Sessions - SYTA AC 2018
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General Sessions

Safety Forum
Saturday, August 26
9:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Education Sessions

Members tell us one of the most important reasons for attending the Annual Conference are the education sessions. Speakers include professional speakers, industry experts, and association leaders.

Session Topics and Speakers

Broadway Classroom Workshop, presented by Group Sales Box Office at
Since 1998, more than 500,000 people have participated in this exceptional program, which combines a Broadway show with a unique, interactive workshop. Broadway Classroom is the industry leader in providing arts and educational experiences. Offering 17 unique workshops, Broadway Classroom will complete your group’s itinerary with an experience they will remember for years to come. Workshops are customized to the specific interests and abilities of attendees and students of all ages are encouraged to participate. This session will give participants the opportunity to experience a Broadway Classroom workshop for themselves.

Multi-media Storytelling Training
Daniel Dozier, Director, Students of the World
Courtney Spence, 
Founder and Executive Director, Students of the World
We expand empathy and empower young people to build bridges, uplift voices, and create positive change by harnessing the power of storytelling. We have traveled to over 40 countries telling hundreds of stories, from environmental resilience, to human rights, global education, workforce development and more.
Learn how to teach participating students pre-departure about storytelling and generate unique content and powerful direct word of mouth marketing materials; curate a multimedia ecosystem that generates and shares this organic content creation; leverage awareness and convert new leads into a community and movement that remains actively engaged moving forward.

Business Succession Planning
William J. Caldwell, CEO, CPA, Caldwell & Companies CPAs
Lloyd Polmateer, CEO, First Financial Group
Facilitated by: Lisa S. Curtin, COO, Caldwell & Companies CPAs
Planning for the future is essential for your business. This is especially true for small and family-owned businesses. Succession planning is an ongoing process and especially key in the 3-5 years prior to selling or transitioning your business from founder to second generation. Key points covered in this seminar include:
• Family or third party: Will the business pass to a family member or be sold to a third party?
• Selling price: How to determine what your business is really worth.
• Minimizing the tax bite: Tax planning strategies
• Funding: How will the succession plan be funded?
In this session will also discuss Captive Insurance companies. A Captive Insurance company is a property and casualty insurance company established to provide coverage primarily for a parent company you own, (i.e. your tour company, attraction, restaurant). Captive Insurance companies are established to provide coverage not otherwise available or to allow the parent company to capture overhead, profit and other capital which would normally transfer to another insurance carrier.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)  2018 – How it Affects Your Businesses and Individuals
William J. Caldwell, CPA, Caldwell & Companies CPAs

Facilitated by: Lisa S. Curtin, Caldwell & Companies CPAs

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2018 is the most sweeping tax reform since 1986.  This seminar will focus on the highlights of the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. During this presentation you will gain an understanding of how the legislation affects you as a business owner, as well as an individual. It’s not too late to make changes in your business now that will improve your 2018 tax situation. Even if you participated in the TCJA Webinar that was offered to SYTA members this past February, attending this seminar will provide a deeper understanding of the changes. Ample time will be allowed for Q&A.

Enriching Travel Experiences with Experiential Learning: Examples from Washington DC
Stuart Levy, MBA, PhD
Associate Teaching Professor of Management, George Washington University School of Business

What can tour operators and suppliers do to make visitor experiences more engaging, memorable, and meaningful? In this interactive workshop, Stuart discusses ways in which experiential learning can be infused in the group travel product. Utilizing Washington DC as a destination case study, Stuart shares good practices, methods and insights that attendees can use to create a more enriching experience for their customers.

Mike Bowers
Founder & CEO, Center for Student Travel Safety
Mike Bowers will be speaking on various safety issues related to the student travel industry.

Real Media Literacy for a Fake News World
Barb McCormack
Vice President of Education, Newseum
An intensive exploration of today’s news and information landscape that empowers participants to evaluate media content and their own media consumption habits
This interactive, hour-long program introduces the challenges facing news consumers around the globe and shares strategies to begin tackling them. Real-life examples of surprising and false news stories selected to resonate with the audience become the basis to practice putting these flexible strategies into practice.

Ensuring a Successful Tour
Ellen Malasky, President, NFTGA
Joan Keddell, 
President, ITMI
The National Federation of Tourist Guide Associations and it’s 19 member organizations provide training, continuing professional education and in many cases, certification for local guides and tour leaders. Representatives from ITMI and NFTGA will discuss the advantages of hiring professionally trained guides with the skills to successfully lead groups and the expertise to deal with the unexpected. It will also include information about local regulations and the 19 NFTGA member associations.

Legal and Contracts Issues
Jeff Ment, Esq
Founder, The Ment Law Firm
Jeff will be returning to the SYTA Annual Conference and will be discussing legal and contacts issues related to safety. He will also present a session on GDPR which is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union.

Word Crimes and eMail Blunders
Amy Wescott 
Owner, Polish Writing & Editing
Little things make a big difference in whether your writing will be received and responded to as you intend. This session will explore the top “word crimes” writers commit (and how to fix them!) and how to write email that will be easy to understand and hard to ignore.

The Power of a Polished Message
A polished message is powerful. Whether you are communicating with customers, clients, volunteers, or co-workers, your message makes a difference in your company’s success. This session explores what a polished message is (and what it isn’t!), examines common pitfalls to polished messaging, challenges you to evaluate your current messages, and offers tips for making your message more powerful.

More About Tourism Cares Program in Jordan
John Yonce, Director of Advancement & Engagement
In February 2018, an extraordinary event in the world of travel and social impact brought together an accomplished group of industry leaders to explore the power of tourism to drive positive social change. Tourism leaders went to Jordan to support the country’s communities and cultural heritage.


SYTA Strategic Partners