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Alexandria, VA, February 12, 2016 –ASTA Small Business Network.org (SBN) continues to expand its popular Chapter Program to better support the independent travel consultant by opening a new chapter for the Greater Chicago Area. Janine Ferko, Owner of Dreamscape Travel Group, has been appointed Chapter Director.

“I believe as advisors we should continue to learn about our industry, network and build relationships with our suppliers,” said Ferko, who has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. “Meeting in person, networking and knowing what is going on in the industry is a vital part of staying connected. I am pleased to take on this leadership role with SBN in the Greater Chicago Area in support of all travel consultants.”

SBN now has 52 chapters across North America representing $600 million in leisure sales annually. The association has 1,900 members including travel consultants, host agencies and suppliers.

“It is rewarding to now have a SBN chapter in Chicago,” said SBN President Ann Chamberlin. “I am very familiar with the high level of talented travel consultants in Chicago and the northwest suburbs from my past career in the area. The local travel professionals have the opportunity to make this new chapter flourish.”

SBN's annual conference is the main venue for learning among SBN members. Travel consultants will head to Fort Lauderdale Nov. 3-9 for a conference experience on land and sea at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Hotel and Celebrity's Infinity sailing to The Bahamas. SBN also has already announced the destination chosen for the 2017 SBN Annual Convention—Anchorage, Alaska. Conference attendees will have a variety of pre- and post-conference FAMs to choose from.

Over the past two years, SBN chapters have held 325 meetings across the country, allowing travel consultants to network with other like-minded travel professionals, and stay abreast of industry issues and supplier product offerings. SBN members also are welcome at many ASTA (American Society of Travel Advisors) meetings and events, and their $165 annual dues entitles them to attend the ASTA Maui Showcase in May at the ASTA rate.

Community, Education and Training for career travel consultants remains the focal point of SBN for its members as SBN celebrates its 30-year anniversary this year. Travel consultants wishing to learn more and network with other industry professionals should contact natca@SBN.com. A complete list of membership benefits and information can be found by visiting www.SBN.com.

The National Association of Career Travel advisors (SBN) is the travel industry’s leading national trade association representing independent contractors, outside sales consultants, cruise and tour-oriented consultants, group oriented travel professionals and traditional ARC-appointed travel agencies that provide services and support to such professionals. Established in 1986, SBN’s mission is to represent the interest of independent travel entrepreneurs and to promote professionalism and recognition for the professional independent consultant. SBN is an affiliate of ASTA, the American Society of Travel Advisors, the world’s largest travel trade association.