Travel Ambassador, AngelsTravelLounge.com
Angel Castellanos, Travel Ambassador (www.AngelsTravelLounge.com) is a passionate world traveler, travel writer, influencer and nationally recognized speaker dedicated to help people travel smart, well and often. He has over 15 years of experience in the travel industry as a tour guide, retailer, buyer, travel consultant and brand agent. Traveling to over 49 countries on 5 continents (and counting), Angel travels 6-8 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. Angel has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Fox News, Univision, Frommers Radio, USA Today & Travel & Adventure Show as “America’s Newest Travel Expert”.
President, Cooking 4 Life
Melissa specializes in taking old unhealthy recipes and reinventing them to be healthy. She has been a healthy chef for 24 years and together with her husband Scott have had their Cooking 4 Life, Inc. office for 9 years in Kearny Mesa, in San Diego. She is plant based certified through e-Cornel University. She is also an affiliate partner for the Cancer Project and is trained in Cancer and Diabetes prevention cooking. She has appeared on Channel 6 and Channel 9 on television, preparing healthy foods, numerous times.
Emmy Award-Winning Investigative Reporter and Producer and CBS News Travel Editor
A multiple Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and producer, Peter Greenberg is Americaʼs most recognized, honored and respected front-line travel news journalist. Known in the industry as “The Travel Detective,” he is the travel editor for CBS News, appearing on CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, and Sunday Morning, among other broadcast platforms.
The consummate insider on reporting the travel business as news, Greenberg hosts the television show, “The Travel Detective with Peter Greenberg,” airing on Public Television. The series offers 42 half-hour episodes with cutting-edge travel information and insider tips you need to know before you ever leave home, plus in-depth reports on the good, bad, and yes, even ugly aspects of travel.
Greenberg also produces and co-hosts an ongoing series of acclaimed public television specials, “The Royal Tour,” featuring personal, one-on-one journeys through countries with their heads of state. Along with such figures as the King of Jordan, Prime Minister of New Zealand and presidents of Mexico and Peru, Greenbergʼs newest special features the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Among other television projects, Greenberg is creator, co-executive producer and host of CNBCʼs specials “Inside American Airlines: A Week in the Life” and “Cruise Inc: Big Money on the High Seas,” and is co-executive producer of “Baggage Battles,” airing on the Travel Channel, and The History Channelʼs two-hour special “Lost Magic.” On radio he hosts the nationally syndicated show “Peter Greenberg Worldwide,” broadcast each week from a different remote location worldwide, and is heard on hundreds of radio stations across the U.S.
Greenberg is also author of The New York Times best-selling Travel Detective series. His most recent book, The Best Places for Everything, comes in the wake of such titles as Donʼt Go There! and The Complete Travel Detective Bible. Currently editor at large of Global Business Travel magazine and a contributing writer to Watch, he has also been a featured guest on CNN, “The OʼReilly Factor,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” and “The View.”
Travel Weekly named him one of the most influential people in travel, along with Bill Marriott and Richard Branson. In 2012, he was inducted into the U.S. Travel Associationʼs Hall of Leaders for his contributions to the travel industry. Among his other honors, Greenberg received a News & Documentary Emmy Award as part of the “Dateline” team for outstanding coverage of a breaking news story, “Miracle on the Hudson.”
He began his career in journalism as West Coast correspondent for Newsweek in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He won a national Emmy Award (Best Investigative Reporting) for his 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.
Greenberg is a sought-after expert speaker and moderator. He is a keynote speaker at annual summits for the World Travel and Tourism Council, the Global Business Travel Association and Virtuoso. He is also one of the chief moderators at the World Economic Forum and the Global Tourism Economic Forum. Along with a recent TED talk, he is a guest speaker at events which have been hosted by Visa, Bloomberg, AARP and numerous other B2B and B2C organizations.
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.
Tourism Sales Manager, Visit Anchorage
Born in Anchorage and raised on the Alaska outdoors, Ashley Heimbigner can’t wait to share highlights from the 49th state! Whether you seek trailheads or tasting rooms, glaciers or grizzlies, Ashley can point you in the direction of your dream Alaska adventure.
