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The Group Travel Leader Small Market Meetings Going on Faith

Select Traveler Conference Heads for Sunny California in February.

Trips and Tours

The CVB knows that some delegates will want the freedom to go off on their own to explore the area, and they will be given that opportunity during the conference. That may mean some will want to visit L.A. for all its big-city excitement or will want to dip their toes into the Pacific Ocean, perhaps for the first time; some may want to see a desert and a snowy mountaintop, all in the same day. “Why not offer them that variety?” asked Oxarart. “We are giving everybody a lot of free time to explore.”

The CVB will emphasize the wonderful outdoor activities available in the Ontario area. “Most of the people who come to Ontario in February want to take advantage of being outside,” said Oxarart. “They have been cooped up in colder weather — for a lot of people, in snow. They love the idea of just getting outside in the warmth. They take pictures and send them back to their friends and family in cold areas and brag ‘Look at me, I’m standing by a palm tree with shorts on.’”

Shopping will be on the minds of a lot of convention attendees. Ontario has some world-class shopping destinations, like Ontario Mills, just two miles from the convention center. “They have more than 225 stores,” said Oxarart. “It is a discount outlet and value one-story shopping center. It is built from a racetracklike design, meaning an oval, and if you walk all around that “racetrack,” you have just put in a mile.”

Ontario Mills has some of the biggest names in men’s, women’s and children’s apparel; footwear; jewelry; and sporting goods. Shoppers will find stores from prominent retail names such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Coach Factory Store and Tommy Hilfiger. Restaurants include RainForest Café, Dave and Buster’s and GameWorks. The Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theatre will keep people laughing. AMC 30 Theaters screens the most popular films daily. “There is always something fun to do at Ontario Mills,” said Oxarart.

Since Southern California has such pleasant weather year-round, shopping outdoors is popular. In nearby Rancho Cucamonga, visitors will find Victoria Mills. It is a walkable, open-air, mixed-use community featuring shopping, restaurants and entertainment. Victoria Mills features many top brand-name stores, a cultural arts center, a large modern movie theater and various public plazas ideal for resting and sipping a drink in between scurrying around. The local restaurant scene is noted for its abundance of fusion cuisine.

Speakers: Mind-set and Laughs

Select Traveler Conference attendees will be both inspired and entertained by the speakers scheduled to appear. One works in a fascinating field: mental performance. Amber Lattner, founder of Lattner Performance Group, strives to emphasize the power of mind-set and leadership to boost the performance of people in business, academics or athletics. She says her group’s mission is building championship mind-sets.

“I hope that we can help people, or their team or business, to find, develop and share their greatness with the world,” she writes on her website.

Driven, even as a child, Lattner reveals that one of the highlights of her life was playing soccer at the University of Notre Dame. However, an injury ended her college playing career and “the identity crisis that ensued forced a type of introspection for which I am eternally grateful,” she said. “I became very aware of the power of mind-set and just how critical a solid foundation of self becomes when most else is stripped away.”

At the conference, count on Lattner to share more of her inspirational life story and ways we all can improve our performances with the proper mind-set.

Another conference speaker will be Suzette Brawner, who is often asked to address groups at universities, corporations, civic organizations and churches. She blends reality with humor to get across her messages about how best to communicate in this complicated world.

Brawner believes communication has changed dramatically in the past two decades, mainly because of the internet, and that “misunderstandings often begin with miscommunication.” She says many of us get into trouble not only because of what we say, but because we didn’t carefully listen to what someone else said to us. “And then we have to scramble to get out of it,” said Brawner.

Brawner’s observations about communication and the best ways to get our messages across are practical and useful, but also may elicit some hard laughter. She urges people to not take things so seriously and to find a way to roll with life’s punches.

“Many people are so uptight,” she observed. “But I love to laugh, and I try to fill my life with laughter. I think it’s good for us.”