Speakers

Randall Armor

Engineer and Creative Director, The Mount Washington Cog Railway

Randall Armor grew up nearby, just across the Ben Franklin Bridge in Marlton, NJ, with a career ambition to work as a professional photographer. Upon hearing that, his high school girlfriend’s father (who happened to be the personnel manager for the PATCO High Speed Line at the time) figured his daughter might wind up marrying a deadbeat, so that’s where his railroad story began: operating a PATCO train on the overnight shift. Still, wanderlust and the dream of traveling the world shooting pictures persisted, and Armor quit the railroad a few years later to seek his fame and fortune. While he achieved neither, he did spend most of the following four decades as a commercial photographer, graphic designer and educator in greater Boston. Semi retirement and an aversion to city traffic led him to the White Mountains of Northern New Hampshire and a return to his roots, this time as a qualified brakeman and engineer on the Mount Washington Cog Railway. Hauling tourists up to the majestic summit of the highest mountain peak in the Northeast feels a world away from running around in circles in the middle of the night beneath the streets of Philadelphia. And his off-season role as the Railway’s Creative Director is a reminder that he must have learned a useful thing or two in all those years in between.

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.

Joe Docal

Director of Travel Industry Sales USA (Northeast & Midwest) & Latin America, Greater Miami Convention & Visitor’s Bureau

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.

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.

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.

Trish Feaster

Founder & CEO, Founder & CEO of The Travelphile 

For 25 years, Trish Feaster has traveled throughout Europe, Central and South America, Southeast Asia, North Africa, The Caribbean, and the good ol’ U.S. of A. She champions the notion that we can all “journey well” by allowing travel to heighten our senses and to remind us to see things with open eyes, an open heart, and an open mind–even if we’re just “traveling” in our own town. Trish embraces her love of travel as an opportunity to learn about the people, history, architecture, art, politics, religion, and cuisine of other cultures, and to bring those lessons home and learn from them. During her fifteen-year tenure as a high school Spanish teacher in California, Trish shared her love of travel with her students by taking them on annual trips to Europe. These days, she’s expanded her “classroom” even more as a veteran tour guide and guidebook researcher for Rick Steves’ Europe, a tour guide for Imprint Tours and as a writer for her travel blog,  www.thetravelphile.com.
Journey with The Travelphile and follow her adventures on…

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, from hiking in the Chugach Mountains, to fly fishing some of our amazing rivers. Tia has worked in the Alaska tourism industry for over 19 years, so her knowledge is vast and expansive. Tia wants YOU to come explore Southcentral Alaska and make this year ALASKA!

Tiffany Funk

Managing Editor at One Mile at a Time

Tiffany Funk manages One Mile at a Time, the largest independently-owned travel and loyalty blog, focusing on making luxury travel accessible for cheap. Her articles break down the basics of redeeming miles for aspirational travel — whatever those aspirations may be!
One of the world’s top experts on airline award travel, Tiffany speaks at conferences worldwide to educate business and leisure travelers on frequent flyer programs and maximizing their points.
Tiffany is a passionate traveler, having lived abroad on multiple occasions and visited over 70 countries. She is currently based in Spokane.

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.

Ryan Hahn

Senior Guide, Bucket List Tour Guide

Ryan Hahn is an international tour guide and certified travel agent specializing in personizalied tours, vacations, cruises, and experiences. He has lead tours in dozens of countries on 4 continents. Ryan has done it all when it comes to touring and can speak of personal travel experiences gleaned from his many trips all over the world. Since he is also a full service travel agent, Ryan has vast experience in all aspects of travel. It would be his pleasure to offer services and help with your special vacation and event. “I want my guests to discover something about themselves they didn’t know before they traveled!”

Stefan Krasowski

Founder Every Passport Stamp Facebook group, blogger at Rapid Travel Chai

Stefan Krasowski has traveled to every country in the world. He founded Every Passport Stamp, the leading Facebook group for travelers that think no destination too remote or difficult. His travels have earned him membership in the Circumnavigators Club and Travelers’ Century Club.
Blogging on frequent flyer programs at Rapid Travel Chai, Stefan is an expert in rewards credit cards, airline and hotel programs, specializing in using points for exotic and remote destinations. He is a Delta Million Miler and has top tier status with multiple loyalty programs.
Stefan got his traveling start in China where he lived and worked for a decade, becoming fluent in Mandarin Chinese. He is currently based in Seattle.

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).

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.

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 and CEO of 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.

