Make plans to visit the Annex before early morning general sessions, during breaks or even outside of conference hours. Here we have an on-demand digital library celebrating the achievements of advisors in the Nexion Travel Group family.
Featured are our honored NEXTalks speakers (see their bios and topics below), who share what they are doing to achieve success, how they did it, results and their advice for you. We encourage you to take time during the conference to review these precise, peer-to-peer lectures.
In the Annex, we also recognize the volunteers and leaders among our advisor family who give their time to support our programs, including our Nexion Travel Group Advisory Board members, Networks group leaders and Mentors.
And, stop by to see who made Circle of Excellence, MillionAir, Ambassador and our additional award recognition recipients.
Joseph Fehlen is owner for Small Town Wanderer Travel and lives in a small town in northern Wisconsin four hours away from Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Chicago O’Hare, six hours away, is his home airport.
Joseph focuses on easily obtainable locations for new clients that see travel as unattainable due to finances and accessibility. Being a big fish in a small pond is how he sees his business. He started Small Town Wanderer Travel in February 2019 as a part-time side hustle, and in February 2020, he left his other full-time career of 25 year to pursue travel full time. He is optimistic and determined that February 2021 will be way better!
A recent favorite trip experience was visiting his family’s country of origin – Luxembourg. All his biological kids are out of the house, but Joseph and his wife stay active by being full-time foster parents for kids in need.
Joseph has been an independent affiliate of Nexion® Travel Group since 2019.
Sheila Folk is the owner of Beyond Travel, LLC, based in Florida. Coming from years in hospitality marketing, Sheila now puts her experience to work crafting luxury travel experiences for the discerning traveler. In just two short years, she steered her agency to $8 million in revenue and has become recognized as an innovator in our industry. She is also co-founder of the industry’s first compliant contract and document solution for travel advisors — Travel Industry Solutions.
Sheila has been an independent affiliate of Nexion® Travel Group since 2019.
Michelle Gaudet is a Certified Travel Counsellor and the owner of Inspired Travel Adventures. After a four-month backpacking trip with her husband and school-aged kids in Peru, she knew she wanted to help others to take their own inspired adventures.
With a background in event planning and restaurant management, she began her career as a travel advisor with Nexion Travel Group-Canada in 2018, with her focus being on soft adventure and cultural travel. Michelle enjoys hosting her clients on yearly “Inspired Travel Adventures.”
She is a graduate of the Active and Adventure Travel Specialist Program and received her CTC designation this past summer through ACTA. Michelle was chosen as a G Adventures Changemaker in 2019 for her volunteer work supporting mental health in her community. She had the honour of being selected as Nexion Travel Group-Canada’s Rising Star for 2019 and was also voted Best Travel Agency in Niagara Falls by Readers’ Choice. In April 2020, she was featured in Travel Courier’s Travel Agent Appreciation Edition. Michelle lives with her husband, two teenage kids and three cats in a small community outside of Niagara Falls, Canada.
Danny Genung is the CEO of Harr Travel Inc., a family-owned travel agency, which celebrates 40 years in 2021. Danny has been with Nexion Travel Group just shy of 15 years and has been a Circle of Excellence award winner for the past five.
Harr Travel Inc. is a full-service agency with a strong cruise- and resort-focused presence on YouTube. The channel has over 75 million minutes of view time in 2020, which has led to several million dollars in new sales this year alone. Danny has dedicated his life to his passion of travel and has taken more than 110 cruises and experienced nearly 100 countries.
During the last 20 years, Danny has curated thousands of travel plans and has led over 2,000 passengers on his privately guided journeys. He has a Master of Arts in History and over a decade of classroom and travel-based experiential learning experience. Danny met his wife, Kristen, while studying abroad in Salzburg, Austria in 2003, and they reside in Redlands, CA with their daughter Ava Jane. As a family, they spend as much time as possible exploring the world and using travel as a learning tool.
Michael Graham, VTA, CTIE, is the owner of MGA Travel in South Carolina, where he serves as president, group expert and luxury specialist for his team of advisors. He has been selected as an American Express Pacesetter and as a Tauck Certified Agent.
Michael enjoys advising on travel almost as much as finding and curating new custom experiences and scouting and traveling himself. He has guided many organizations around the world (over 50 countries), hosting large groups by sea and land.
Says Michael, “I have been very fortunate to have visited approximately 68 countries in seven continents. It is my hope that more people travel, because when we travel, we realize that while governments may differ, we are all one people. And when we realize that, it fosters more peace and harmony among all of us.”
Michael has been an independent affiliate of Nexion® Travel Group since 2019.
Gene Jochen has been with Nexion Travel Group-Canada since 2016 and is the co-owner of B Smart Travel with his partner and spouse Judy Rygus. He is a past member of the Nexion Travel Group Advisory Board. Prior to joining Nexion, Gene had a 25-year career in various corporate roles for a global Fortune 100 foodservice distribution company.
Gene was born in Brooklyn, NY and now resides in Toronto, Canada. He holds dual U.S. and Canadian citizenship. He has been traveling his entire life throughout the United States and Canada, the Caribbean, South and Central America, China, Europe, India, Israel and South Africa.
He is an accomplished runner, having completed over 100 marathons, as well as running in the Boston Marathon 10 times. He is also a 10-time Ironman champion. Gene’s other passion includes being a jazz drummer.
Aiste Stanley, the owner of Trabeona Travels, plans and arranges vacations with stunning itineraries for individuals who are interested in active, adventure and wellness travel beyond the Caribbean. In addition, Aiste focuses on forming strategy, structure and vision for her travel agency. With years of extensive travel experience, leadership, team member development and direct sales experience, Aiste continues to build her business from the ground up.
Aiste has been recognized as one of the Top Delaware Women in Business by Delaware Business Times and Delaware Today and received the DBT40 award in 2019. Because of her passion for travel, Aiste is a member of the Advisory Board for a nonprofit organization called People to People International with a focus on international understanding and friendship through educational, cultural and humanitarian activities.
Born and raised in Lithuania, she now resides in Millsboro, Delaware. She is the mother of two beautiful children and wife to her love Adam. She enjoys traveling, reading and spending time outdoors.
Aiste has been an independent affiliate of Nexion® Travel Group since 2017.
Rosie Stermer is the owner and managing partner of Pegasus Travel Advisors. Rosie had been planning travel for years before making travel planning her full-time career. While roaming the globe, she learned firsthand how working with a travel advisor could make the experience easier and more enjoyable.
Before joining the travel industry, Rosie worked in corporate America. In that capacity, she planned many corporate trips and events, something she truly enjoyed. Rosie currently lives in Colorado, just minutes away from some of the best skiing and hiking this country has to offer, with her husband (and favorite travel partner).
Rosie has been an independent affiliate of Nexion Travel Group since 2018.