Singer-songwriter John Flynn wears his heart on his guitar and uses his music to help struggling war veterans, children with AIDS and many others.
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Agents of Change
Three veteran travel agents form a unique partnership to develop the best—and most reasonably priced—vacation package for you (and to help the economy, too).
It’s no accident that Bob Older opened his new travel agency in a strip mall adjacent to the offices of mighty Liberty Travel—a chain with more than 160 locations. “We are just trying to show people that there are alternatives,” he says. Older, who owns Creative Travel, is one of three veteran agents who joined forces to create The Travel Center on Kirkwood Highway. He is joined by Elaine Lux of A World of Travel and Barbara Patterson of All Around Travel. Perhaps the most unique feature of the new agency is that, though its owners sometimes share commissions, they remain competitors who retain business from their individual agencies. The three pool resources to expand their client base and promote the business. “Nobody else in the country is doing this,” Older says. “The three of us provide better pricing and better service. We can compete with the big conglomerates and online entities.” Conglomerates, say, that are five doors down or a mouse click away. “A lot of people are complaining that companies are sending jobs overseas, but these are the same people who are going online to book a vacation,” Older says. “That money is leaving not only the state, but the country.” Older says the poor economy should not pose a road block to the new venture. “People are still traveling,” he says. “They may want to cut expenses, but people are still getting married and going on honeymoons. Business is still there. It’s up to us to get it.” —Drew Ostroski
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