September 29, 2010

People on the Move

Hospitality Management Systems

Reservations

Marketing / Management

Revenue Management

Sales & Catering, Meeting Planning

F&B / POS

Guest Services

Inventory / Purchasing

Communications / Infrastructure

Security

SEPTEMBER 15 – 29, 2010

TOP O’ THE NEWS

  • Hospitality companies rank high as innovative users of technology
  • AmEx survey reports business travelers of all ages make full use of current technology
  • Michael Kasavana releases sixth edition of “Managing Technology in the Hospitality Industry” textbook

Firmly putting the lie to the oft-repeated statement that “hospitality is always a late adopter of technology”, three hospitality companies are in the Top 50 of InformationWeek’s annual listing of the best companies at using technology in innovative ways. Special kudos to InterContinental Hotels Group for coming in at #2, for its work on mobile-booking sites and willingness to experiment with technologies such as OpenWays cell-phone based guestroom “acoustic key” (see below).


Hospitality companies recognized in the top 250 of the listing are:
#2 – InterContinental Hotels Group
#41 – Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
#45 – Pegasus Solutions
#53 – Marriott International
#97 – Travelport
#127- Sabre Holdings
#128 – Hyatt Hotels
#158 – Best Western International
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A survey of travel managers and business travelers gives the lie to the persistent myth that only the young and hip take advantage of modern technology while traveling. The research, by American Express Business Travel in collaboration with the Institute of Travel and Meetings (ITM), indicates that seasoned travelers are as interested and eager to use virtual connection methods as their younger colleagues.

The study looked at the roles technology plays as an Alternative to Travel, such as video-conferencing and telepresence, and as an Enabler of Travel, such as mobile devices enhancing productivity while on the road and in virtual office situations. Most respondents agreed that new technology-based communication methods are now the norm for the majority of internal meetings, particularly regularly ones. For outside meetings, however, only 22% reported that video conferencing allows them to influence, negotiate and maintain the relationships required for revenue-generating and client-facing activity. Most believe that face-to-face meetings continue to be essential in many situations.

The survey also debunked the notion that generation Y is leading the charge in new technology usage, finding that technology adoption is not age specific. Travelers are willing and ready to use whatever tools and methods meet their personal and corporate objectives, regardless of their time spent or level achieved in corporate life.
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Michael Kasavana (of Michigan State University) has released the sixth edition of his well-respected textbook on Managing Technology in the Hospitality Industry, published by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) and a staple of many colleges’ hospitality management programs. The sixth edition features 10 new sections covering benchmarking hospitality technology, social networking, Internet marketing, self-service technologies, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), open and closed payment systems, PCI compliance, menu item pricing, inventory replenishment, and data mining. The book also comes with a keycode for access to additional online instructional components.
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PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

  • Kimberly Lambeth promoted to Senior Director – Business Development at PSAV
  • HFTP announces formation of HITEC Executive Vendor Advisory Council

Kimberly Lambeth has been promoted to Senior Director – Business Development at PSAV Presentation Services, from Director of Association Sales. Ms. Lambeth joined PSAV in 2006 as Director of Sales; before then she spent 10 years working for AVMG, an event technology company based in Richardson, Texas.
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HFTP announced the formation of a HITEC Executive Vendor Advisory Council, selected by a lottery of vendors from HITEC 2010 and charged with providing advice on education, trends and topics for industry wide White Papers. The council will also assist HFTP in marketing HITEC and in helping the HITEC Advisory Council develop educational topics for HITEC 2011.
The new council consists of:
Bruce Bensetler, President of Data Plus Hospitality Solutions
Tom Duke, CTO of iBAHN
Dan Fasik, VP of Hospitality for Symon Message Link
Jon Johnston, Vice President of Electric Mirror
Graham Martin, CEO of EnOcean Alliance
Terry McGowan, President of Datanamics Non Stop Networks
Bob Palloni, COO of Skyware Hospitality Solutions
Doug Schwartz, President of Innovation Technologies Worldwide
Jeff Venza, President and CEO of Venza Group
plus
Cindy Estis Green, CEO of The Estis Group and 2011 HITEC Advisory Council Co-chair
Allison Morris, Senior IT Manager for Harrah’s Entertainment and 2011 HITEC Advisory Council Co-chair
Frank Wolfe, CEO of HFTP
Jennifer Lee, Director of Marketing for HFTP
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HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • SoftBrands acquires Amadeus’ PMS division
  • Ariane Systems establishes Technical Advisory Board

