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Instructors

At IGA, diversity isn't just a corporate buzzword. It is the way we work, and it comes through in everything we do. From the high-performing instructors, to the educational services we provide, IGA advocates unique thinking and instructing with the most up-to-date curriculum. We have become the top training and certifying school by creating an inclusive environment fueled by innovative ideas and teaching methods.

Our instructors have diverse cultural backgrounds, beliefs, perspectives, and lifestyles. Yet they all have one thing in common - their ability to excel in the Travel and Tourism industry and impart that knowledge to the students. Currently we are working not just to expand the number of international locations you can choose to receive your training but maintaining the most up-to-date curriculum taught by the very best instructors.

It is an educational process that works best for more people in more ways than ever. A goal with this kind of magnitude requires the brightest, most forward-thinking minds around. We have them here at IGA and they are making a difference in our programs and students lives.

All of the instructors are carefully chosen for their world-class teaching abilities and industry backgrounds. IGA utilizes this group of instructors in your programs. They have more than 400 years of combined International Tour Managing and Tour Guiding experiences including motorcoach tours, railroad tours, cruise ship assignments, owning their own Tour Operating companies and Destination Management companies, teaching, industry speakers, published authors and photographers, as well as designing and marketing tours for major companies. They can offer insights that only come from years of working in the industry and your instructors clearly care about the student's needs and provide them with real travel experiences that engage, enrich and inspire. They are ALL graduates of the International Guide Academy and are actively working in the areas they instruct. They bring their domestic and international experiences to the classroom and are experts in their field. The core of your programs are to encourage you to develop your knowledge and skills through the guidance and leadership of the instructors and by the use of such sessions as actual motorcoach trips, group and individual problem solving, research techniques, individual student presentations, walking tours, airport visits, day trips, visits to the classroom by leaders in the industry, etc.

Based on significant contributions to the International Guide Academy and the Travel and Tourism Industry, as well as 10 or more years of instructing at IGA, Connie Dineen, Sid Wilson, and Doug Paterson recently were named as "Senior Instructors".

Connie Dineen, CTG, CITM graduated from both of the IGA programs and was first in her class in both certification programs. She has her M.A. and teaching experience as well as being a Tour Director in over 20 states, Washington D.C. and Canada, Belgium, The Netherlands, Cuba, and Germany. She is a Fulbright exchange teacher with assignments in Europe. She has worked for Saga Holidays, Mayflower Tours, New Millennium Tours, Tour USA, Colorado Charters, Travel Organizers, Colorado Charter, Denver and Beyond, The Arrangers, and Operation Altitude. Connie is a volunteer docent at the Molly Brown House in Denver and brings her years of experiences to the classroom. "I do not consider my career as a Tour Director merely a job. It can truly be said that Tour Directing is the frosting on the cake."

Connie instructs in both of the IGA courses. She is currently doing tours to Cuba for Friendly Planet Travel. Most of her assignments have been in the USA and Canada and have been on motorcoaches and cruise ships. Connie has researched and planned routes for Saga Holidays as well as being a Tour Director for them. She continues her work as a senior instructor at IGA in the USA, Canada and Mexico and aboard the Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Star, in addition to continuing to be an active Tour Director. She is also a volunteer at the Governor's Mansion in Denver and is a model for vintage clothing fashion shows.  In 2011: "I was awarded the Quarto Mondo Award from International Travel News which means that I have traveled to over one fourth of the world's countries."  She has visited 46 of the 50 US states and over 70 countries.  Contact Connie if you wish at: conniedineen@yahoo.com

Sid Wilson, CTG, CITM, was one of the first graduates of the International Guide Academy when it came to the USA from London. He brings 20+ years of experience in the industry to the classroom and graduated from the Tour Guide Program in 1990 and the International Tour Director program in 1993. Sid has been a docent and guide at the Black American West Museum and Heritage center. He was chairperson of the board for the Academy of Travel and Tourism in Denver and Sid currently serves as a Denver Public Library Commissioner; on the board of directors for the National Academy Foundation's Academy of Hospitality and Tourism for Denver Public Schools; member of board of directors for Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau; Past Chairman of the board of directors for the Black American West Museum and Heritage Center; member board of directors for the Center of the American West; member board of directors for Colorado Historical Society's African American Advisory Council; past board member and vice-chair of Historic Denver; past member of Historic Preservation State Review Board; Vice Chairman board of directors for the James P. Beckwourth Mountain Club and many other volunteer efforts.

