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Home Based Agent Forum

What People Say About OSSN


David and I enjoyed meeting you at the conference. It was our first OSSN event and we are ready to join. From the time we walked up to the "sign in" table until we left that evening, we felt so welcome at the event. Also, OSSN is just what we have been looking for to help us maintain our professionalism and receive education and networking opportunities.

Teresa Foppiano
Coastal Connection Cruises & Travel
1110 Abbeywood Rd Louisville, KY


I personally want to thank you for your assistance. I am very glad that I joined OSSN. I have been in the travel business for 20 years and thought I knew a lot about the industry but being a member of OSSN has taught me so much more and keeps me well informed through webinars, magazines, agent shows/conferences and personal contacts.

Warmest regards,

Jackie Emanuel
46 Pine Tree Road
Monroe, New York 10950
(Phone) 845 238-2755


I just became a member last week and am thrilled with all of the updates and advice I am receiving. Every travel agent should know about OSSN. It is an extremely valuable resource. Thank you.

Kathy Moran

James Schillinglaw, Editor Agent At Home Magazine

With 20 plus years in the Travel Industry.I have held several different positions, so I am familiar with several aspects of the industry. Five years ago when starting my own Agency, Travel Experience, Orange Park, FL OSSN was and still is my biggest support, and source of information. I do not believe I could have achieved my success without OSSN.

Phyllis Evenson, CTA
Custom Vacation Planning

I have never seen so much information in one place! You guys did a very good job put everything here for a new person just getting started in the business to keep pushing! Thank you for making this process easier for me. I know its not going to be a easy task, but you have put everything right at my finger tips, thanks for helping me get started.

Kyla Butler

Thank you for the TRUE supplier letter I will use it. OSSN does a great job helping homebased agents. Is an honor to be a member of such institution.

Thank you,

Elsie Yi Donoy
Bella Guatemala Travel

As a Home Based agent the most important benefit I receive from my OSSN membership is the ability to receive commissions from vendors who will not accept my CLIA, but gladly acknowlwdge my TRUE Number ID

BarbaraRose Farber

Great website for members with the bulletin board postings, updates, search engines such as the Hotel search engine, and online chats and of course the TRUE Code recognized in the travel industry. For virtual professionals - the internal website is most awesome!


I just wanted to thank you both again for everything you put into planning the Regional Ft. Lauderdal conference, the cruise and in general for all the help you've given us through OSSN. You two are phenomenal! The amount of work you've done for so many people is absolutely incredible, and we consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have discovered OSSN so soon after we got into this business. We've learned a lot and know we'll always be learning -- and hopefully teaching/sharing information in some form or another as we can. The stimulating atmosphere of sparks, exchanges and Aha's is a great one. Thanks for persisting with everything at times it has had to be rough. I hope you do feel satisfaction from knowing you've made a huge difference for so many on so many fronts.

With kindest regards from Bud & me,
Barb Chapman

I would like to take a moment to thank you and the entire OSSN team for all of the information you provide to us. Coming into the business as a novice, everything I have learned about the industry has been a direct result of joining OSSN and attending meetings. I know that you guys are working on our behalf for recognition by all entities in the industry and I believe that it is working. Although I come from a meeting planning background, I am finding that I still have so much to learn about the travel industry. As an independent agency, I look to OSSN to provide access to much of what I learn. I am excited about the prospects for my business and look forward to continued partnership with OSSN. Thanks again for all of your hard work.


Dale Rogers
Pizazz Travel

OSSN provides invaluable information & resources that help me in my goal to becoming the best in my field. Also, I decided to go into business for myself, so I applied & received my TRUE Code # last week.

Within hours, I was able to begin making reservations under my own company. It's amazing! Thank you very much. I will definitely continue my membership with your organization!!

Connie Wamhoff

I must say that since I have become an OSSN member about a month ago, I find that this organization does more for a travel professional than any other organization I have either been involved in or researched.

At first I was hesitant to join because of the cost, but I find this to be most impressive and I thank you sincerely for your help and information.

I know that if I make the choice to go out completely on my own, there is an organization to back me and help me get off to a great start.

Thank you and keep up the good work.....

Theresa Tortorello
Elmhurst, IL

I'm in my second year of OSSN membership now, and I can honestly say that I've never belonged to a trade organization that did more for its membership than this one. Good job!

Terry Seligman

I just have to tell you how we appreciate your e-mail updates. Loaded with the most current travel news and so succinctly written that they can be quickly read...and no ads, we like them better than most travel magazines! Just a little humor.....truly, thanks so much. OSSN does a great job on this.

