Rocio Diaz

Assistant, Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

In love with the Tourism Industry, which is why she studied Tourism Services at the Universidad Católica Santo Domingo (UCSD), she is a Travel Agent recognized by the International American Travel Association (IATA) and has several national and international diplomas in Tourism Economy, Tourism Marketing, Management of Airline Software, among others.
She is a professional of the Dominican Public Administration in the Ministry of Tourism since 2005, holding different positions for both the Latin American market and the North American market, currently based in the Chicago Tourism Promotion Office.
Committed to the promotion of Dominican art and culture in the Midwest of the United States, as well as other niche markets, such as weddings and honeymoons, golf, diving, ecotourism, congresses and conventions, tourism of families, adventures, religious, aviation, among others, which have positioned the Dominican Republic as the best tourist destination in the Caribbean.
From her city of Chicago, she has been a great collaborator as a Dominican with the Dominican diaspora, as well as with the Latino community, supporting the different Dominican organizations and foundations in Chicago, the Dominican American Midwest Association (DAMA) and Dominicanos Unidos del Medio Oeste (UNIDOM).

Julian Douglas

Travel Writer, Photographer  and Experience Curator, Listen, Journey, Savor

“Listen, Journey, Savor with Julian Douglas”… is exactly what he asks of his family, friends and especially his readers to do with him.
As an experienced traveler, Julian has traversed the globe since he was a child. From treasured moments with his flight attendant mother growing up, to his years in the music industry, to just vacationing with his wife Nicole for pleasure. It has all inspired Julian to write about his passions for music, food and especially his love of travel.

Aly Eggart

Leisure Marketing, Sales, and Social Media Manager; Visit Billings

Aly Eggart is the Leisure Marketing, Sales, and Social Media Manager for Visit Billings. Aly grew up in eastern Montana before moving to Billings to earn her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Public Relations through Montana State University Billings. In 2016 her tourism career began when she joined the Visit Billings team. Aly loves sharing her beautiful state with locals and visitors alike. Most of her time is spent outdoors with her dogs or enjoying the amazing food scene in Billings.

Klaus Fielsch

Product Manager, Metrojourneys

Klaus was born in Quito- Ecuador in a German/Ecuadorian family, he spent most of his childhood in a farm near Quito, where he developed his passion for nature and design. His father had a great influence on his interests, as he passed on book collections by Humboldt and Darwin.
When deciding upon careers, Klaus was selected to become a naturalist guide for the Ecuadorian amazon-based vessel, Flotel Orellana, and what he thought to be a temporary job ended up being his whole career. In 1990 he became a Mountain Guide, a National Guide in 1991, and in 1992 a Galapagos Naturalist Guide.
From 1993 onward until 1997 he spent one semester at a university in the United States and one semester in the Enchanted Islands, and in 1997 he became a Galapagos Expedition Leader. In 2006, he started working as an Expedition Manager in Metropolitan Touring, where he would become a Product Manager to this day.
He gets to visit the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador several times a year, so he has the world’s best job!

Julianne Fredrick

Director Tour Colorado

Julianne has a passion for the travel industry and a dedication to Colorado in particular. She started her career in tourism working for the Tourism Office in Interlaken Switzerland and after moving to Colorado in 1997 continued her career being involved in various aspects of the hospitality and tourism industry. As the Director of Tour Colorado, she works with statewide industry partners prompting packaged and group travel to Colorado. Having spent 11 years in Switzerland she is fluent in the French and German languages. Julianne loves to travel, enjoys the outdoors of Colorado and spending time with her family.

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.

Tia Froehle

Tourism Sales Manager, Alaska Land & Sea Adventures

As a lifelong Alaskan, Tia Froehle knows her home like the back of her hand. Her love for the outdoors and adventure has allowed her to explore this amazing state of Alaska and wants you to experience it too! From fishing for the next big one, exploring our many hiking trails in the Chugach Mountains, playing golfing under the midnight sun, enjoying a cold local craft beer to downhill skiing and fat tire biking in the winter, Tia can help make your dream Alaska adventure a reality!

