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E X P L O R E R December 2016 Volume 16, Issue 12

Also Inside: Two Cruises Benefit Sick Children and Their Families; Travel Department Gets New and Improved Software; Keep Giving Thanks, You’re Doing Better than You Think; Recap of C.A.R.E. 2016; Stir Crazy: A Coffee-loving POI; News from around Global Connections; and much more!


Creative Director – Stacey Gregory Associate Creative Director – Victoria Hoffman Human Resources Editor – Michelle Washburn

Art Art Director – Daniel Kioko Graphic Design – Tiffany Oldham

Articles Copy Editor & Writer – Stacey Gregory Copy Editor & Writer – Victoria Hoffman Copy Editor & Writer – Corey Thibodeaux

Contributors Contributing Writer – Mariela Villa Contributing Writer – Jennifer Argotsinger Contributing Writer – Joe Fernandez

Learning around the World with Delta Vacations By Mariela Villa, Travel Department

Since working in the Travel Department, I have had wonderful opportunities to attend travel conferences here in Kansas City with some of the travel agents. My latest travel conference was in the southern city of Atlanta in my home state: Georgia. Not only was I ecstatic to be home, but I was absolutely grateful that it was my job that got me there. During my stay, I was set to encounter a fast-paced virtual class experience with Delta Vacations.

• For the people from Ireland, to have a ‘craic’ (pronounced ‘crack’) is a term used to suggest fun and entertainment. When the Irish ask you, “Where’s the craic?” don’t be too alarmed. It’s their way of asking you the whereabouts of a social event or any goings-on. Here in the states, you won’t be hearing the term used very loosely, but I think we all know why.

When our members are looking into travel packaged deals around the world, they are also looking to stay within a budget and get advice on places that would work best for them. Not only was I able to indulge in my love for sweet tea, but I was honored to gain a better understanding of various destinations from people who have lived there.

• While most tourist attractions in the cities of the U.S. are open throughout the week, many Spanish natives would say that taking to the streets of Barcelona on a Monday isn’t highly recommended. Most top attractions are normally closed on Mondays unless the day off lands on a holiday.

For your future trips, here are some fun facts I learned: • If you’re taking a flight to the ‘Land Down Under,’ you’ll find that Australians don’t normally pronounce the ‘R’s in most of their words. For you and me, the Australian city of Cairns sounds exactly as it is spelled. However, Cairns is usually pronounced as “cans” by true Australians.

• Since the streets of Spain are very narrow, taking on cities like Madrid or Barcelona by foot is going to be your best bet when you ‘salir de marcha’ (aka, “go out”). After a two-day learning experience, I came back to the mainland with more knowledge to fill my pockets. As for the agents and me, we are ready to dive in and send our members to places that most people only hear about.

Need help from IT or Development? Please use these email addresses so we can help you more efficiently. For computer, hardware or printer issues, email For issues with websites or software, email Please do not send these types of requests to individuals in the IT Department.

A Great Cruise for a Great Cause By Victoria Hoffman, Creative Department Congratulations to the Global Connections Travel Department for finding a way to combine travel with Global Connections’ commitment to supporting ongoing philanthropic endeavors. In 2017 and 2018, Global Connections will offer two cruises benefitting Children’s Mercy Hospital, one of the nation's top medical centers.

expertise,” Erica Austin, Children’s Mercy Manager of Philanthropic Community Engagement and Events, said. “As a non-profit hospital, we rely on the generous support of community members, like Global Connections, to help us provide the highest level of care to every child who walks through our doors.”

Lori Smith and Kate Franko discovered Carnival has a Cruising for Charity program in which the cruise line will donate a portion of cabins sold to the charity of our choice. Global Connections chose Children’s Mercy Hospital to receive the proceeds. Kate says she suggested Children’s Mercy because of personal experience. “I have had both family and friends receive care at Children’s Mercy and they do such great work, I wanted them to be our charity for these cruises,” she said. The partnership is a win-win for Global Connections and Children’s Mercy. “We deeply appreciate when organizations are able to find ways to support Children’s Mercy that fit within the scope of their field and

There will be two cruises offered: 7-Day Western Caribbean Cruise Benefiting Children’s Mercy July 2, 2017 - July 9, 2017. This cruise is on the Carnival Dream. 7-Day Alaska Cruise Benefiting Children’s Mercy July 3, 2018 - July 10, 2018. This cruise is on the Carnival Legend. If you’re thinking about taking a cruise, think about the exotic Caribbean or the majestic Alaskan wilderness, knowing a portion of the cost will be used to help families heal.

