Speakers

Lucas Bialecki

Head of Sales, AAA Club Adventures

Lucas Bialecki is Head of Sales for Club Adventures and brings to the table over 20 years’ experience in the travel industry. Lucas has traveled to 49 countries and has been to all 7 continents, which is part of why he loves traveling around to AAA offices countrywide to educate AAA travel agents and members about Club Adventures.  Owned by AAA and powered by AAA Exclusive Vacations, Club Adventures specializes in small group adventure travel, allowing travelers to get closer to a destination and see the world through a local lens.

Carmen Carbonell

President of Your Own Italy

Carmen Carbonell is founder and President of Your Own Italy. Carmen was born in the United States, where she obtained a degree in Architecture. Following college, she married an Italian and moved to Rome, where she raised 4 sons. She also developed a passionate love for Italy – its art, its architecture, its cities, its countryside, its culture and cuisines, and its people.
Now, after nearly 30 years living in Italy, Carmen wants to share her love for Italy with American travelers who want more than a standard tour…travelers who want to experience the real Italy, with the heart and soul of the nature and its people. She founded Your Own Italy as a boutique tour company that will provide private tours that take travelers deep into Italy’s heart and soul, with vacation packages that will be memorable for life, and shore excursions that will give tour ship guests a unique day in Rome, Florence, Venice or the Amalfi Coast.
The team works with boutique hotels, tested and proven restaurants, historic sites, museums, basilicas, plus individuals and tours that meet Your Own Italy’s standards – standards virtually guaranteed to ensure that Your Own Italy vacation or shore excursion will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will remember forever. And long to repeat with your new friends in Italy, Your Own Italy.

Angel Castellanos

World Travel Expert, Writer/TV Host AngelsTravelLounge.com

Angel Castellanos, (www.AngelsTravelLounge.com) is a passionate world traveler, travel writer, influencer, multi-media personality and nationally recognized speaker dedicated to helping people travel smart, well and often. Traveling to over 85 countries on 5 continents (and counting), Angel travels 12-14 weeks internationally each year and draws on his experience and frequent travels to teach “Smart Travel” and equip travelers with the skills they need to make travel easy and enjoyable. He bridges the gap between the practical, common sense advice he’s learned by traveling the world and the new savvy tips and experiences that have helped his generation revolutionize travel. Angel has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Fox News, Univision, Frommers Radio, USA Today & Travel & Adventure Show as “America’s Newest Travel Expert”.
Since you’ve last seen Angel, he has visited The Philippines, Colombia, Honduras, Singapore, Laos, UK, France, Ireland, Italy, Bosnia, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.
His favorite travel memories include camel trekking in the Sahara, traveling overland by train from Beijing to London, Horse trekking in Mongolia, Hot Air Ballooning in Laos and sailing down the Nile River.
When not in Italy or Paris, Angel is home in Pasadena, California where he is a proud volunteer with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association.

Kevin Cowie

Director of Sales, African Travel

Glen Davis

Distribution Development Manager, Eastern USA Tourism Australia

Glen Davis is Tourism Australia’s Distribution Development Manager for the East Coast of the USA, based in New York. Glen is a native Australian having grown up in the Sydney area and is a true advocate for Australia. With his expert and wealth of knowledge on all of the amazing experience Australia has to offer, he will soon make you realize why there is nothing like Australia.

Marshall C. “Marc” Derks

Foreign Service Officer serving as the Speechwriter for the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the U.S. Department of State

Marshall C. “Marc” Derks is a Foreign Service Officer serving as the Speechwriter for the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.  Marc has devoted much of his career to assisting U.S. citizens abroad, most recently as the American Citizen Services Chief in Frankfurt, Germany.  Marc has also worked with Americans on issues of intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.  In addition to Germany, he has served overseas in Latvia and Iraq and traveled to five continents in support of the consular mission of the United States.  Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Marc worked for the United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.  Marc is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Indiana University in Bloomington.  He is single with a 17 year old son, Patrick, who lives with him in Northern Virginia.  On those rare occasions when Marc isn’t crafting speeches or raising his son, Marc enjoys soccer (watching and playing) and improv comedy (watching and playing).