Paul Girouard

Senior Director of Sales – North America, Atlas Ocean Voyages

Paul Girouard is Senior Director of Sales, North America for Atlas Ocean Voyages. His travel industry experience spans over 40 years, with the past 35 years in Cruise Sales and Cruise Leadership. Prior to joining Atlas Ocean Voyages, Paul rose from a District Sales Manager position to Director of Sales – North America, leading a 15-person Sales team with a renowned luxury cruise line. His passion for his past travels and those yet to come drive him in assisting his Travel Advisor partners as they help their well-travelled clients experience bucket-list destinations.

Theresa Goodrich

Traveler, Author, Speaker, Emmy-Winner the boss at The Local Tourist & Your Chicago Guide

Theresa L. Goodrich is the force behind thelocaltourist.com, a site dedicated to telling in-depth stories of magnificent, quirky, and unique places. Theresa is an Emmy-winning author who is slightly obsessed with road trips, camping, and history. She’s turned these passions into the Two Lane Gems book series, first-person travelogues highlighting the beauty and diversity of the USA. She’s also a contributor to Midwest Road Trip Adventures, an anthology written by local experts, and the author of Living Landmarks of Chicago, bringing many of the Windy City’s most historic landmarks to life. She’s spoken at the Travel and Adventure Show and the Chicago Auto Show, mentored at Bloghouse, and teaches the Midwest Travel Network’s Writing Workshop. She’s driven, often literally, to inspire you to get off the interstates and explore the towns and communities that make this country a constant and welcome surprise.

Peter Greenberg

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

A multiple Emmy-winning investigative reporter and producer, Peter Greenberg is America’s most recognized, honored and respected front-line travel news journalist. Known in the travel industry as “The Travel Detective,” he is the Travel Editor for CBS News, appearing on CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News and CBS Sunday Morning. And his national CBS EYE ON TRAVEL radio show is broadcast from a different location around the world each week.
The consummate insider on reporting the travel business as news, Peter Greenberg also hosts the weekly public television show The Travel Detective with Peter Greenberg. And, for more than 20 years, Greenberg has produced and hosted The Royal Tour, historic, precedent-setting shows, where sitting heads of state become Greenberg’s tour guide for very personal journeys to and through their countries, for one hour global prime time specials. The Royal Tours range from King Abdullah in Jordan to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the President of Mexico, the Prime Minister of Israel, the President of Rwanda and many others.
Travel Weekly named Peter Greenberg one of the most influential people in travel, along with Bill Marriott and Sir Richard Branson. He was inducted into the U.S. Travel Association’s Hall of Leaders for his contributions to the travel industry. Among his other honors, Peter Greenberg received a News & Documentary Emmy Award as part of the NBC News Dateline team for outstanding coverage of a breaking news story, “Miracle on the Hudson.”
Peter Greenberg began his career in journalism as West Coast correspondent for Newsweek in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He won a national Emmy Award for Best Investigative Reporting for the 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.
And when he is not reporting all over the world, Greenberg is an active volunteer fireman in New York.

Kathy McCabe

Host and Executive Producer, PBS TV travel series Dream of Italy

Kathy McCabe is the host and executive producer of the hit PBS TV travel series Dream of Italy. She is the founder of the award-winning membership website and magazine Dream of Italy, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2022. In 2021 Kathy released her first book Dream of Italy: Travel, Transform and Thrive, a companion to her PBS special exploring how the healthier and happier Italian lifestyle can help us all transform and live our own dream of Italy!

Andrew McCarthy

Award-Winning Travel Writer, Actor and Director

Andrew speaks about his personal journey and how travel and self-reflection changed his life. Aside from his successful acting and directing careers, he is now a successful writer and editor at large for National Geographic Traveler. He discusses fear of the unknown, taking the time to enjoy the precious moments in life, pushing yourself to try new things, and looking at the world with new eyes. Best known for his acting career and starring roles in St. Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink, Mannequin, and Weekend at Bernie’s, he has a successful Broadway career and is currently a highly regarded director. Current projects include hit series’ Orange is the New Black, Turn, and The Blacklist. He returned to acting in ABC’s 2016 hit, The Family. His debut novel for young readers, Just Fly Away was published in March 2017.