Sid is President and owner of A Private Guide, Inc. since 1991. His company has over 150 different itineraries being offered and his company specializes in cultural and heritage tours, city and mountain sightseeing, skiing, hiking, horseback riding, river rafting, narrow-gauge railroads, high country festivals and more. The most popular tours provided are the City Highlights and the Foothills tours.

"IGA provided a gateway into a world of enrichment and satisfaction and prepared me to run a successful business in the Tourism Industry." Sid has performed in Tour Management and Tour Guiding positions and is a Tour Operator. His tours have taken him as far away as South Africa. He is a senior instructor in the Tour Manager and Tour Guide courses in the USA and in Mexico. Sid is a published author and a weekly contributor to Denver's Urban Spectrum Weekly Blog.  In 2013, he was elected to the Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame.  Contact is: apgsid@comcast.net   His company website is: www.aprivateguide.com

Doug Paterson, CITM, a graduate of the International Tour Manager program has 35+ years experience as an International Tour Manager, Tour Guide, Driver/Guide, motorcoach operator, and Manager of Training, Safety and Operations for motorcoach companies. His Tour Managing and Tour Guiding have been in Alaska, the South Pacific and Asia. Doug holds his Masters Degree (MBA) from the University of Colorado and has years of prior teaching experience. As a senior instructor, he advises the students in the fields of Tour Manager/Driver teamwork and emergencies on the road in the Tour Manager and Tour Guide courses. Contact is: dapaterson4@gmail.com


Terri Britt Ross, CITM graduated first in her class at IGA’s International Tour Manager Program held aboard the Norwegian Dawn and launched right into her new career as a Tour Manager building on her skills as a trainer, artist, and avid traveler. In 2015, she worked in Panama, Cuba, Mexico, and several states in the US. She had 12 working assignments over the course of the year working with IGA and for three tour operators: Sun Tours; Friendly Planet, Thomson Family Adventures.
 
Some people claim there is a wanderlust gene and, if so, Terri definitely has it. Her love affair with travel began as a student when she traveled with various music groups. Terri cares for her passengers so they can feel safe and have the confidence to embrace new places, and new experiences, to take in all that each destination has to offer. For her, this is the most rewarding part of tour directing. Terri also relishes working with IGA students. Helping others learn to be a tour leader is exciting and fun. The best part is watching the students begin to gain confidence in themselves and their ability to lead a group.  Being active, helping people and traveling, what could be better than that? Terri is always delighted when she has her next trip on the calendar and in the works. She’s been very delighted this year! You can contact Terri at terri.ross@comcast.net.

Sandy Serio Gregory, CITM is a graduate of the International Tour Manager Program and specializes in leading small group tours around the world. For the past six years, she has been creating adventures of a lifetime for QueensLander Tours in Italy, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Portugal, France and Croatia. In 2012, she began Che Bella Tours: Destinations for Body, Mind and Soul, creating travel experiences designed specifically for women. Her colleagues call her the "Contessa of Wow" and her guests have traveled with her again and again. In her true nomadic fashion, Sandy recently relocated from Colorado to St. Thomas, USVI where she is also creating excursions and tours in the Caribbean.

Sandy earned her BFA in graphic design and creative writing at the University of Illinois, Photography at Colorado Institute of Art, and became a Certified International Tour Manager (CITM) in 2009. "I have been blessed with the opportunity to experience much in my life. My passion for travel began as a foreign exchange student in Oaxaca, Mexico during high school and an art student in Florence, Italy during college. I credit IGA for giving me the foundation I needed to turn this passion into an exciting career." She brings a love of culture, cuisine, art history and architecture to her tours. "As a professional writer, I love to lose myself in research. And as a quintessential Colorado woman, I love outdoor sports such as skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking and hiking." You can contact Sandy at sandy.chebellatours@gmail.com.

Louise Todd-Stoll, CTG, CITM certified in both the International Tour Director program in 1999 and the Tour Guide program in 2000. Louise operates her own private tour company including tours in Canada, Colorado and Utah. She shares her 17-plus years of industry experience with the students in the Tour Director and Tour Guide programs in the USA and in Mexico. Louise has been a Tour Director on both motorcoaches and luxury railcars for international companies. Her prior experiences included work as a Park Ranger and in human services programs. Her travels have included 48 states, Canada, Mexico, Central America, England, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Greece and many of the Caribbean Islands. She works as a Tour Guide in the Denver, Colorado Springs and Rocky Mountain National Park areas.