Kim Dickey

Marketing Manager, French Canal Boat

In 2016, Kim Dickey and her husband, Chris, embarked on their first luxury canal barge cruise and immediately fell in love with the experience.  It may have been the wine talking, but 6 months later they had joined with 3 experienced operating partners to become the proud owners of a 100-year old, 100ft barge in France.  They feel so fortunate to be able to share the immersive experience of floating along the canals and through the locks aboard a true piece of French history. She loves to travel and currently lives in Dallas, TX with her husband and their two children.

 

Jazzmine Douse

Manager, National Accounts, AmaWaterways

Jazzmine Douse is an enthusiastic, God-fearing young woman born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended California State University of Fresno, where she built her skillset around sales, marketing, incentives and planning. Jazzmine’s travel career was birthed at AmaWaterways in 2013 as she joined the Ama-family as a Reservation Specialist. After two years, she advanced to National Accounts as a Communications Coordinator, and in 2016, took a leap of faith and moved to Seattle, WA, to thrive in her newly promoted role as Business Development Manager in the Pacific Northwest. In April 2019, her passion and love for travel continued to take her to new heights as she returned to Los Angeles to fulfill her currently appointed role as National Account Manager, complementing her pursuit of a longevously travel career. Jazzmine’s ambition, positive energy and faith in God has opened many doors for her over the past several years and speaks volumes to the scripture she lives by, day by day: “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13

Kellee Edwards

Adventure Travel Expert & TV Host

Kellee Edwards is an award-winning travel expert and television host by land, air and sea. She is a multi-rated licensed pilot, advanced open water scuba diver, explorer and journalist. A pioneer in her approach to adventure travel made her brand Kellee Set Go! become recognized by some of the biggest brands in travel, including that of the biggest TV network in this realm, The Travel Channel. Kellee is the host of Mysterious Islands, a series that explores some of the most remote islands in the world, that viewers more than likely have never heard of. She was named one of the “Most Powerful Women in Travel” by Conde’ Nast.
Exploring over 50 countries thus far, including parts of North and West Africa, Asia, South and Central America, Europe and the UAE, her extensive travels have taken her a long way from where she spent her early childhood – on Chicago’s South Side – and where she was raised in San Bernardino, CA.
Her exploits include summiting Mt. Hood in Oregon, dog sledding in the remote wilderness of Alaska, trekking the active volcano Mt. Pacaya in Guatemala, piloting an aircraft in the temperamental Aleutian Chain, freediving with the Jeju Haenyeo, participating in Rambu Solo in Sulawesi, unearthing an artifact on an archaeological dig, swimming with humpback and whale sharks, as well as exploring Mayan ruins in Central America. She even had a life-changing close call on a shipwreck dive in the Red Sea near Eilat, Israel.
An advocate for women in aviation, adventure travel, diversity in travel and safety, Kellee has been featured in FORBES, ELLE, Conde’ Nast, Travel & Leisure, Nat Geo Traveler, UPROXX, Essence and named “The Most Interesting Woman in The World”, by Outside Magazine.

Dawn Elmendorf

Key Accounts Manager, Rocky Mountaineer

Dawn has been in the travel industry for 30 years working in virtually all aspects of the industry from operations to sales.  She began traveling internationally at a young age and while her love for other cultures and countries has literally taken Dawn all around the world, her passion lies in the Canadian Rockies.  Dawn is thrilled to represent Rocky Mountaineer as she is able to provide our guests with a unique and luxurious rail experience seeing the one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, Western Canada.

Hadyn Fitzpatrick

Premium Trade Manager, Tourism New Zealand

Hadyn Fitzpatrick joined Tourism New Zealand in June 2016 in the role of Premium Trade Manager. Prior to joining Tourism New Zealand Hadyn was working for luxury helicopter operator in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Hadyn is based at Tourism New Zealand’s Santa Monica office. He works closely with New Zealand’s travel industry to ensure that US travel trade and consumers are as educated as possible on New Zealand’s unique offerings.
Hadyn loves New Zealand’s natural beauty, stunning diversity, rich culture and sharing stories about his homeland is his passion.
The draw of New Zealand is more than the destination; it’s everything that makes up the destination. Experiential highs, captivating history, unique accommodations, local immersion and iconic backdrops. New Zealand truly offers a sense of perfection from each traveller’s perspective.
Be sure to stop by the Aussie Experts Booth to meet Hadyn, ask questions and listen to his New Zealand storytelling.