Johnny Jet travels around 175,000 miles and visits over 20 countries each year. He and his website JohnnyJet.com have been featured over 3,000 times in major publications, including USA Today, Time, Fortune and The New York Times, and he has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, NBC, PBS and recently hosted “Hot Spots 2012” on the Travel Channel. JohnnyJet.com has been named “one of the top best money-saving web sites for travel” by Budget Travel Magazine, while the L.A. Times calls it “one of the top 10 essential travel resources on the internet.” Sign up today for Johnny Jet’s free weekly travel newsletter at JohnnyJet.com and follow him live on Twitter.
Host/Co-Executive Producer, The Amazing Race & Author, No Opportunity Wasted
Phil Keoghan is best known for his role as host of Jerry Bruckheimer’s Emmy Award-Winning television show, The Amazing Race.
Phil’s life has been full of travel and adventure. He started traveling at the age of two accompanying his father, a plant scientist and mother who taught music, in third world countries. Phil started working as an assistant camera operator for Television New Zealand before being picked to host the show Spot On. He has gone on to work in over 100 countries around the world as a motivational speaker, author, television host, actor, producer and cameraman on thousands of program episodes.
A pivotal moment in Phil’s life came after a near death experience at the age of 19 when he found himself lost at 120 feet inside a 22,000 ton ship wreck. Surviving this life changing experience prompted Phil to write a list of things to do before he died and develop a philosophy he calls “No Opportunity Wasted,” or NOW for short.
Phil’s NOW philosophy is about learning how to live while you still have the chance, letting go of the handrails, thinking outside the box and using your imagination as your currency. As an avid adventurer, Phil co-created and co-produced a number of original television series including: Short Sportz, a sports show encouraging kids to get involved in sports; Keoghan’s Heroes, featuring top thrill seekers around the world; E-Team, an environmental pilot; The Human Edge, profiling innovative people for National Geographic; and Phil Keoghan’s Adventure Crazy, shot around the world for the Discovery Channel.
In 2004, Keoghan released the best-selling motivational book No Opportunity Wasted, co-written with American journalist Warren Berger. A television series of the same name screened on the Discovery Channel in the United States later that year: contestants were given 72 hours, a clear schedule and $3000 to achieve a long-held dream or desire. The idea was to sweep aside any excuses of lacking time or money, reflecting Keoghan’s belief that procrastination is the biggest enemy to fulfilling dreams. The NOW TV format was also produced in New Zealand (2006) and Canada (2007).
In 2009, Keoghan kicked off a cycle ride from Los Angeles to New York City, in a multi-pronged mission to take on the biggest physical and mental challenge of his life: spend quality time with his Dad and work towards raising one million dollars for his favorite charity, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Phil’s journey was released as a feature length documentary called The Ride which documents his 40 day 5,300 kilometer adventure. The Ride, screening on Showtime, helped Phil reach his goal of generating a million dollars for the National MS Society.
In 2014, Phil and his team retraced the 1928 Tour de France to honor the first English speaking team to compete in the Tour. Sticking to the same daily schedule, which averaged 150 miles a day, Phil and his team rode the same vintage bikes, twice as heavy as today’s modern bikes, with no gears. Wearing the same old woolen outfits, they planned to literally bring history back to life. This epic adventure was released in theaters at the New Zealand International Film Festival.
Phil’s work has earned him numerous prime-time Emmy Awards. He’s also the recipient of a World Class New Zealand Award, The 2011 Dorothy Corwin Spirit of Life Award for services to MS, Celebrity Athlete of the Year at the 2013 Endurance Awards, and a 2012 Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award. In 2014, he was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Originally from New Zealand, he lives with his family in Los Angeles.
Richard Liverance, ThM, DMin
Israel Ministry of Tourism, Marketing Director, Western Region USA
Rich has traveled the world since he was a boy, exploring North America, South America, Europe, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Asia, and the Middle East; but of all the destinations where he has been, his greatest passion is for Israel. He is an ordained pastor with advanced degrees in both theology and Bible teaching, and served for more than 25 years in various churches in the United States, always impressing upon his audiences the importance of Israel to world history and the wonder of traveling there. He now serves as the US Western Regional Marketing Director for the Government of Israel Ministry of Tourism in Los Angeles.
