Speakers

Juliana Broste

Travel Video Journalist + TV Personality, TravelingJules

Juliana Broste, “TravelingJules,” is a 10x Heartland Emmy award winning Travel Video Journalist–a producer, shooter, writer, editor and host! Whether you spot her in front of the camera or behind the lens, you’ll recognize this fierce female filmmaker sporting pink lipstick and an armful of camera gear! Her adventures have taken her around the globe, from Thailand to Turkey to Tanzania. Her work has been featured on CNN, PBS, Travel Channel, Lonely Planet, USA TODAY, Matador, Viator and, of course, her TravelingJules travel vlog!  Jules is on a mission to share amazing “things to do” around the world. As a Manfrotto Global Ambassador, she inspires travelers to discover new experiences and document them, too.  Jules serves on the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Heartland Chapter and co-leads Travel Massive Colorado. Come along for the adventure on FacebookInstagram and YouTube. Happy travels!

Brandon Brown

Transportation Security Manager, Transportation Security Administration, Los Angeles International Airport

Brandon Brown is a Transportation Security Manager (TSM) with the Transportation Security Administration at Los Angeles International Airport. As a TSM, Brown is responsible for efficiently and effectively carrying out the agency’s mission of protecting the transportation system while delivering world class customer service. At LAX, Brown has served as the lead manager on innovative technologies including the recent installation of Automated Screening Lanes in several of the airport terminals. Brown has been with the TSA since 2007.

Samantha Brown

Host, PBS’s Samantha Brown’s Places to Love

Travel expert and television host Samantha Brown has been hosting TV travel programs for 20 years. During her time at Travel Channel she created 10 original international and domestic travel series generating over 170 hours of television. In 2017 Samantha moved from the Travel Channel to PBS and Season 1 of her new series Samantha Brown’s Places to Love premiered in January, 2018. In Places to Love, Samantha features the destinations, experiences and most importantly the people that make us the traveler feel like we belong to a place. Season 3 will begin airing on PBS in January 2020 and features destinations like Florida Keys, New Zealand, Miami, Budapest, Dallas and Vienna.
Samantha is known for getting to the emotional heart of travel by focusing on the people, their culture, and the privilege of spending time in their everyday lives. Viewers passionately follow Samantha and her expert advice not only because of her experience and knowledge, but also because of her warmth, genuineness and love for travel.
Samantha grew up in New Hampshire and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and 7 year old twins Ellis and Elizabeth.

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.

Lorie Dankers

Seattle-based Public Affairs Manager, Transportation Security Administration

Ms. Dankers is currently the Seattle-based public affairs manager for the Transportation Security Administration, handling media and public affairs duties for the western and mid-western United States.  In this role, she is responsible for explaining TSA programs, procedures and priorities to reporters and key stakeholders; publicly representing the agency’s position on transportation security matters; and overseeing security-related outreach programs.
After graduating from the Edward R. Murrow School of Communications at Washington State University, Lorie began her career in Washington, D.C., working in television news before moving on to the U.S. Senate. She later joined the media relations office at the U.S. Department of Transportation, working as public affairs spokeswoman alongside three different Secretaries of Transportation. In 2006, she joined the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a spokeswoman for U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  She has been with TSA since fall 2011.
Lorie grew up in western Washington and currently resides in Bellevue, Wash.  She is a former WSU Alumni Association President and can often be seen playing piccolo in the WSU Alumni Band. In March 2018, she was inducted into the Edward R. Murrow Hall of Achievement at WSU. Outside of work, Lorie’s hobbies include photography, travel and spending time outdoors in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She maintains an active voice on Twitter related to TSA matters at TSAMedia_Lorie.

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.

 

Dr. Amartuvshin (Amara) Dorjsuren

Associate Professor, National University of Mongolia & Board member, Mongolian Tourism Association

Dr. Amara is a specialist in Sustainable Tourism and a geographer. He gained PhD after undertaking research on the impact of tourism development in rural Mongolia from Sheffield Hallam University, the UK.
He spent his childhood riding his horses in the Western Mongolian province of Gobi-Altai, between the Gobi Desert and Altai Mountains and is an accomplished horseman. He has travelled extensively in his homeland and abroad (Patagonia, Alaska, Siberia and South East Asia) and is an experienced wilderness tour leader, having led groups to the peaks of the Altai mountains, the homelands of the reindeer people in Northern Mongolia and the Khentii Mountains (the birthplace of Chinggis Khaan).
His unique blend of academic and local knowledge, plus a personal enthusiasm for paleontology and bird watching make him an expert source of Mongolia. He is passionate to share his expertise on Mongolia with wider international audience.