Irene and Bob
Around the Global Travel

Dear OSSN,
As most of you know, I'm a member of everything.....ASTA, ARTA, NACTA, OSSN, and until my membership expires at the end of this year, CLIA; but I've got to tell you something, OSSN has one of the finest lists of resource pages of any I've ever seen to benefit the travel agent. Their air consolidator pages, alone, more than repay your very minimal dues. As when I do a really fine job for my clients, I honestly feel that I am benefiting you all by telling you this. Check OSSN out. I truly believe you'll be happy that you did. At any rate, give me some feedback.

Love you all,
Susan Sammons
On Travel/Dothan AL

Dear OSSN,
I would like to say how very glad I am that I became a member of OSSN!. I certainly appreciate the information that you provide. It is my feeling that you have become a valuable resource for me. I just returned from St. Kitts and I shared my feelings w/the other agents that I was with. I certainly did my very best to encourage all of them to become a part of OSSN. I'm very glad that Yvonne Herring shared the information with me. You do a great job, keep it up!!!!!!!!!!!

Deborah Hardin
"Join Us and Explore the World of Travel!"

Dear OSSN,
I am a new member and I applied for a merchant vendor account through your supplier, AccessBankcard. My contact there was Robert Mohon. Just want to let you know that he was wonderful to do business with. He quickly responded to my many, many emails and greatly helped me with the application. I was approved in one day after submission. It's quite a surprise to conduct business in today's environment and be so pleased with the experience! Thank you for running a tight ship. Your organization and the services it provides are top notch.

Barbara Weinberg
OSSN Member

I want to THANK OSSN for being there!!! I went to the bulletin board to find info on a host agency. My surprise I received answers!! Now I have a new host agency. Thank you OSSN!!

Linda Lutes

Thank you so much. Your Global MedTrip Rep contacted me, and it may be a go. My client was very impressed!

I just want to add that joining your organization was the best decision I've made in a while. I am completely new to the game, but catching on quick. In the first 2 weeks I've already earned over $1500 in commission!

I'm about to take on a part-time job as a tour director for Ambassadair (I recently left the yachting industry where I was a stewardess on $25 million boats...and I miss being "out there" too much), but I will sell travel too compensate the income. The information I am getting from you guys in the way of contracts to give my employer, how to address tax issues and so forth have been more than helpful. I will have a partner at the agency I work through assisting with my projects in case a client needs something whilst I'm away on trips. It will work out so well!

I am trying to convince the other 15 outside reps at my agency to join and many of them are looking over the info at the moment. I just cannot say enough great things about you guys! Not to mention: I called and talked to Gary last week about suggestions on a Med cruise around Greece. He directed me to mailpound where I found exactly what I needed and my client booked a $6000 trip today! You guys are fantastic. I hope to do a fam trip with you one day. A big thanks to Gary and to all of you there!

Julie Perry

"To my professional knowledge, OSSN (Outside Sales Support Network) is the longest standing and the most active travel industry voice and support system for the independent contractor/outside sales status agent body in North America. As I think about the endless and tireless hours I have spent traveling, researching, lobbying and working on issues on behalf of my industry to make it a better place for agents and supplier to live, play and work together on land or at sea, I honor my colleagues and peers of the OSSN.
As a professional travel industry writer and educator I can say hands down that any training or educational organization with a mission to 'better an industry' should be applauded vs. scrutinized. In my career, alot of what I have accomplished as well as contributed to this industry has been on behalfof my relationship with OSSN."

Mary Long
Meetings Ahoy! At Travel
Resource Center, Inc.
1630 S.E. Rex St.
Portland, OR 97202
Phone: 503 232-5362
Fax: 503 232-1952

After three years of pen and paper, I ordered the WesMarc Travelsales Ver. 2. It is wonderful! I cannot believe I waited this long (and used up so many trees) to finally get a software program that makes it so simple. Thanks for including it on your website.

Sherry Kennedy
The Vacation Shoppe

I just wanted to send a special "Thank You" for arranging the OSSN Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL , 9/30-10/3/99. The Embassay Suites was great and the workshops / conferences gave me the opportunity to meet with other ITC's and OSSN members. The experience quite rewarding. I obtained a wealth of information from the seminars and networking resources. I look forward to the next conference in, HAWAII, in 2000. Please keep me informed of any additional OSSN offers.

Beverly M. Ellis

Thank you for extending me this wonderful opportunity to learn about your great network. I have come away with fantastic ideas and better understanding of the travel business. Your directors and members have shared their knowledge and experiences with me. I am forever grateful to them all. I can't believe all that I have received from your organization in such a short time. THANK YOU!

I have sent in my check for membership. You should be receiving it in a few days. Thanks again for everything.