Infor’s SoftBrands division has acquired Amadeus IT Group’s Property Management Systems division. The addition of Amadeus’ 4,200 clients, mostly in Europe, makes SoftBrands now the second largest provider of hospitality software, with an installed base of more than 9,700 properties worldwide. SoftBrands will support and maintain all existing Amadeus PMS applications; Bruno des Fontaines, general manager for Amadeus Hotel PMS division, will join SoftBrands’ senior leadership.
Although it might seem at first sight that SoftBrands can’t break the habit of adding multiple HMS brands to its portfolio, this acquisition makes a great deal of sense for both parties. Amadeus PMS’ strong presence in EMEA and APAC complements SoftBrands’ coverage of the Americas and Asia-Pacific well, and the deal for its independent-property/ small chain systems frees Amadeus to concentrate on its new, fully-integrated Hotel Platform.
(www.amadeus.com/hotelit, www.infor.com)
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Ariane Systems has established a Technical Advisory Board for input on how to enhance the guest check-in/out experience, composed of executives from InterContinental Hotels Group, Hilton Worldwide, Louvre Hotels, Choice Hotels Scandinavia and The Rezidor Hotel Group. TAB members will also collaborate on technical issues, helping to ensure that all Ariane Integrated Hotel Systems (including the web/mobile check-in/out application currently scheduled for release later this year) will maintain security and data integrity. (www.ariane-systems.com)
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RESERVATIONS

  • Columbus Internet, Hotels.com launch Hotels WithMe Facebook app in the UK
  • One&Only Resorts picks Pegasus Global Commission Processing Services for five properties
  • Bing releases Travel Planner add-in for Outlook
  • Hotel Lotti implementing FastBooking’s Web Traffic Builder, Hotel Traffic Builder
  • Magnuson Hotels expands listing with Expedia to include all 1,500 properties
  • Amadeus selling Opodo
  • Best Western Blunsdon House Hotel implements Protel’s Social Netbooking booking engine on Facebook
  • KDS adds Hotelzon’s 100,000+ hotel inventory to KDS Corporate travel /expense management application

Berlin-based Columbus Internet and Hotels.com have launched a new Facebook app, ‘Hotels WithMe’, in the UK.
The app allows Facebook friends to share hotel information through Facebook in order to make a collective decision on a destination property by responding to invitations to join a ‘trip’, from which they can search for hotels together, vote for their preferred property and write notes about them. Once agreed, clicking the “book” button links through to the Hotels.com booking page. (www.columbus-internet.com/en)
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One&Only Resorts has chosen Pegasus Solutions’ Global Commission Processing Services for commission tracking and payment services for five of its six resorts, in Los Cabos, Mauritius, the Maldives, Cape Town and the Royal Mirage in Dubai. (www.oneandonlyresorts.com, www.pegs.com)
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Bing has released its Travel Planner for Outlook, an add-in for Outlook 2007 and 2010 that provides access to Bing Travel’s decision making tools as well as the user’s preferred online travel agencies and airline companies.
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NH Hotels’ Hotel Lotti in Paris is implementing FastBooking’s Web Traffic Builder and Hotel Traffic Builder on its new Web site. (www.hotel-lotti-paris.com, www.fastbooking.com)
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Spokane, Wash-based Magnuson Hotels has signed a long-term agreement with Expedia, expanding its existing inventory exposure there to include all of its 1,500 independently owned and operated properties, predominantly in North America but with a growing presence in the U.K. (www.magnusonhotels.com, www.expedia.com)
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Amadeus is selling its Opodo online travel agency, in which it acquired a stake of 99.4% in 2004. London-based Opodo, whose name is a shortening of “opportunity to do,” operates in nine countries. (www.opodo.com)
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The 116-room Best Western Blunsdon House Hotel, UK has implemented Protel’s Social Netbooking booking engine, which is integrated into Facebook. Users can complete an entire booking straight from the hotel’s Facebook fan page without having to leave Facebook or visit another website, claimed to be an industry first. (www.blunsdonhouse.co.uk, www.protel-hotel-software.com)
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Travel and expense (T&E) management vendor KDS is adding Hotelzon’s 100,000+ worldwide hotel inventory to its KDS Corporate application. Loyalty cards for chains such as Marriott, Hilton and InterContinental Hotels Group can still be used when booking through Hotelzon. (www.kds.com, www.hotelzon.com)
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MARKETING / MANAGEMENT

