In business since 1956, we will be here tomorrow to back up our promises of today.
After building their 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 small business by cultivating personal relationships through superior customer service and offering quality products at fair prices. They raised their children, Andi McClure and Joe McClure III, in the industry, exposing them to many jobs ranging from working in the brochure room to becoming front line agents and account executives.
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.
In 1990, Joe, his wife Julie, and his sister Andi purchased Montrose Travel. By August of 1991, a second floor was added to the company's headquarters at 2343 Honolulu Avenue to accommodate rapid growth. Our staff grew steadily despite the recession of the early '90s, our product line has expanded greatly and our customer base became worldwide.
In July of 1994, the company was out of room again. We purchased a second building at 2355 Honolulu Avenue and moved our Corporate 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.
Throughout the '90s, we focused on growing our independent contractor network that now includes more than 500 companies and individuals nationwide. In 1998, we further expanded our Independent Contractor reach by opening a branch office in La Cañada, California.
Also in 1998, our Leisure (Vacation) Division addressed the niche market of Honeymoons/Anniversaries/Romantic Getaways and designated travel professionals to specialize in these types of experiences.
Our company continued to grow and we closed escrow on our fourth building at 2349 Honolulu Avenue in November 1999, and added an additional 14,000 feet.
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 which continues to grow at a rapid pace. In 2013, we expanded the division with new offices in Palmdale, California.
Firmly established as one of the Top 40 Travel Management Companies nationwide, we deliver over $270 million in gross sales. We have come a long way since 1956 and now have more than 40,000 square feet of self-owned buildings. We have never had any debt on our balance sheet and continue to remain one of the most financially stable travel management companies in the United States.
Montrose Travel is proud to be one of the largest certified Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) Travel Management Companies in the United States (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 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. All of our customers can 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. As communicated in our mission statement, "Helping people travel. One at a time ©," our top priority is to provide world-class personal service and unsurpassed value.
Although 2001, 2002 and 2003 were very challenging years for the travel industry, with the industry declining upwards of 19% and airlines losing billions of dollars, we were 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 of, and earned us nationwide recognition as a travel industry trendsetter. We earned similar awards and praise for our handling of the 2008 and 2009 economic recession.
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 know that it is up to us to be better than our competitors, to be the ones who lead, who shine the light for others to follow, to be extraordinary. We are extraordinary. And we will continue to be extraordinary.
We — those with this special thing we call Montrose DNA — have the capacity now, as we've had in the past, to do what needs to be done to win. Our company, our family, is strong and will not be divided.
You can always count on Montrose Travel to be here tomorrow to back up our promises of today.