Pauline Frommer

Editorial Director of the Frommer’s Guides & Publisher of Frommers.com

Pauline Frommer is co-President of Frommer Media, LLC, with her father, travel legend Arthur Frommer. Together, they publish America’s most popular series of travel guidebooks, the Frommer guides, as well as Frommers.com, a website that welcomes more than 3 million unique users per month. She is also a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, and she pens an internationally syndicated newspaper column on travel for King Features. You may recognize her face as Pauline created weekly travel segments for CNN’s Headline News for 3 years. She’s also appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, NPR’s Marketplace and Talk of the Nation, CNN, FOX, MSNBC and every local news station you can name. She was the founding editor of Frommers.com and edited MSNBC.com’s travel section for two years. Pauline is the proud mother of two well-traveled daughters and wife to Columbia University professor Mahlon Stewart.

Josh Gates

Explorer, Host of Discovery Channel’s Expedition Unknown

As the host of Discovery Channel’s smash-hit series Expedition Unknown, adventurer and explorer Josh Gates crisscrosses the globe to explore archaeological wonders and enduring legends. Armed with a daring passion for adventure and his signature sense of humor, Josh takes viewers on thrilling quests in search of answers to the world’s greatest mysteries.
Recently, Josh helmed an unprecedented live event in the deserts of Egypt when viewers from 95 countries around the world witnessed history in the making in Expedition Unknown: Egypt Live. This real-life Indiana Jones adventure, which was also simulcast on Travel Channel and Science Channel, gave viewers a rare opportunity to join an actual archeological excavation in real time as Josh Worked alongside world-renowned Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass and Dr. Mostafa Waziri, the Secretary-General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. Together, they uncovered the 2,500-year-old mummy of a high priest for the first time ever on live television.
Gates also kicked off Discovery’s Shark Week by diving in Mexico and South Africa to unravel one of the oceans greatest mysteries – what happened to the mighty Megalodon?
In his latest season, Josh braved sub-zero temperatures to snowmobile across Siberia investigating one of the coldest cases of the Cold War: the baffling deaths of nine hikers on Russia’s infamous “Dead Mountain.” Josh also explored the Holy Land as he descended into newly discovered caves and tunnels that could hold the next Dead Sea Scrolls. In an exciting first, Josh returned to follow up on some of his most fascinating stories from seasons past, revisiting the lost Maya city of El Mirador where he previously helped discover a lost temple-complex, and he headed back to the 1980’s on a mission to unravel the maddening puzzles in a cryptic book known as “The Secret.”
An avid adventurer, scuba diver, and photographer, Gates has participated in sub-sea archaeological excavations in the Mediterranean, and his wanderlust has taken him to over 100 countries – from sweltering African deserts to the icy shores of Antarctica. In addition, he has scaled “the roof of Africa” on Mt. Kilimanjaro and climbed Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the Americas. A mysterious “Yeti” footprint recovered by Josh in the Himalayas is now on display at the “Expedition Everest” attraction at Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.
In 2016, Gates won ‘Best Host’ in the CableFax Program Awards for Expedition Unknown, and the series also took home the ‘Best Educational/Instructional Show’ award. In 2018, Josh won a Cynopsis TV Award for ‘Best Reality Series – Travel.’ He holds a degree from Tufts University in Archaeology and is a member of The Explorers Club – a prestigious organization dedicated to the advancement of exploration and field research. Josh also serves as a trustee on the governing board of the Archaeological Institute of America.
Josh is also the host of Legendary Locations on Travel Channel where he shares the epic tales and secrets of the most storied places on earth, showcasing the ancient legends and folklore that made them famous. Travel Channel also airs episodes of Gates’ popular series, Josh Gates’ Destination Truth.
He has appeared on the TODAY Show, CNN and a variety of other national television and radio programs. Gates’ adventures are chronicled in his bestselling book, Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter (Simon & Schuster).
Gates currently resides with his wife and children in Los Angeles, California and on airport floors around the world.

