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Friday, February 8, 2019


CSTO: Certified Student Travel Organization Presentation
Justin Shuler, SYTA President
Michael J. Bowers, Founder, The Center for Student Travel Safety

The Certified Student Travel Organization Program (CSTO)  is a voluntary program intended to educate tour operators, group travel planners and receptive operators in the facilitation of risk management processes that impact the health and safety of their customers while on the road. The program is based on a set of standards developed with members, volunteers, industry and government. This session is designed to give both tour operators and sponsors an overview of the program and how it will impact their business for the future.

9:30am -12:00pm General Session and Workshop
10:30am -10:45am Break

The Future of Meaning in the Workplace
Adam Smiley Poswolsky, Author, Speaker and Millennial Workplace Expert

In today’s workplace, recruiting, retaining and engaging employees is everyone’s top priority – and the student travel industry is no exception. Experts say that by fostering a positive work culture, your employees can become more invested in what your business creates. And the more invested they are, the more productive they will become.

The more productive they become – the more your business will grow.

To help SYTA members and their companies be successful, SYTA Summit has engaged leading workplace expert and millennial speaker, Adam Smiley Poswolsky (“Smiley”) to teach, coach and equip attendees with ideas, techniques and takeaways that they can implement at their companies right away.  All attendees will receive a signed autograph copy of his recent book.


Lunch with Ignite Presentations

The idea is simple. Ignite is a session of short talks, with a twist. Speakers get five minutes and 20 slides to make their point, enlighten and entertain. This interactive education session features Summit attendees from a variety of personal, educational, and business backgrounds interested in sharing their passion, their causes, and their meaningful moments.


Understanding Content Marketing
Peter Ross, Founding Partner, 829 Studios

Content marketing is a strategic marketing and business process focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. This session will introduce you to the world of content marketing and provide you with a big picture view of everything you need for a successful content marketing strategy.


New Legal Issues Impacting Student Travel at the State Level
Jeff Ment, Attorney, Managing Partner, Ment Law Group

Several issues have emerged at the state level impacting student tour operators over the past year. In this session, Jeff will share his experience in working with student travel companies and how we can respond to these concerns.  All Summit attendees are encouraged to participate in this interactive session.

Saturday, February 9


Morning Joe and Tips for Managing 2019 Tax Code Changes
Bill Caldwell, CEO, Caldwell &  Companies

Bill’s advice for managing the tax code changes will make rising early –  a great start to the day.  Join Bill as he shares how you can take advantage of the 20% Pass-Through deduction for small business owners which applies to Sole proprietorship (a one-owner business in which the owner personally owns all the business assets), Partnership, S corporation, Limited liability company (LLC) and/or Limited liability partnership (LLP).


A conversation with Colorado Educators on today’s changing environment for student travel. 

Ryan will lead an interactive discussion with an educator, school counselor and employee relations director who share their experiences with administrators, students, parents and new issues impacting student travel.


Important Note: Your 100% participation in the Summit Program is encouraged. Staff monitor attendance for all events. The dress attire for all sessions is business casual.


“The best part of a SYTA SUMMIT is that it provides the opportunity for travel professionals to meet in a conversable setting without the pressure of a 7 minute meeting or have to deal with the barrage of conference masses. Every tour operator has unique abilities, and since I am a big proponent of partnerships, SUMMIT becomes an ideal network to forge plans for new and exciting joint ventures.”

Dr. Michael A. Mazzarisi, President, Performing Arts Consultants

“To me, SYTA Summit is the most valuable conference that I attend. I always find the educational seminars very useful and because it is a smaller, more intimate conference, you get to build a much deeper relationship with the sponsors. This is also the only conference that I have ever really had the opportunity to get to know other attendees. I absolutely LOVE SYTA Summit!”

Kara Mihalevich, President, Adventure Student Travel, LLC

“SYTA Summit provides an unique opportunity to get up close with my SYTA partners and many of our buyers. The environment lends itself to a causal, natural environment – no pressure just building my network!”

Tara Hippensteel, Director of National Tour & Travel, Hard Rock Café

“SYTA Summit has been an invaluable resource for both personal growth and building partnerships with other tour operators and vendors that has helped strengthen our business.”

Steve Maehl, Vice President, Global Travel Alliance

“The Summit is great. I Love the destinations we have visited and the size of the event itself. There is a real opportunity at Summit to spend quality time with all of the attendees and in a relationship based business, that time is everything.”

Bob Hofmann, Vice President, Broadway Inbound

SYTA Strategic Partners


SYTA Summit 2019