meet our editors

Paloma Villaverde de Rico

Editor-in-Chief: Paloma Villaverde de Rico
Paloma has worked in the media industry in South Florida for over 25 years. She has worked for various media outlets, including The Miami Herald, Aboard In-flight Magazines, Herald Custom Publishing, and, and co-authored a Miami guidebook for Avalon Travel Publishing. She’s been with Recommend for more than 12 years and has a passion for traveling the world and bringing back news that travel agents can use.

Where’s Paloma headed to next?

November: Travel Impressions’ Best of the Best in Cancun

December: USTOA Conference in Chicago

Contact Paloma at

Michelle Marie AreanAssociate Editor: Michelle Marie Arean
Michelle, a Miami native, joins Recommend’s editorial team after dabbling in public relations, social media and the non-profit world, bringing with her a range of knowledge in communications, editing and writing. After working in various aspects of communications, Michelle decided to focus on where her passion lies—writing. Michelle has contributed to Glamour magazine, Latina magazine, Florida International magazine, World City Business, South Florida Parenting, SOMI magazine, and Unique Me magazine. Michelle combines her passion for fashion, beauty, women’s issues, travel, and photography on a blog—A Bella Vida Style—she runs for entertainment, which was recognized as one of Miami’s Best Blogs by CBS 4 and was chosen for People StyleWatch magazine as a Style Hunter. Michelle’s editorial and writing skills are front and center as the Associate Editor for Recommend magazine. She also creates up-to-date travel news content for the brand’s weekly newsletter, Recommend Weekly.

Where’s Michelle headed to next?

November: Norwegian Escape for CruiseOne and CruiseInc National Conference

Contact Michelle at

Follow her @AreanWanderlust

Latin America Editor: Carla Hunt
Presently Carla is an editor at Recommend magazine, covering Latin America in its monthly issues and special sections. Other media outlets during the past few years include FranceGuide, Elle, Car & Driver, Travel & Leisure (advertorial). Over the last 25 years, Carla’s work has appeared in such publications as National Geographic, Vogue, Diversion, Endless Vacations, American Airlines and British Airways in-flight magazines. During this time, she also held the position (for 20 years plus) of associate editor at Travel Weekly, covering Central & South America, the Middle East and Europe. Book publication work has included: South America (Birnbaum/Berlitz Guides), editor; contributor to Berlitz guides (Spain & Portugal), and Fodor’s South America. Carla is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers.

Where’s Carla headed to next?

November: Kenya for African Travel Association (ATA)

Contact Carla at

Caribbean Editor: Ed Wetschler
Ed Wetschler is part owner of Tripatini, a leading social network for travel, and a freelance writer who has contributed to The New York Times, Caribbean Travel & Life, Delta Sky,, various custom publications, and other prominent media outlets. He held the #2 spot for Caribbean Escapes and, before that, worked 20 years at Diversion, the travel-leisure magazine for physicians. There he served as executive editor and then editor-in-chief, expanding the publication’s coverage of the Caribbean and taking every opportunity to go there himself. His favorite island is whichever island he’s on right now.

Where’s Ed headed to next?

December: Haiti

December: Half Moon Resort, Montego Bay

January: CHTA in The Bahamas

Contact Ed at

Follow him @EdWetschler

Cruise Editor: Vivian Holley
Vivian became a travel writer when she graduated from Georgia State University and went to work as the state’s tourism information officer, penning a weekly travel column. Currently, she is a Contributing Editor for Recommend magazine. As a freelance travel writer/editor, Vivian specializes in cruising and luxury travel, and reports on domestic and international destinations for magazines, newspapers, guidebooks, and the Internet. Vivian has received travel writing awards from Georgia, South Carolina, and twice from the 11-state Southeast Tourism Society. She is also a member of the Society of American Travel Writers, the Southeast Tourism Society, and the Atlanta Press Club.

Where’s Vivian headed to next?

Contact Vivian at

Melissa-BryantWeb Editor/Copy Editor: Melissa Bryant
Melissa joined the Recommend team in August 2015 as the Web Editor/Copy Editor. She brings years of experience in journalism and is thrilled to begin this new chapter in her career. After graduating from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Business, Melissa secured an internship, and later a full-time position, with luxury lifestyle publication, South Florida Opulence Magazine. Within three months, she joined the team full-time as the Editorial Assistant where she learned the ins and outs of the publishing world, in addition to gaining experience in event planning. Her next move to Fort Lauderdale Magazine refined her writing, reporting and proofreading skills while she travelled locally to find the best restaurants, events, local entrepreneurs and change-makers around town. Melissa has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe and the Caribbean and now she is embracing her deep love for travel by writing news pieces for Recommend’s website and weekly e-newsletters.

Where’s Melissa headed to next?

Contact Melissa at

Contributing Editor: Sergio Ortiz
Sergio began his journalism career immediately after college by working as a staff writer-photographer for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, then the second-largest newspaper in the city. He then served for two years in Vietnam as a combat correspondent with Stars & Stripes. Returning to the States, he worked for a variety of magazines and as an editor for the Associated Press. His work has appeared in many national and international publications. Sergio is a Contributing Editor and photographer for Recommend magazine. He lives in Malibu, California.

Where’s Sergio headed to next?

Contact Sergio at