Peter Greenberg

Emmy Award-Winning Investigative Reporter and Producer and CBS News Travel Editor

A multiple Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and producer, Peter Greenberg is Americaʼs most recognized, honored and respected front-line travel news journalist. Known in the industry as “The Travel Detective,” he is the travel editor for CBS News, appearing on CBS This MorningCBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, and Sunday Morning, among other broadcast platforms.
The consummate insider on reporting the travel business as news, Greenberg hosts the television show, “The Travel Detective with Peter Greenberg,” airing on Public Television. The series offers 42 half-hour episodes with cutting-edge travel information and insider tips you need to know before you ever leave home, plus in-depth reports on the good, bad, and yes, even ugly aspects of travel.
Greenberg also produces and co-hosts an ongoing series of acclaimed public television specials, “The Royal Tour,” featuring personal, one-on-one journeys through countries with their heads of state. Along with such figures as the King of Jordan,  Prime Minister of Israel, Prime Minister of New Zealand and presidents of Mexico and Peru, Greenberg’s newest special features the president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame.
Among other television projects, Greenberg is creator, co-executive producer and host of CNBCʼs specials “Inside American Airlines: A Week in the Life” and “Cruise Inc: Big Money on the High Seas,” and is co-executive producer of “Baggage Battles,” airing on the Travel Channel, and The History Channelʼs two-hour special “Lost Magic.” On radio he hosts the nationally syndicated show “Peter Greenberg Worldwide,” broadcast each week from a different remote location worldwide, and is heard on hundreds of radio stations across the U.S.
Greenberg is also author of The New York Times best-selling Travel Detective series. His most recent book, The Best Places for Everything, comes in the wake of such titles as Donʼt Go There! and The Complete Travel Detective Bible. Currently editor at large of Global Business Travel magazine and a contributing writer to Watch, he has also been a featured guest on CNN, “The OʼReilly Factor,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” and “The View.”
Travel Weekly named him one of the most influential people in travel, along with Bill Marriott and Richard Branson. In 2012, he was inducted into the U.S. Travel Associationʼs Hall of Leaders for his contributions to the travel industry. Among his other honors, Greenberg received a News & Documentary Emmy Award as part of the “Dateline” team for outstanding coverage of a breaking news story, “Miracle on the Hudson.”
He began his career in journalism as West Coast correspondent for Newsweek in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He won a national Emmy Award (Best Investigative Reporting) for his ABC “20/20” special on the final orphan flight out of Vietnam, “What Happened to the Children?” He also is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin, and an Excellence in Broadcasting Award from the Aviation Space Writers Association of America.
Greenberg is a sought-after expert speaker and moderator. He is a keynote speaker at annual summits for the World Travel and Tourism Council, the Global Business Travel Association and Virtuoso. He is also one of the chief moderators at the World Economic Forum and the Global Tourism Economic Forum. Along with a recent TED talk, he is a guest speaker at events which have been hosted by Visa, Bloomberg, AARP and numerous other B2B and B2C organizations.
His website, PeterGreenberg.com, is one of the leading travel news resources for consumers and industry insiders alike. When he is not traveling the globe, Greenberg also serves as an active volunteer firefighter in New York.

Rafael Henry

Supervisory CBPO, Branch Chief, Trusted Traveler Programs, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Department of Homeland Security

Rafael Henry’s own immigration from the Dominican Republic sparked his interest in the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Mr. Henry began his public service career 35 years ago and took a brief hiatus to complete law school.  Mr. Henry worked in the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service Miami Field Office in several different roles that provided him a broad range of experiences to include processing immigrant residency petitions, migrant benefits, international traveler admissibility determinations, asylum, migrant denial of entry, and removal. Mr. Henry held different leadership positions at Miami International Airport before transferring to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Headquarters Office in Washington, DC. 12 years ago. 
Rafael Henry was a Branch Chief Program Manager having in his portfolio the NSEERS program, Counter Terrorism, Expedite Removal, Refugee/Asylum port of entry processing, foreign students processing, and congressional affairs inquiries. Mr. Henry became the Branch Chief for the Enforcement Programs Division where he wrote port of entry standard operating procedures, field guidance memoranda, and CBP policies, rules, and regulations.  Mr. Henry has traveled to several countries with the Presidential Travel Team as the Immigration and Customs Subject Matter Expert who handled all immigration and customs concerns in host countries.
Currently, Rafael Henry is a Branch Chief in the Trusted Traveler Programs Division with oversight of the Global Entry Enrollment Center and international expansion of Global Entry arrangements.

