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the-board-meetingA lot of us here at ADTRAV spend a great deal of time in meetings. They are the best way to discuss critical issues efficiently, sharing ideas and observations that help the company move forward. On the other side of the coin, they can tie up key personnel for hours at a time. If you add up the hourly dollar figure of keeping people in meetings, you would probably be surprised at how much it costs to hold one. Here are four ways to keep your meetings short, efficient, and productive:

  1. Prepare and share an agenda prior to the meeting. Your agenda will keep the meeting moving and on-topic. Instruct attendees on what they need to do to prepare for the meeting ahead of time. Make sure everybody enters the meeting ready to contribute.
  2. Appoint someone to run the meeting. Just like the rudder on a cruise ship, a meeting leader can keep the meeting on course and keep attendees focused.
  3. Don’t call spontaneous meetings. With the exception of emergencies, you should always allow participants to plan and be prepared to contribute to the discussion. This allows them time to prioritize their other duties in order to accommodate the meeting.
  4. Keep an eye on the clock. Be courteous and respectful of your attendees’ schedules. Start and end on time. Keep it short and sweet.

Condensed from the Birmingham Business Journal.

AndreaNo, my second grandbaby hasn’t arrived yet….. but, I do have exciting news! I am pleased to announce that Andrea Lewis has accepted our invitation to fill the newly-created position of Vice President of Human Resources. In this role, she will report directly to me and will also be joining the Executive team to add the HR component to our strategic planning. Many of you have already met Andrea as she has been working with us as a HR consultant for about six months. Thankfully, even after getting to really know us, she still accepted the position!!! 

Andrea, a Certified Human Resources professional, brings a wealth of experience to her new role having served in various capacities in Human Resources at the Southern Company. Most recently, she worked as an HR consultant for Human Resource Management (HRM) here in Birmingham. Andrea is also the President-elect for the Birmingham Society for Human Resource Management and the founder of “Make You New”, a service based organization teaching the importance of understanding your life purpose from the inside out! Andrea and her husband Kenneth live in the Chelsea area with their three children.

Andrea’s first official day as an ADTRAV associate will be July 22nd. However, as she completes her other assignments for HRM, she will still be coming to see us for about 8 to 10 hours per week.

Please join me in welcoming Andrea to the ADTRAV family!




Dates: July 13-20, 2013
Ports: Papeete, Tahiti (round-trip)-Taha’a (Motu Mahana)-Bora Bora-Moorea
Ship: m/s Paul Gauguin
Rates: $1,400 (Outside) $1,925 (Balcony) + $89 (taxes & fees)

FAM News is sponsoring a Seminar-on-Ship aboard the elegant m/s Paul Gauguin on July 13 – 20th for a 7-Night Tahiti & Society Islands All-Inclusive cruise sailing round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti. The m/s Paul Gauguin was designed specifically to sail the shallow seas of Tahiti, French Polynesia, and the South Pacific, visiting small ports that larger ships can’t reach and effortlessly blending into the stunning natural beauty of the South Seas. The most luxurious ship to sail in Tahiti on a year-round basis. No ship gets closer! There will be one 3-hour seminar during the cruise – “Selling Paul Gauguin and Group Incentives!”

Click here for booking procedures.

As many of you know, we have been working diligently over the last three years to set ourselves up for success under the government’s new eTS2 travel program. This has been a team effort that has involved almost every department in the company. I am happy to report that we are beginning to see the fruits of our labor. To recap where we are right now:

Current Federal customers: We have been very successful in retaining our current customers. At this point, all of our Federal agencies that have made the eTS2 decision have decided to stay with ADTRAV. (Can I get a big … “Oooh Yeaaa!!!”) This includes the Dept. of Energy, Dept. of Commerce, and GSA (including many of the “tag along” agencies). The rest of our customers are working through the eTS2 decision-making process, but have indicated that they prefer to stay with ADTRAV. (another “Oooh Yeaaa!!”). The one wild card is VA, since we are a subcontractor to Duluth. This is very much up in the air.

New Federal customers already in the implementation phase: As many of you are aware, we have been awarded three new accounts that are in the implementation process. These are the Patent and Trademark Office, The National Science Foundation, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation. These three accounts should be fully implemented over the next few months.

New Federal customers (just awarded): I am excited to announce our two newest Federal government customers…….. dramatic pause………. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the U. S. Customs and Border Protection. (Whoop! Whoop!!!) These are two great wins for ADTRAV as both of these are VERY large agencies. They are both part of the Department of Homeland security and have a significant amount of both domestic and international travel. Due to their size, the transition to eTS2 will take a little longer. Therefore, we don’t anticipate them coming onboard with ADTRAV until the first quarter of 2014. (Plenty of time to prepare!!!!)

