Speakers

Wendy Alexander

Host of Travel, Wine & Dine TV Show

The World of Travel has changed in the past two years, but family and friends still want to enjoy themselves and share great memories on vacations. Road Tripping with Wendy Alexander, Host of Travel, Wine & Dine will give you expert advice on how to plan, pack and enjoy vacations from the road. From when to take your vacation, where to go, what to bring and what to do before you go, Road Tripping with Wendy Alexander will share it all. Road trips are very popular and safe now more than ever so forget cancelled flights, crowded airports, long lines and hit the road in your car or RV and see the world!

Deon Barnard

CEO, Go Touch Down Travel & Tours

Born in South Africa and moved to the USA in 2009
In 2010 was instrumental in setting up GTD retail travel company in North America
Creative thinker and passionate leader, with 32 yrs. experience in the travel industry
Responsible for the launch of the highly affective and sought-after seat sale series at the biggest Travel and Adventure shows in the USA

Petra Brennan

Director of the Tourism Business Enhancement Program, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Multicultural Tourism & Development Department

Born in South Africa and moved to the USA in 2009
Petra Brennan is the Director of the Tourism Business Enhancement Program for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (GMCVB) Multicultural Tourism & Development Department. At the GMCVB, she manages this program working with small businesses and stakeholders in tandem with hospitality industry suppliers and partners to support tourism opportunities and small business capacity. The Tourism Business Enhancement Program (TBE) advocates, supports, and strengthens multicultural communities’ economic sustainability and access to heritage-related businesses within the Greater Miami & Miami Beaches. Through these program efforts Miami’s multicultural communities, attractions and events are heightened creating a viable opportunity for local businesses and an enhanced experience for visitors. Petra also leads the GMCVB Multicultural Tourism & Development art program, Art of Black Miami. This marketing initiative highlights the diversity of the artistic and cultural landscape found in Miami’s heritage neighborhoods and communities year-round throughout Greater Miami and Miami Beaches.

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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, 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!

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.

Senitra Horbrook

Editor at The Points Guy

Senitra Horbrook, Editor at The Points Guy, is a frequent solo traveler who first began using miles and points in 2012 to travel on a shoestring budget. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and is a successful writer and editor, with experience working at several publications.

Yuto Horigome

Skateboarding Gold Medalist of 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, Professional Skateboarder

At 22 years old, Yuto Horigome has become a global icon in the skateboarding world. Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Yuto was introduced to skateboarding at the age of six from his father and immediately fell in love. In his early teens, he was the top skateboarder in Japan and traveled around the world to compete in top contests. Yuto ultimately decided to move to Los Angeles, California at 18 years-old after graduating high school to focus on skating. Since moving to the US, he has been tearing up the skate scene winning three consecutive SLS contests from 2018-2019 (became the first Japanese skater to win the SLS in London 2018) and capturing the gold medal at the X Games Minneapolis 2019 and at the 2021 Street World Championship in Italy. Yuto also became the first person ever to win the gold medal in skateboarding at the Olympics, doing so in his home city at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics in the inaugural Olympic men’s street event.

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.

Matthew Klint

Blogger at Live and Let’s Fly

Matthew Klint is an avid traveler who calls Los Angeles home. Each year he travels more than 200,000 miles by air and has visited more than 135 countries over the last decade. Working both in the aviation industry and as a travel consultant, Matthew has been featured in major media outlets around the world.
Studying international relations, American government, and later obtaining a law degree, Matthew has a plethora of knowledge outside the travel industry that leads to a unique writing perspective. He has served in the United States Air Force, on Capitol Hill, and in the White House.
His Live and Let’s Fly blog shares the latest news in the airline industry, commentary on frequent flyer programs and promotions, and detailed reports of his worldwide travel.
He also founded awardexpert.com, a highly-personalized consulting service that aids clients in the effective use of their credit card points and frequent flyer miles.

Derrik J. Lang

Lifestyle Editor, Shondaland

Derrik J. Lang is an award-winning storyteller who has created content about travel and culture for more than 15 years. He currently serves as the lifestyle editor at Shondaland.com, where he oversees coverage of travel, food, style, design, and everything else that sparks joy in readers’ lives. Previously, Lang was the senior editor at American Airlines’ American Way magazine and covered the entertainment industry at The Associated Press. His work has been published by the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Entertainment Weekly, Travel + Leisure, Palm Springs Life, Washington Post, Thrillist, and Time Out.

