Speakers

Oya Bekisoglu

Regional Sales Director, Central USA, Atlas Ocean Voyages

Passionate is the word to describe my love for travel, meeting new people, visiting established industry colleagues and partners, and exploring the world! I have as bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. With 25 years in the travel industry, my career experience includes air consolidation, hotels, tour operators, and cruise lines.

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.

Sarah Dandashy

Award-Winning Travel Concierge and Travel Expert, Ask a Concierge

Sarah Dandashy is a verified travel expert, author, and TV personality with over 18 years of luxury hotel experience. Sought out for her travel tips, advice, and knowledge of trends from the “frontlines of travel,” Sarah pivoted her career from being an award-winning concierge to traveling the globe working with some of the leading brands in the travel industry. Follow her on social media under her brand, “Ask A Concierge,” or catch her on the news breaking down the latest in the travel on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, or Chedder News. Sarah has been featured in numerous publications from the New York Times, Nerdwallet, Business Insider, USNews, Reader’s Digest, and Thrillist, and she is the author of the book, Hospitality From Within.

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.

Tia Froehle

Tourism Sales Manager, Visit Anchorage

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!

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.

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.

Brian Kelly

Founder and CEO of The Points Guy (TPG)

Brian Kelly is the founder and CEO of The Points Guy (TPG), the leading voice in loyalty programs, points, miles, credit cards and travel. He has grown TPG to be a powerhouse travel and lifestyle media platform that reaches over 10 million unique monthly visitors around the world.
Kelly has found a unique way to reach his audience and inspire millions to live their best lives through his supercharged personality, deep industry knowledge and extensive worldwide travel. Through his content and creativity, annual TPG Awards, reader events, video series and social media, Kelly has introduced new platforms in an effort to bring the latest and greatest to millions of TPG followers and travel consumers. He has been recognized with awards and accolades, including AdWeek’s “Young Influentials” list in 2019 and Forbes’ #1 travel influencer. His long-standing knowledge and expertise has garnered the trust of the nation’s top morning shows, with appearances on TODAY Show, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America and Kelly & Ryan, among others.
Kelly’s passion for travel is shared by a belief in using travel as a global force for good, and he currently serves as a Committee Member for Rainbow Railroad, Global Ambassador for PeaceJam, Co-Chair of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Leadership Council, Goalkeeper for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and member of PTTOW.
Rudy Maxa

Rudy Maxa

Travel Journalist, Broadcaster

Former Washington Post investigative reporter and columnist, Maxa has worked for 17 years as a contributing editor with National Geographic Traveler magazine; co-created and hosted the former public radio show, “The Savvy Traveler;” and has produced and hosted 98, half-hour episodes for public television featuring the world’s great destinations, “Rudy Maxa’s World.”  Those shows have garnered numerous awards including several Emmys.  As a consumer travel writer, he’s written numerous newspapers and magazines around the world and served as a travel columnist for ABC.com and MSNBC.com.

Angel Trinh

Founder and Blogger, Pennywise Traveler

Angel has been features on the Today Show, Forbes, CNBC, BuzzFeed x Bank of America, and Creditcards.com for her work in money, travel, and technology.
Angel got her first taste of solo and budget travel when she studied abroad in Rome, Italy for her last semester of undergrad in 2012. Just like any other college student, Angel did not have enough money, and decided to apply to grants and scholarships to study abroad. Surprisingly this led her to her getting free tuition, free housing, and $7,000 in spending money to use towards her program. This then led to her visiting 19 countries and 2 continents in 7 months, which was all funded from her scholarships and grants.
Angel decided to start Pennywise Traveler because she wanted to connect the dots between money and travel. She wanted to teach people that they can save on everyday things through apps and credit cards, and use the money saved towards travel. Through her hacks you will learn how to maximize points to save money, stack, and travel for less.
In Pennywise Traveler you will also find money tips, such as tips on how to attend conferences for free, how to find free facials, and how to attend free fitness classes. Please stay tuned for travel budget itineraries and more ideas on how to save on everyday things to make a bigger travel budget.
Angel has been to 35 countries to date and all 7 continents. In her free time, she enjoys going to “free” events with friends, working out, and cooking.

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.