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2024 NTA Board of Directors Election

The NTA Nominating Committee announces the 2024 slate of candidates for the NTA Board of Directors. After vetting the applications, conducting interviews with each applicant, and considering the applicants’ qualifications and business type, the committee composed the following slate:

Tour Operator Directors

  • Vice Chair: Monique van Dijk-Seppola, Scandinavia Tours

    Monique van Dijk-Seppola, Scandinavia Tours

    From the time she was 11 years old, Monique has dreamed of organizing customized tours, so it was an obvious choice to pursue an education in tourism. She has never regretted this and has worked as a tour operator all her adult life. In addition to building her own tour operator business, she has led various projects and served as a board member for different companies. She has served the NTA board since 2018, partly through very challenging times during the pandemic.

    From the beginning of her membership, she’s received help, encouragement, and business from NTA. She’s felt welcome from day one as an international member, but believes there is room in the organization for more international members.  She looks forward to continuing to serve the board to help find a fine balance in this area.

  • Secretary: Michelle Pino, Northeast Unlimited Tours

    Michelle Pino, Northeast Unlimited Tours

    Michelle Pino is a seasoned and dedicated vice president and co-owner/founder of Northeast Unlimited Tours, Inc., located in the picturesque village of Sandwich, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. With an impressive 38 years of experience in the tourism industry, Michelle’s expertise in sales, marketing, and product development has been key to fostering strong, enduring client relationships. She takes pride in crafting imaginative and tailored tour packages that create lasting memories all while providing exceptional customer service. As a driving force behind Northeast Unlimited Tours, Michelle’s passion for excellence and commitment to providing top-tier services make her a true industry trailblazer. Her dedication to excellence ensures that each journey with Northeast Unlimited Tours is one that travelers will cherish for years to come.

    Michelle lives in Sandwich and is the proud mother of her 19-year-old son Tyler, a rising college sophomore majoring in business/finance/sports management. He is also an avid golfer.  Michelle enjoys making wonderful memories with family and friends, putting her toes in the sand whenever possible, and she loves to travel!

  • Tour Operator Director: Richard Arnold, Atlantic Tours

    Richard Arnold, Atlantic Tours

    Richard has worked for Atlantic Tours for 35 years. NTA has been part of Atlantic Tours’ family since the beginning, providing the knowledge and framework to become the top-notch company they are today.  NTA’s marketplace exposure allowed collaboration with DMO and travel trade partners to create excellent tour programs. Although much has changed during Richard’s years in the tour industry, and especially since 2020, NTA has remained a constant source of support.  He feels it is now time to give back to NTA as our industry rebounds and help sculpt the organization’s future direction. He looks forward to brainstorming and working with others to create a stronger NTA that embraces new opportunities and tackles the challenges of the future.

  • Tour Operator Director: Marcela Laukova, CTP, Discover Slovakia Tours

    Marcela Laukova, CTP, Discover Slovakia Tours

    Marcela was born and raised in little Slovak village under the Tatra Mountains in Eastern Europe. After a peaceful velvet revolution (1989) in Czechoslovakia, a turn from communism to market-oriented economy, and the opening of borders, Marcela could finally start to practice her lifelong dream: traveling the world! Her Alma Mater is the University of Economy in Bratislava, but she studied economy also in Vienna. She speaks fluently Slovak, German, English and Russian. Thanks to her language abilities and passion for traveling, she started her career as a tour director mainly for tours within Europe and North America. From this job, she has developed her first tour operating company. With 25 years of experience in travel business, of which 16 years focused on inbound travel, she has great experience with all sorts of leisure and incentive programs. Marcela works closely with clients to offer the best possible experience and travel value and is very organized and attentive to details.

  • Tour Operator Director: Jeff Lyman, CTP, Southwest Adventure Tours

    Jeff Lyman, CTP, Southwest Adventure Tours

    Jeff joined the Southwest Adventure Tours sales team in March 2023. He focuses on sales of guaranteed departures of small group tours as well as various Utah day tours. Additionally, he has been tasked with outreach to international inbound wholesale companies. Before joining Southwest Adventure Tours, Jeff worked in hospitality for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. Over a 15-year span, he learned all aspects of operating and running a resort hotel, finishing his time there as the director of hotel operations.

    For many years, Jeff has worked with both state and regional tourism boards. He is currently the board vice president for Tour Colorado. Jeff earned his NTA CTP designation in 2018.

    Jeff is a very proud father to his daughter, Ava Maxine. He recently celebrated her 21st birthday with her in Long Beach, California. He currently owns and lives on a century-old, family-owned cattle ranch in Arboles, Colorado, just outside of the Durango, Colorado area.

