MEET THE TEAM

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Debra Smith
Founder & Managing Director
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Debra taught for 25 years and retired from the Mobile (AL) County Public School System, where she also served as a Band Booster for 10 years. After retiring, Debra founded the Student Tours division in 2003 and is the architect of every group we do.  Having come from the educational environment Debra truly knows what it takes to make each and every trip a success, she’ll  consult with your school’s group leader to define the objectives and timing for your group, establish a budget, and negotiate and secure every element of the trip!

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Linda Carpentier
Student Tours Logistics & Sales Coordinator
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With 25 years of experience as a travel planner, Linda plays a key role in Student Tours, keeping each group organized, managing reservations and payments, and responding to inquiries from travelers. She’s often the voice at the other end of the phone when you call Student Tours.  Prior to joining the Student Tours team, Linda has arranged tours and cruises all over the world for individuals and groups. Some of the destinations include Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe (Ireland, Italy, Spain, Greece, Germany, France, Scotland and England).  If you have a vacation or travel need beyond a Student Tour, Linda  is a fountain of knowledge and expertise!

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Lee Smith
Sales Development
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Lee has been in the Student Travel Industry for 10 years and came to us with a vast knowledge of music & performing art tours. His love of music led him to obtain a degree in music performance as well as another in music business. For over 15 years, he has taught and worked with area high schools & drum majors to get them ready for competition. When available, he enjoys adjudicating band festivals and competitions. Besides instrumental music, Lee is also well versed in choral arts. Throughout his life, he has been a member of and directed numerous choirs and ensembles. He has had the opportunity to sing and work with many professional opera & theatre companies. When it comes to music educators & peace of mind, Lee knows exactly what they need.

He loves that he is still closely connected to music through travel!

“Some of the best times of my life are closely connected through music and travel. I feel a strong responsibility to pass this on so others are able to have these same experiences and positively influence the youth of today.” – Lee Smith

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Donna Cutrer
Tour Manager & Escort
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Colin Martin
Lead Escort
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Cathy Clarke
Group Air & Mission Trip Specialist
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In my 39 years as a travel agent and I have helped plan hundreds of mission trips. What started by planning a small mission trip for my church grew into the foundation of my travel clients. These types of trips are very near to my heart because I’m honored to be a part of this amazing experience and help support the people who are so giving of themselves in order to help others. Because mission trips are about helping those in need, working with a travel agent can really help cut down on the cost of travel for the group.

I’ve helped book air travel packages for many groups headed to parts of Central and East Africa as well as regions of the Caribbean over the years. Working with the group leader, they are able to tell me how many travelers they are expecting and I arrange air transportation for the best price. By doing so, the additional money that was saved can be used for supplies that would otherwise not have been purchased.

Planning the appropriate connections, seat assignments and checked baggage regulations are just a few items I can assist with for your group when planning an upcoming mission trip. These teams travel all over the world offering medical, dental and other support for those less fortunate. I ensure that wherever there is money to be saved, I will work my hardest to keep cost low.

I also enjoy planning mission trips because I love working with groups. Reunions, romantic travel and corporate travel have all had a place on my travel resume. Working with my customers is the best part of my job. There is often so much excitement that is built up around an upcoming trip. To deliver the vacation of a client’s dreams makes this job so rewarding!

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Kristen Hughes
Outside Sales Agent
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Kristen has many years of experience in the realm of travel with music performance groups, particularly with her husband, who has been a high school band director for many award-winning band programs. She also gained travel experience while hired on as a private instructor for Phillips Preparatory School. Kristen has a Bachelor’s degree in Music and a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. During her spare time, she works as a Speech-Language Pathologist at a local nursing home and spends time with her son, Weston. While studying music, she was the first piccolo section leader of the Jaguar Marching Band, an undergraduate teaching assistant, John W. Laidlaw Scholarship recipient, took lessons from many world-renowned flute players, played substitute flute for the Mobile Symphony, and attended summer music camps. She continues to express her love of music through teaching private lessons. Having been on many trips with band programs through Travel Travel Leaders Student Tours, Kristen has experienced firsthand how this company has transformed the lives of directors and their ensembles. She also recognizes the benefits of performance travel, including providing an educational experience, boosting the ensemble’s reputation within the community, enhancing recruitment, and building a sense of unity within the ensemble. Her goal is to create the group travel experience you want, which is affordable, educational, and memorable.

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Sharon Concepcion
Vice President, All Aboard Travel Leaders
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Sharon oversees All Aboard Travel Leaders, where Student Tours is based. She provides the team and tools to support Student Tours, and ensure that we’re bringing all the resources of Travel Leaders to bear on behalf of your group and students.

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Nancy Thompson
Lead Tour Escort
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Nadine Andrews
Lead Escort
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ABOUT TRAVEL LEADERS

Travel Leaders Network has been assisting travelers for nearly 30 years through our international alliance of agencies big and small. Backed by Travel Leaders Group – a powerful leader in both leisure and business travel – we represent all facets and styles of travel, giving us the unique advantage to plan every detail of your travel experience.

 

Travel Leaders has been honored with over 65 prestigious Travel Industry Awards for Excellence since 2009 – more than any other travel agency company in North America. Our agents are experts on specific cruise lines, hotels, resorts and tour operators, as well as niche travels areas, such as destination weddings, river cruises, safaris and multi-generational family.

WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS HAVE TO SAY

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