Travel Agency Bios

Meet the Travel Consultants

Check out some of our travel consultants. They will give you in-depth advice only a professional can provide, with a personal touch, guiding you through the entire process of planning your vacation, stress-free.

Lori Smith
Travel Manager

Lori Smith brings 30 years of travel industry experience to Global Connections, where she has worked since 2011, managing the entire Global Connections travel team. Her past experience includes both leisure and corporate travel, with a specialty in cruises. Not only does Lori enjoy reading and cooking, but she also loves traveling the globe with her family. Out of the 35 countries that Lori has experienced, her favorite family destination is Atlantis in the Bahamas and her favorite city is London.

What I love about working in travel is that it's constantly changing. Things are never the same on any given day.


Nancy Porter
Assistant Travel Manager

Nancy Porter began as a travel consultant with Global Connections in 2001, eventually moving into the assistant manager position where she is responsible for the training, scheduling and general oversight of the Global travel team. Her specialty areas include air, car and hotel, as well as cruises. A native of Kansas City, Nancy has prior travel agency experience, and enjoys traveling with her family. Favorite family-friendly destinations include Florida, Texas, and cruising.

Working in this industry gives me the chance to plan vacations for people that are sometimes out of this world! I love that I'm helping create their memories


Kelly Baumgartel
Travel Consultant

Kelly joined Global in November, 2014 with 15 years of professional travel experience. Areas of experience include group travel and customer service. A veteran international traveler, some of Kelly’s favorite destinations include Ireland, Europe, Costa Rica and Hawaii (yes, Hawaii really does look like the photos!). In addition to traveling abroad and taking cruises, Kelly enjoys cooking and baking.

Working in travel is nice because usually the people you’re working with are in a good mood – everyone is happy about going on vacation!


Jacky Butler
Travel Consultant

Jacky joined Global Connections in 2012 and offers more than 20 years of experience in the travel industry. Her passion and love for travel is seen through her dedication to helping people fulfill their dreams of exploring new cultures through amazing travel adventures. Jacky has traveled the world and she uses her extensive knowledge to plan all styles of vacations. She holds over 25 destination specialist certifications. Her specialties include destination weddings, honeymoons, cruises and custom tours. While Jacky has earned many accolades, she is most proud of her loyal customer base.

The travel industry is fun because it changes every day – there's never a dull moment!


Marsha Chestnut
Travel Consultant

A travel expert with over 30 years of experience, Marsha Chestnut has been with Global Connections since 2008. In those 30 years, she has traveled most of the world, but still has a couple of places on her bucket list. Her passion for travel stems from her love of people, both clients and the people she meets while traveling. She takes loves the continuous education that is offered through various specialty courses, webinars, and meetings with representatives from all of the major tour and cruise lines.

I enjoy working with people and the variety the travel industry offers – there's always something new to see or do.


Cindy Hook
Travel Consultant

Cindy Hook has been with Global Connections since 1998. She works with members and clients on a wide variety of vacation planning and execution needs. Prior to joining Global, Cindy gained travel experience working for several small travel agencies. A Midwest native, Cindy enjoys reading, particularly fiction by her favorite author Janet Evanovich.

My favorite part of working in the travel industry is planning other people's vacations and making all their dreams come true!


Elfie Couey
Travel Consultant

Elfie Couey brought her extensive international experience to Global Connections in 2009, with 25 years of prior travel experience. A native of Germany, Elfie has lived all over the world, including Europe, Hawaii, Japan and Vietnam. Her world experience has made her an expert it international travel destinations. She has an educational background in travel and previously worked in tours and corporate travel. She enjoys outdoor activity like walking, hiking and gardening and likes to travel to exotic destinations. Favorites include the Far East, India, Italy, and Hawaii.

The best part of this job is researching international destinations and meeting the challenge of putting complex trips together for our members.


Pam George
Travel Consultant

Pam brings nearly 30 years of travel expertise to Global Connections, where she has worked since 2013. While she covers all areas of travel services at Global, areas of expertise include Hawaii and European vacations. Her personal favorite travel destinations are Hawaii, Greece and Italy. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and being active outdoors.

For me, the most rewarding thing about working in travel is the client relationships I have built over the years.


Lynn Newman
Travel Consultant

Lynn Newman has been with Global Connections since 2011. Her areas of expertise are in air, car and hotel as well as vacation packages. Lynn’s past professional experience in travel includes both travel agency experience as well as corporate travel. Lynn lives in the Kansas City area with her family, and enjoys traveling to destinations all over the U.S. and abroad. Her favorite destinations so far include Maui and European river cruising.

I love learning about new places and destinations every day.


Bridget Schimpfoessl
Travel Consultant

Bridget Schimpfoessl joined Global Connections in 2004. An expert in international travel, Bridget majored in German and minored in Travel at Missouri State University and lived in Germany for three years. She has traveled extensively and has expertise in European travel. Favorite travel destinations include Germany and Hawaii.

Working in travel always gives me a good challenge – I enjoy keeping up with the ever-changing industry.


Christy Zeier
Travel Consultant

Christy Zeier joined the Global Connections team in 2013 and has 23 years of prior travel experience. Her areas of expertise are cruises, tours, and Disney vacations. She enjoys outdoor activities, and her favorite travel destination is Hawaii. Her favorite and highly recommended cruise destination is Alaska.

My favorite part of working in travel is working with people, especially families, and being able to make their vacation dreams a reality.


Mariela Villa
Travel Consultant

Mariela came to Global in 2016 bringing her fresh millennial perspective to the team. She has experience in both leisure and corporate travel, specializing in wedding and honeymoon travel as well as youth-oriented travel. Her favorite destinations include Georgia, Colorado (for those wonderful long hikes) and the Dominican Republic.

When you have a job oriented around travel, you never know where you’re going every day. That’s what I love about this job!