GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO (Tue Jul 10, 2012) — Twenty-twelve is a banner year for Andavo Travel, a full-service vacation travel agency with offices in Colorado, Utah and California, as the company celebrates their 30th anniversary.
Andavo Travel began in 1982 when Brenda Rivers acquired the travel agency, Corporate Travel Services, which had annual sales of about $15 million at the time. In 2000, the travel agency’s name was changed to Andavo Travel. The name Andavo stems from the Italian word “andare” or “we went,” to better reflect the company’s tagline: We travel with you. In 2008, corporate travel company Christopherson Business Travel merged with Andavo. Rivers retained the position of Andavo Travel CEO until July 2010 when her business partner, Christopherson Business Travel CEO Mike Cameron, bought her share of the business. The business travel division of the combined company is now branded and marketed nationally as Christopherson Business Travel, while the vacation travel and independent contractor division (more than 70 agents across the country) continues to be branded under the well-known and respected Andavo Travel name. The combined company finished 2011 with $287 million in sales, an increase of nearly $50 million over sales from 2010. “Ultimately, success and growth come from finding the ability to stay relevant in a changing environment,” says Mike Cameron, CEO of Andavo, who was also recently named a 2012 CEO of the Year by Utah Business Magazine. “For us, our ability to find that relevance can be narrowed down to three key principles: the right people plus the right value proposition plus the right incentives. With that simple formula, the only possible result is growth.”
The Right People
“Employing great people means finding those professionals who know their craft and know it well,” Cameron says. “They are the ones you can rely upon to provide expert recommendations, offer the maximum value for your budget and ensure your vacation is flawless. At Andavo, we have been fortunate to surround ourselves with an amazing team of ‘the right people.'”
The Right Value Proposition “We are relentless in our evaluation of the services we provide to clients through our agents, our support staff, and our proprietary technology,” Cameron says. “We then use those evaluations to continue creating innovative travel solutions to meet our client’s needs and exceed their expectations.”
The Right Incentives Andavo maintains the mentality that the more the company does to help others, the better everyone will do in return. With this in mind, employees are hired with salaries higher than industry averages, paid incentives for customer satisfaction and agency productivity, provided with a generous 401K retirement program, and flexible work arrangements. Independent contractor travel agents are hired with no start up fees, competitive compensation and quarterly incentives. “It’s about sharing the wealth,” Cameron says. “If you are willing to provide financial rewards and align them with good performance, amazing things can happen. The pie actually gets bigger. Some call this the ‘abundance theory.’ I call it the right way to do business.”