EDUCATION

SYTA Summit education is exclusively created and designed for Business Owners and Senior Executives, providing opportunities to network, learn, and discuss critical issues facing student travel companies with their peers.  

Program includes: 

  • General Sessions with Professional Speakers
  • CEO and Executive Level Panels and Roundtables
  • Immersive Experiences and Workshops
  • Tour Product Development

SUMMIT SPEAKERS & THOUGHT LEADERS

 

William J. Caldwell, CPA
Caldwell CPAs
With his extensive knowledge of tax codes combined with strong accounting skills, CEO William “Bill” J. Caldwell is able to help clients realize their dreams.  Bill is a consultant to the tourism industry and appreciates the many tourism clients that his firm serves. Bill has been a featured presenter at past SYTA Conferences and Summits and is an SYF Wingman. Past and future presentations to travel organizations include ITMI, NFTGA, IATDG, ABA and various Guide associations.  Bill takes the dry subject of taxes and audits and makes it fun!

Lisa S. Curtin
COO
Caldwell CPAs
Lisa Curtin’s has 20+ years of experience in the tourism industry, holding senior management roles in operations and sales.  Lisa changed the course of her career in 2016, joining Caldwell CPAs as Chief Operations Officer. In her tenure at Caldwell CPAs, Lisa has brought her knowledge of tourism along with the Firm’s knowledge of taxation and combined the two to serve the tourism industry. Lisa consults to the tourism industry, is a contributing writer for Premier Travel Media, has presented at past SYTA Conferences and Summits, and other tourism industry conferences, has served on SYTA committees and is a SYF Wingman.

Heather Davis
Workplace Consultant

Heather is a board certified art therapist and licensed mental health counselor based out of Indianapolis. In addition to her small private practice and teaching at IUPUI, she has enjoyed returning to the world of music by serving as the Workplace Culture Consultant for Music Travel Consultants and Educational Destinations. In this role, she is leveraging her years of mental health and leadership expertise to support MTC’s vision of bringing mental health awareness and work/life balance into both the workplace and student travel.

 
 
Tim Davis,
Musician, Producer, Speaker

Tim Davis has been arranging and producing vocalists on film, television, and artist recordings for countless projects for the past 28 years. An accomplished singer himself, Tim has sung on countless projects and still performs with artists like Idina Menzel, Barbra Streisand, and more. Serving 6 seasons asa  vocal arranger on Fox’s hit series Glee, Tim’s collaborations as a music producer,singer, and vocal arranger span the breadth of the entertainment industry.
 

Norm Hull
Norm Hull & Associates

Norm Hull, CSP, is the principal owner of Norm Hull & Associates, a leadership consulting company based in Southern California. An acclaimed speaker, leadership expert, and best-selling author, Norm has provided his various audiences with thought-provoking, interactive and inspirational presentations.

 

Jon Kevin Gossett
Jon Kevin Gossett has more than 30 years of fundraising experience and is recognized for repeatedly leading development teams in setting records in amounts raised and enabling nonprofits to significantly increase their scope of services provided. In the performing arts, Jon has served as the executive director of development at  Houston Grand Opera Association and executive vice president at Houston Grand Opera  Endowment (Houston, TX); director of development at the Guthrie Theater Foundation  (Minneapolis, MN); and chief development officer at Arena Stage (Washington, DC).  Through Visionary Philanthropic Services, for the past three years, he has served as interim vice president for the New Jersey Symphony and now as a senior consultant for AIDS United. Throughout his career, he has  staffed major capital campaigns for opera, theater, public media, healthcare, and historic preservation.

 

Jeff Ment, Esq.
Founder

The Ment Law Group
Jeff is the founder of The Ment Law Group. With more than 27 years of experience representing travel companies, he is able to best represent the many facets of the travel industry. He represents tour operators, vendors, DMC’s, travel agents, transportation companies and trade associations. Jeff regularly address travel groups and associations on timely and interesting topics.

 

SYTA 2023 Workshop Session
Andrea Ross, Business Advisor
Cultivate Advisors

2023 is here and we are ready for it! I hope the workshop helped you think through your existing vision, goals, KPIs and initiatives and allowed you space to share some of your plans and really focus in on what you want to achieve this year! I appreciate how positive and motivated everyone was and I’m excited to hear how you were able to take the 2023 planning and turn it into action! For anyone unable to make this session I’d be happy to set up a time to walk through it with you. Also, as a reminder, I offer a 2 hour free assessment to any SYTA member to do a deep dive into your business and come up with a clear road map for growth in 2023.

 

Dynamic Leadership Workshop
Andrea Ross, Business Advisor
Cultivate Advisors

It was great to meet the SERG leadership team and I am sending out the pdf of that presentation. My goal was to present foundational leadership ideals that many of us have lost sight of post covid. As we see the industry rebound and we experience new team members, changed work environments and increased stress and tension it’s important we show up as the best leaders possible.  I would love to get on a call and discuss the ideas and implementation of the ideas further if it would be of interest to anyone or if any non- SERG members would like to walk through the presentation with me I would be happy to.

 

Dr. Cimone Wright-Hamor
Simone Speaks
Dr. Cimone Wright-Hamor is an engaging communicator and a leading expert in helping students prepare for life after high school. She has spent the last decade working at various public and private organizations, including Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, state government, national laboratories, and acquired startups such as Smart-Ag. She founded Hey Cimone! to help students confidently navigate college and become indispensable employees.

Cimone obtained her Ph.D. in computer engineering from Iowa State University in 2022,
becoming the first black woman to do so at Iowa State University. Additionally, she holds a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Iowa State University.
www.CimoneSpeaks.com

Product Development

If you are not currently selling student travel to Southern California, the Summit schedule gives you the business opportunity to experience it firsthand. Here’s a preview:

  • Disney Imagination Campus
  • Knotts Berry Farms
  • Medieval Times
  • House of Blues
  • SoFi Stadium
  • Olympic/Museum Campus LA
  • Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Warner Studios
  • Area Hotels

Tara Hippensteel, National Director of Tourism, City Cruises

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!

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

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.

Steve Maehl, Global Travel Alliance

It was over ten years ago that I attended my very first SYTA event at the 2009 Summit. I learned a lot, and made new friendships, but what impressed me the most was discovering an organization that desired to come together to collectively improve our industry and continually works together to change young lives for good through travel.

Kara Mihalevich, President, Adventure Student Travel, LLC

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!

SYTA STRATEGIC PARTNERS