Debra Lee

Directory, Travel Industry Sales, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

Debra Lee was appointed Travel Industry Sales Director at the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau in April 2019. She has responsibility for the Southeastern, Southwestern and Western USA, the Caribbean, Brazil, and Cruise (niche).
Debra is a graduate of the University of Miami with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and a Minor in Marketing. She has over thirty (30) years of experience in the travel industry and started her career as an American Airlines Customer Service Representative at the Miami International Airport in 1990. After spending eleven years with American Airlines in various departments; Debra went onto become Regional Sales Manager for the Caribbean at global distribution and travel technology provider, Travelport. During her 15-year tenure at Travelport, Debra also served as Marketing Support Manager for Latin America and was the Steering Committee Coordinator for Travelport’s Latin America Expansion Project. In 2016, Debra assumed the role of Business Development Manager with American Airlines Vacations, where she remained until October 2017. Prior to joining the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau in April 2019, Debra worked as the Business Development Manager for the Southwestern USA at the Jamaica Tourist Board.
In her downtime, Debra enjoys travelling, especially to her homeland of Jamaica and spending time with her family. She is an avid sports fan who always roots for her beloved Miami Hurricanes and Team Jamaica!

Jessica Long

16-Time U.S. Paralympic Gold Medalist, Author, & Speaker

Jessica’s life has been nothing short of amazing. Born to a teenage mother in the Siberia cold, burdened by congenital defects in her legs requiring double amputation, and placed for adoption at 13 months old, Jessica was able to persevere and become a 23x Paralympic medalist, world champion and record holder.
With an unrelenting determination and belief in herself, Jessica has been able to reach the pinnacle of her sport and maintain her position amongst the best in the world for over a decade. Now as one of America’s most decorated champions and winningest female athletes in US history, her work focuses on succeeding in the water and inspiring others outside the pool.

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.

Mikala Moss

Leisure Sales & Marketing GM for The Bahamas

Mikala Moss is the Leisure Sales & Marketing GM for The Bahamas, based in Houston, TX, with a territory of responsibility covering the Southwest, Midwest, and Northwest USA. She’s an island girl at heart, but a big city girl by choice, and is always excited to share an authentically Bahamian experience to suit every type of traveler.

Carissa Rawson

Travel Writer, Points and Miles Expert, Just Plane Points

Carissa is an avid traveler and an expert in the realm of rewards travel. She left the Air Force and a career as an Arabic translator behind in 2016 to pursue writing full-time.

Kevin Song

Advisory Panel Member, The Points Guy

Kevin Song has been in the travel game ever since the day he turned 18 and got his first credit card of his own 10 years ago. He loves traveling the world, food, and using points for outsized value. Within a certain segment of the travel community, there’s a term known as “Kevinning”, which refers to booking a flight while at, or on the way to, the airport. He currently holds airline status with American Airlines, British Airways , Japan Airlines , and United. On the hotel side, he holds top tier status with Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, and IHG. He has written for The Points Guy where he currently serves on the Advisory Board, and has presented at a number of conferences, including FTU and Chicago Seminars. By day, he’s a cyber security leader, but by night he pores over fare rules and award charts. More recently, he’s also become a pilot and loves soaring over beautiful coastlines and flying to fun places.

Paul Swart

President, Natural Migrations Inc.

Paul Swart began his career in the tourism industry as a junior guide in the remote Linyanti region of northern Botswana under the tutelage of renowned safari guide and conservationist Map Ives. He steadily worked his way up the ranks at some of the best game reserves in Southern Africa. Prior to forming Natural Migrations in 2006 in the USA, Paul was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Ker and Downey USA. He also served as General Manager of Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, which is consistently voted one of the top game reserves in South Africa. In addition, Paul worked for Wilderness Safaris, including at the renowned Mombo Camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta as a Professional Guide and Lodge Manager. Paul was a member of the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) and sat on the committee that was involved in establishing the code of conduct and standards for professional guiding in South Africa today. He qualified as a FGASA Level Three and SKS Dangerous Game Qualified Safari Guide, the highest achievable ranking. In the past he served for six years as an Executive Board Member of APTA (Association for Promotion of Tourism to Africa) in the USA. Paul is a current member and ex chairman of the Safari Professionals of the Americas and was a trustee on the Board of Rhino Conservation Botswana, a nonprofit organization. When Paul is not in his office, he enjoys horse riding and currently competes in three-day eventing. He visits Africa several times a year to maintain his knowledge and the valuable relationships he has nurtured over the years.

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.</h5