Speakers

Alexis Bowen

Country Manager US, Evaneos

Alexis Bowen is leading the US development at Evaneos, the hot French start-up that has revolutionized the travel industry. Recently nominated a Next40 company (40 companies with high prospects of becoming global tech leaders), Evaneos is the leading online marketplace connecting individual travelers with the best hand-picked and carefully vetted local experts in 160 destinations. With a commitment to responsible travel and empowering local communities, Evaneos’ mission is simple : better trips for travelers and better trips for the world.
@evaneos_stories

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!

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.

Bob DeAgazio

Business Development Manager, MSC Cruises

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.

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…

Linda Higdon

Tour Host, “Women’s Journey to Kenya”, Global Heart Journeys

Linda Higdon is founder of Women’s Journey to Kenya, award-winning documentary filmmaker, photographer and global champion for women. Higdon combines her 20 years of experience in philanthropic activism into an African luxury adventure into the hidden treasures of Kenya. Travelers gain exclusive access to women igniting change. They meet a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, elite visionaries, colorful village women and enter a global showcase for girls’ education, secluded village and tribal communities, while taking up to 6 safaris and staying at premier hotels. The trip is a “first of its kind”.

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.

Ruth Rosewarne Kimerer

Tourism Sales Manager, Visit Anchorage

Ruth Rosewarne Kimerer – Ruth moved to Alaska in 1993 to work a summer job on the Kenai Peninsula. The minute she saw the Turnagain Arm, she knew she was never leaving.  Ruth loves her adopted home and everything about it. Ask her anything and the response will be full of knowledge and passion for the great state of Alaska and Anchorage!

Debra Lee

Travel Industry Sales, Greater Miami Convention & Visitor’s Bureau

Debra Lee was appointed Travel Industry Sales Director at the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau in April 2019. She has responsibility for the Southeast, Southwest and West US, the Caribbean and Brazil.
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 twenty-five (25) 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.  Prior to joining the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Debra worked as the Business Development Manager for the Southwest USA at the Jamaica Tourist Board.

Mickela Mallozzi

Host and Executive Producer of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi

Mickela Mallozzi is the four-time Emmy® Award-winning Host and Executive Producer of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi, a travel series highlighting the diversity of dance which airs on PBS stations nationwide and on Amazon Prime globally.  A professional dancer and trained musician, Mickela decided to start a journey around the world, taking her camera with her to follow dance in the lives of everyday people wherever she went.  From re-discovering her family’s heritage in Southern Italy to dancing tango on the main stage in Buenos Aires, the series covers Mickela’s adventures as she experiences the world, one dance at a time.  She has been featured in The New York Times, Travel Channel, Dance Magazine, Forbes, American Express, and AFAR Media, and she has performed on various television shows including Sesame Street and The Doctor Oz Show.  Mickela is currently filming the third season of Bare Feet, discovering the dances and music from her own DNA map, which will start airing on PBS in spring 2019.

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.

Alex McNeil

Product Director, Quark Expeditions

In his role as Director of Product at Quark Expeditions Alex has attempted to redefine what modern exploration means, pioneer a new engagement ethos with remote communities, and strike a balance between tourism growth and the environmental changes we are surrounded by.

Edvinas Pundys

Owner & Travel Expert of Seagull Travel

Abdul Razak (Zaki)

COO TRVEE Indonesia

For the past 5 years, Zaki has been dedicating most of his spare time to travel the world with hopes to gain satisfaction from a global perspective. He believes traveling embraces more of himself as a person by meeting new people and understand more about the surroundings. Zaki shares his love and experiences through his personalized hashtag #ZakiTravels. His interests have been exposed through various media such as Instagram and YouTube. With that in mind and the urge to contribute more to his surroundings, he established a personal traveling experience now known as TRVEE Indonesia. As a consultative travel partner with a focus to enhance Indonesia’s exotic destinations, Zaki implements Community Based Tourism in most of his packages. He often inspires among his closest circles that traveling is easy and could be crafted based on personal preferences. Through continuous investments and relations to multiple agents throughout Indonesia, TRVEE Indonesia has position itself today as the first choice consultative partner for your everyday travel needs.