David McGuffin

Founder & CEO, David McGuffin’s Exploring Europe, Inc.

David McGuffin: Travel Enthusiast, Musician, Tour Operator, and European Aficionado
Founder and CEO of David McGuffin’s Exploring Europe, Inc. His office is in Northeast Florida, but David spends about 180 days a year on the road in Europe leading tours, exploring new destinations, making YouTube videos, and writing about his travels. David took his first trip to Europe in 1977 with his college choir. David recalls, “this tour took me on a three-week adventure to Greece, Italy, and Israel. I was a travel rookie, having never ventured outside the USA! Imagine my excitement as I boarded the airplane for my first flight, not to mention the wonder of touching down in Greece, an unknown land of which I’d only read about in my Sunday School lessons!”
David taught Band and Music classes in a Florida public school for thirty years. It was here he combined his love of travel and music as he took his show on the road to Europe for many of those years. David soon realized he knew his European destinations better than those he was paying to arrange his student tours. Consequently, in 2001, David started his business, David McGuffin’s Exploring Europe, to offer small-group European tours focusing on culture, art, history and engaging experiences. His tours are designed to empower his travel partners with knowledge, guidance, and confidence to embrace the adventure, seize the moment, and most of all…have fun!
David’s business has grown from offering just two group tours in 2002 to a complete line-up of twenty small-group tour routes visiting almost every country in Europe. Additionally, he offers free European travel advice and information at davidmcguffin.com and his social media sites. When not in Europe, you’ll find David at home in Middleburg, Florida, where he has lived all his life.

David McKay

Master Photographer, McKay Photography Academy

David McKay has been professional photographer for over 32 years starting his career at the age of 17. The McKay’s own McKay Photography Academy and have taken their clients on photographic expeditions to all 7 continents and over 45 countries!
Having taught on some of the largest stages in the industry, to thousands of people, both professional photographers, and amateurs alike, he has a passion for photography and teaching. He believes that just being a great photographer does not make you a great teacher and that the ingredients of both emotion and skill must be shared and taught. David shares his love and enthusiasm for the world, travel, and photography wherever he goes.
He has received some of the highest photographic awards in the world including the prestigious Master of Photography, Photographic Craftsmen, and Certified Professional Photographer degrees from Professional Photographers of America- the LEADING professional photography organization in the world.
Recently, David was one of only 60 in the world to receive a gold medal from Professional Photographers of America for his achievements in image competition.
You may also know David from his #1 International Best Selling photography book series, “Photography Demystified”. Each of his 4 books in the series has shot to #1.

Heidi Pankow

Tourism Project Manager, Visit Glenwood Springs

Heidi has worked in the tourism industry for most of her career and currently works for Visit Glenwood Springs with responsibilities in marketing and public relations. She has been actively involved with the Colorado Hot Springs Loop and serves on the Colorado Scenic Byways Commission as the Western Colorado Byways representative. She is an alumnus of the Class of 2019 Colorado Tourism Leadership Journey. Heidi loves spending time with family, exploring Colorado, travel, live music, and experimenting with local food.

Steve Phillips

Senior Director, Education and Training, KORE Travel Industry Education

In his role as Senior Director for Education and Training, Steve oversees all content under the KORE Travel Industry Education program. Steve also hosts all our ongoing live webinar series for all American Marketing Group. In addition, Steve continues to work with a core group of travel agencies developing business plans, sales, compensation, and P&L analysis as well as agent training. During his 28 years in the travel industry, Steve has worked as an agent, manager, and owner. He also has worked on the supplier side of the industry, as well running a large support operation for a franchise group. All of this allows Steve to offer a broad stroke and unique perspective to all levels of staffing and agency operations.

