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Greetings and salutations my fellow travel professionals. The US Presidential election is over and the people have spoken. We want change. IATM is in agreement and you will see many changes in 2009. The biggest change for us is mostly procedural but very important. Our region now has 40 active members which means that we are an official region. Other changes in 2009 will include an electronic newsletter from central office as well as North America and personalized luggage tags. I believe our most useful new benefit may well be our new mentor program. Before IATM can come out of this current global economic crisis a stronger organization, we are going to come together as colleges and friends to help each other. In IATM North America though we are spread out, we are tightly knit.

We all know the old adage that history repeats itself. These hard economic times are no exception.Many of us have already braved a couple of economic storms. With experience and maybe some helpful advice, we have overcome and thrived in a business we love.

Now is our opportunity to help those members that need some good advice. We are instituting a new mentor program for North America.

I would like for everybody to send me an email and tell me if you want to be apart of this good networking mentor program or not. If you are not interested, please tell me why. This will also be my way to make sure your email works. So please send me an email toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. from the email account you wish for us to have on file.

The IATM membership card is new and improved for 2009. Actually, I am not going to tell you about it since you will see it for yourself any day now. You have already paid your 2009 dues; right? Those who retain or gain membership in 2009 will also receive 2 professional IATM luggage tags complete with your photo and IATM’s London address. There is even space for you to add some information. I just saw the prototype in London and new that all members should receive them.They look very professional and they are free; just another benefit of membership.

Also new for 2009 is our newsletter. We are going electronic. The snail mail hard copy that we have been sending you is being improved. In 2009 we will be sending you an interactive newsletter. No, it will not make you coffee in the morning, but it could include videos as well as color photos and links to more information then we could send to you in a lifetime. The newsletter will arrive to your email in a PDF format. Adobe Reader is the free software that you use to open and view the PDF newsletter. If your computer does not have Adobe Reader, please for the most up to date version. We are also going to catalogue all the newsletters of the different regions and put them in our new site, (also new to 2009), so you will be able to read articles from any regions’ newsletter at any time you wish. Of course, if you contribute a verse, we will promote you to the travel industry. Who does not want to be a published author?

I wish you and your family and happy holidays.

Scott MacScott CTM

Chairman IATM North America

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