Jill Esposito

Director CA/P, Office of Policy Coordination and Public Affairs, Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs

Jill Esposito is a Foreign Service Officer who has served in a variety of positions, both in Washington, DC, and overseas.  Jill most recently served at the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik, where she ran the mission as Chargé d’Affaires.  Prior to her tour in Iceland, Jill served as Consul General at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, with responsibility for coordinating consular affairs throughout the three U.S. Posts operating in Iraq. Previous assignments include postings as the Director of Public and Diplomatic Liaison for the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Visa Office, and Director of Consular Training at the State Department’s diplomatic training institute. Jill’s diplomatic postings overseas include assignment in Ottawa, Canada, Lima, Peru, Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Hamilton, Bermuda.  She also served at a Canadian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar City, Afghanistan, helping to transition the base from Canadian control to U.S. leadership and management. Jill speaks Thai and Spanish, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Georgetown University as well a Master’s degree in Asian Studies from the University of Hawaii, where she was a grantee at the East-West Center.  An avid skier and hiker, Jill spends as much time as she can with her two college-aged daughters, who share her love for the outdoors.

Emilio Faillace

Travel Tour Leader, Bella Guatemala

Emilio Faillace is a skilled naturalist/environmentalist and international tour leader based in Guatemala. For over 10 years, he has been guiding tour through the Maya World, exploring the countries of Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras with expert travel knowledge of Belize. Having spent years living and working  in Europe, he is proficient in four languages: English, Spanish, Italian and German with more than a decade of first-hand experience, in addition he has an extensive background in ecotourism and sustainable tourism.
Born on the Caribbean coast of Guatemala, Emilio Faillace has developed his expertise as an international tour leader through guiding groups throughout the Maya world for over a decade. With a degree in Ecotourism, Faillace has worked as a private consultant and guide instructor as well managed environmental and social projects throughout Guatemala. He has represented the Guatemalan Tourism Board at prestigious conferences in Europe and is fluent in English, Italian and German as well as Spanish. A skilled naturalist and environmentalist with a passion for sustainable tourism, Faillace is an expert in the pristine and unique flora and fauna found in Mesoamerica

Zanjan Fromer

Founder of GERtoGER.org, International Field Specialist and NATGEO GEOtourism Ambassador, GER to GER GEOtourism Mongolia

Mr. Zanjan Fromer, Alaskan born Native American half-breed (Alaskan Tlingit), is an International Field Specialist with a long history in film, media, tourism and social economic development fields for well over 30+ years; in Alaska, across Mongolia and beyond. Mr. Fromer arrived in Mongolia in 1994 and was invited to join the first USAID Teams to Mongolia (1998/99-2003) that assisted Mongolia through its post-Soviet Transition to re-establish and strengthen its rural to international supply chains around the world; meat, tourism and cashmere industries via Rapid Expeditionary Development & Mass Media International Marketing Initiatives. Post USAID Teams, Mr. Fromer remained in Mongolia to further his nationwide tourism and film related Initiatives via the founding of GERtoGER.org GEOtourism Mongolia that is internationally recognized, accredited and published by renown institutions for over a decade that include numerous National Geographic Society publications (certified NATGEO GEOtourism Ambassador), Ashoka Changemakers, USAID, SDC, UNESCAP, New York Magazine, Lonely Planet Mongolia and Trans-Siberian, USA Today, ABC News, Rough Guides, etc. As for Mr. Fromer’s legacy in Film and TV industry, he is well documented as one of Mongolia’s main Film/TV Specialist (country fixer, facilitator and production management) for famed TV Shows such as CBS’s The Amazing Race 10 USA (EMMY Award Winning Season) and The Amazing Race Australia 2019, Syfy’s Destination Truth (fixer), National Geographic Society’s D.C. Museum Centerpiece Filmmaker, Rubin Art Museum’s Centerpiece Filmmaker (NYC), NBC (executive scout) and many more. Owing to decades of Mr. Fromer’s works across Mongolia and abroad – it ultimately led to Mr. Fromer becoming the first Native American to be awarded Mongolia’s Ministry Medal of Honor for Leadership for successful contributions towards Mongolia’s transitional development.