  • Castle Hill Inn, Newport, RI implements UniFocus’ GUESTScope
  • Pearl Hotel New York contracts with Open Hospitality for website design and Internet marketing services
  • VIZERGY picks Peak 10 for infrastructure management and network services
  • Aptech integrating Clarabridge sentiment and text analytics engine into Execuvue BI application
  • GuestCentric Systems opens Developers Cloud to independent web designers and software developers
  • Pegasus extends agreement with VFM Leonardo to include Utell
  • Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas partners with SkyWire Media for SMS text marketing initiative

Castle Hill Inn, a Relais & Châteaux property, has implemented UniFocus’ GUESTScope service survey and analysis tools. Operated by Newport Harbor Corp. in Newport, RI, Castle Hill Inn includes the Agassiz Mansion, Harbor House rooms, Beach House rooms, Beach Cottages, Chalet and four dining rooms. (www.newportharbor.com, www.unifocus.com)
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The Pearl Hotel New York has contracted with Open Hospitality for website design and Internet marketing services. (www.pearlhotelnyc.com, www.openhospitality.com)
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VIZERGY has signed with Peak 10 for infrastructure and virtualization management, server monitoring and network services for its Web-based marketing tools for the hospitality and apartment marketing industries. (www.peak10.com, www.vizergy.com)
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Aptech Computer Systems has selected Clarabridge sentiment and text analytics engine for integration into its Execuvue Business Intelligence application, allowing operators to correlate guest sentiments with property performance. Clarabridge provides the ability to automatically collect, classify, apply sentiment analysis and report on text-based comments found in customer feedback channels. (www.clarabridge.com, www.aptech-inc.com)
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GuestCentric Systems has opened its Developers Cloud to independent web designers and software developers worldwide, helping them provide their customers with an end-to-end solution based on an existing hotel e-commerce cloud. The Developers Cloud is GuestCentric’s second step in opening its community, following its earlier launch of a WordPress booking engine plug-in and the Joomla! booking engine module. (http://developers.guestcentric.com)
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Pegasus Solutions has extended its agreement with VFM Leonardo to include its Utell hotel representation service, allowing Utell to offer VFM Leonardo’s VBrochure online merchandising system to its 11,000 member hotels. (www.utellportal.com, www.utell.com)
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Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas announced a partnership with SkyWire Media on a multi-level SMS text marketing initiative for its mobile member database. Hard Rock will use SkyWire’s Rooms and Coupon Connect mobile platform to send its opt-in guests targeted SMS text messages for exclusive offers and incentives. (www.hardrockhotel.com, www.skywiremedia.com)
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REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • eRevMax adds GDS Shopping from ReservHOTEL to RateTiger’s Shopper module
  • LeisureLink launches Active Revenue Management (ARM)
  • Bertrams Hotel Guldsmeden implements EzRMS
  • Four Winds Casino Resort deploys IDeaS’ V5i

eRevMax has added GDS Shopping to RateTiger’s Shopper module through an integration with ReservHOTEL, allowing clients using RTSuite and RTCorp to obtain competitive intelligence reports from the Global Distribution Systems (GDS).
GDS Shopping is also available as an integration module in RTConnect, RateTiger’s XML channel management gateway, which added its 600th integrated two-way distribution channel. (www.erevmax.com)
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LeisureLink has launched its Active Revenue Management (ARM) system, combining real time market data (including pricing and consumer demand) with proprietary pricing algorithms to adjust rates in real time to maximize revenues and occupancy. (www.LeisureLink.com)
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Copenhagen’s Bertrams Hotel Guldsmeden has implemented Easy (Ez) Revenue Management Solutions (EasyRMS) Core module, including an upload interface to ChannelDirect and an extraction interface with the property’s AK Techotel PMS. (www. hotelguldsmeden.com , www.EasyRMS.com)
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Michigan-based Four Winds Casino Resort has deployed IDeaS’ V5i On-Demand Revenue Management system, with Floor Override, Best Available Rate (BAR) module, Group Pricing and Evaluation and Last Room Value (LRV) functions. (www.fourwindscasino.com, www.ideas.com)
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SALES & CATERING, MEETING PLANNING

