In business since 1956, we will be here tomorrow to back up our promises of today.
After building their disposable hospital supply business, Disposable Research Industries (DRI), into an industry leader, Joe McClure Sr. and his beautiful wife Leora retired in February of 1972. Quickly growing tired of retirement, they purchased the local Montrose Travel Agency six months later. Together, they grew the little business by cultivating personal relationships through superior customer service and offering quality products at fair prices.
By 1989, Montrose Travel had 14 employees and was selling nearly $6 million dollars of travel annually with a customer base that had extended from their local neighborhood to serving all of Southern California. International tours, discounted cruises and Hawaii packages were the mainstay of the product line.
In 1990, Joe McClure III (MBA), his wife Julie (CPA), and his sister Andi McClure-Mysza (MBA) purchased Montrose Travel. By August of 1991, the roof had been taken off of the headquarters location at 2343 Honolulu Avenue and a second floor was added to accommodate rapid growth. The staff, our Associates, grew steadily throughout the recession of the early 90s and the Gulf War. Our product line has since expanded greatly and our customer base became worldwide.
In July of 1994, the company was out of room again. We purchased our second building at 2355 Honolulu Avenue and moved our Commercial / Business Travel Division.
In 1996, we started AIR4LESS (which later became AIR4LESS.com) and purchased our wholesale company, Sportours, from Sport Chalet.
Out of room again, we purchased our third building at 2335 Honolulu Avenue, which now houses our Group / Meeting / Incentive Division, our Accounting Department and a number of our Independent Contractors.
Throughout the 1990s, we focused on growing our Independent Contractor network that now includes more than 700 companies and individuals nationwide. In 1998, we further expanded our Independent Contractor reach by opening La Canada Flintridge Travel, which now operates as a branch office in La Canada, California.
Also in 1998, our Leisure (Vacation) Division addressed the niche market of Honeymoons / Anniversaries / Romantic Getaways and organized staff to specialize in the needs of these types of experiences.
Out of room once again, we closed escrow on our fourth building at 2349 Honolulu Avenue in November 1999, and added an additional 14,000 feet with which to grow.
In January 2001, Montrose Travel's Honeymoon Division was split from our Leisure Division and became its own, and our fifth (at the time), operating division within the company.
In January of 2003, we further split out our Air / Car / Hotel group that primarily handles credit card Loyalty and Rewards Programs from our Leisure Division and created our Loyalty Division, our sixth operating division.
Proudly funding growth solely out of profits and positive cash flow, Montrose Travel has never had any debt on its balance sheet and continues to remain one of the most financially stable Travel Management Companies in the United States.
Now firmly established as one of the Top 50 Travel Management Companies nationwide, we completed 2012 with over $160 million in gross sales. We have come a long way since 1956 and now have six operating divisions housed in more than 40,000 square feet of four self-owned buildings.
Montrose Travel is proud to be the largest certified Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) Travel Management Company in Southern California (VON: 8BN00039). If your company wishes to leverage the power of placing your business with a Woman Owned Business and demands superior service from a diversity supplier to fulfill your travel procurement goals, look no further as Montrose Travel is the solution for you.
In 2008, Montrose Travel became one of only a small handful of travel companies listed on Visa USA's website as being Visa CISP/PCI compliant. CISP (Cardholder Information Security Program) is Visa USA's version of the Payment Card Industry's (PCI) Data Security Standard, which examines multiple aspects of a company's operations, including network security, data integrity standard, physical access controls and process and policy review. While this project has taken over a year to complete and touched virtually every internal and external aspect of our business, the investment in both time and money has been well worth it. All Montrose Travel customers now have peace of mind knowing their credit card data is safe and secure.
We are extremely proud of our growth and our continued commitment to our customer base. Clearly, as communicated in our mission statement, "Helping people travel. One at a time.©, our top priority is to provide quality personal service and unsurpassed value.
Although 2001, 2002 and 2003 were very trying years for the travel industry in general, with the industry declining upwards of 19% and airlines losing billions of dollars, Montrose Travel was one of the few travel companies in the United States that was able to buck the trend and posted 16% compounded growth, a feat of which we are quite proud and happened to earn us nationwide recognition as a travel industry trendsetter. We earned similar awards and praise for our handling of the 2008 and 2009 economic recession.
In this dynamic industry, Montrose Travel is a respected leader in all aspects of travel management. On the leading edge of rapidly evolving technology, we possess the capacity, experience, caring and proven capability to provide you with a total travel management program for handling all aspects of travel on a national and international basis.
Our history has proven our ability to adapt to dramatic change, with us being the ones looking to the future - finding answers - long before our competitors even know the questions. We inspire while others hope; lead when others follow. We are not the passengers on the bus, we are the engine that makes the bus go forward. For us, Montrose Travel will continue our model of responsible, self-funded and controlled organic growth that has allowed us to remain incredibly financially healthy and completely debt-free.
We will continue to recruit excellent talent to join our family and we will continue to think big and set big goals, because big goals lead to historic achievements previously thought impossible.
We will ensure that you can always count on Montrose Travel to be here tomorrow to back up our promises of today.