Youngest American to Visit Every Country in the World, Entrepreneur & TV Personality
Lee Abbamonte has traveled to every country in the world as well as both the North and South Poles. Lee is a multimedia travel expert, national television personality, author, speaker, adventurer, entrepreneur and founder of www.LeeAbbamonte.com. Lee has appeared on and been featured everywhere from CNN, Fox News, and Travel Channel to the New York Times, USA Today and Washington Post. Lee’s travels around the world have inspired millions of would-be travelers and he has been called the “Marco Polo of the 21st Century” by Arthur Frommer.
Tetty DS Ariyanto
Indonesian Acceleration Team for the Development of Cultural and Heritage Tourism at the Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia
Tetty DS Ariyanto, Indonesian Acceleration Team for the Development of Cultural and Heritage Tourism at the Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia
Tetty is one of the well-known tourism activists in Indonesia. She started her career as a tourist guide for the Inbound market to Indonesia as well as an Outbound tour leader for several destinations around the world. At the end of 90’s, she became a lecturer in Trisakti Tourism Institute. Aside from being a lecturer, she has also become a licensed assessor for the tourism industry and founder of Yess! Travel and Tourism College in Jakarta for Tour and Travel profession.
She is appointed as the President of the Indonesian Tour Leader Association (ITLA), and Board member for Asosiasi Asesor Kompetensi Indonesia (AAI). In 2017, she was appointed as Indonesian Acceleration Team for the Development of Cultural and Heritage Tourism by Minister of Tourism of Indonesia. Cooperating with UNWTO, Tetty and her team work on study of Srivijaya kingdom to promote Palembang tourism potential commonly known as Silk Road.
Host, PBS’s Samantha Brown’s Places to Love
Travel expert and television host Samantha Brown has been hosting TV travel programs for 18 years. During her time at Travel Channel she created 10 original international and domestic travel series generating over 170 hours of television. In 2017 Samantha moved from the Travel Channel to PBS and Season 1 of her new series Samantha Brown’s Places to Love premiered in January, 2018. In Places to Love, Samantha features the destinations, experiences and most importantly the people that make us the traveler feel like we belong to a place. Season 2 will begin airing on PBS in January 2019 and features destinations like Switzerland, Hong Kong, Lafayette, Louisiana, Baltimore and New Zealand.
Samantha is known for getting to the emotional heart of travel by focusing on the people, their culture, and the privilege of spending time in their everyday lives. Viewers passionately follow Samantha and her expert advice not only because of her experience and knowledge, but also because of her warmth, genuineness and love for travel.
Samantha grew up in New Hampshire and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and 6 year old twins Ellis and Elizabeth.
Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Ian G. Brownlee became the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs in February 2019. Previously he had served as an Inspector in the Office of the Inspector General.
Mr. Brownlee’s previous experience includes serving as the Minister Counselor for Consular and Consulate Affairs in Mexico, where he was responsible for coordination of consular operations across Mission Mexico’s nine consulates general and the embassy.
Prior to that, he was the Director of the State Department’s Office of Central American Affairs, where he was responsible for the implementation of the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America. From 2012-2015, Mr. Brownlee was the Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Mr. Brownlee’s previous tours in the U.S. Foreign Service include as the Deputy Director of the State Department’s Office of Mexican Affairs, as Executive Assistant to the Assistant Secretaries for Western Hemisphere Affairs and Consular Affairs, and in consular management positions in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and San Jose, Costa Rica. He also served in Matamoros, Mexico and Santiago, Chile.
President of Your Own Italy
Carmen Carbonell is founder and President of Your Own Italy. Carmen was born in the United States, where she obtained a degree in Architecture. Following college, she married an Italian and moved to Rome, where she raised 4 sons. She also developed a passionate love for Italy – its art, its architecture, its cities, its countryside, its culture and cuisines, and its people.
Now, after nearly 30 years living in Italy, Carmen wants to share her love for Italy with American travelers who want more than a standard tour…travelers who want to experience the real Italy, with the heart and soul of the nature and its people. She founded Your Own Italy as a boutique tour company that will provide private tours that take travelers deep into Italy’s heart and soul, with vacation packages that will be memorable for life, and shore excursions that will give tour ship guests a unique day in Rome, Florence, Venice or the Amalfi Coast. –
The team works with boutique hotels, tested and proven restaurants, historic sites, museums, basilicas, plus individuals and tours that meet Your Own Italy’s standards – standards virtually guaranteed to ensure that Your Own Italy vacation or shore excursion will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will remember forever. And long to repeat with your new friends in Italy, Your Own Italy.
