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One of the more enjoyable tasks I take on in a volunteer capacity is to sit as the Manitoba/Saskatchewan representative on an Independent Retailer committee with the Retail Council of Canada.

I came into the travel products business from an advertising and travel agency background, but with no actual retail experience.

Starting Journeys Travel & Leisure SuperCentre was a bold, if not crazy, move.

We combined a wide series of travel products and travel related services under one big roof…and opened with a lot of publicity and fanfare in May of 2000.

It was a good first year, for a new business, and we were looking for considerable growth in year 2.

Along came 9/11 and we really thought we weren’t going to make it.

We survived and because of all our aggressive marketing, I suppose, I was invited to join RCCC and sit on a local ‘advisory’ panel.

I met some of the biggest players in the city whose companies frequently had stores across Canada.

At first RCCC seemed to be only composed of big companies, but I soon met more members and realized the small ‘players’ need more help than the big ones.

In becoming involved I have become a perfect thief, stealing ideas from people and companies for whom I had and have great respect.

I will be in Toronto to try to create programs that small companies like mine can take advantage of going forward.

I will meet with other entrepreneurs and likely steal some more.

All this has helped us reach our 10th anniversary celebration.

If you don’t know much about us go to www.journeystravelgear.com Feel free to enter our weekly contest. No purchase necessary…no obligation…just visit us and look around.

Check out the destination stories, the travel tips, and the radio shows.

And thank you for reading.