Patti Scrofine

I can't believe I've waited three years to check out what OSSN is all about! Our web site is just terrific; the best of any other association I belong to (ARTA/CLIA). Thank whomever developed, and maintains this super site.

Susan Sammons, ACC

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how important OSSN has been to me.

I was so frustrated working for other people. I hated the fact that I was out there finding, nurturing and closing the sale, then when the commission check arrived, I only received half of it and from that half, I spent money on gas, postage, toll calls and an appropriate and well thought out 'Thank You' gift for the client. I also had to stay on top of the agency owner, to make sure she was sending in payments on time, etc. I KNEW THERE HAD TO BE A BETTER WAY!

Then came her dreaded mistake. I traveled to Spain over Christmas, and she handed me a few trade magazines to read on the plane. Well, one of the magazines, 'Travel Life,' had an excellent article entitled, 'Working-At-Home: The Next Big Thing.' This article showed me travel agents working from home and making it. I KNEW IT!

I knew this could be done, even though the woman I worked for as an Outside Agent, told me I couldn't, that you have to have a storefront, an IATA number, and I could NEVER get an account with Apple or Funjet, on and on and on. At the end of the article, it gave phone numbers for NACTA, OSSN, American Association of Home-Based Businesses and ASTA. I called you and NACTA and decided to join you because I felt the benefits that OSSN offers are more directed toward empowering the Outside Agent to take control of their own career and with knowledge, comes success. (And with this knowledge, she just lost her top producer).

The direction I have received from OSSN and its members (the Bulletin Board is a lifesaver!) has guided me to where I am today. Everything this retail travel agency owner told me I couldn't do, I learned I can do, and I did it! Today I am the Owner of my own home-based Travel Agency. One year ago, I didn't know this could be done and today, guess what...the commission checks come straight to Me!

Thank You for your guidance, and I look forward to continuing my education for success with OSSN!

Rhonda Alvarez
Crown Point, IN

It was truly a pleasure speaking with you this morning. I wanted to again take this opportunity to thank you for the time, kindness and interest you expressed to me. You were most gracious.

I never thought that there was an organization out there that specialized in helping the outside sales/ independent contractor. I'm so glad that ASTA told us to contact you.
I never thought I would be saying this, but it is with pleasure that we enclose our agency's membership/ affiliation dues. We are going to advise all of our independent/outside sales agents of our new affiliation with OSSN. I feel confident, that after they read the memo I will be submitting to them about OSSN, you will be receiving their dues of $85 shortly.

Again, thank you for your time and attention.

Michelle Duncan, CEO
Odyssey Travel, Inc.

What OSSN Is To Me
If I had to pick one word to refer to the Outside Sales Support Network, it would be "anchor." The travel industry is in the middle of perhaps the greatest transition it has ever seen. Airlines are cutting commissions, new rules are coming into effect that challenge the small business owner, clients are more sophisticated than they've ever been, and Independents are now taking their place among the most professional people in the industry.

"Independents"--the word really says it all. Travel agents who are forging a new pattern of association not only with the public but with the vendors, airlines and cruise lines themselves. It is a long and sometimes arduous journey, but it is because we have OSSN at our helm (or as our "anchor") that we are able to proceed as successfully as we have!

OSSN and Melody and Gary Fee have been our true leaders. They have united a large group of people who otherwise would be going in a hundred different directions. The Fees have been a "voice" for us--a loud voice--representing thousands of us who are trying to make a place for ourselves amongst this amazingly changing business. They are always--always--available to us for consultation and advise. (Did you ever know another association where your questions were answered promptly by it's president?) They have made themselves available to us, whether it's throught the Bulletin Boards, calling the office or just writing for help. We know they're there--they've proved it over and over again.

Having been in the travel industry for 15 years, I really can't say that I am proud of the travel organizations that lay claim to having such large memberships. In fact, I have been embarrassed by the lack of leadership and concern for its members that pervades this industry. But not so with the Fees and OSSN. They have given (I'm sure at great personal time and expense) a name, a concern and a professionalism to our sector of the travel business that previously had gone unnoticed--specifically it's sales people--truly the "backbone" of any professional group. You can have all the executives you like, but if you don't have the sales force going "full-steam" ahead, you have nothing.

Thank you, OSSN. You saw a need and you stepped up to the challenge magnificently. You've taken a group of really good people and turned us into an inspired team--one that continues to strive for pure excellence!

Joyce M. Fitzgerald
WorldWide Journeys

I have found OSSN a good association to join and how I can tell it's a strong, powerful group by Gary and Melody Fee.

