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10 Fastest Growing Travel & Hospitality Companies 2017

Delivering a Stress-Free, Streamlined User Experience for Travelers and Arrangers Before, During, and After Every Trip: CI Azumano Travel

thesiliconreview-william-reed-atkins-jr-ceo-ci-azumano-travel-17“We listen to, understand and meet your evolving travel needs—with progressive solutions you can customize and control in real time.”

Philosopher Augustine of Hippo said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” This statement sums up the importance of traveling.

People travel not just to find new places and explore, but to “find” themselves too. Often, their livelihood requires travel as well. We are privileged to live in the 21st century, where due to the advancements in technology and engineering, we can travel a lot easier and a lot faster today. However, this doesn’t come without a downside. Now, we have ever increasing modes of transportation and schedules in which to do so. We also have extensive procedures to follow due to cost constraints and safety concerns. Without proper guidance, traveling can be a nightmare.

Headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with offices and client on-site locations throughout the U.S., CI Azumano Travel is a travel management company, which provides customized travel services to businesses, government agencies, and vacation travelers. The firm focuses on these customer segments by structuring itself into these three distinct business units each serving the specific needs of those travelers. This focus has created rapid growth in all three segments as clients find consultants who know and understand their particular needs.

Genesis of CI Azumano

The company was founded in 1972. It was initially established to sell cabins for cruise lines before they did this themselves. Then known as “CI Travel”, CI would charter the cruise vessel and then sell the cabins. After a few years, the cruise lines developed their own sales capability and CI was forced to change its business model. At that point, the Company became a traditional travel agency serving leisure or vacation travelers. Not long afterwards, the company began serving business and federal government travelers and today, those are the company’s largest customer segments.

In January 2012, Reed Atkins became President and CEO. Not long after, in November, 2012, CI purchased Azumano Travel Services, Inc., a Portland, Oregon company with over sixty years of history operating in the Pacific Northwest. The combined company was then rebranded as CI Azumano Travel. Atkins purchased the company in December 2015 and today, CI Azumano has become one of the largest travel management companies in the US, with its fast growing Business Travel division leading the way. Approximately 80% of the Company’s revenue comes from managing travel for corporations and some of the largest federal government agencies.

The Prevalent Business Travel Landscape

Travel, for many companies, is one of the largest line items on their profit and loss statement. Travel is increasingly viewed as not just an expense, but an investment, with an expectation that it will generate future benefits. It is often scrutinized for necessity, and then evaluated later for its return on investment (ROI). This is one of several key reasons why corporations and federal agencies require a managed travel solution led by an experienced travel management company. CI Azumano helps companies develop and determine their needs and goals, and then establishes a travel program and policies to achieve those goals. They become a key partner in helping their clients maintain compliance with their policy, with a keen feel for the degree and manner of enforcement given the culture of client’s organization. What steps CI Azumano takes to manage their clients travel is important. How CI Azumano manages the process and the client’s travelers is the “secret sauce” that organizations of various sizes, complexity, and culture value so highly. CI Azumano manages the entire series of touchpoints with its clients by linking technology, sales, service and reporting into a seamless end-to-end solution. “Our clients are only customers for a small part of their lives. They are human beings for 100 percent of their time.” CI Azumano makes the travel plans and experience for the traveler as easy, pleasant, and productive as possible. This benefits both the employee, whose career may involve substantial sacrifices of time and energy while traveling, and the employer/client who understands the need for comfort and productivity for their employees. 

Mission and Vision Statement

Being nimble, flexible and adaptable, CI Azumano Travel has positioned itself as the true partner for individual corporate and federal government agency needs. There is no “one size fits all” mentality to the client. Instead, each client is regarded individually and the extensive experience that CI Azumano has across many different types of businesses and agencies is brought to the proposed solution. Driven by the vision statement “Excellence beyond Expectation in everything we do for our employees, clients, and community”, CI Azumano Travel is a team of people dedicated to delivering customer services and solutions based on listening carefully to the needs and goals of its customers and responding effectively with innovative applications of service and technology. CI Azumano aims to be the travel management company of choice to any organization that values the need for unique and flexible solutions for their individual travel programs.

President and CEO, Reed Atkins Jr, talks about his love for his work

“Thinking back over my career, I have worked almost exclusively in service and distribution industries. The idea of a company surviving by delivering value through thought or action, as opposed to a physical product, has always been fascinating to me. That is probably because I have always valued learning and improving, and encouraging those around me to do the same. As a travel management company, our ideas, processes, programming, and communication are our product, and they have to produce a measurable benefit to the client. Otherwise, we will fail to add the value that is expected. In service and distribution businesses, you had better meet your commitments, or that failure is imminent. I enjoy having that awareness, and pressure, as a motivator to drive learning and improvement. Most of my time is spent with our customers and our employees, trying to do ensure we do just that…..and to connect the important dots for a successful future”.

Client Reviews

“I am sincerely impressed by CI Azumano Travel Business. They handled my complex business trip with ease and every part of the way was pleasant for me. Even when I had trouble at an airport, they were there to support me and gave me the right direction to fix the situation. Thank you much and I look forward to working with you in the future for all of my business travels!”

- Malcom Johnson

“Honoured to have worked with CI Azumano for over two decades; honest, caring, hard working, knowledgeable, and efficient. Trust your business to travel better with CI Azumano.”

Greet the Leader 

William Reed Atkins Jr, President and CEO: Reed Atkins, Jr. joined the CI Azumano Travel team as Vice President and CFO in May 2008. Effective January 1, 2012, Atkins became President and CEO of CI Azumano Travel. The challenges

and opportunities that Reed has encountered throughout his career as a turnaround and restructuring executive in service and distribution business facing strategic redirection has been instrumental in developing CI Azumano Travel as a leader in the travel industry.

After leading a large international service company as President of their U.S. division, Reed teamed with a former colleague and purchased a wholesale distribution business serving the automotive aftermarket. Over a ten year period, they successfully turned around the operation and augmented its growth with over ten acquisitions, yielding an average annual growth of over 40% before being acquired by a national competitor. After the sale of that company in 2000, Reed was recruited to a large, private equity backed, distribution business and served as its CFO and then interim CEO/CRO through 2004. With revenues of over $400 million, the company was successfully restructured and operates successfully today. Until joining CI Azumano in 2008, he continued to provide turnaround, restructuring, as well as investment banking and intermediary services, to numerous service and distribution businesses.

Reed received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and Management from Furman University, located in Greenville, South Carolina. He received his Master’s degree (MBA) in Business Administration from the College of William and Mary, located in Williamsburg, Virginia. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

“We listen to, understand and meet your evolving travel needs—with progressive solutions you can customize and control in real time.”

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