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.

Mariam Ghazaryan

CEO & Founder of the Caucasus Tours

An enthusiastic globetrotter and photographer, Mariam Ghazaryan is the founder of The Caucasus Tours. She is an expert in ancient history and Armenian culture, as well as a linguist proficient in four languages: Russian, Spanish, English and Armenian. A graduate of Yerevan State University, Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology, she started her career as a tour guide in 2003. Mariam has guided thousands of travelers from all over the world together with whom she has hiked nearly every corner of Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Georgia. Born in Armenia, raised in a wine-making family, Mariam is a long time wine enthusiast. It is not a secret the Caucasus is the place where winemaking originated and throughout her career, Mariam visited most of the wineries in the region which has led her to develop excellent relationships with some of the best winemakers. Her company specializes in food and wine tours combined with cultural and historic sightseeing in South Caucasus region. Through these experiences she has gained an understanding of the cultural differences around the world making her the right person to take care of all your travel requests.

Jose Antonio Gonzalez

Travel Tour Leader, Bella Guatemala

Jose Antonio Gonzalez is an international explorer, an archaeologist and notable expedition leader based in Guatemala.  Over the course of more than 20 years, he’s explored nearly every corner of the Maya region of Mesoamerica including Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, as well as the countries of Nicaragua, Panama, Columbia, Peru and Cuba.  He is an expert in Maya Culture and history
With a passion for archaeology and a never-ending love for the nature of discovery, Gonzalez’s Knowledge, work and experience is unmatched. Jose Antonio Gonzalez study archaeology as well as art history at Universities in Guatemala.  As scholar, he helped to shape the field of Maya studies by continually contributing his expertise to universities throughout the region.
In addition to his scholarly activities, Jose has lead dozens specialized tours and expeditions to many well-known or recently discovered sites in the remote jungles of Mesoamerica and numerous ancient settlements throughout Latin America. An avid outdoorsman and born explorer, Gonzales enjoys mountain and volcano climbing, white water rafting, deep sea fishing and camping. He is also known for his work as a producer and host for documentaries on archaeology, nature and adventure in Mesoamerica.

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 America’s most recognized, honored and respected frontline travel news journalist. He is the Travel Editor for CBS News, appearing on CBS This Morning, the CBS Evening News and CBS Sunday Morning. His long-running nationally syndicated CBS News radio show, Eye on Travel, is broadcast each week from a different location around the world.
The consummate insider on reporting the travel business as news, Greenberg also hosts The Travel Detective, airing on Public Television across the United States. This weekly television newsmagazine offers cutting-edge travel information and insider tips travelers need to know before they ever leave home. It also showcases hidden gem destinations across the country, and around the world.
Greenberg produces and co-hosts an ongoing series of acclaimed global television specials, The Royal Tour, featuring personal, one-on-one journeys through countries with their heads of state. Along with such leaders as the King of Jordan, Prime Ministers of New Zealand and Israel, and Presidents of Mexico and Peru, Greenberg’s latest special features the Prime Minister of Poland.
Greenberg is also author of The New York Times best-selling Travel Detective series. The Best Places for Everything, comes in the wake of such titles as Don’t Go There!, The Complete Travel Detective Bible, Flight Crew Confidential, and The Traveler’s Diet.
Travel Weekly named him one of the most influential people in travel, along with Bill Marriott and Richard Branson. Greenberg was also inducted into the U.S. Travel Association’s Hall of Leaders for his contributions to the travel industry.
Among other honors, Greenberg received a News & Documentary Emmy Award for the ABC 20/20 special, “What Happened to the Children?” Greenberg also won an Emmy as part of the NBC Dateline team for outstanding coverage of a breaking news story, Miracle on the Hudson.
Greenberg began his career in journalism as West Coast correspondent for Newsweek in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He is also 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.
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.

