Having recently celebrated our 40th birthday, the team at NYS Corporate have enjoyed looking back at the company’s development over the past four decades. It has been quite a journey…
On 5th August 1977, entrepreneur Daryl Pinnington established his own travel business in York. At the time the focus was on student travel (hence the original business name of “North Yorkshire Student Travel”) and our company consisted of two people, a phone and a manual in a room within the University of York campus.
Daryl soon invited his friend Simon Godfrey to become a partner, both to help him nurture the business and to provide proactive leadership while Daryl went on his own travels.
1982: The good old days
Five years later, our budding business had a team of 6 and moved to larger offices in Vanburgh College. Travel bookings were full of manual processes in those days and customers were primarily served in person – with queues extending out the door every working day. Our longest standing team members fondly recall hand writing air tickets and the excitement of getting their first electronic typewriter – how times have changed!
1988: Expansion into business travel and retail
In addition to student services, NYS were invited by the University of York to assist with their business travel, which entailed domestic and international travel management for staff, academics and the Vice Chancellor. Following the resounding success of this venture, the business name was changed to “NYS Travel” on 7th June 1988. Over the next few years, we gained a growing portfolio of corporate and retail clients.
1990: The digital age begins
In 1990 the NYS office invested in our first ever computer!
1995: Hello conference management
By 1995, NYS employed a team of 15, spread over two floors in Vanburgh College. We had several well established business travel clients, and Norwich Union became our first conference and meetings client. The close-knit team was like an extended family, both working and playing together, with many a staff party held at Daryl’s house.
1999: Times are a changing
Daryl recognised early on that the internet would revolutionise the travel industry. So, after buying out his partner, Simon Godfrey, Daryl opted to take the business in a new direction, focusing on business travel and investing in the latest technologies. NYS set up new offices at the Information Centre, supported by a shop in Market Square, where we somehow survived the infamous “millennium bug”.
2006: “NYS Corporate” is born
On 7th April 2006, “NYS Travel” was re-branded to “NYS Corporate”. Student travel was no longer a part of the business model, with the growth strategy now focused on business travel and meetings. The team, which was over 50 people strong by this time, moved to new offices in Quantum House, where we are still based to this day. In the following year, our IT Helpdesk and Development Team was established, we developed our own paperless booking management system (MEVIS) and our first online travel tools went live.
2011: Event management launched
In 2011, Caroline Medcalf joined our team and launched NYS Corporate’s event management service. Our business now delivered Events, Conferences and Travel Services for a range of corporate, government and charity clients.
2013: Under new management
2013 was a difficult year for the business and its close-knit team, with the founder and business owner Daryl Pinnington passing away. Oliver Garside – a business consultant with his own company, Dakin-Flathers – took up the mantle of Managing Director on 30th November 2013. Although Oliver was new to the travel industry, his business acumen and open-minded approach enabled Oliver and our Senior Management Team to guide the company into a new level of excellence.
2015-2017: Multi-Award Winning Brand
Under Oliver’s leadership, NYS achieved record breaking growth, with client billings exceeding £41 million per annum and a team of 62 highly qualified personnel. Investment in IT was doubled, and NYS delivered a series of bespoke, market leading tools (such as our single sign-on portal; conneX, and meetings management tool; MeetingsPro). Working in partnership with some of the world’s biggest brands, such as Siemens, O2, Three, LV= and TM Lewin, NYS Corporate’s industry recognition grew and we received multiple awards:
- Business Travel Awards: Winner of “Best Travel Management Company” 2017
- M&IT Awards: Silver Award for “Best Intermediary Agency” for two consecutive years (2016 and 2017)
- The People Awards: Winner of “Meetings and Events Manager of the Year” 2017 (Caroline Medcalf, Events Director)
- The People Awards 2015: Winner of “Rising Star Award” (Leanne Fowler, Sales and Marketing Director)
2017 and beyond: Joining the Capita Group
On 24th April 2017, NYS Corporate was acquired by Capita plc. This purchase established a powerful partnership between ourselves and our new sister company, Capita Travel and Events, while retaining the NYS brand and strengthening the service offering of both companies. NYS continue to operate as an independent company, with the same management team, expert staff and OPAL values, under new managing director; Trevor Elswood. We anticipate substantial benefits for our customers as a result of this partnership, which has provided access to additional resources, a wider range of technologies and combined buying power of over £560 million in managed spend.