Mark Howell

Regional Spokesperson, TSA

Mark Howell is a government public affairs professional with more than 20 years of experience. In his current role as Regional Spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration, he works with more than 70 airports in a nine-state area of responsibility to ensure accurate internal and external communications of TSA programs, policies and procedures.
Howell joined TSA in May 2013, working as a public affairs specialist at headquarters before transferring to Atlanta in January 2014. He also led the on-site public affairs response following the machete attack at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in March 2015.
His previous government assignments include: Supervisory Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart; Social Media Administrator, U.S. Army Recruiting Command; and Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion-Los Angeles.
Prior to government service, Howell served in the U.S. Army as a broadcast journalist for more than eight years, which included deployments to Bosnia and Iraq.

Ruth Rosewarne Kimerer

Tourism Sales Manager, Visit Anchorage

Ruth Rosewarne Kimerer – Ruth moved to Alaska in 1993 to work a summer job on the Kenai Peninsula. The minute she saw the Turnagain Arm, she knew she was never leaving.  Ruth loves her adopted home and everything about it. Ask her anything and the response will be full of knowledge and passion for the great state of Alaska and Anchorage!

Matt Koehler

District Sales Manager, Trafalgar

I think food, culture, people, and landscape are all absolutely inseparable.”
You can never see enough of the world. Each continent, each country, each culture is unique. That uniqueness comes from many different factors, which all come together to make each destination a one-of-a-kind experience.
Growing up in Wisconsin, I was isolated from the world. Sure, we traveled a little, but it wasn’t until I met my wife that I found a passion for travel. Together we have climbed mountains and kayaked oceans. Now we are passing along the love of travel to our kids, taking them around the world and introducing them to other countries, cultures, foods, people and experiences. When I travel, you won’t find me sitting on the beach. Instead, I will be soaking up the culture and landscape of wherever my journey takes me. It’s the experiences and adventures that make traveling memorable. At Trafalgar, I want to connect as many people as I can to a truly unique way of travel.

Katie Ledwig

Field Sales Manager, Brendan Vacations

Originally from Yorkshire, England, I caught the travel bug while studying at Appalachian State University as an exchange student. During that time, I was lucky enough to travel America’s East Coast. That trip instilled in me a love of travel, a love I decided to turn into a career.  I received a First-Class Honors Degree in Performance and Technical Theatre at the University of Sunderland. Then, I went on to become a Production Stage Manager with Celebrity Cruises and Princess Cruises where I oversaw the technical elements of their entertainment department. Moving to the US I started working as a travel agent and then moved to Brendan Vacations about 3 years ago.  I love teaching people about my homeland and the amazing connections to the locals that we can give them with Brendan Vacations.

Denise Reichwein Lees

Director of Sales USA, MSC Cruises

A seasoned veteran of the Cruise & Travel Industry, Denise Reichwein Lees brings more than 32 years of experience to the Travel & Tourism Industry.
In her current role as Director of Sales USA for MSC Cruises, Denise is responsible for managing the MSC Cruises USA North Field Sales team of 6 sales managers. Her primary focus is related to increasing brand awareness and overall sales in the region.
Denise previously worked for Royal Caribbean International for more than 7 years as a Business Development Manager in Eastern Pennsylvania.  While at Royal Caribbean, Denise worked on developing new business while building strong relationships with travel partners.  Developing a loyal following of travel partners has contributed to her success and ability to win the business, grow the business and share best practices and unique selling skills in her latest role at MSC Cruises.
In addition to her customer and sales skills, Denise brings with her over 20 years of travel agency experience, with unique expertise in Groups and Meetings & Incentive Programs within the cruise industry.  Denise has earned her MCC (Master Cruise Counselor) and is currently enrolled in the ECC (Elite Cruise Counselor) program along with being a Lifetime member of CLIA-EP (Cruise Line International Education Programs).

Joyce Lopez 

Market Sales Manager, Celebrity Cruises

Joyce Lopez, Market Sales Manager started with the company as a tri-branded agent (Royal, Celebrity & Azamara) working in the Air/Sea department for 9 years. She went from being a custom air/ticketing agent to Lead agent for custom air/emergency travel team. She later worked for Hotel operations as a specialist negotiating contracts for corporate and crew travelers. In 2008 she joined the celebrity sales family with the Inside SALES Team where she was a top performer and presidents challenge winner. She moved to national accounts in 2015 as an Account Executive. In October 2019 she was promoted to Market Sales Manager which is her current role.
She is a mother of 5 , Fermin 23, Anaya 19, Anthony 18, Aramis 16 and Armand 13. She is 1 of 8 siblings and claims to be the favorite of them all. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing dominos Saturday and Sunday nights. Her home is considered “la casa del pueblo” the neighborhood home…there is always food, music and lots of love! She listens to self-improvement audio books because she says she falls asleep anytime she has a quiet moment to read. She considers herself a modern day renaissance woman. She currently does volunteer work with Spark Her Change, an organization that provides toiletries & feminine hygiene products for homeless woman.

