Speakers - SYTA AC 2018
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Mike Bowers
Michael J. Bowers, Founder and Principle at The Center for Student Travel Safety, provides safety system consulting services to some of the top student travel service providers, world-wide. Specializing in safety trend analysis, emergency response preparedness and family CARE team support systems, Mr. Bowers is able to bring a wealth of industry experience to each situation in order to develop innovative, and personalize safety solutions to the industry most complex challenges. He also served on the Board of Directors of the SYTA for 6 years and served as President of SYTA from 2013-2014.

William J. Caldwell, CPA
Caldwell & Companies
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. Prior to founding Caldwell & Companies in 2002, Bill Caldwell honed his financial skills during a tenure at the U.S. Department of Army Audit Agency and a successful career at the accounting firm, Bond Beebe. Bill holds a position at American University, where he is an adjunct professor and teaches a Master’s level class in finance for art organizations. Bill believes in giving back to the community and has served many organizations including a role as past president of the National Capital Optimist Club, a global association of volunteers dedicated to ‘bringing out the best in kids’. Bill consults to SYTA and his most recent presentation on “Tax Planning for Businesses” was well received at SYTA Summit. Caldwell & Companies supports the SYTA Youth Foundation as a Wingman.

Lisa S. Curtin
Lisa Curtin’s has 20+ years of experience in the student tourism industry, holding senior management roles in operations and sales. In 2016, Lisa left tourism to pursue a new opportunity in public accounting as the Chief Operations Officer of Caldwell & Companies. She’s found her skills in process management, contract negotiations and customer service are universal to any business. Currently, Lisa consults to SYTA, providing website content and has presented on Human Resource topics at the Annual Conference and Summit. Caldwell & Companies actively supports the SYTA Youth Foundation as a Wingman. In her former role as Vice President of Operations for Brightspark Travel, Lisa served on various SYTA committees and was a Past Chair of SYTA Summit.

Barbara McCormack
Barbara McCormack is the Newseum’s vice president/education. Part of the founding staff when the Newseum opened in 1997, McCormack has since held many leadership positions, including coordinator for the Newseum’s NewsCapade with Al Neuharth. McCormack established the education department when the Newseum moved to Pennsylvania Avenue, and leads the team responsible for extending and enriching the museum experience for learners of all ages. Since 2008, McCormack has grown the staff from two to 12, added 75 volunteers, served 5,100 students in one day, and now reaches over 12 million students each year through on-site and online programming and resources. McCormack is a former middle and high school teacher who was awarded an Outstanding New Teacher in Virginia award in 1995. She has been a noted speaker and committee leader at numerous educational organizations. She currently serves on the executive committee of the Student Youth Foundation’s board of trustees.

Jeff Ment, Esq.
Jeff is Managing Partner at The Ment Law Group. For more than 20 years, Jeff has represented companies and individuals in the travel industry. His experiences range from helping form new companies to defending companies in litigation. Jeff’s focus is on helping ensure that his clients are always ahead of the curve – following the best practices of our industry. This includes contracts, legal issues, risk management, documentation, vendor selection, tour director training and insurance coverage. Jeff relies on his experience as a travel agent, sales manager for two airlines and his work as a tour guide to understand what his clients need most.

Amy Wescott
Amy Wescott is the owner of Polish Writing & Editing and is a recognized educator who specializes in helping business professionals tell their stories. Whether you are new to the industry or an established executive, Amy will help you improve your writing skills. We look forward to welcoming Amy back to the SYTA Annual Conference. To learn more about Amy, visit https://polishwritingservices.com/.

More Speakers to Be Announced Soon!

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