Andre Nabors

Partner Relations Manager, Visit North Carolina

Andre` Nabors serves as the Partner Relations Manager for the Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC), supporting sustainable efforts to market and promote the state’s natural, historic and cultural resources for communities, non-profits, and tourism related entities to improve tourism product and visitation across North Carolina. In December of 2012, Tourism was charged to oversee the NC Certified Retirement Community Program to encourage retirees and those planning to retire to make their home in North Carolina. Andre manages that program.
Andre` formerly held a similar position with the West Virginia Division of Tourism 1999-2006, where he provided marketing, research, communications and other types of assistance to communities, attractions and CVBs throughout West Virginia.  In that role, he worked to develop the state’s first African-American Heritage Guide identifying cultural and historic attractions, as well as foster its Civil War Trail program.  Andre` also worked on several projects such as Scenic Byways, Rail to Trails, National Coal Heritage Area, Freedom Trek II and III, Governor’s Black History Month Kick-Off program, and the Booker T. Washington Institute at WV State University.
Before moving to North Carolina, Andre` was convention sales manager for the Charleston (W.V.) CVB, where he covered the markets of sports, military, group, fraternity and also managed the Charleston Sports Committee.  He began his career in tourism in June 1992 with the West Virginia’s Parkways Authority Welcome Centers as a travel counselor and manager.  Andre` is a Travel Marketing Professional (TMP) through the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College program and has over 25 years of experience in the tourism industry.

Lillian Rafson

Founder + CEO, Pack Up + Go

Lillian Rafson, founder and CEO of Pack Up + Go, launched the business in January 2016 at 23 years old. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, and a graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School with a major in Consumer Culture, Lillian has always had a passion for travel and supporting small businesses. She is thrilled to share her love for exploration through Pack Up + Go’s mission of embracing the unknown and encouraging spontaneity in each of its travelers.

Kim Riddle

Business Development Manager US, Aruba Tourism Authority

A veteran of the travel industry with over 30 years of experience; Kim Riddle is no stranger to Aruba, beginning her relationship with One Happy Island back in 1990 while working with Tour Operator companies.
Shortly after the birth of her twins in 1997, Kim made the transition to the Aruba Tourism Authority taking with her a deep love for Aruba as well as a strong dedication to both travel advisors and her fellow team members.  That combination of commitment and enthusiasm has led her to her current role as the Business Development Manager for the US.
When not busy serving travel counselors, Kim enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

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.

Lisa Vogele

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

Lisa Vogele is a professional travel consultant and genealogist. She is the Chief Tree Climber at Travel Your Tree: Where Ancestry meets Adventure, a full-service family history research, travel planning & 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.

Sandi Williams

Ambassador for African Ancestry

Dr. Sandi is an African Ancestry Ambassador committed to spreading the Word to the African Diaspora about the importance of finding their roots. After taking the African Ancestry DNA test over 7 years ago, Dr. Sandi’s life changed.  Immediately she recognized the importance of African American women finding their roots as a path to Living their BEST LIFE with an emphasis on women age 50 plus.  Her individual and group coaching began to emphasize the importance of knowing your roots, self-inspiration, and personal development. After meeting Dr. Gina Paige on the continent of Africa 3 years ago, she became an African Ancestry Ambassador.
Dr. Sandi is a Transformational Life Coach with over 25 years’ experience engaging in her passion empowering women and girls in the United States and Africa. Sandi holds a BA, Ma, and Ph.D. in Psychology Sandi and is a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania, Fels School of Government, Social Innovations Lab -2014 Cohort DR. Sandi is an international scholar and an active member of the prestigious Golden Key International Honour Society in which noted scholars Desmond Tutu and President Bill Clinton are members. Sandi is an expert in life transitions and bridge building with over 30 research papers on the empowerment of women in various aspects of life. Her current most prominent venture is The Purple Circle, a powerful, spirit filled, high energy space where things are created, awareness and consciousness is lifted and women heal, grow, manifest, achieve and become! The goal is to live your best life. The Purple Circle Messages are power tools, sacred truths that if applied will change your life.
www.tsandiwilliams.com
www.awealthofwomen.org
http://www.awowghana.org/

Michael Wong

Tahiti Tourisme United States

Michael Wong, speaker for The Islands of Tahiti shares his destination knowledge and expertise in a fascinating presentation that will reveal the many sides to this island paradise, Bora Bora and beyond. Michael has spent much of his career with Aranui Cruises, the oldest Tahitian cruise company operating in The Islands of Tahiti. This unique cruise company offers passage on a half-freighter, half-passenger cruise ship and its primary route explores The Marquesas Islands, one of the most stunning, culturally rich and geographically remote archipelagoes in the world. Raised on Tahiti and with decades of experience working in the tourism and hospitality industry, Michael shares his extensive knowledge of the destination as only a true insider can.