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February 23, 2015, Alexandria, Va. – The National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) now represents 45 active Chapters across the country with the newest addition of the Southeast Louisiana chapter representing nearly 60 new NACTA members. Robin Beard, Owner of Ropakele Travel and Louise Rumfello, Owner of Your Magical Vacations are co-Directors of the Chapter and manage the chapter activities under the direction of their leadership team.

“We are honored that NACTA President, Ann van Leeuwen made the trip to Louisiana to speak to our chapter. She truly made us feel special and valued” commented Louise Beard, Chapter co-Director. “I’m really excited that so many agents have recognized the value of NACTA and have signed up for membership; we are approaching 60 members which will make us one of the largest chapters in the nation.”

Adhering to NACTA’s chapter criteria and guidelines the Southeast Louisiana Chapter was newly welcomed into NACTA officially on February 12, 2015 when NACTA President, Ann van Leeuwen welcomed them in person at their first NACTA meeting held in Baton Rouge that evening with 45 of its 58 members in attendance. Guest speakers and strategic supporters of NACTA included Alice McCalla, National Director of Industry Affairs at Sandals and Business Development Manager Melissa O’Hara. Formerly an OSSN Chapter, the chapter leadership team decided to move the chapter to NACTA membership after carefully reviewing NACTA’s membership benefits and Chapter guidelines.

“We have an energetic and committed membership. Our new leadership team is committed to becoming experts on each of the NACTA benefits which will ensure a very engaged and active chapter,” expressed Louise Rumsfello, chapter co- director. “NACTA has so many benefits that will help our members – most especially help with attracting high level supplier speakers to our chapter meetings and providing the popular nightly NACTA Digest which has already proven to be a tremendous resource of travel advice for all of us.”

Prior to the meeting, the newly formed Chapter Leadership Team met to discuss logistics of this new blossoming chapter. The Southeast Louisiana Chapter meetings are monthly and held on the first Thursday of each month.

“The addition of the Southeast Louisiana Chapter is a natural fit within NACTA given their professionalism, dedication and representation of all career travel consultants,” said Ann van Leeuwen. “We are thrilled they made the decision to join NACTA and embrace the many positive membership benefits NACTA has to offer.”
Over the past two years, NACTA Chapters have held 288 meetings across the country, allowing travel consultants to network with other like-minded- travel professionals and to stay abreast of industry issues and supplier product offerings. Chapter Directors meet with NACTA headquarters quarterly in addition to two in person meetings a year to help guide the mission and direction of NACTA. NACTA membership represents just fewer than 1900 travel professionals. Dues were increased from $145 to $165 at the beginning of the year and two years ago elevated its membership criteria in order to attract the career travel consultants. Community, Education and Training for the career travel consultant remains the focal point of NACTA membership. Membership dues in NACTA is $165.00 annually, for more information on joining NACTA visit www.nacta.com.

The National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) is the travel industry’s leading national trade association representing independent contractors, outside sales consultants, cruise and tour oriented consultants, group oriented travel professionals and traditional ARC-appointed travel agencies that provide services and support to such professionals. Established in 1986, NACTA’s mission is to represent the interest of independent travel entrepreneurs and to promote professionalism and recognition for the professional independent consultant. NACTA is an affiliate of ASTA, the American Society of Travel Agents, the world’s largest travel trade association.