Mission Statement for WITS:
“Our vision to be innovative and educational while fostering professionalism is the WITS mission. WITS bridges travel advisors and suppliers with the opportunity to collaborate, receive valuable resources and in-depth knowledge of various global destinations. Connecting clients with our ability to bring world-class service and a positive experience to the adventure.“
As a child, I was introduced to travel while visiting the beautiful town on Lake Balaton called Tihany, in Hungary, where my parents immigrated from in 1956. While earning my college degree in International Business, I quickly realized my passion for travel, and immediately after graduation I started Blue Skies Travel in 1993 with my sister Suzanne. The passion for my personal travel turned into a passion for creating Amazing Vacation Experiences for friends and clients and using my contacts and relationships in the industry to add the finishing touches onto unique experiences.
Blue Skies Travel recently celebrated our 28th anniversary. I look forward every day to creating unique experiences, and listening in order to ensure your trip is perfect. I recently told a group of friends “I love my job! & can’t imagine doing anything else!”.
Traveling is my passion from sailing on private yachts up and down the East Coast, backpacking hut to hut across Mont Blanc to being pampered by Butlers at 5-star resorts, I adore it all. I grew up on the East Coast with a yachting family allowing my first travels to be on private yachts from the coast of Maine to the Caribbean. The first trip to Europe was by a private yacht stopping in the Azores, Gibraltar, and Mallorca before spending the summer working along the coast of the Mediterranean from St Tropez to Italy. Our Honeymoon was backpacking through Europe, Birthdays hiking hut to hut on Mont Blanc and winters following our Ski Racing Sons all the way to the US Ski Team level around the world. I have enjoyed swimming with Whale Sharks off small expedition cruises as much as lounging in Sky pools in Grenada and being pampered by Butlers at 5- star resorts. I live with my passport and Amex in my wallet and can be packed in a moment’s notice.
Laurie Beckmann, CTC, MCC
My career in travel unofficially started more than 20 years ago. At the time I was working as a NYS Licensed Massage Therapist at my own practice in Samaritan Hospital. I always had a love and passion for travel. I would spend my down time researching destinations and travel deals. When I would discuss travel with my massage clients, it would often turn into me booking their vacations. At the time, I was unaware that it could be a career! One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was an Independent Contractor for a local Travel Agency, I opened my own travel agency in 2011, Pack Your Bags Travel, and am still loving it!
Contact: Connie@PackYourBags-Travel.com 518-833-6543
I have been in the travel business for over 15 years. I currently operate Unforgettable Travel out of my home in Halfmoon. I work under Noel 4 Travel, LLC out of Fairfield CT. I have 1 daughter, Ashley, also in the travel business.
I have been on the WITS board for a year. I will be taking on the Treasurer position this fall.
Contact: Unforgetabletravel@yahoo.com 518-275-7386
Elaine Ciulik – Imperial Travel Service
I have been in the travel business for 30 years plus, traveling extensively throughout the world, finding Hawaii my favorite place of all to visit. I work from my home office and am equipped to do all travel, flights, trains, tours, cruises, all-inclusives and so forth!
Cyndi Miller- Aird is President of Miller + Aird Destination Marketing. Miller-Aird Destination Marketing is a leader in providing sales and marketing services for independently owned hotels and destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America. Cyndi’s portfolio includes the St. Maarten / St. Martin Tourist Office and resorts in Aruba, Anguilla, Puerto Rico, Belize, St. Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Cartagena, Colombia and Panama City, Panama. She also represents a boutique African safari company called Salute Africa.
Prior to opening her company in 2000, Cyndi was the Director of Sales and Marketing for MeridienHotels and Resorts and was based in their headquarters office in NY City. Cyndi spent 12 years in various marketing roles with Meridien.
Cyndi is past President of the Caribbean Tourism Organization – NY City Chapter; Past President of Skal International – Connecticut chapter; Past President of the St. Maarten / St. Martin American Marketing Association, and has served on the board of a number of travel organizations.
As a travel agent for Meissner Cruise & Travel in Troy for over twelve years, I am committed to the slogan, “your best travel bargain is a great travel agent!” I aim to find the perfect adventure for my clients, and have been successful so far!
My background as a not-for-profit executive gave me the skills to be organized, while finding the best deals for my clients.
My love for travel has emanated into my daughter, who now assists me with selling Disney and Sandals. As a team we are able to work together and travel together!
I’ve been in the travel industryover 24 years of travel experience – top travel advisor for a leading agency (10 years), travel operations manager for a trusted brand (14 years) and now franchise owner
Contact: email@example.com 518-605-1249
After graduating from Siena College in 1981 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology/Social Work I spent 32 years working in New York State Government with a focus on children and families. During those 32 years, my passion for travel played a major role in my life. History, Arts & Culture, led me to some of the great cultural centers of the US & Europe. After an early retirement in 2014, my zest for travel led me to exploring and starting a new career in the travel industry.
As an Independent Contractor – Travel Advisor & Group Specialist, my mission is to create and deliver travel experiences that redefine luxury. I specialize in European river cruises, luxury groups and customized flexible independent travel (FIT) experiences geared to small to medium sized groups, as well as providing TV-themed immersive itineraries like Game of Thrones to Ireland or Outlander to Scotland. Additionally, I previously served for 3 terms on the Capital Region WITS Board from 2018-2020
Having begun my travel career over 30 years ago, I enjoyed the benefit and distinct pleasure of working for Apple Vacations and Celtic Tours before opening Vacation Design Travel in 2009, where I work from my home office, providing me with the best of both worlds: the opportunity to work in a field I am passionate about, and to be home for my family when they need me.
One of my favorite travel memories is my family’s venture to Norway in search of the farm on which my grandfather’s family grew up. We found the farm, and met the current owners, distant cousins, who gave us a tour of the farm and its historic buildings. We enjoyed fresh-from-the-oven Rhubarb pie and topped off our visit exploring the 12th century church our ancestors attended, with our cousins and the pastor’s sweet son. Before and after this wonderful experience, we thoroughly enjoyed Copenhagen, Oslo, Bergen and the extraordinary beauty of the Norwegian fjords.
It is my passion to help clients experience the transformational wonder of travel through exploration, discovery and immersion!
I am the owner of AJP Travel Partners , Inc. I am certified and a Clia agency.
I am a certified cruise counselor (CCC) and own a CLIA preferred Agency. I started as a travel advisor with Bytner Travel in 1998, then I joined Empress travel as an outside agent. In 2000, I started my own agency. Today I have a good following from friends, family and my Church. I specialize in Disney vacations, cruises, Hawaii and European travel.