Paolo Lunardi

Head of Trade Relations North America, Switzerland Tourism

Paolo Lunardi is Head of Trade Relations North America for Switzerland Tourism, based in New York City. Paolo is from Ticino, Switzerland’s Italian-speaking Canton. After gaining some experiences with Switzerland Tourism in Rome and Dubai, he moved to the US four years ago and enjoys promoting the beauty of his home-country throughout the United States. Given his origins, Paolo knows how to live the “Dolce Vita”, but he has a great passion for the outdoors as well and he will be happy to share some personal insider tips with you.

James McBride

Business Development Manager, Princess Cruises

Travel industry veteran with over 40 years of experience working for hotels, tour operators and as a travel advisor.  Joined Princess Cruises in 1985 and proud to be part of its tremendous worldwide growth.     

Tom Panici

Business Development Director, Carnival Cruises

Tom Panici, Business Development Director /Upper Midwest is a 35-year veteran with Carnival Cruise Lines with experience as the Director in New Jersey and the Midwest. Tom also spent 5 years as a Director in the Charters, Meeting and Incentive Department. Tom always had an interest in travel and Business. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing at NIU and a minor in Political Science at Loyola University in Rome, Italy. Tom started his career with Carnival Cruise Lines in New Jersey and then moved back home in 1991, as the BDM for Illinois, Minneapolis and Wisconsin. Tom has served on the board of many professional and travel organizations both in New Jersey and IL that include CTO, TIPS, ASTA, and even served as Past President of SKAL International Chicago. Tom has executed many successful fundraisers and events at sea. He is an experienced Emcee, Sales instructor and adjunct faculty instructor for two local colleges in Illinois, Tom has been able to share many years of talent and passion in the cruise and travel industry.

Gloria Rodriguez

Market Sales Manager, Celebrity Cruises Galapagos

Gloria has been with Celebrity Cruises since 2004. She has contributed in several capacities during her time at Celebrity allowing her to have versatile knowledge of many different aspects of the cruise industry. She has been involved with the Celebrity Galapagos product since 2011. In 2016, she assisted with marketing the Galapagos expansion project, where Celebrity added two vessels to the Galapagos portfolio. In 2017, Gloria supported the sales and marketing efforts for the launch of Celebrity’s new build for the Galapagos Islands, Celebrity Flora.
Today, Gloria manages North American sales of the Galapagos portfolio for Celebrity Cruises which includes, Celebrity Xpedition, Celebrity Xploration and Celebrity Flora.

Susana Romero

Director, Galapagos Sales & Communication, Celebrity Cruises

Susana calls Miami, Florida home and has been involved with the Celebrity Cruises brand since 1996. During her tenure, she has contributed in several capacities allowing her to have a unique and well rounded “expert point of view”.
Susana has been involved with the Celebrity Galapagos product since its inception in 2003, today she leads global sales and communication for Celebrity’s Galapagos portfolio.  Most recently, she completed the launch of the Galapagos expansion project, adding two more vessels to Celebrity’s portfolio. She is currently involved in the building of Celebrity Flora, a brand new all-suite vessel launching in 2019. Susana has visited the Galapagos Islands several times and truly brings the destination to life!

Sunnie Rossi

President, Aussie Experts (Affiliated with Travel 100 group)

In 1994, Sunnie made her first visit to Australia and New Zealand and fell in love and developed a passion for Australia and New Zealand. Since that time, she has made yearly visits to both countries in order to enhance her knowledge, maintain contacts, and stay in touch with current developments. Sunnie is a certified destination specialist with Australia (premier Aussie Specialist), New Zealand (Kiwi specialist), Fiji (Mati specialist) and Tahiti (Tiare specialist). In addition, Sunnie is a two-time winner of the prestigious Opal award given by the Australian Tourist commission for excellence in planning and selling Australian vacations. The Aussie Experts is a full service South Pacific travel company (affiliated with Travel 100 group) with the ability to issue airline tickets, custom design a perfect itinerary and instantly issue visas for Australia. In brief, Aussie Experts has the background, knowledge, and the expertise to tailor a trip to your specifications, time frame and budget!