Better, Faster, Smarter: Travel Upgrades to New Software By Victoria Hoffman, Creative Department When the lease was up with the Travel Department’s GDS (Global Delivery System) provider, they jumped at the opportunity to move on and up to a new GDS that would ultimately improve operations and provide better service for members and customers.

The new GDS, Sabre, allows the agents to access more information from airlines, car rental companies, hotels, cruises and tour operators from one system. “Saber uses newer technology that allows agents to access information that is always up-to-date and accurate,” Travel Manager Lori Smith said. “We can then provide customers with important travel information and updates before, during and after their travels, such as gate or flight changes, and they can get it directly on their smart phone.” The new software allows agents to perform multiple tasks (assign seats, print boarding passes, pay for luggage) in one transaction, which was not possible before. In addition, the intuitive interface will save agents time and improve workflow. With Sabre for agents can work smarter and provide a better customer experience.


Signs You're Doing Better Than You Think

By Victoria Hoffman, Creative Department

Thanksgiving shouldn’t be the only time we remember to appreciate what’s good in our lives. Take the time periodically throughout the year to remind yourself of what you have rather than focusing on what you don’t. From basic human freedoms to being able to treat yourself to something extra now and then, here are a few signs you’re doing better than you think. 1. YOU HAVE A JOB. For however many hours, at whatever rate, you are earning money that helps you eat, sleep on something and wear clothes every day. 2. YOU HAVE A SPACE OF YOUR OWN. It doesn’t even have to be a home or apartment. All you need is a room, a corner, a desk, where you can create or rest at your discretion and where you govern who gets to be part of your world. 3. YOU HAVE ONE OR TWO TRULY CLOSE FRIENDS OR FAMILY MEMBERS. The number of people in your tribe has no bearing on how much you feel acceptance, community or joy. All we really need are a few close people who know us (and love us) no matter what.


JOE F. HITS THE MILLION DOLLAR MARK! Congratulations to Member Benefits Consultant Joe Fernandez for becoming the Orlando Sales & Marketing Office’s first Million Dollar Writer when he hit $1 million in sales at the beginning of November. Joe achieved this phenomenal feat in less than a year. He was christened with a new nickname by his sales team, and will now and forever be known as “Joe the Tiger.” Photo by Heidi Winkler, Sales and Marketing Manager.

4. YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH SOME STUFF. You can look at challenges you currently face and compare them to ones you thought you’d never get over. Life did not get easier, you got smarter. 5. YOU ARE FREE AND SAFE. You have basic human rights and civil liberties. You do not have to constantly fear bombs, warfare or having to flee your home. 6. YOU HAVE THE TIME AND MEANS TO DO THINGS BEYOND THE BARE MINIMUM. Maybe you’ve been to a concert in the last few months, you buy books for yourself, or you can save for a vacation if you want. 7. YOU ARE NOT WORRIED ABOUT WHERE YOUR NEXT MEAL IS COMING FROM. There’s food in the fridge or pantry, and you have enough to actually pick and choose what you want to eat. The truth is, you’re doing better than a lot of people in this world. Try making a mental or physical list once a month of all the things that are good in your life. It really helps keep things in perspective! Source: 20 Signs You’re Doing Better Than You Think You Are,




of the


Anniversaries Katie Oliver Pepper Dickerson Christine Hunt Ryan Bier Brad McElwain Miriah Tatum Frank Zawojski Debra Marcus Mark Varre Carrie Lee Mike Wernel

Date Years 12/1 2 12/6 17 12/8 4 12/9 14 12/14 5 12/15 1 12/15 25 12/17 4 12/21 1 12/23 19 12/30 3


THEODORABLE By Joe Fernandez, Orlando Sales & Marketing Office

Theodorable the hamster joined the Fernandez family a year ago as a pet for my boys, Cat and Nico; but now I’m the one who loves him the most! My boys call him Teddy because, let’s face it, he looks like a teddy bear hamster; but I call him Theodorable because he’s very soft, fluffy and crazy-adorable. Theodorable’s biggest joys are sleeping, eating carrots, and escaping from his cage. His favorite place to hide is under the dryer. I keep this photo of him on my desk—he motivates me to sell more so I can keep him in hamster treats!




