SPIRIT AWARD: Brad Johnson of the Tulsa Eton Square Spears Travel office was the 2007 recipient of the “Employee of the Year ‘Spirit’ Award.??? Spears Travel hands out awards annually to employees who do outstanding work. Individuals who have been with the company for years are also recognized.
GTR Newspapers photo
Spears Travel recently held its annual Employee Appreciation Banquet to recognize exceptional performances.
Brad Johnson of the Tulsa Eton Square office earned the “Employee of the Year ‘Spirit’ Award.” Susan Julian from the downtown Bartlesville office received “Branch Manager of the Year.” The Corporate Sales Award went to Cathy McNamara of the Tulsa Williams office. Terri Yee of the Tulsa Plaza office received the Leisure Sales Award and Tom Reynolds of the Tulsa Williams earned the Sales Increase Award.
In addition, the following employees were recognized for their length of service with the company: Greg Spears – 23 years; Carol Faversham – 22 years; Toni Gregg – 16 years; Gary Michels – 15 years; Mary Pointer – 15 years; Sandy Moeller – 15 years; Terri Courcier – 13 years; Terri Yee – 7 years; Tom Reynolds – 6 years; Sue McBride – 5 years; Nancy Winn – 5 years; Teresa Redding – 5 years; Joy Nickle – 5 years.
Spears World Travel Service began as Kelley World travel in 1952 in Bartlesville. When the original owner Bill Kelley decided to leave small town America, Chuck and Charlene Spears jumped at the chance to purchase the business. The first office consisted of one desk, one filing cabinet, two phones and no computers.
Three significant additions came to Spears Travel during the 1970s. In 1972 Maxine Mulkins, who had worked for the agency in Bartlesville for several years, moved to Tulsa and convinced Chuck to expand by adding a branch office. The agency established its first Tulsa office in the Farm Shopping Center. In 1977, the second Bartlesville office was opened in the Quarters Shopping Center. In 1978, Spears Travel became only the third agency in the Tulsa area to have an automated reservation system with the American Airlines Sabre System.
An automated back room accounting and reporting system was purchased in the 1980s. The relationship and contract with Phillips Petroleum was established. A branch office was opened in Fort Smith, Ark. in 1980 and a second Tulsa location was established in downtown Tulsa in 1988 in the Williams Center.
In 1986, Spears Travel became an associate of Ask Mr. Foster, a travel agency chain owned by the Carlson Companies, which became the Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
In June 1992, the Spears family took on business partner Lynn Moeller who brought with him a varied business and travel background and similar ideals and philosophies. Two branch offices were added to the company through acquisitions and a corporate on-site was established at the Corp of Engineers in Tulsa. In November 1992, International Tours at the Plaza became a Spears Travel branch. In September 1993, Odyssey Travel was purchased from Rita Willis. In the fall of 1994 the company announced the addition of L.J. and Toni Gregg as partners in the firm. L.J. was initially a silent partner, as he is a practicing dermatologist in Tulsa. Toni served as the branch manager of the Plaza office in Tulsa, and now is a consultant to management as well as a leisure travel agent. In December 1994 Spears established an Advisory Board comprised of owners, associates and participants from outside the company. New locations were added in 1995. A client dedicated office for Thrifty and Dollar Rent A Car employees was established in June 1995 on 31st St. in Tulsa. Also in 1995, Spears expanded by opening an office in Coffeyville, Kan. The seventh retail branch location opened in July 1997 in Muskogee.
For more information about Spears Travel, see www.spearstravel.com.