Introducing Recommend’s Newly Formed Editorial Advisory Board

editorial advisory board
Top row: Kim Goldstein; Richard D’Ambrosio; and Lauren Doyle
Middle row: Mary Head; Mellanie Ingle; and Nicole Thibault
Bottom row: Susan Farewell; Tom Varghese; and Krista Betts

Recommend has appointed a new editorial advisory board to ensure the publication’s continued success in providing information to travel advisors to help them sell travel—during the current crisis we face and beyond. The 9-person editorial advisory board is made up of leading travel advisors and industry insiders who provide Recommend with independent insight on a range of market segments across the retail travel industry in North America.

Always ready to share their expertise, we believe these 9 individuals will provide us with a wealth of knowledge and will raise the publication’s profile.

Let me introduce you to them (in their own words…)

Krista Betts, Manager, Senior Luxury Travel Advisor, Balboa Travel, Certified Accessible Travel Advocate
After traveling abroad in college, Krista’s love for travel expanded exponentially. Upon graduation, Krista pursued her passion and moved to Austin, Texas, where she continued exploring faraway destinations from Ischia to Rapa Nui, as well as those closer to home, including the Caribbean and Mexico, though her favorite destination to explore and send clients is Africa. Krista has been with Balboa Travel since 2014. Her primary clientele includes C-Level executives and A-List celebrities. Krista has also served on several Virtuoso panels, is a member of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), and is a Certified Accessible Travel Advocate. Krista is a published travel writer and has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post for her commentary in travel articles.

Richard D’Ambrosio, Professional Business Coach & Content Marketing Consultant, Travel Business Mastermind
Richard is a master storyteller who, for more than 30 years, has helped leading brands like American Express, Virgin Atlantic Airways, the Family Travel Association (FTA), and Thomas Cook Travel tell their stories to their customers, the media, and employees. A professional business coach and content marketing consultant with his own firm, Travel Business Mastermind, Richard most recently has worked with The Travel Institute, Flight Centre USA and a variety of host agencies and tour companies, helping entrepreneurs refine their brands and sharpen their sales and marketing skills. Richard writes regularly about retail travel agencies, social media & marketing, and business management.

Lauren Doyle, Executive Vice President, The Travel Mechanic
Soaking up the sun, experiencing new cultures and creating lasting memories are the reasons Lauren loves to travel. As a travel advisor, she loves helping clients experience these same pleasures. Lauren is a CTA and Certified Wedding Destination & Honeymoon Specialist, and launched The Travel Mechanic’s destination weddings & honeymoon division. She also specializes in family travel and special group travel. Lauren has traveled the world—Europe, Africa, Canada, Asia, Mexico, Bermuda, Central America and the many beaches of the Caribbean—but her favorite destination is Thailand. It’s exotic, adventurous and the place Lauren chose for her honeymoon.

Susan Farewell, Owner, Farewell Travels LLC
Susan is the owner of Farewell Travels LLC, which is a Connecticut-based travel design firm. Susan founded her company after many years of establishing her name and reputation as a travel writer and editor (a former editor at Conde Nast & contributor to many travel magazines/newspapers including The New York Times) and author of several travel books. As a member of the travel press, Farewell has always sought out extraordinary destinations, properties and experiences around the world and through her journalism, has specialized in proposing itineraries for her readers. Her firm, which has grown exponentially by word of mouth over the last 10 years, prides itself on that same sensibility—finding and stitching together places and experiences, hand-crafting trips for her clientele.

Kim Goldstein, President/Travel Consultant, Journeys Travel Inc
A lover of umbrella drinks, flamingos & tacos by a body of water, Kim was born to be a travel consultant. Her journey (pun intended) with Journeys Inc. began in 2006 with a strong passion for tropical travel and Disney destinations. Just like travel though, her time with the company has taken her on an adventure of self-discovery and Kim’s main focus is on destination weddings, honeymoon adventures, and family vacations. As a certified Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist with many resorts including Sandals, Beaches, Hard Rock All-Inclusive, Karisma, Playa Resorts and more, she prides herself on knowing just what her clients are looking for, even when they don’t. To this day, Kim is mesmerized by anywhere with crystal-blue water and loves to live vicariously through her couples and families who get to enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

Mary Head, Travel Advisor, Independent Affiliate with Avoya Travel/AMX
Mary has been in the travel industry for many years working as a District Sales Manager for several suppliers such as Continental Airlines, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Viking Line. She’s been an Independent Affiliate with Avoya Travel/AMX for 10 years and has been awarded “Best of the Best” (over $1 million in sales) for the past 5 years. Mary’s travel experiences in the industry have taken her to many destinations both via land and sea, and it so excited her to visit each destination, that she decided to assist others in creating those special memories that last a lifetime. 

Mellanie Ingle, Franchise Owner-Luxury Specialist, An Independent Agent of Cruise Planners, An American Express Travel Representative
Mellanie’s grandfather was a bit of a vagabond in a good way. Each summer the day after school was out, the car was packed and the family was off. Mellanie spent her summers as a child being introduced to the U.S., not as a tourist, as an explorer. As time went on, her grandfather passed, but her love for adventure and discovery that he had taught her drove Mellanie’s life choices. Her trips got bigger and farther, her exploring went deeper into the countries, culture, and wildlife. With each adventure, 25 years later, she still looks forward to the next discovery and being able to share them with all of her clients.

Nicole Thibault, Owner and Travel Specialist, Magical Storybook Travels,
Certified Autism Travel Professional
Nicole has built her business, Magical Storybook Travels, around the dream that she can help ALL families travel, including those with Autism and other disabilities. Her passion and drive to make this happen stems from her own experiences traveling with her three sons, two with disabilities. She’s also proud to have earned the designations of Certified Autism Travel Professional through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Educational Standards and Certified Family Travel Agent through the Family Travel Association.

Tom Varghese, Chancellor of Travel (Owner), Travel Tom
With degrees in Economics and Business Administration, Tom started his corporate career on Wall Street where he ran the Analyst Desk for JJ Kenney/Standard & Poors and ended with a position as a Vice President at JP Morgan. Tom entered the travel industry in 2002 while continuing to work in corporate America, choosing to indulge his love of travel as a part-time travel consultant. In 2011, in order to spend more time with his family and pursue his true passion to be a full-time travel consultant, he gave JPM his 2 weeks’ notice. “Travel Tom” is a recognized leader and an expert in the travel industry and has won numerous awards and distinctions. He makes a point of personally visiting most of the destinations he sells and has formed partnerships and alliances with hotel owners, tour operators and others to ensure his clients have an exceptional travel experience.