Holiday Parties

Blair Atwood Marcia McGinley Eldon Bond Angel Serrano Brian Stearns Gena Stapf (Cullen) Emily Ceruzzi Liz Skrljac Malik Graham Mekhi Williams Kathleen Dearbeck

12/2 12/2 12/3 12/6 12/7 12/19 12/20 12/20 12/21 12/22 12/23

New Hires Denise Skrljac Eric Fernandez Steve Moody Taylor Odell Autumn Carpenter Grace Kwan Andrew Hornig Betty Curatolo Monique Boyd Kevin Conde Madeline Goodwin Jennifer Harries Brian Mosquera

Billing Bamboo Beach Club Condos Condos Myla Rose Saloon Myla Rose Saloon Myla Rose Saloon Orlando Sales & Marketing Sales & Marketing Sales & Marketing Sales & Marketing Sales & Marketing

Beso Del Sol/Bamboo Beach Club/ Soraya’s Creative Interiors: ................... December 4 Sea Shells Beach Club: ........................... December 17 Overland Park: ........................................ December 17

C.A.R.E. 2016: Smart Strategies and New Ideas By Jennifer Argotsinger, Condos Department

Nestled in the woods right on Lake Tahoe is the Hyatt Regency in Incline Village, Nev., and this year’s location for the Fall SemiAnnual C.A.R.E. Conference. Regional Director Kelli Brazier, Corporate Resort Liaison Chris Cullum and I had the privilege of representing Global Connections, where we got to experience not only the beauty of the area but also make connections and bring back important lessons. Cooperative Association of Resort Exchangers (C.A.R.E.), is an organization established to provide a platform for vendors like us to promote ethical and outstanding vacation services by providing education and networking opportunities. The conferences serve as a time for us to meet other vendors, network for new inventory and ideas, and discuss things going on in the industry. Here are some highlights from conference speakers.

Mattimoe emphasized we shouldn’t be concerned with just the week that our members travel. Our customers need to be taken care of from the first contact with us until it’s completed. Their customer experience starts with their first phone call and isn’t finished until they’re at home reflecting on their great trip. There was plenty of fun too. During a networking event at a local bowling alley, your Global representatives managed to win the best and worst awards. Chris C. won the Triathlon Bowl which consisted of a game of bowling, pool and video poker, while I bowled a measly 45 to earn me the coolest last place trophy ever in the shape of a toilet! At the end of a whirlwind three days we stepped away with strategies for self-growth, lessons to remember, and many networking opportunities to bring home to Global!

Jim Madrid, Advanced Sports Technology (AST) Jim Madrid is CEO of AST, a company that works with major organizations (Nordstrom, Paramount Studios, Oakley and Lexus to name a few) to figure out what’s causing poor performance and then provide tools and strategies to help them reach their highest potential.

Vision drives performance and if we employ habits of high performance individuals, we’ll achieve any goal we set.

Jim’s message was that change is inevitable and we can either grow from it or we can let it consume us. How we handle change is up to us, but we are all capable of learning to control the way we think. As he told us, “If you change your belief, you will change your behavior.”

He also taught us that vision drives performance and if we employ habits of high performance individuals, we’ll achieve any goal we set. The habits that these types of individuals employ are:

• Vision/Purpose • Written (writing goals down in present tense) • Realistic • Mental Rehearsal • Positive Self-Talk If we employ each of these techniques our goals won’t seem so unreachable. It can be as simple as writing them down and keeping them with you every day. Paul Mattimoe: The Customer Experience Paul Mattimoe, president and CEO of Perspective Group, talked about how we’re in the customer experience business, not the customer service business.

Chris Cullum Lends Panel Expertise By Victoria Hoffman, Creative Department Global Connections’ own Corporate Resort Liaison Chris Cullum was part of a C.A.R.E conference panel. The panel topic was the benefits and burdens of online travel agencies (OTAs), e.g. retail sites like Expedia and Travelocity). The panel debated topics like the positives and negatives of using OTAs to sell off excess inventory, maximizing OTA listings, and upcoming government regulations and how they will affect our business. “This panel provided a really good discussion about how different C.A.R.E. companies use these sites and how we can increase awareness around excess weeks,” Chris explained. “For Global Connections, using OTAs is beneficial to us and our members, because they allow us to sell off the weeks our members chose not to book, which in turn pays for getting units our members want.” Thanks for representing us so well, Chris!