"My first year working as a Tour Director, people in the industry knew by my demonstrated skills that I was an IGA graduate as I was performing like a seasoned Tour Director." A member of the Rocky Mountain Guide Association, Louise earned her Master's Degree in Education. Louise says "It is fun to share the excitement generated from researching about the nooks and crannies of each place visited on a tour, with the passengers, who then in turn experience destinations through a different perspective." Contact is: gstollsprint1@earthlink.net

 

Steve Kaverman, CITM, CTG, CTM, credits training received at the International Guide Academy and a volunteer job with leading him to a fun and rewarding career in travel and tourism. Volunteering as a Journey Guide at Denver’s Aquarium reignited memories of seasonal work Steve enjoyed as a carriage tour guide on Mackinac Island, Michigan, while earning his bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University. “After almost 20 years of managing in the corporate world, I found my way back to the profession I was really wired for after completing both the Tour Manager program in 1999 and Tour Guide program in 2000,” says Steve. Less than a month later, Steve took a week’s vacation from his job for a trial run as a Tour Leader aboard the American Orient Express Railway, a deluxe ‘cruise ship on rails.’ He loved it, and the company saw it as a good fit too. Steve recalls, “I resigned from my job a week later, and did 13 trips aboard the train that season.” Since then, Steve has worked for several tour operators as a Tour Manager including Globus family of brands and A Private Guide. He has also performed work as a step-on Tour Guide in Denver and along Colorado's Front Range with companies such as Colorado Sightseer and The Arrangers, and earned a diploma in Tour Management from the Breda University of Professional Education, Breda the Netherlands. “I have been extremely fortunate to be involved in many aspects of the leisure travel and tourism industry, experiencing great destinations while creating enduring memories for guests – and myself,” says Steve. In 2009, Kaverman received certification from the National Association for Interpretation as a Certified Interpretative Trainer (CIT) and Certified Interpretative Guide (CIG). Most recently, Steve worked as General Manager for the Royal Gorge Route Railroad in Canon City, CO. Steve is an instructor for the Tour Director and Tour Guide courses in the USA and in Mexico, and has served on the Colorado Tourism Office Board of Directors where he helped direct efforts to promote the State as a tourist destination. Steve is a genuine champion of tourism, and remains involved in many aspects of the industry. Contact is: skaverman@gmail.com

 

Donette Stroberg, CTG, CITM is a graduate of both the International Tour Manager and Tour Guide certification programs and graduated first in both of these courses. Donette brings her expertise to the IGA instructors' team with over 30 years of travel and corporate experience. Her special interests include training in public speaking and teambuilding which are useful skills in her Tour Manager and Tour Guide assignments.

Her travels include 48 of the 50 United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, New Zealand, Australia, the Mediterranean and Caribbean Islands, Western Europe, the British Isles and Africa. Donette is a magna cum laude graduate of Colorado State University and a native of Colorado. She takes special pleasure in sharing the rich history of Colorado on both motorcoach and walking tours. A "fact fanatic", Donette enjoys doing extensive research prior to each tour. She states "not only do my guests appreciate the extra effort and information, but I always learn some new and interesting tid bits as well." Donette has worked for Queenslander Tours, Aten & Associates, Colorado Event Organizers and Great Events. Donette provides "fun, educational and unforgettable" tours through her own company, Tour Colorado---with Class. She has taught in the programs in Mexico and in the USA. Contact is: donette853@yahoo.com

 

Clayton James Whitehead, CITM, CTP,  is a graduate of the IGA Tour Director program, has earned two Degrees from the University of Georgia and the Centre Linguistique in Jonquiere, Canada. Over the past three decades, Clayton has been employed on all three sides of the Hospitality Pyramid, working as a tour operator, destination marketer and a tour supplier. As an instructor at IGA, he is thrilled to share his experiences and insights with students from around the world.  Since 1993, Clayton has been the Vice-President of Sports Leisure Vacations, a California-based packaged travel company. Sports Leisure’s unique corporate structure encourages staff to act as tour planners, then escort the trips they plan for total control of the final product. He is also Vice-President of the Sacramento Arts & Business Council and an on-air program host for KVIE, Sacramento’s public broadcasting affiliate. He was named "Volunteer of the Year" by KVIE in 2003 and the National Tour Association in 2007. Clayton has lead groups through every state, province and territory in the USA and Canada. Additionally, he has escorted tours through Western Europe, the Caribbean and the South Pacific.