Russell Hannon

Ultra-Economical Travel Expert, Break the Travel Barrier

Once feeling unable to afford to travel, Russell Hannon uses lean principles to travel at a fraction of the going rate. He has been on CNBC, FOX, CBS, USA Today, Women’s World, Around the World Travel TV, and nationally broadcast lifestyle and personal finance shows. Russell worked as a CBC Budget Travel Columnist, founded BreakTheTravelBarrier.com, and is the author of ‘Stop Dreaming… Start Traveling: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling More & Spending Less.’

Debra Ihrig

Business Development Manager, MSC Cruises

Jared Kamrowski

Founder, Thrifty Traveler

Jared Kamrowski is the founder of Thrifty Traveler, the leading source for flight deals, cheap travel tips, and learning how to maximize travel rewards. Jared honed his travel skills by traveling over 100 nights a year as a CPA. He left his job in 2017 and now runs Thrifty Traveler full time flying over 100,000 miles per year. You can catch him flying the fanciest first-class cabins as well as budget airlines, paying only pennies on the dollar. He resides with his wife Erica in Minneapolis, MN.

Juno Kim

Tourism Sales Manager, Visit Anchorage

Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Juno set off for the wider world to pursue her passion for travel and storytelling 9 years ago. She traveled the world as an award-winning travel blogger and photographer, witnessing the everyday life of different cultures. During her years as a digital nomad, Juno first visited Alaska in 2013 and fell in love and in 2017, Juno and her husband permanently relocated to Anchorage. Juno’s goal is to spread her love of Anchorage to the world, introducing hidden stories of her new home.

Rosanna Neophytou

Marketing Manager, Tucan Travel

Rosanna Neophytou is the UK based Marketing Manager at Tucan Travel. Rosanna has been with Tucan Travel for 5 years and has travelled extensively through Africa and Europe.  Trekking to see the gorillas of Uganda was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and high on the list of many savvy travelers. Come sit in on Rosanna’s experience and learn more about traveling through eastern Africa.

Owin Pierson

Asian-American lifestyle content creator

27 year old Influencer based in Los Angeles. Owin is an Asian-American lifestyle content creator who focuses on travel, fashion, mental health & LGBT advocacy

Denella Ri’chard

Sr. Director of Trade Engagement & Onboard Sales, Holland America Line

Denella Ri’chard is Holland America Line’s Senior Director, Trade Engagement and Onboard Sales.  Her team is responsible for developing deep and broad relationships with the trade and the cruise travel industry through innovative technologies, communications, marketing tools & resources, social media, and training. Thus, enabling travel advisors to grow their cruise business and advance their professional career development.  Denella has been in the travel & cruise industry for over 20 years. Prior to Holland America Line, she was with Norwegian Cruise Line in Miami, Florida, where she was Director of Global Product Management and Director of Business Development. Before joining the cruise industry, she was at Hilton Worldwide, where she was responsible for global and partnership marketing, launching the Hampton by Hilton brand internationally. In 1999 she moved to Brussels, Belgium, to launch one of Europe’s first online travel start-up companies, Leisureplanet.  Denella is an active member of Cruise Lines International Association where she sits on the Trade Relations Committee.  She is also an active member of American Society of Travel Agents and sits on the Allied Marketing Committee and ASTA South Florida Board.

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.

Brooke Smith

Director of Public Relations, Visit Yosemite | Madera County 

Brooke Smith was raised in Oakhurst, California and attended college at Fresno State University and San Francisco City College. She returned to the region in 2011 and began a career in hospitality, working for a local resort property. Brooke’s passion for the region propelled her to position in sales and marketing and furthered her interest in promoting tourism to this uniquely beautiful part of the world. Her love for the outdoors was nurtured when she enjoyed the opportunity of living in Yosemite Valley with her husband and two young children. When she’s not touring with media guests, or producing a creative project, Brooke loves to visit national and state parks and travel internationally.
We are thrilled to welcome Brooke to the team and are eager to utilize her wellspring of enthusiasm for our world-famous region and her talent for sharing stories.

Dupree Smith

District Manager, Business Development / Sales & Marketing, The Bahamas Tourist Office, Houston

Dupree Smith is an experienced sales and marketing professional having worked in the oil and gas industry for 10+ years, before entering the hospitality industry.
As the District Business Development Manager with The Bahamas Tourist Office, he is currently focused on the development of the travel trade segment as well as sales and marketing of The Islands of The Bahamas with a specific focus on  the Southwest US region including Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Kansas and Nebraska.
He graduated from the historic Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and a Master of Arts in Marketing at Texas Southern University.