  • Tour Operator Director: Sheli Hinds Armstrong, Destination Southwest

    Sheli Hinds Armstrong, Destination Southwest

    Sheli Hinds Armstrong has over 30 years of experience in hospitality sales, marketing, tourism, and special event management. She loves NTA and has been involved on so many levels, usually while representing other organizations in hospitality. 

    Her wish is to positively impact NTA in a leadership role, and more important, to help make decisions that drive us closer to fulfilling our overall mission. And on a more personal level, to gain a high level of visibility and recognition in our community of travel professionals. She feels leadership is about collaboration and inspiring others to do their best work, to embrace their skills and talents, to speak up and be open, and to know they are in a safe place with colleagues that share the same goals and experiences.

Tour Supplier Directors

  • Tour Supplier Director (three-year term): Cory Mace, Badger Coaches

    Cory Mace, Badger Coaches

    Cory began his journey in the travel industry during his college years when he worked as a front desk employee in the hotel industry. Over time, he diligently advanced his career and transitioned into sales. It was in 2008 that he discovered the motorcoach market, sparking his interest and, now, his involvement. His commitment to the motorcoach industry led him to become a board member of Circle Wisconsin, where he currently holds the position of president.

    Through NTA, he has successfully secured numerous business opportunities stemming from the connections established at both Travel Exchange and Contact. He feels what makes NTA truly exceptional is the warm and welcoming nature of its membership, making it effortless to connect with fellow industry professionals. After a previous term as a board member in 2018, Cory is eager to continue that work and is committed to helping the organization reach new heights and achieve its goals.

DMO Directors

  • DMO Director (three-year term): Jalyssa Gasmen, Visit Mesa

    Jalyssa Gasmen, Visit Mesa

    Jalyssa looks forward to serving on the NTA board and having the chance to actively contribute to the growth and development of the tourism industry, collaborate and network with industry professionals, shape industry policies and guidelines, and engage in strategic decision-making for the organization. During her years in the travel industry, she has accumulated valuable experience. As a sales assistant for Visit Mesa, she contributed to promoting the destination and supporting sales efforts. Building upon this role, she transitioned to a tourism sales manager at Visit Tucson, where she successfully managed sales activities and fostered partnerships for five years. Demonstrating her adaptability, she then served as a tour planner manager at Pleasurebent Tours, where she excelled in organizing and coordinating tours for a period of six months. She is now back at Visit Mesa as the director, visitor marketing.

  • Voting instructions

    Tour operators will vote for three operator candidates and officers, tour suppliers for supplier candidates, and DMOs for DMO candidates. If you’re interested in nominating someone from the floor, please contact Jennifer Royse.

    Each member company/organization in good standing may cast only one ballot, and more than one ballot cast will result in the elimination of all votes submitted by one member company/organization. Ballots will be distributed by e-mail to the primary contacts of all tour operators, tour suppliers, and DMOs Sept. 27. If you need a paper ballot, email Jennifer Royse. NTA will host an online Annual Business Meeting Oct. 26, when members can hear from the nominees and have an opportunity to ask questions. Online voting will remain open until Oct. 26. The 2024 NTA Board officially will be announced during Travel Exchange in Shreveport.

I can help!Jennifer Royse, CTP

  • NTA has provided us the research and atmosphere to brainstorm new ways of doing things and fresh additions to trips, which has led to successful business development. Rachel Ranck, WorldStrides, NTA member since 1985
  • What NTA does is provide the right buyers. They provide the right people who make decisions. This is what makes this organization one I can’t afford to take off my list. John Stachnik CTP, Mayflower Tours, NTA member since 1979
  • I came to NTA to build a business, and that’s exactly what it did for us, as sales came in. For me, it’s the only outlet for new ideas. Matthew Squire, Select Travel Service (UK), NTA member since 2002
  • NTA membership and our attendance at the convention have provided us with more clients, more business relationships and more ideas. We are proud to belong to NTA. Daniele Panzarin, Target Travel (Italy), NTA member since 2007
  • The No. 1 member benefit of NTA has to be all the great professional and personal connections we’ve made over the past decade. Taunya Wolfe Finn, CTP, Wolfe Adventures & Tours, NTA member since 2005
  • We have not found a more reliable, more profitable or more consistent tourism venue in which to acquire new business than NTA. Diane Hohnstein, Hospitality Management Services, NTA member since 1999
  • I believe attending the NTA conferences allow me to create valuable relationships and work together with U.S. operators in creating great Scotland product. Maggie Anderson, VisitScotland, NTA member since 2003
  • NTA events provide us with beneficial networking with many top tour operators. It’s national and international in scope providing a global perspective. Tim and Elaine Moulder, Brilliant Edventures, NTA member since 2015