Though employed as a Tour Director for many years prior to taking the IGA course, Clayton found it to be of incredible value. “Like so many in this industry, I literally fell into a job in tour planning and escorting with no formal training. Taking the IGA course really helped me hone my skills. I even had to admit and correct a few things I had been doing wrong from the start! What I liked best about the Tour Director course is that it’s designed to take you where you are, be it experienced or a novice, and raise you up to the next level.” He has instructed in the programs in the USA and Mexico.
Contact Clayton at: clayton.whitehead@sportsleisure.com

 

Daniel Slater, CITM, CTG, CTM,  President of IGA and senior instructor is a graduate of both certification programs, and has been in the travel industry for over 25 years. He has worked as a motorcoach operator, motorcoach company owner, and tour company owner. His travels have taken him to 40+ USA states, Mexico, Canada, Denmark, Jamaica, Colombia, Aruba, Guatemala, Belize and numerous Caribbean islands. He has completed 10 tours in China in the last 48 months.

When asked "Where is the favorite part of the world in which you travel?", I usually reply: "Wherever I am at that time". I know that the world is always changing and, even when I do the same tour back-to-back, I and my passengers can see completely different things from the prior tour. My passengers see and experience different aspects of all the places visited. As for myself, I love to see my passengers enjoying themselves and I get to share their happiness while I ensure the smooth flow of the tour and provide the entertainment and education of their tour as well as all the work required behind the scenes, so to speak, to insure they have a vacation of a lifetime. That is my job and that is what is expected by the Tour Operators that hire me. It is truly the best job in the world."

Daniel is a professional Tour Guide in Colorado and enjoys his Tour Director assignments. At the request of the Jamaican Tourism industry, he worked in Jamaica preparing lesson plans for training local Jamaican Tour Guides. He appeared on the Jamaican edition of the Early Morning Show and has been interviewed on local Colorado television. Daniel earned his CITM and CTG from the International Guide Academy, and then further earned his CTM from the International Association of Tour Managers (London) and the University of Breda, The Netherlands.  He is a published author and industry consultant. 2017 commitments include China, Mexico, USA, and Europe.  He is also responsible for updating the IGA website. Contact is: daniel@bepaidtotravel.com

 

 

Alex Galimov, CITM, CTG,  IGA International Tour Manager graduate in 2003, was born in Siberia, Russia. He came to the US in 1990. Alex brings more than 25 years of industry experience to the IGA programs. He has a degree in linguistics and education from the Gorky University in Russia and an International Business Degree from the University of Colorado. He attended the Teykyo University's Japanese language studies. Alex has been involved in international travel and business since 1990, taking groups of US and Canadian businessmen, to Russia and the Republics of the Former Soviet Union acting as their translator, interpreter, business facilitator and Tour Guide. Since graduating from the International Guide Academy in Denver, Co., Alex has been a Tour Director for several US-based Tour Operators focusing on American West. His passions are travel, languages and meeting new people. Alex has his own translation business as well. Contact Alex at: galimov@msn.com

 

Tim and Elise Lentz, CITM,  are husband and wife graduates of IGA and are guest lecturers at our USA and Mexico locations, when "in port". They previously worked for major corporations in Information Technology for over a decade. They decided they wanted to pursue a career that would allow them to work together and enjoy their passion for travel and took the International Tour Manager course together. Immediately following their graduation from IGA in 2003, they obtained positions with Windstar Cruises, working all major ports of call along the coasts of the Baltic, Mediterranean, Croatia, Greece, and Turkey, including 2 Trans-Atlantic crossings and numerous Caribbean islands.  In 2008, they began working for Tauck on their Small Ship Cruising itineraries leading groups through the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, Baltic regions, Black Sea, Mediterranean, and the Dalmatino Coast.  It is not uncommon for them to travel through as many as 17 countries in a touring season.

Tim and Elise are avid proponents of the IGA program and emphasize how their training here helped prepare them for the leap from their corporate positions to International Tour Management in the cruise industry. They state "Guests are always intrigued with our story of leaving the "Corporate Environment" and how we got into this field.  We tell them that we went "back to scool" and that IGA provided us with the tools and functional skills we needed to feel confident in being successful".  Their passion for travel and delivering a memorable travel experience to their guests attributes to their success.  Their experiences offer students insights into the cruise ship industry, a career in which IGA graduates are able to pursue after their certification. Contact Tim and Elise at: eliselentz@att.net or timlentz@att.net

 

Frank Slater, Ph.D., CTG, CITM, and CTM, is CEO of IGA since 1997 and a senior instructor. He brings his years of corporate, education, and travel experience to IGA.. Frank initially earned his CITM and CTG from the International Guide Academy and then earned his CTM (Certificate in Tour Management) from the International Association of Tour Managers (London) and the University of Breda, The Netherlands. For over 15 years, Frank was a Gold Member of the International Tour Manager Association (London) and a member of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations. He has been an International Tour Director in North America, Central and South America, Europe, Middle East (Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and Jordan), northern Africa, South Pacific and Asia, and has worked on cruise ships in Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean and Europe.