My ideal way was to find a good organization through by asking my friends, clients, and associates about the organizations they belong to and inquire organizations that would best suit my needs. I ask the people that I admire and respect about their involvement in professional organizations and associations.

By attending a meeting I found different styles, personalities, purposes, and formats and I have found that being with OSSN members I look forward to attend meetings. OSSN is a strong group that have regularly scheduled meetings, clear member guidelines, and a board of officers.
Its focus to provide opportunities to team up with other business professionals and develop relationships that help me build my business and accomplish my professional goals.

Joining and participating with OSSN is a powerful organization is my wisest and best investments I made for myself, my business, and my career.
Gary and Melody Fee, thank you for OSSN.

Cleo Kanai

I just wanted to thank you and OSSN for all the help you've given me already. I am new at all this and nervous but OSSN is always there for me. My local chapter meetings are VERY interesting and my chapter leader, DJ Cutler, is a wonderful mentor. When I went on my first fam trip I talked to 40 other ITCs and told every one of them about OSSN and urged them to join ASAP. I very much look forward to meeting you at the Philadelphia picnic in July and thanking you in person.

Kathy Blankenbiller
Kelly Travel, Inc.

I am new to OSSN and to the area of being an IC. But let me tell you I am loving it so far! I have seen a lot of familar face in here just viewing the board And I hope to meet a lot more new ones. I can already see from just reading the message board, that this will be a very helpful and informative place for a new person such as myself!

Heather Harrison
NSEW Travel
Farmington Hills, MI

I posted a message the other day addressed to new ICs and I want to thank EVERYONE for your replies. The reason I joined OSSN was for this kind of support, and I am so pleased that my first message received such a response...thank you.

Kathie Mattoon

I just want to extend my thanks to you and OSSN for the phone contract with MIDCOM. I recently recieved my first full-month phone bill with MIDCOM and the total was less than half my previous phone bills. It's paying off for me.

Terry Keeling, ACC
AWA Travel

An OSSN member sent me a copy of your list of lawyers from your website. Thanks for including me. I think highly of OSSN, especially your educational cruise program.

Mark Pestronk
Travel Industry Attorney

OSSN provided me with the tools to start up my own company. I have become incorporated, licensed by the state, county and city, have the required bond for Florida and am in the process of getting E & O insurance and CLIA membership.

I have also learned a lot about the business through the resources provided by OSSN (seminars, online info) and have had a good mentor in Jeanne Zeigler, the local chapter president.

I am now ready to start and I feel OSSN has provided me with the ground work I needed. I still have a long way to go but experience will now be my teacher.

John M. Petrisin

OSSN has helped me tremendously as I learn the travel business as an outside agent.

While my host agency has been great to work with to get me started, I have found myself turning to the information OSSN provides to get clear, straight answers, information about changes in the industry, reference materials, training opportunities and discounts on trade materials.

I am thankful that OSSN exists for all of us members and that OSSN has established the member bulletin board system to provide us another way of networking and problem solving with other member across the country.
Thank you for being there.

Kim Howarth
Global Destinations
Travel Services

OSSN was the first organization I turned to when I established my independent agency.

Before I joined, I was truly running blind, not realizing the huge numbers of others like me. OSSN meetings put me together with others in my area that I could share stories and information with (or complain and vent my industry frustrations to, as the case may be). It was this connection with others that brought me the confidence to sell travel with pride.

Although OSSN offers wonderful opportunities with wholesalers, travelschools, publishers and so much more, it's always the comaraderie and strength in numbers OSSN provides that keeps me a member.

I feel the representation in the industry that OSSN also provides is extremely important. As the saying goes, "united we stand, divided we fall."

Thanks for the support!

Georgianna Rodhouse
Sand In Your
Shoes Travel

OSSN has been the best organization that I have ever joined! It was the first organization that I joined as well.

The support and information that I have received has been incredible and very valuable. My local chapter (Santa Rosa, CA) holds bi-monthly meetings, and the networking is the best. I have gotten a lot of valuable information from the different members as well as the suppliers that have come to our meetings.

The national conference in Las Vegas last September was very informative. I learned a great deal and got to meet some people that I "chatted" with on CompuServe in the old OSSN forum.

I would recommend this organization to every independent travel agent as it is a very valuable resource and one that an IC needs to be involved with!

Patricia Steiding

OSSN has helped me in more ways than one. I still remember how frustrated I got because there was no way to communicate with other outside sales agents on experiences they had or what they new.

The Connecticut chapter first gave me the opportunity to meet people locally, many of whom shared the same frustrations as me. At our meetings we often discuss what is happening in the field of travel and how we can work together.