Beyond the Mug: Mariela V. Finds Deeper Meaning in Coffee By Corey Thibodeaux, Creative Department

To many, the coffee to start their day is a release from slumber, a power greater than the morning sunrise. To these individuals, coffee is life. The Travel Department’s Mariela V. is one of those people, but she takes it one step further: She is fascinated by where her brew comes from. “There’s a hardworking aspect behind coffee,” she said. “Someone had to grow it somewhere. I want to know the history behind the coffee.” Everyone loves coffee for different reasons. For Mariela, it’s a point of nostalgia from growing up in Georgia. She and her parents would start every day bonding over a cup of coffee, and this happened for as long as she can remember. Her favorite memories were from the Saturdays when she would get up just to share a cup of joe with her parents, even if she wasn’t done sleeping. These days, Mariella stays the same steady course, with one cup of brew every morning, sometimes two if the day calls for it. “The first sip is my favorite,” Mariela said. “I try not to talk to anybody or have any interactions before I’ve had my first cup. I especially like having coffee at work because I feel like I can tackle anything.”

"There’s a hardworking aspect behind coffee, someone had to grow it somewhere. I want to know the history behind the coffee." She’s not picky, either. She’ll try just about anything (without adding sugar or many other additives), but you’ll most likely find her buying a cup from a local coffee shop. It’s all about the authenticity of what she drinks. That excludes the likes of Starbucks or other chains, which is where her passion for coffee production comes in. Mariela would much prefer the barista have firsthand knowledge of how the coffee is made, because, in her mind, the transaction doesn’t end as soon as she gets her receipt. “I’m trying to create an experience where I order coffee from a place that I visit, such as Peru or Brazil,” she said. “I want to see where coffee is grown and be able to bring it back or order it directly from there. I want to be able to tell about it. I want to have a story behind it and give someone a reason of why I’m buying this.” Mariela is working towards fulfilling that experience, and having

a plan is the first step (working in a travel agency is the second). She truly cares about everything that goes into giving her that morning boost, which is why she loves the thought of having someone benefit directly from her purchase. As far as favorites are concerned, Mariela is all over the map with her drinking habits, though French vanilla is her go-to flavor. As for her favorite brand, the one that came to mind was a Mexican blend so obscure, she couldn’t remember the name. “You could almost taste the heritage behind it,” Mariela said about the flavor. “It reminds me of home and those Saturday mornings with my parents. I don’t know how to acquire it though, since my parents were the ones who brought it home.” The takeaway from her response isn’t about the coffee itself, but the fact that she could taste more than ground up beans and filtered water. So the next time you take a sip of coffee, it isn’t about what you taste, but how you taste it. Thanks for the, enlightenment Mariela! We hope you are able to visit a coffee plantation soon and give us a better appreciation for what we drink every day.

The Benefits of Coffee Coffee does much more than add a little caffeine boost to your day. According to the National Coffee Association website (which is a real thing), research has shown that drinking up to five cups a day has plenty of positive benefits for the body:

• Helps prevent liver disease • Improves cognitive functions in older adults • Helps sharpen memory • Increases athletic endurance

Police vs. Fire for a Great Cause

The 2016 Guns N’ Hoses charity boxing event was held on October 21, and netted a record breaking $55,000 for the Surviving Spouse and Family Endowment Fund (S.A.F.E.). This is Global Connections' fifth year supporting the event.

Dunedin Wines the Blues

For the second year, Beso Del Sol Resort was the official host hotel for the wildly popular Dunedin Wines the Blues Festival. Fine wines and lots of bluegrass music was enjoyed by all. Pictured: Beso Del Sol’s booth at the event.

Oh Baby!

The first Orlando Sales & Marketing baby is on her way! Congratulations to Cat Winstanley and baby girl Eden.

Remodeling at Sea Shells

The first and second floor retail studios and efficiencies at Sea Shells Beach Club will be getting a face lift with an open kitchen cabinet concept, new granite counters, granite vanities and granite breakfast table nooks. “After” photos forthcoming!

Global Explorer Quiz Get ‘em in, you will win! The first two readers to get the right answers emailed to Leslie Castro in HR ( will win a $10 Target gift card. The answers and winners for this month’s quiz will be in next month’s newsletter. Good luck! 1. What does the Irish term “craic” refer to?

Last Month’s Winners

2. To which two destinations will the cruises benefitting Children’s Mercy sail?

November quiz winners: Kate Franko & James McCoy

3. What was the topic of the panel Chris C. participated in at C.A.R.E.?

Last Month’s Answers

4. Which email should you use for computer, printer or hardware issues?

1. $165 billion | 2. Ryan and Audry B.

5. What is the name of the Travel Department’s new GDS software?

3. Turquoise | 4. Animas River | 5. Cutting

December issue