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 75 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”.
Sales and Marketing for French Canal Boat Company
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.
Kellee Edwards is a travel expert and television host by land, air and sea. She is a 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 of the 100,000 in the world, that viewers more likely have never heard of. She is also the co-host of The Trip 2018 on the network.
Exploring over 40 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.
Additionally, her passion for travel has allowed Kellee to become an On-Air contributor for FOX 5 San Diego’s “Live for Travel” segment for over three years, and served as a writer and editor for Pilot Getaways magazine. An advocate for women in adventure travel, Kellee has been featured in Forbes, ELLE, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Essence and named “The Most Interesting Woman in The World” by Outside Magazine.
Kellee’s goal through personal demonstration, is to encourage everyone to step outside of their comfort zone, derived from her mantra, a Helen Keller quote, “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.”
Michaela Riva Gaaserud
Author of Moon Virginia & Maryland, Moon Travel Guides
Inspired by what her own backyard has to offer, Michaela Riva Gaaserud is an avid kayaker and author of Moon Virginia & Maryland. From hiking in Shenandoah Park to paddling the Potomac, Michaela brings a local’s perspective to the Adventure in the National Parks panel.
Moon Travel Guides on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram: @moonguides
Public Relations Executive, Greek National Tourism Organization
Fay Georgousis has been a public relations executive at the GNTO in New York for the past thirty years. She holds a B.S. in Political Science from Vassar College and a M.A. in Destination Management from New York University. She knows “the ins and outs” about travel to Greece! To be in the know, stop by and catch her presentation Greece-365!
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.
Ruth Rosewarne Kimerer
Tourism Development and Sales Manager, Visit Anchorage
Ruth Rosewarne Kimerer – Ruth moved to Alaska in 1993 to work a summer job at a road house on the Kenai Peninsula. The minute she saw the Turnagain Arm, she knew she was never leaving. She moved to Girdwood, Alaska to be a snowboard bum for a winter and instead became a marketer at Alaska’s premier year-round resort, Alyeska Resort which started her long career in Alaska tourism. With a move to Anchorage came a job with the mighty Alaska Railroad Sales and Marketing where Ruth learned the ins and outs of the railbelt, as far south as Seward, as far north as Fairbanks and everything in between. Now at Visit Anchorage, 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!
Travel Expert & Marketing Assistant, Cog Railway
Thomas Lane has worked at the Mount Washington Cog Railway for over 12 years and has accumulated a wealth of information on maximizing fun when having adventures in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Trained as a brakeman and an engineer for the Cog Railway, Thomas knows the best ways to ensure an adventure on the Cog Railway is one to remember! He currently operates thecog.com, the official website of the Mount Washington Cog Railway along with managing any social outlets of the Mount Washington Cog Railway.
Author of Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 59 Parks, Moon Travel Guides
Expert outdoorswoman and nature journalist Becky Lomax has a personal bond to the national parks that stretches back generations. As the author of Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 59 Parks, Becky will share her knowledge of all things parks, and chat with fellow outdoor experts on trips that include scenic drives, hikes, and backpacking.
Moon Travel Guides on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram: @moonguides
Bello Bouba Maigari
Minister of State (Senior Minister), Minister of Tourism and Leisure, Republic of Cameroon
Minister Bello Bouba was born in Baschéo, in Benoué Division in the North Region of Cameroon in 1947.
He is a great states man and has been in the administration and in politics since.
From 1972 to 1975, Hon. Bello Bouba served as Secretary-General of the Ministry of the Armed Forces.
He was appointed as Deputy Secretary-General of the Presidency on June 30, 1975, serving in that position until January 1982 (with the rank of Minister from November 11, 1980).
On January 7, 1982, he became Minister of State (Senior Minister) for the Economy and the Plan.
In November 1982, Hon. Bello Bouba was named Prime Minister.
On August 22, 1983 he left government.
On January 4–5, 1992, Bello Bouba became President of the opposition party the UNDP and was elected to the National Assembly in the March 1992 parliamentary election as a Deputy from Benoué Division.
In December 1997 Bello Bouba accepted an appointment to the government as Minister of State for Industrial and Commercial Development.
On December 8, 2004, he was moved from his position as Minister of State for Industrial and Commercial Development to that of Minister of State for Post and Telecommunications.
On June 30, 2009, when he was appointed as Minister of State for Transport.
Since December 2011, he has been Minister of State for Tourism and Leisure
Host and Executive Producer ofBare 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.
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.