Host of Booze Traveler on Travel Channel
A professional actor and adventurer, Jack Maxwell has learned his best lessons, stories and lighthearted jokes in the barrooms of South Boston. He has made guest appearances on hit broadcast television shows such as 24, Lost, Without a Trace and Beverly Hills 90210. Maxwell became a lifetime member of the Actors Studio in 2003, won Best Actor in a Lead Role at the 2012 Pan Pacific Film Festival and was presented with both the Emerald Star and Golden Halo award from the Southern California Motion Picture Council. Additionally, he has shared stage time with Al Pacino and Jessica Chastain in Oscar Wilde’s Salome, as well as the movie, Wilde Salome, about the making of the play.
At a young age, Maxwell made himself an entrepreneur by shining shoes in neighborhood pubs and gin mills, where he would listen to the boozy tales that echoed from above him. This early experience awakened his awareness of alcohol’s magical socializing effect.
In Travel Channel’s original series Booze Traveler, Maxwell ventures the globe to not only get a taste of a country’s alcohol, but to quench his curiosity about what people drink, why they drink it and the stories they tell when they do. At each stop, he connects with locals, immerses himself in regional activities, learns about the country’s unique relationship with liquor and sometimes even participates in the alcohol-making process.
Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Cruise Planners
Mauricio Ponce is Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Cruise Planners where he oversees a team of 20 travel advisors who service American Express Gold Card Members. He was previously a Business Development Coach for the central region. Where he assisted franchise owners with growing their business by strengthening their marketing ideas, networking skills and sales techniques. Ponce has ten years of experience in the travel industry, working for Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises as an inside sales representative and then as a full-service travel agent.
Author, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die
Patricia Schultz has a dream job: traveling the globe and writing about it. She is the author of the international #1 bestsellers, 1,000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE (with over 3.5 million copies in print and translated into 25 languages) and 1,000 PLACES TO SEE IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA BEFORE YOU DIE. With these works, she has reinvented the idea of travel book as both wish list and practical guide. She was chosen by Forbes as one of the 25 most influential women in travel, and was executive producer of the Travel Channel’s TV show based on her first 1,000 PLACES book.
The second edition of 1,000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE came out in 2011, with 200 entirely new destinations, 28 new countries, full-color photographs, and more than 50 percent new material woven into the revised and expanded entries. It was completely updated in 2015.
Patricia’s own wanderlust began on the beach at Atlantic City, when she set off from the family beach blanket seeking adventure and was returned to an apoplectic mother several hours later. “I had heard the siren call of the great, global beyond,” she recalls, “and I had answered. I was hooked. I was four years old.” Fast forward many decades, and Patricia embarked upon her first 1,000 PLACES book, spending eight years compiling experiences and anecdotes. How did she winnow it all down? “The common denominator I chose was a simple one: that each place impress upon the visitor some sense of the earth’s magic, integrity, wonder, and legacy. And sometimes places that were just plain fun.”
Patricia Schultz has written about travel for publications including The Wall Street Journal, Everyday with Rachael Ray, for guides such as Frommer’s and Berlitz and is a contributing editor for Travel Weekly. She is a popular speaker in both the U.S. and abroad. In more than 25 years of travel writing, she has never lost her curiosity or passion. “Some people can speed from New York to L. A. without registering a thing,” she writes. “I can walk around my mid-Manhattan block and come home with a carton of milk and stories to tell. The inherent beauty of the world and the discovery it promises are all around us.”
Founder and Editor of Wanderlust and Lipstick Wander Tours
Beth Whitman is the Chief Wanderer at Wanderlust and Lipstick (http://wanderlustandlipstick.com) and WanderTours (http://wandertours.com). For nearly 30 years, she has been traveling the globe as a contemporary Wanderer: combining her love for travel with volunteer work, adventure trips, travel writing and business. Beth has completed (twice) the 25-day, 220-mile Snowman Trek in Bhutan (considered the most difficult trek in the world); ridden a motorcycle solo from Seattle to Panama; spent a year traveling through Pacific Rim countries before it was fashionable; and is the founder of the WanderWorld Foundation (http://wanderworldfoundation.org) which helps women and children around the world. Most recently, at age 50, she’s taken up running and during her 50th year completed five marathons including one ultra. This talk is sponsored by ExOfficio and LOWA Boots.