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Direct Travel Continues M&I Expansion In Canada

Direct Travel, Inc has announced the acquisition of Meridican, a Toronto-based Meetings & Incentive company and the subsequent alignment of Strategic Meetings + Incentives, a division of Vision Travel, A Direct Travel Company, under the management of Creative Group, a full-service meeting, incentive and recognition company based in Schaumburg, Illinois, USA.

These companies will be rebranded Creative Group effective Oct. 11.

Ed Adams, CEO of Direct Travel, said: “The acquisition of Meridican and the alignment of Strategic Meetings + Incentives under Creative Group is consistent with our strategy of global expansion.”

Janet Traphagen, president of Creative Group, explained that: “The addition of Meridican and Strategic Meetings + Incentives allows us to grow our international portfolio and enables all of us to better service companies that have offices in both Canada and the United States.”

Traphagen continued: “In addition, these moves continue the diversification of our client portfolio, increase our buying power and strengthen our talent base. The award-winning work created by both of these offices, and the service they provide to their clients, is world-class and aligns well with that of Creative Group.”

Founded in 1974, Strategic Meetings + Incentives, Toronto, is a pioneer in the meetings and incentives industry in Canada and recognized as a world leader in the industry. Its business savvy approach, with a focus on accountability and innovative solutions, has been vital to its success.

Meridican has been providing Canadian and U.S. based clients with meetings and incentive programs for over 30 years. Like Creative Group, Meridican has always had a goal of constant improvement, bringing new technology and innovative program elements to their incentive programs and events.

Anthony Byron, president of Meridican, observed: “The purchase will allow Meridican to continue to service its clients in the same exemplary manner. In addition, Creative Group’s business approach and culture align with ours, making this a win-win for everyone.”

Local leadership will be retained to run the new offices in Toronto.

Ellie MacPherson, formerly senior vice-president, Strategic Meetings + Incentives will be responsible for the overall management of the Canadian entity as senior vice-president, Canada Operations, Creative Group.

Said MacPherson: “I’m excited to be aligning under the Creative Group brand.  I have always respected the outstanding work delivered by Creative Group, its client tenure and its outstanding team. Our team looks forward to offering our broad spectrum of long-standing clients in financial, insurance, automotive and energy with the new and additional services our alignment with Creative Group will provide.”

Terry Manion, previously executive vice-president of Meridican, has been appointed senior vice-president, business development Canada, Creative Group and will lead the Canadian based business development team.

Manion states that: “Our joining Creative Group will allow us to provide additional depth, services and incentive solutions that will augment our current offerings – bringing enhanced value to our clients.”

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