Last September I attended the training session in Las Vegas. What I learned there in one day, has assisted me in doubling my income this year. Needless to say the bulletin board was the last major breakthrough. When I cannot find an answer anywhere else I turn to the bulletin board.

I hope in the next year I will be able to learn more on one of your training fams.
Thank you Gary and the entire team for what you have done.

Bill Potuchek

OSSN has been a great help in my relationship with my host agency. When I first started working, I had no contract and only verbal agreements with them. All went well for the first year until I began to make more money. Then the rules started changing and various expenses were unexpectedly subtracted from my pay. I did not have taxes withheld but was expected to come to staff meetings and to help cover the office.

I read about OSSN in the Travel Agent Magazine and attended a meeting in Massachusetts, actually the one that you spoke at, although I have my business in Rhode Island. Armed with your manual and access to your internet site, I have resolved all of the issues with my host agency, feel much more confident about my business and know that if I needed to I could change agencies with confidence.

I am hoping to take advantage of a FAM trip in the next year. Thanks for being there when we need help. With the changing travel business, it is important that we keep abreast of the chnages.

Jean Sanders

Being a new member I have a lot of time to experience the benefits of being a member.
I joined the Rochester, NY Chapter just a few weeks ago, but after attending only one meeting I had the opportunity to meet many people who are outside agents such as myself. It is very interesting to see the varied approaches that each person has as well as the different niches that they have sold to.
This WWW page access is in my opinion one the best ways for the members to interact with one another no matter what the distance between them. I have read through the messages and have benefited from them already!
I look forward to learning more from the people that are in the same situation as I am. Thank you for a great organization!

Scott Sharick

I cannot thank you enough. Sometimes it gets very frustrating when people won't take you seriously. I do love the travel business, and I love getting a great deal for my clients. I was in my first business for 21 years, so customer service is very important to me. I do appreciate your time and help everytime I have a problem. Again, thank you and a special thanks to OSSN. This group is my most valuable tool.

Frani Hahn

I am convinced now of OSSN's credibility, and I intend to remain a member if I may, as I have decided to go ahead with establishing and educate myself in travel. Please consider me a full member.


I visit the website daily for updated news and have gotten great results from the Bulletin Board. Keep up the good work, we ICs really appreciate you all!

Cecelia Baca, President
Custom Design & Research
CK Getaways, Inc.

It might interest you to know your members spoke highly of you folks and repeatedly complimented the fact that they were getting a lot of opportunities such as ours coming to them in the mail. Quote, "They are really working hard for us."

Pat Neidhardt, President
Aloha Marketing Group

After 8 years being "inside" the travel industry, I made a big step (to me) to become an independent contractor. I knew noone who had gone through this, worse, I only heard horror stories about outside agents who were in the business just for the perks. Would I lose the credibility I had built up over the years? Would I be get the picture. I had a lot of concerns.

I felt much better at my first OSSN chapter meeting. Kathy Belskis made sure everyone knew everyone and I found it low-key and informative. I found all the support I needed to know I made the right decision at these meetings. And, in turn, I have tried to give to the group as much as I have been given - with speaker referrals, taking an active role at meetings - doing my part to help others as OSSN has helped me.

Toni Nylander, CTC, DS

I feel that organizations such as yours are a breath of fresh air in this rather structured father knows best industry.

For a while I thought that I would not renew my membership with OSSN, then I received your "Network News" in which you addressed the so-called card mill frenzy. You have gone right to the point in this issue.

For a number of months I have wondered why ASTA and all of the others have been so busy running around in circles about perks. My reaction each time that I have read about perks is, "so what?" If the industry can fill a seat, a room or a berth with a discounted traveler, it is one more source of income to the industry.

ASTA and the industry went out and had IATAN become the watchdog of the industry with their cards. The same bunch are now talking about licensing agents.

It appears that we have a beuracracy which is more interested in protecting their domain than finding creative ways of promoting the agents and the industry. All of the furor over the caps, the lawsuit and all of the wailing did not accomplish much. All of that energy could have been used to find a way around the caps.

I closed down an agency due to the fact that I was tired of ARC and its dictatorial power, their total lack of interest in the well being of the front line agent. The requirements for a qualifier is archaic and one which came into being in the days of issuing tickets by hand.

Davis Stevenson
Condor Travel

I am an independent referring agent with STS Travel Inc., I am very new to the travel business. I have found any and all information that I have needed to assist me in booking travel requests.

I have found that your web site and BBS are of a great help to me in finding information from airfares to honeymoon packages. I am very glad that you are on the internet to assist me. I still am working a day job outside of the travel industry and it's very hard to contact people and get the information that I need during the day.

When I get home at night I use your website to get the information I need to get my travel business off the ground.

Sharon Paulson