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.

Jessica Trappe

Marketing Manager, Mauly Tours Ltd.

Writer-Editor-Marketing Manager, Jessica Trappe was born and brought up in East Africa. She holds a BA degree from Rhodes University in South Africa. Jessica completed a double major in Journalism & Media Studies, and Sociology.  She has co-authored four books, and has edited numerous more, all based on her knowledge and experience of growing up in Tanzania. Her proficiency in media, marketing and consultancy allows her to express and share her love for Tanzania, and tourism as a whole.

Inesa Vaskeviciute

Customer Care Manager at Greenlife Tours Ltd. – CaminoWays.com

Inesa is the Customer Care Manager at Greenlife Tours. For the last 3 years, Inesa has been helping many happy pilgrims and trekkers around the world to fulfil their dreams of travelling. Her team’s goal is to ensure that all travelers have the best experience possible when travelling with Greenlifetours.
As a supporter of active lifestyle Inesa enjoys hiking, walking, cycling and all things outdoors, and therefore believes that active holidays are the most enjoyable ones.  Originally from Lithuania, Inesa has been living in Ireland for half of her life and has hiked all of Ireland’s mountains as well as many others around Europe.

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!

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.

Valerie Joy Wilson

CEO, Travel Journalist, Host, Photographer, Trusted Travel Girl, LLC

Valerie Joy Wilson is a travel expert, journalist, self-made social media influencer, host, explorer, and entrepreneur. Valerie has been a travel enthusiast and experience junkie from a young age. Growing up in the foothills of the Adirondacks, Valerie found her sense of adventure and love for the outdoors by participating in skiing, sailing, hiking, scuba, and waterskiing. She attributes her audacity and eagerness to explore the world on her own to the discipline and sense of confidence that these activities instilled in her at such a young age.
In addition to writing about her experiences and providing valuable travel deals and advice on her website, Valerie has been featured as a travel expert in Forbes, Insider, The Daily News, The Culture Trip and on Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family, as well as the KTLA morning news. She has written for the Huffington Post, JetSetTimes, Thought Catalog and Matador Network. Valerie also hosts her own video segments in which she reveals an intimate look at some of her favorite destinations.
Founder of Trusted Travel Girl, Valerie Joy Wilson, believes that the best adventures lie just off the beaten path and the only way to make the most of your time while traveling is to experience each city like a local, not a tourist.
Valerie’s philosophy is that it is not enough to just see the sites, but you need to leave the tourist traps and immerse yourself in the local culture of the city or country. Get off-the-beaten-path and enjoy the local cuisine, experience the beliefs and values of the community, and absorb the art and knowledge of the people. Trusted Travel Girl seeks authentic experiences, creating unique content for each destination visited. Valerie inspires her audience to leave the beaten path of tourism and encourages everyone to be travelers, not tourists.

Claudio Zemp

Director Americas, Switzerland Tourism

Claudio Zemp was appointed Switzerland Tourism’s (ST) Director of Americas on 1st August 2019. In addition to his extensive international marketing expertise, Claudio Zemp has in-depth experience in marketing strategy as well as in destination promotion in the English-speaking world.
After Germany, the United States is the second most important foreign market for tourism in Switzerland. Over 2.2 million hotel overnight stays were registered from US guests in 2018 – an impressive 10% increase compared with 2017, a steady growth has been recorded over the last few years. In addition to the USA, the region Americas includes Canada and Brazil, markets which generated over 270,000 and 242,000 hotel overnight stays respectively last year.
Claudio Zemp moved to New York after a four-year stint as ST’s Director in India where he played a central role in developing the popular campaign featuring ST brand ambassador and Bollywood star Ranveer Singh, which contributed to exceptional growth of 64% in overnight stays generated by Indian visitors during his tenure.
Prior to joining ST Claudio Zemp worked for five years as Head of the Switzerland Convention and Incentive Bureau (SCIB) in London acquiring strong expertise in the meetings and incentive industry.  Previous to that, he held a number of positions with travel agencies, tour operators and flight consolidators in Switzerland, New Zealand and the UK, giving him first-hand understanding of the needs of the various stakeholders within the travel industry.