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Last Update: Friday December 15, 2017

Key Idea: Bring in Money and Advice

The owners recruited some retired executives to help them grow.

Key Question:


Kathleen and Judy felt they had taken the business as far as they could so
they took on partners. These men have put money in the company but also serve on a newly formed board of directors. They are both retired from big companies and know how to take what Kathleen and Judy have built and expand it to other cities. In fact, they have changed the name of the company from Sample Salt Lake to Meetings America. The name change alone has enlarged the vision and will cause the business to grow. Why? Because having a vision to focus on lets everyone know what direction to take.

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Are you stuck?  Should you look for fresh ideas? 

Clip from: Meetings America

Salt Lake City:  Meet  Kathleen Barnes and Judy Cannon.  Both of them are in love with their hometown. And, both of them separately became part time  tour guides for the tiny destination management company, Sample Salt Lake.  Then, together these two became quick studies of business operations when the owner of the business asked them to take over. With their cadre of part-time and full-time guides and planners, they all love everything about this special place.

They bought the business and changed the name to Meetings America.  They grew strong enough to win the 2002 Winter Olympics as a client.  Then, unexpectedly,  the husband of one of the guides, Ralph Johnson, made them an offer they couldn't refuse! They sold the business!

Go to the homepage and all the video for this episode...

Meetings America

Judy Cannon, former owner

210 North Redwood Road
North Salt Lake City, UT 84054

Visit our web site:

Office: 8019949000

Business Classification:
Travel Services

Year Founded: 1984

Bring in Money and Advice

(Voiceover) With seven full-time and 15 part-time employees, Sample Salt Lake is newly named MeetingsAmerica and is positioning itself to roll out on a national scale.

KATHLEEN: We're gathering together a pool of people that know how to help us move the industry into the big arena.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Hal Milner and George Paulson have invested cash and time to turn MeetingsAmerica into a growth company.

Mr. HAL MILNER: I've known Kathy for a long time, really since college. I've always admired what she's done. I sold my company and retired. I thought this might be an opportunity. So I met with Kathy and suggested that if we could work together, we'd put together an investment group, put in some money and take this company to the next level.

GEORGE PAULSON: We expect to go throughout America with this concept and, later, internationally.

HAL: We have four key investors in our investment group. Part of it was putting up money, and the other part was contributing some time without pay as part of your investment.

GEORGE: We feel that, with our background and years of experience, that we can perhaps add something and help the business be more successful as it grows and develops.

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