James & Dee Saccomano

Journey Hosts, Alaskan Holland America Line Cruise

James and Dee are nomads at heart with a unique love of travel. After almost 25 years in the airline industry- where they worked globally, they retired and set off to explore the rest of the planet.  After a few years of wonderful wanderings, they found Alaska and Holland America Line. They currently live in Skagway, Alaska during the summers and spend the winters travelling the lower 48 sharing their expertise and love of travel doing On Stage Alaska Presentations.

Beth Santos

Founder and CEO, Wanderful

Beth Santos is founder and CEO of Wanderful, a global community that connects over 40,000 women together through events in 50 global cities, an international homesharing network, dynamic online content and forums, and inspired, focused campaigns with international travel brands. She is the creator and host of the Women in Travel Summit, a leading event for women travel influencers and industry members, happening on two continents each year, and co-founder of #AtTheTable, a national dinner series and community for female founders. She is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management and Wellesley College, and is an acclaimed thought leader in entrepreneurship and travel. She lives in Boston.

Rick Steves

Travel Writer, Host of Rick Steves’ Europe and Travel with Rick Steves

Guidebook author and travel TV host Rick Steves is America’s most respected authority on European travel. He grew up in Edmonds, Washington and studied at the University of Washington where he received degrees in Business Administration and European History. But his real education was earned on the road — since 1973 he’s spent 120 days a year in Europe. Spending one third of his adult life living out of a carry-on backpack has shaped Rick’s thinking and broadened his perspectives. Today he employs nearly 100 people at the Rick Steves’ Europe headquarters where he produces dozens of best-selling guidebook titles on European travel, America’s most popular travel series on public television, a weekly hour-long national public radio show, podcasts, travel apps, and a weekly syndicated travel column. Rick Steves lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington. His office window overlooks his old junior high school.

Mark Stromberg

Director, Business Development, Viking Cruises

Mark has worked in travel for 13 years in Customer Relations and Sales. Mark joined Viking Cruises in 2014 as an Inside Sales Manager and was promoted to Director of Business Development for Viking Cruises – Midwest in April of 2019.  As an ardent traveler, Mark is excited to bring his knowledge and experience to Viking Cruises’ travel partners throughout the Midwest.

Arin Vaughan

District Sales Manager, Trafalgar

Arin Vaughan joined the Travel Corporation family of brands three years ago and now brings her passion for travel to Trafalgar, Brendan and Costsaver as the Carolinas and Kentucky DSM. An avid adventurer, the impact travel has had on Arin’s life sparked a fire in her to get out and help other people experience the Good Life as well. It’s not just showing up in a foreign place. It’s digging in and understanding what makes a destination special. It’s connecting with the locals, discovering the history and treasures around every corner and knowing that traveling with companies like Trafalgar, Brendan and Costsaver offers year-round sustainability to communities, families and traditions.

Ralph Velasco

Founder and CEO (Chief Experience Officer), PhotoEnrichment Adventures

Ralph Velasco is a U.S.-based travel photography instructor, author and international guide who for more than 11 years has organized and led over 100 international tours, and more than 100 domestic tours, in the United States under the PhotoEnrichment Adventures banner.  His international trips have included Armenia and the Republic of Georgia, Egypt, Morocco, the Adriatic, Central Europe, Iceland, Bhutan and Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Spain, Portugal, Tuscany, Romania, Mexico’s Copper Canyon, Turkey, Cuba and other locations.
Ralph is an award-winning travel photographer, podcast host and public speaker, and for more than 10 years he’s been the Founder and CEO (Chief Experience Officer) of PhotoEnrichment Adventures.
Recently he created a new travel brand called Alla Campagna Experiences where the focus is less on photography in each destination and even more about the culture, people, food, drink and other unique activities and experiences they have to offer, all while staying in unforgettable properties, such as private castles, wine estates, one-of-a-kind boutique hotels, villas and converted mansions, in and around the Mediterranean.
He’s also Creator of Tour Organizer Training, a free webinar and online course series designed to teach everyday people, step-by-step, how to organize and lead their own special interest trips, whether around the world or around the corner.  Click here to join the next free webinar.
Now, invest in yourself…get out and travel!