  • Tacoma Regional CVB signs with Meetingmax Systems for online housing reservations
  • Village Hotels chooses Nexus to manage bid responses for its 22 properties
  • Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel and Convention Center, Orlando, FL, deploys Passkey’s GroupMAX
  • Grand Sierra Resort announces full deployment of Passkey’s GroupMAX
  • Passkey’s GroupMAX receives 2010 WMA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Web Development

Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB) has signed with Meetingmax Systems to handle its online housing reservation needs, which cover 87 hotels and 6,000 hotel rooms, allowing meeting planners to secure blocks of housing through the CVB and manage their bookings through one central portal. Conference attendees are sent a link to explore participating hotels and book their own rooms. (www.traveltacoma.com, www.meetingmaxsystems.com)
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The UK’s Village Hotels has chosen Nexus to manage bid responses for Corporate and Consortia hotel programs at its 22 properties. (www.village-hotels.co.uk, www.nexusworldservices.com)
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The Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel and Convention Center in Orlando, FL, has deployed Passkey’s GroupMAX application.

Grand Sierra Resort announced its full deployment of Passkey’s GroupMAX application. Grand Sierra, in Reno/Tahoe, is the largest destination in Northern Nevada with nearly 2,000 guest rooms and over 200,000 square feet of usable meeting, function and exhibit space.

Passkey International’s GroupMAX has received the 2010 Web Marketing Association’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Web Development in the Hotel and Lodging sector. Entries are judged on design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copywriting and ease of use; GroupMAX outscored the Hotel and Lodging sector averages as well as the broader WebAward averages in all seven categories.
(www.thecaribeorlando.com, www.grandsierraresort.com, www.passkey.com)

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F&B/POINT OF SALE

  • Munchbar picjs InfoGenesis POS, TMx time management software for new outlet in Caesars Palace
  • SugarHouse Casino opens with MICROS Simphony and Workstation 5A terminals
  • Agilysys releases version 4.2.0 of InfoGenesis

Munchbar in Las Vegas has selected Agilysys’ InfoGenesis POS system and TMx time management software for its new outlet in Caesars Palace. (www.munchgroup.com, www.agilysys.com)
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SugarHouse Casino, Philadelphia’s first casino, has opened with MICROS Simphony and Workstation 5A terminals. SugarHouse includes nearly 1,600 slots, 40 table games and several dining outlets. (www.sugarhousecasino.com, www.micros.com)
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Agilysys has released version 4.2.0 of its InfoGenesis POS software, featuring both modernization of its infrastructure and functional enhancements in reporting, screen layout configuration, property management system interface improvements and Blackboard campus card payment options. (www.agilysys.com)
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GUEST SERVICES

  • iTRAVELLER survey from iBAHN, Ypartnership confirms travelers’ strong desire for good quality HSIA
  • Beau Rivage Hotel installing Quadriga’s Sensiq guest communications portal
  • InterContinental’s test of OpenWays now live at Holiday Inn & Suites Chicago O’Hare Rosemont, Holiday Inn Express Houston Downtown
  • Intercontinental announces new property compliance standards for HSIA, include 100% coverage
  • Best Western Hotell Bondeheimen first Scandinavian hotel fully equipped with LED televisions and IP technology
  • Morgans Hotel Group pilots custom Apple iPads for guests at Royalton hotel
  • Singapore’s Naumi Hotel introduces iPads as service touch points at Front Desk and F&B areas