"The day after I retired from the corporate world, I was traveling in Europe. After my certification with IGA, I have been paid to work on six continents. My certification from the International Guide Academy has opened the world of travel to me. I enjoy researching new places, meeting new people and sharing my love of travel with my passengers throughout the world. Being able to train new Tour Directors and Tour Guides is rewarding."

He has been a Tour Guide in Alaska, New York, Colorado and California. Frank has served on the Advisory Board of Travel and Tourism in Denver. He has been a Tour Director in over 25 USA states including Alaska and Hawaii and has personally traveled in 49 of the USA states. Frank's Tour Management has also taken him to more than 20 countries in Europe.  In the past few years he has worked in India, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam and China.  Among the almost 90 countries visited includeMexico, Guatemala, Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize and Honduras. In the last 4 years Frank has led more than 30 tours in Cuba.  His assignments have included motor coach tours and cruise ships. Frank received his education in both the USA and England and has lived throughout the USA, England, The Netherlands and Mexico. Frank is a published author, published photographer and paid speaker as well as a sought after industry consultant. His latest book "Cuernavaca, Mexico -- Your Personal Guide" was published in 2009. He is working on a book of Travel Tips and Tricks and travel commitments in 2017 are in the USA, Cuba, Mexico, and Europe.   
Contact is: fmslater@hotmail.com   You can also follow Frank on Twitter, username "bepaidtotravel"
 

Kent Taylor, CTG, CITM has been a professional Tour Manager and Tour Guide since 1999. He earned his CITM and CTG from IGA, finishing first in his International Tour Management class. Kent is the founder and director of the National Park Society, a private tour company that specializes in national park tours around the world. He is a former park ranger and forest ranger and was the Department Chair for the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Degree Program at Everest College in Colorado Springs, CO for five years. Kent has managed tours for Grand Circle Travel, Flemming Tours, TourMappers, The Travel Department of Ireland, Virtuoso Travel Consortium, Southern Methodist University, the Godbey Lecture Series, Pillar Institute of Learning, Queenslander Tours, Terres Indiennes, and numerous private clients. He has hosted inbound groups from Ireland, Belgium, Israel, England, Sweden, France, and Latvia. Kent has managed tours all over the world with his favorite destinations being the western U.S.A., Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Costa Rica.


"Another great year for me. I managed 19 tours over 193 touring days. The highlight was a polar bear expedition to the Canadian Arctic where my group and I studied and photographed 23 polar bears! It truly was a life-changing experience. I also had multiple tours to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Glacier; Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce; the Canadian Rockies, California, Eastern Canada, New England and more!  I began in March managing a month-long private tour of the American Southwest with a European film crew shooting a documentary on our national parks and wildlife refuges. This was my third trip with them. I also managed several more polar bear trips. See you down the road!" Contact is: kentrtaylor@yahoo.com

 

Francisco Conejo, Ph.D, CITM, CTG, IGA Tour Manager and Tour Guide graduate, has guided and managed over 300 motorcoach, mini-bus and train tours in Costa Rica.  He specialized in the cruise sector, servicing English, Spanish and German groups. Francisco graduated from the University of Colorado receiving his MBA and a second master’s degree in International Business. Immediately after IGA graduation he received offers from companies operating throughout the Western USA. He has been giving English and German tours in 11 Western states. Companies he has worked for include Montana Rockies Rail Tours, Alternative Tours (Germany), Rocky Mountain Holiday Travel and A Private Guide. Francisco has lived in 4 countries and traveled to over 20. His interests include history, antique/ancient cultures and ethnic cuisine. Francisco completed his Ph.D at the University of Otago in New Zealand. His doctorial thesis was on "tourism destination branding".  He is currently working in Costa Rica as a Tour Guide and Tour Director.  Contact is: conejo_f@hotmail.com

Four of us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connie counting bags

 Connie Dineen

 

Sid Instructor

Sid Wilson

 

 

 

Doug instructor

Doug Paterson
 

Terri Ross

Terri Ross



Sandy Serio Gregory

Sandy Gregory on tour in Italy




louise instructor

Louise Todd-Stoll

 

 

 

Steve Instructor

Steve Kaverman

 

Donette Instructor

Donette Stroberg

 

 

 

Clayton instructor

Clayton Whitehead

 

 

 

Daniel instructor

Daniel Slater

 

 

 

Alex Galimov instructor

Alex Galimov

 

 

Lentz Instructors

Elise and Tim Lentz

 

 

 

 

Frank Instructor

Frank Slater

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kent Instructor

Kent Taylor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Francisco instructor

Francisco Conejo