Author of Moon Acadia National Park, Moon Travel Guides
Hilary Nangle discovered her wanderlust as a whitewater-rafting guide on the Kennebec River. Now as the author of Moon Acadia National Park, she encourages fellow travelers to find their own adventure in this stunning region of her home state. From biking, hiking, touring the scenic byways, or junior ranger programs, Hilary is ready to share her knowledge of this magnificent park.
Moon Travel Guides on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram: @moonguides
CEO, My Medical Destination
Frank has been working in Medical Tourism for the last 8 years. His company puts forth the necessary effort in finding the most qualified specialists for your needs. He focuses on our closest neighbor, Mexico. Living in the U. S. and Mexico his entire life helps Frank understand both cultures. And, this makes him the best candidate. He has a degree in Psychology and worked for many years as an engineer for Qualcomm. He specializes in many branches of medical tourism but the most popular are: Cosmetic Dentistry, Plastic Surgery, Weight Loss and many more.
Agriculture Specialist and Canine, and his Detector Dog HairE, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)
Don Polliard was raised in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and graduated from Richland Senior High School in June 1981. Upon graduation Polliard enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and began working as an Aircraft Maintenance Specialist. The aircraft type Polliard worked were tactical fighters to include the F-15 and F-16.. Polliard did an overseas short tour at Incirlik A.B., Adana Turkey. Upon his return stateside Polliard was assigned to the 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit located at Langley A.F.B. Virginia. Mr. Polliard separated from the USAF and began his college career.
Don Polliard studied Biology with an interest in Ornamental Horticulture. He received a B.S. Degree in Biology from Christopher Newport College located in Newport News, Va… Shortly after graduation Polliard completed an intern-ship at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens studying various types of gardens and their designs. Polliard worked with several landscape firms designing, and installing various landscapes and Garden types to include Interior Scaping prior to his employment with USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine.
Polliard started his career with USDA, PPQ in September 1992. His first Duty station was the port of John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamaica Queens N.Y… During his time at JFK Polliard befriended a K9 Trainer whom advised Polliard to put in for a vacant PPQ K9 Position. Polliard spent over 4 years at the Port of JFK before transferring to Washington Dulles, Northern Virginia in April of 1996.
During his tenure at IAD, Polliard has worked 3 Beagles with the USDA PPQ Beagle Brigade and CBP AQI K9. Polliard states the PPQ/AQI K9 program has benefitted him to succeed in fulfilling his aspirations of protecting American Agriculture.
Polliard and his family reside in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. When not at work Mr. Polliard employs most of his spare time making custom cabinetry and furniture.
Regional Sales Director, North East (USA), MSC Cruises (USA) Inc.
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).
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.
Ralph Velasco is Founder and CEO (Chief Experience Officer) of PhotoEnrichment Adventures (PEA), as well as a travel photography instructor and international guide. For more than 10 years he’s organized and led cultural tours, with a focus on photography, in destinations around the world, including to India, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Baltics, Spain, Romania, Morocco, Iceland, Cuba, the Adriatic, Central Europe, Tuscany, Mexico and others.
Ralph is also the creator of the Tour Organizer Training free webinar and online course series where he teaches everyday people to get paid to travel. In this step-by-step course, he shows participants how to organize and lead their own special interest tours, whether around the world, or around the corner.
Jim & Alicia Ward
Jim & Alicia Ward, Avid Scuba Divers, Photographers, Biologists/Conservationists, Owners of the See Through Sea
Alicia Ward spent her youngest years moving around before finally moving to Hawai’i when she was 12. As she grows up, she spent more and more time observing and researching about the ocean and the wildlife, as well as improving her photography and diving skills so she could share underwater beauty to her family and friends. But not long after building her career photographing surfers, she found traction in underwater “fashion” photography, while continuing to focus on wildlife imagery.
Jim’s family had an annual “beach week” visit to Sunset Beach, North Carolina, which Jim claimed was the best week of each year and what has fostered his love for the ocean over the years that he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from the University of the Virgin Islands. After graduation, he moved to Madagascar, Costa Rica, and Grand Cayman for conservation work with various institutions for endangered species, before finally got connected with Ali through their lifelong love for marine biology and conservation. The two tied the knot and resided in Kona, Hawai’i with their two dogs.
Their company, See Through Sea, not only uses underwater photography as a way of promoting respectful and responsible ocean etiquette as well as encouraging conservation and protection for endangered marine lives, but also collaborates with research and aid organizations with shared goals, including through donating some of their business proceeds to various conservation and education efforts.