There are still a number of federal agencies that have not made their eTS2 decisions and we are working hard to make sure that ADTRAV is in the mix!!! We expect about 5 to 10 Federal agencies to declare their intentions by the end of the year.

I want to give a special shout-out to our government team for successfully weathering the storm of a dramatic decrease in travel by all of our federal customers. It has not been easy to see the department shrink so dramatically over the last two years. However, with the wins we have under our belt and hopefully a few more before the end of the year, we are counting on 2014 to be a very good year for our Government division.

Thanks to everyone for making ADTRAV such a special place to work and stay tuned to Journey’s for more Government and Corporate account wins!!!


Congratulations, Taneshea!Taneshea Green, ADTRAV’s Passport & Visa Team Leader at the Department of Energy in Washington DC, and Rashard Lincoln were married Tuesday June 4, 2013 in a quiet, personal ceremony. Taneshea and Rashard will be honeymooning the week of June 10th, at an undisclosed location.

The ADTRAV DOE Team is bursting with pride for our beautiful bride and her new husband. We are incredibly happy for you, and wish you all the best!

Take a moment and send your congratulations to

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Caroline Chamberlain, instructor of the painting class Sips N Strokes, came to ADTRAV last month to conduct a fund raiser for the CSN team. Associates met in the training room after work to paint the masterpieces shown below. Caroline provided the canvas, paint, step by step instructions on brush strokes, colors to mix, and instruction on how to paint of course! Ten employees’ paintings were created in stride with the instructor’s painting, yet each portrayed its own artist’s unique personality. The event was a huge success and we hope to have another similar event in the fall.

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First, if you haven’t seen “The Lion King”, go rent the movie… it’s a classic!  For those who have seen it, you’ll remember the exchange between Mufasa and Simba about the circle of life, very moving!!!

So, by now I’m sure you’re asking “how does this relate to ADTRAV??”  Well, one of the points made by Mufasa is that there comes a time in all of our lives when we need to make the leap to the next stage.  For Debbie, the time has come for her to close the ADTRAV chapter and fully open the “Wife, Grandmother, and Christian mission” chapter of her life.  After 25 years, Debbie’s departure will leave a HUGE hole in the ADTRAV family.  She has played an integral role in building ADTRAV into the company we have become.  Most everyone currently employed at ADTRAV passed through Debbie’s office during the hiring process and understands the passion Debbie has for ADTRAV and all of our associates.  She has been a shoulder to cry on, a mentor offering wise counsel, a cheerleader to help celebrate success, and a true friend.

Debbie’s last day as an employee of ADTRAV will be Friday, June 14th… but she’ll ALWAYS be part of the ADTRAV family!!  We are planning a “Circle of Life” party (she’s too young for a retirement party) during lunch on Friday.  Please stop by and have a piece of cake and bid a fond adieu to Debbie…..

We will all miss Debbie, but I’m so pleased that she has been blessed with the opportunity to make this decision…… Godspeed dear friend!


The Alabama Spelling Bee

As part of ADTRAV/Adventure Travel’s CSN initiative, we sponsor the Alabama Spelling Bee where the winner continues on to Scripps National Spelling Bee near Washington DC.  Meghana Giri of Calhoun County was the 2013 Alabama Spelling Bee winner.  Meghana was the first speller to take the stage on Wednesday in the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee. Meghana correctly spelled the words “glasnost” and “blanquette” during the two on-stage preliminary rounds. However, due to the rigor of a new vocabulary section, she fell short of the overall score needed to be one of the 41 contestants who would advance to Thursday’s semifinals.

If you would like to help with the 2014 Alabama Spelling Bee, please contact Susan McDougal.

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Thanks to everybody who brought food, and to Roger & the Exec team for manning the grill. Congratulations to all our door prize and scavenger hunt winners! Everybody have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Portugal tour, $899Collette Vacations offers a seven-night tour of Portugal, spending three nights each in Cacsais and Funchal on Madeira Island and one night in Lisbon.READ MORE

Overnight stays in Playa del Carmen, from $60In Fashion Hotel Boutique in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, invites agents to spend up to four nights at the property from June 1 through Nov. 30.READ MORE

Australia tour, from $499G Adventures is offering a nine-night trip to Australia visiting Sydney, Byron Bay, Whitsunday Islands, Airlie Beach, Cairns and Port Douglas.READ MORE

Five nights in Tanzania, $769

Foreign Independent Tours offers a five-night trip to Zanzibar with various departures through December.


China and Yangtze River, $2,399

Pacific Delight Tours’ China trip spends three nights in Beijing, four nights cruising the Yangtze River, two nights in Xian and three nights in Shanghai.


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