Jamie Richards

Public Affairs Officer, Yosemite National Park, National Park Service

Jamie Richards is a Public Affairs Officer and Park Ranger and with Yosemite National Park. She has worked for Yosemite National Park since 2016. Jamie has been a Park Ranger for the past ten years and has worked at Joshua Tree National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and served as a Student Conservation Association intern at Fort Sumter National Park. Jamie enjoys sharing her love of Yosemite with park visitors from around the world. She earned her Masters of Science in Environmental Policy from the University of Denver and her Bachelor of Arts from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Jamie is from Colorado and loves to hike and ski.

Rob Romanowski

Foreign Service Officer currently serving as the Division Chief for European Affairs for American Citizen Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs at the U.S. Department of State

Rob Romanowski is Foreign Service Officer currently serving as the Division Chief for European Affairs for American Citizen Services and in the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Rob has devoted much of his career to assisting U.S. citizens abroad, most recently as the Head of the Consular Section at U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, Indonesia where he also supervised the Consular Agency in Bali.  He has served as the Consular Chief in Lusaka, Zambia and as a Vice Consul in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  Prior to joining the Foreign Service he worked in Diplomatic Security and in the United States Army.

Denise Schmiedeknecht

Travel Trade Manager, Tahiti Tourisme United States

Native to Southern California, Denise spent most of her diverse career after college in the luxury cruise industry working in a corporate setting and then cruising the seven seas for eight years as an onboard crew member. After hanging up her lifejacket for a life on land, she spent several years living in Cape Town, South Africa, and then returned to California recently to join the Tahiti Tourisme team in Los Angeles.

Patricia Schultz

Bestselling Author, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and 1,000 Places to See in The USA & Canada Before You Die

Patricia Schultz is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die. A veteran travel journalist with over 30 years of experience, she has written for guides such as Frommer’s and Berlitz and periodicals including The Wall Street Journal and Travel Weekly, where she is a contributing editor. She also executive-produced a Travel Channel television show based on 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Her home base is New York City though she is rarely there.

Publisher: https://www.workman.com/brands/1000-places

Nick Serati

Co-Founder, Thrifty Traveler

Nick Serati is the co-founder of Thrifty Traveler, the leading source for flight deals, cheap travel tips, and learning how to maximize travel rewards. In a previous life, Nick worked in software consulting which required extensive time on the road. He developed a passion for maximizing hotel and airline loyalty programs and using credit cards to travel the world for pennies on the dollar. He left his job in 2018 to run Thrifty Traveler full time with founder Jared Kamrowski, where he now travels over 75,000 miles each year. Nick resides in Minneapolis, MN with his wife Abbey and daughter Elin.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Prescott Young

Area Manager – West, Midwest & Southwest USA, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

Prescott Young is a long serving employee with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism whose career with the organization spans more than two decades. Prior to being appointed Area Manager in the USA, he served as manager of various Bahamas Tourist Offices in the out islands of the Bahamas.
He is driven by the keen interest of growing the tourism business of the Bahamas from the assigned markets within his territories. Forming key partnerships and alliances with Industry Partners represents the number one strategy employed in seeking out new business for the destination.
Prescott possess a great love for his country and looks forward to playing a key role in promoting the destination overseas; which can result in an increase in tourist spend and enhanced economic growth for the islands of the Bahamas.

Vanessa Zwinselmann

Manager Marketing North America, Switzerland Tourism

Vanessa Zwinselman was born and raised in Switzerland. As much as the marketing specialist appreciates her current home in the USA, her heart still beats for Switzerland. Since she was two years old, she not only enjoys hiking in the mountains in summer but also skiing in winter. Unless she is enjoying art, a good coffee, riding her bike and having a swim in the lakes of the Swiss cities. Get energized by Swiss nature and learn more about the must sees, must dos and get inspired by her insider tips of Switzerland.