2016-2017 Advisory Board Members
We are so excited to announce our 2018-2019 Advisory Board members! Read more about our new members and the Advisory Board here.
Sally Black, Owner, Vacation Kids
Janelle Grissinger, Owner, Janelle & Co Travel LLC
Devin Hansen, President, Sunflower Travel
Tara Hyland, Luxury Travel Advisor, Tara Hyland Travel, LLC of Worldview Travel
Robin Katz, Franchise Owner, Cruise Planners
Jill LaBarre, Vacation Specialist, Jill’s Great Escapes
Patti Lehman, Owner, Luxury Travel Advisor, Beyond Travel
Beci Mahnken, President/CEO, MEI-Travel
Samarah Meil, Owner, Amarillo Travel Network
Christen Perry, Owner, Classic Travel Connection
Suzy Schreiner, Owner, Azure Blue Vacations
2016-2017 advisory board members
OWNER, LONE STAR TRAVEL, INC.
Donna boasts 20 years of industry experience. Even though she's based in McKinney, Texas—with 6 ICs under her charge—her clients are located all over the U.S. She specializes in destination weddings to the Caribbean and Mexico; honeymoons; and luxury travel to Europe, South America and the South Pacific. Donna was also a workshop speaker at Travel Weekly's CruiseWorld event, speaking on “How I Made My 1st Million in Sales on Little or No Money” and “Destination Weddings to Caribbean and Mexico”. As a two-year veteran of GTM, she's mastered the art of the 6-minute meeting.
OWNER, Q CRUISE + TRAVEL
Rob’s Chicago-based agency’s name emulates the James Bond character, Q, who is responsible for getting James Bond ready for his travels. With over 10 years of agency ownership under his belt, Rob's a true travel expert. He was welcomed back to GTM in 2015 as an Ambassador, and was asked to join GTM’s first Advisory Board. Rob feels that GTM has helped him expand his travel toolkit with a wide range of suppliers that supplement those of his consortium.
INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR, SIGNATURE ESCAPES
Lisa specializes in her two loves—Hawaii and Europe—and has built a prosperous business doing so. She is also the mentor for the TravelMBA program – the new agent training program for her host agency, GIFTED Travel Network. You won't only find her at GTM; she is a regular workshop speaker at Travel Weekly's CruiseWorld and has recently published an eBook, The Effortless Newsletter, that contains 52 feature articles and creative subject lines from her very successful weekly client/prospect newsletter.
OWNER, BE WELL TRAVEL, LLC
With wine and beer cruises always on the brain, Deb is constantly busy in her sunny South Florida locale. Six years of experience and expertise brought her to the GTM-level and she's continued to soar from there. One of her favorite things about attending GTM is meeting other advisors who work just as hard as her.
OWNER, AVANTI WORLD TRAVEL, INC.
After 25 years as a travel professional, Ginny Mariano continues to build one incredible vacation after another for her highly valued clients. Ginny's expertise lends well to her clients for customized travel arrangements due to her worldwide connections and close friends she has made at GTM. Ginny arranges corporate travel itineraries, group travel, meetings, and vacation travel.
OWNER, ULTIMATE ALL-INCLUSIVE TRAVEL INC.
Geoff started his agency with his wife, Sharon, in 2003 and is highly specialized in Hawaii and all-inclusive vacations (as the name suggests). He has 5 ICs that specialize in other areas, in order to round out the business. His ICs have been able to grow their contacts, thanks to relationships formed at GTM. Since attending GTM, he's seen a 22% increase in revenue, and added an entirely new area of specialization to his business - Adventure Travel. That's what we like to hear!
OWNER, SHIPS & TRIPS TRAVEL
Connie's foray into the travel industry began as a hobby. She saw such rapid growth that she ditched her full-time job for a bustling travel business. Even now, with 120 agents under her charge, she hasn't stopped selling. Connie loves GTM for its high-quality advisors and diverse suppliers.
OWNER, MODERN ROMANCE TRAVEL
Melissa’s path into the travel industry has been quite different than most. Varela became a pharmaceutical and medical sales account manager after earning her MBA. Finally, she journeyed into travel, buying a cruise franchise, then launching her own company, Modern Romance Travel focused on destination weddings and honeymoons. She loves how suppliers take GTM advisors seriously because they’re so stringently vetted. “Attending GTM has opened up many doors in my travel career. The supplier I currently do the most business with, was introduced to me at GTM. Several publications have reached out to interview me because of my affiliation with GTM. And in 2016 I was honored with one of Travel Age West’s Trendsetter award. I am so humbled and thankful for all of the opportunities that GTM has given to me.”