Patricia Schultz

Author, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die

Patricia Schultz is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die. She is a veteran travel journalist with over thirty years of experience, writing for Frommer’s, Berlitz, and Access travel guides, as well as the Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast Traveler, and other magazines and newspapers. Her home base is in New York City, but good luck finding her there!

Marie Soleil Tropicales

Tourism Attaché of the Philippine Department of Tourism – San Francisco

Soleil is the Tourism Attaché of the Philippine Department of Tourism in San Francisco, which has jurisdiction over Northwest and Midwest USA and West Canada. Her tour of duty began on 22 January 2019.
Soleil started her career in the private sector before entering the public service. She joined The Discovery Leisure Company, Inc. as part of the pre-opening team for the Misibis Bay Resort and Hotel Venezia in Bicol. She also worked with the sales and marketing team of Discovery Suites in Manila and Discovery Shores Boracay. She has a brief stint in the academe and taught hospitality courses at the Far Eastern University in Manila. In 2014, Soleil joined the Philippine Department of Tourism’s Route Development team where she handled the hosting of the Routes Asia 2016 in Manila. She also participated in aviation and trade events in China, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Spain, and South Africa. She has been instrumental in strengthening the direct air connections of the Philippines from visitor source markets of the country.
She holds a master’s in business administration and Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, where she received academic recognitions. She has also completed a Certificate Program – High-Performance Leadership in Cornell University.
In her free time, Soleil enjoys singing, bonding with her cat, and doing sports activities such as running, biking, hiking, boxing, scuba diving, surfing, as well as learning golf.

Lisa Vogele

CTA, Chief Tree Climber, Travel Your Tree, Where Ancestry Meets Adventure

Lisa Vogele is a professional genealogist and Certified Travel Advisor (CTA). She is the Chief Tree Climber at Travel Your Tree: Where Ancestry Meets Adventure, a full-service family history research, travel planning & custom tour operator. She is passionate about traveling local and in the footsteps of your ancestors to make or re-establish connections of personal, historical significance. In 2016, Lisa authored Food & Folklore: A Year of Italian Festivals, a guidebook to assist travelers with incorporating festivals into their itineraries and experience local culture through food and historic events. Her travel tips have been featured in the Huffington Post, 1000traveltips.com, and her travel blog LisaLovesToTravel.com. She holds a Master’s degree from Clemson University, was raised in Connecticut and resides in Colorado.

Steve Wellmeier

Managing Director, Poseidon Expeditions USA

A 30-year veteran of the expedition cruise industry, Steve has actively been involved in polar expedition cruising since 1997. This includes five years as Executive Director of IAATO, the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. In that capacity, he represented the Antarctica tourism industry, helping to ensure best practices and environmental stewardship by all Antarctic tour operators. A resident of Providence, Rhode Island since 2005, Steve currently manages the North American office of Poseidon Expeditions, which he opened in 2014.

Laurie Woolever


I’m a writer and editor, and for nearly a decade, worked as the lieutenant to the late author, TV host and producer Anthony Bourdain.
I’ve written for the New York Times, Vogue, GQ, Food & Wine, Lucky Peach (RIP), Saveur, Bloomberg, Dissent, Roads & Kingdoms, and others. In 1996, I earned my bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, after which I moved to New York, dicked around for a few years, then completed the professional training program at the French Culinary Institute, where chef Pascal Béric gave the single best piece of advice I’ve ever received: “Don’t freak out! Freaking out is not gonna help.”
I’ve been a private cook, nanny, caterer, writer, busgirl, recipe tester, farm hand, public speaker, video store clerk, and an editor at Art Culinaire and Wine Spectator. In 2016, Ecco (an imprint of HarperCollins) published Appetites: A Cookbook, which I co-authored with Anthony Bourdain. Our second collaboration, World Travel: An Irreverent Guide, was published by Ecco in April 2021, and entered the New York Times bestseller list at #1. In September 2021, Ecco published Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography, which has debuted on the New York Times bestseller list at #7.
I co-host a food-focused podcast, Carbface for Radio, with affable shit-stirrer Chris Thornton. I live and work in New York City, and expect that I always will.