry, the company’s Leisure manager, has stayed at Montrose Travel for nearly nine years.

“We have fun in the office,” Autry said. “It’s an accomplishment to maintain a family-friendly [place]. If you’re going to be working eight or more hours a day with the same people, it’s important people like to come here.”

McClure-Mysza agreed.

“The people who work with us work very hard,” she said. “We want to keep morale high.”

One way morale is kept high is the distribution of recognition awards, which was done at Saturday’s event. Twenty awards were handed out to those who in the last six months went beyond expectations in their performance (see the list at the bottom of this article).

A highlight of the evening, in addition to the food, snow and awards, were heartfelt comments delivered by Joe.

“You cautiously gave us the keys to your company in 1989,” he said to his parents from the stage, “but success is in our DNA. I hope that we have made you proud.”

Awards Presentation        Winner Name
Yes We Can/Team Player:
Corporate        Patty Overton
Loyalty    Palmdale    Linda Gonzalez
Loyalty    Montrose    Meifaith Mims
Group        Ronni Burns
Leisure        Karen Kelly
Preferred Supplier Sales:
Home Based Agent        Barry Kelchner
Leisure        Anita Kayekjian
Achievement:
Home Based Agent        Meredith McCutcheon
HBA Support        Loretta Alva
Loyalty    Palmdale    Tiffany Shaw
Loyalty    Montrose    Destinee Winn
Group        Teresa Owens
Leisure        Rhonda Maroney
Corporate        Ruby Yaboudjian
#1 Sales
Home Based Agent        Jaguar Travel
Leisure        Carmela Flores
Group        Jannette Dilley
Corporate        Marilyn Manoel
Independent Contractor        Cathy Nilsen
Loyalty        Diana Duran

A little girl makes her way down the snow

A little girl makes her way down the snow

 Joe McClure and Vickere Murphy from Sen Carol Liu's office

Joe McClure and Vickere Murphy from Sen Carol Liu’s office

Founder Joe McClure

Founder Joe McClure

Banner proclaimed anniversary celebration

Banner proclaimed anniversary celebration

Taco station was popular

Taco station was popular

Kids with gliders

Kids with gliders

Kids getting ready for more snow

Kids getting ready for more snow

Waiting for tacos

Waiting for tacos

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