At the beginning of 2010, Tulsa County’s unemployment level was reported to be 8.5%. When we contrast this against the January 2011 entire USA rate of 9.8% it appears that we were in better shape here in Tulsa versus the US. But still, 8.5% is a concerning figure. Since January of 2011, Tulsa has consistently widened the gap by lowering its unemployment levels far below the national rate. In a small way, Trase Miller has contributed to Tulsa’s success in battling unemployment. We created jobs for dozens of individuals; a lot of whom were out of work. Many of these people will likely be including the thought of their job as part of their Thanksgiving reflection.
Travel itself paves the way for meeting new friends. Sometimes new friendships happen simply by talking to the person in the airplane seat next to you. Maybe they are fleeting moments but we are on airplanes constantly and we see true connections happen all the time. For all the new friends we have made this year, we give thanks.
The workplace is always a great place to cultivate new friendships. Trase Miller’s culture encourages fun and friendships often come as a result. Many of us around here are involved in ways that transcend “co-worker” status. How lucky we are that this is the case and our work friends are a part of our Thanksgiving reflection.
Friendships sometimes blossom from our external work contacts too. We feel blessed about all the people that we deal with as suppliers as well as our client partners. They have become friends and we give thanks for that.
Trase Miller is truly like a family. Genuinely. Our people here relate to each other in warm and respectful ways. We look out for each other and help each other out. But the truth is that we all have our own real families. In the past year several of our team members lost loved ones. Their Thanksgiving tables will not be the same next week but we know that as part of their Thanksgiving reflections that they are thankful for their families and for the time they did share with the ones that have departed.
As we scream toward the end of 2011, we need to pause and reflect on what was perhaps the most transformational years in our 17 year history. By the way we turned 17 on October 31st and celebrated with our rich tradition of a throwing a working day costume party. This year’s “Boo-Bash” was fun and festive but slightly understated given the amount of transformation we continue to manage to and around.
Our 2011 transformation wasn’t accidental. It was strategic based on a new mental model that all of us here at Trase Miller have agreed to subscribe to. We welcomed new clients and along with that many new employees. We reorganized and we embraced the departure of several key long-time employees. And to end the year (with a bang) we are in process of moving our primary reservations/operations center across town here in Tulsa.
Moving as everyone knows can be a real pain – Especially after 17 years. We collect stuff and in a move we must take the time to decide what to discard. The logistics must be carefully planned and executed. We have crack planners and project managers here so the logistics aspect is easy for us. Execution is also not something we fret about. Frank Silzer is Trase Miller’s GM and as he says “we just get it done”. So in the coming week we leave our present home and start a new life in Corporate Woods Tulsa.
Last weekend we held a “New Home” open house for our team members and their families. The new digs are a big hit as people love the building and amenities. More than 60% of our employees came and most brought family with them. Wait a minute - - A day off work and people came into work and brought family with them? WOW! It turned out to be a great day that came about from great team work. Everyone had a terrific time and we have received only positive feedback about the event. Highlights were Prize Drawings, a Scavenger Hunt and a Poker Run...
Any day now big trucks pull up to our doors here to load up. We’re packed and we’re ready. One of our moving companies is Graebel. Prominently painted on their trucks is their corporate slogan “helping people move ahead”. How fantastically appropriate for us!
Adults learn differently than children. There are many theories about why this is and there are many theories about how to help adults best learn. At Trase Miller we give learning a ton of attention. One of the key principles of adult learning is motivation. Our “Learning and Development” team makes it their business to understand the importance of what motivates our agents. Training classes are conceived and constructed with motivation very much in mind. One thing very clear around here is that our agents are famished for knowledge and motivated by travel.
So we invest in learning outside of the classroom in the form of travel. Anybody professionally associated with the travel industry has heard of the familiarization trip or as it is commonly known FAM trip. FAM trips require, investment, planning and careful coordination. We have been at this a long time so through the years we have coordinated and participated in hundreds of FAMs. The stories we could tell…
More recently small teams of Trase Millerites were out on FAMS. The site inspections and fun happened under the sponsorship of our airline client partners. These people all came back with a fresh view of how to best take care of customer’s needs. Explaining the power of FAM trips comes best from the mouths of those most recently out there - - -
“It’s great to be in a position to explain the properties with actual knowledge of what a room looks like. Hotel proximity to other venues is another thing I brushed up on. It’s fantastic to be able to say that I have recent first-hand experience. With confidence I can tell a caller that they would not want to walk from New York New York to Caesars even though on maps they look only a few casinos apart!” Crystal B.
“Going on this trip really helped us as a group to understand the hotels and the room types available in Las Vegas. The experience was both memorable and amazing and we appreciate the opportunity very much! I will never forget the hotels we saw and how much fun we had!“ Heather M.
“It was very beneficial to get to see all of the properties we sell on a day to day basis. My knowledge of the product AND the airline brand has greatly improved. I have no doubt that FAMs like this will help us tremendously. Eugene K.