The second annual iTRAVELLER survey from iBAHN and Ypartnership confirms frequent travelers’ strong desire for good quality, high speed hotel Internet access (HSIA) service, to the extent that nearly half of the respondents were willing to pay for it to meet their business, personal information and entertainment requirements while travelling. The in-room flat screen is seen as a practical digital portal, with 54% of respondents wanting a monitor capable of viewing the Internet, 62% to review guest charges, 61% to check out, 55% for travel services shopping, 53% to order room service and 53% to set a wake-up call. Over 80% of the respondents said that their companies reimburse them for HSIA use at hotels. The demand is clearly there if such a high percentage of travelers and companies will pay for good HSIA, but there’s no word on whether they’re happy about it. (www.ypartnership.com, www.ibahn.com)
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The 66-room Beau Rivage Hotel in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, is installing Quadriga’s Sensiq guest communications portal as part of its renovation program, the first hotel in Switzerland to do so. (www.beau-rivage-hotel.ch, www.quadriga.com)
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InterContinental Hotels’ pilot test of OpenWays acoustic-key guestroom locking system is now live at the Holiday Inn & Suites Chicago O’Hare Rosemont and the Holiday Inn Express Houston Downtown. OpenWays delivers an encrypted tone to the guest’s mobile phone for replay at the lock. The Houston property uses electronic locks from KAA’s SAFLOK Group, while the Chicago site uses ONITY locks; at each property, 100% of the locks were retrofitted.

Intercontinental Hotels Group has announced new property compliance standards for High-Speed Internet Access, taking effect January 31, 2011 and mandating a minimum of 7.5MB bandwidth and 100% coverage in all guestrooms, public spaces and meeting rooms.
(www.openways.com, www.ichotelsgroup.com)
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Norway’s 130-room Best Western Hotell Bondeheimen, Oslo will become the first hotel in Scandinavia to be entirely equipped with LED televisions and IP technology, using Samsung Electronics televisions and OTRUM content management. (www.bondeheimen.com, www.otrum.com)
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Morgans Hotel Group plans to provide guests at its Royalton hotel with custom Apple iPads to supplement its concierge program. The initiative launches during New York Fashion Week and continuing thereafter with various unique features and content. The iPads provide one touch access to hotel services including in-room dining, housekeeping, wake up calls, valet parking/bellman, internet, hotel information, transportation options, maps and directions. Functions unique to Morgans include:
– A collaboration with RCRD LBL for free downloads for new music.
– Dining and night-life suggestions from “The List” destination guide, curated by Morgans’ concierge teams in collaboration with UrbanDaddy.
– Links to the hotel’s Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter pages.
– Continually updated information on what’s happening in the city during Fashion Week.
– Links to major media outlets, including The New York Times, Financial Times, New York Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The International Herald Tribune, Interview Magazine, New York Magazine, Wallpaper and City Magazine.
– A custom playlist of gentle sounds to help guests fall asleep.
(www.morganshotelgroup.com)
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Singapore’s 40-room Naumi Hotel has introduced iPads as service touch points at its Front Desk and F&B areas. Functions offered include interactive food and beverage menus, Internet surfing, local newspaper access and interactive games. The Events and Sales departments use iPads for visual presentations of Naumi’s rooms and events facilities. (www.naumihotel.com)
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INVENTORY/PURCHASING

  • Avendra, BirchStreet Systems to offer each other’s services to clients

Avendra has named BirchStreet Systems as its preferred provider of e-procurement technology, making it available to all its 5,000 current hospitality customers. BirchStreet in turn named Avendra as its preferred procurement service provider for the hotel industry. (www.avendra.com, www.BirchStreetSystems.com)

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COMMUNICATIONS/INFRASTRUCTURE

  • InfiniSys Electronic Architects launches Hotel Technology Group for network and infrastructure design

Florida-based InfiniSys Electronic Architects has launched its Hotel Technology Group, offering complete network and infrastructure design for hospitality clients. Services offered include:
– Voice/Video/Data networks (Wired and Wi-Fi),
– phone networks,
– cellular network amplifiers and Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS),
– public safety radio systems,
– security and access control systems,
– video surveillance,
– commercial audio and public address systems,
– Point of Sale systems,
– energy management (occupancy controls, programmable thermostats and more),
– digital signage networks,
– elevator entertainment systems (such as Captivate)
– informational, sales and self-service kiosks.
(www.electronicarchitect.com)

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SECURITY

  • Valentines Resort and Marina completes installation of VingCard Signature RFID locks

The 40-room Valentines Resort and Marina on Harbour Island in the Bahamas recently completed the installation of VingCard Signature RFID electronic door locks. (www.Valentinesresort.com, www.vingcard.com)

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  • Jon Inge & Associates
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