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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 Vacations and 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 85 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 25+ 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: former Denver Public Library Commissioner; former board chairman for the National Academy Foundation's Academy of Hospitality and Tourism for Denver Public Schools; member of board of directors for Visit Denver; Past Chairman of the board of directors for the Black American West Museum and Heritage Center; emeritus board director for the Center of the American West; former board chairman 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; founding member and former board chair for the James P. Beckwourth Mountain Club; Current Chairman of the Board for the Lincoln Hills Cares Foundation; 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



Daphne Marrable, CITM, CTG, was certified by IGA in both the International Tour Director and Tour Guide Programs and has numerous years' experience in the Travel and Tourism Industry.  Daphne has traveled extensively and has lived in Illinois, Hawaii, Mexico, and Colorado.  She has served as a “host-mother" to international students from Japan, South Korea, Africa, and the Middle East and has taught English as a Second Language to Spanish-speakers.  

 

Daphne graduated first in her class from the Vocational and Practical Arts Education Reservation and Travel Consultant Certification Program and is a past member of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the Pacific Asia Travel Association, Rocky Mountain Guides Association, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Tour Colorado, VISIT DENVER Convention and Visitors Bureau, and was a sitting Board member of the Colorado Chapter of Skål International Association of Travel and Tourism Professionals.  Daphne also brings a lifetime of experience in the areas of radio, television, theatre and music.   “The training I received at IGA helped me to realize that my unique mix of life experiences produced skills that are relevant to the travel industry.  I use these skills every day.”  Contact is: daphnemarrable@hotmail.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.

 

Daniel SlaterCITMCTGCTM,  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, Cuba, China, Japan, 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. He sits on the Advisory Board for the International Association of Tour Directors and Guides.  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 Cuba, China, Mexico, USA, and Europe.  Contact is: daniel@bepaidtotravel.com

 

Frank SlaterPh.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 include Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize and Honduras. In the last 4 years Frank has led more than 35 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"

Cyndi Cobb, CITM - As a graduate of the IGA International Tour Manager Program Cyndi has been busy working in the industry leading tours worldwide including with Friendly Planet Travel and Mayflower Tours.  Her love for sharing new destinations with each guest keeps her smiling and enthusiastic on every tour. She has a love of photography and frequently chronicles her trips on social media.

As a former cruise line executive, she worked in sales, marketing and operations and is sought after to lead tours onboard ships. In addition, Cyndi has assisted Tour Operators in product development, creating new itineraries for future tours.  Leading tours throughout the US, Canada and Europe as well as extensive experience in Cuba, she’s also keen to help others in the industry.  She participated in the newly formed industry organization, IATDG (International Association Tour Directors and Guides) conference as well as mentoring those new to the world of being a tour manager.  Contact is: cynthiaecobb@yahoo.com

Terri McConnell, CITM: Terri McConnell gained a sense of wonder as a child when vacationing in Smokey Mountain National Park. She believes that travel is life changing and transformative; it takes us out of our element and reminds us of why we are here.

 

Terri graduated from the International Guide Academy in 2007 after serving as a professor and a school administrator for 25 years where she designed international exchange programs with Russia, Spain, China, Jordan and Turkey. She has traveled to 43 countries and all 50 US states. She has worked with numerous tour operators including Gate 1, Yellowstone Association Institute, Road Scholar,  Grand Circle Travel, Collette Vacations, Odysseys Unlimited, Tourco, Jetsave Touring, Trafalgar/Destination America, Legendary Journeys, and Will’s Hope, a unique program based in Yellowstone that provides young adults with mental & emotional disabilities in a supportive atmosphere & opportunities to see their situation in a positive way. She holds a Doctorate in Education, Master’s degrees in Environmental Education & Communications and Training Technologies, and a Bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Recreation and Leisure Services.   Contact is: terrilynnusa@gmail.com

Becky Alexander, CITM: Becky's three favorite words are "Adventure, Ambition, and Attitude." These elements work together to provide bucket-list experiences for guests on her tours. Since graduating first in her class from IGA in 2013, she has led tours for Globus, Collette, The Travel Authority, and Let's Go Travelin'. Tours have taken her to destinations such as New York City, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Mackinac Island, Chicago, and Nashville.

Becky is a licensed guide in New York City and Washington DC. She has worked as a travel agent and a career college instructor in the field of travel and tourism. She has been published over fifty times, including a book, magazine articles, and curriculum. Becky facilitates professional development seminars for Eagle Center for Leadership and holds a Bachelor's Degree from Miami University of Ohio. You can contact her at: beckyalexander1@bellsouth.net.

Gary White, CITM – received his certification through IGA and works as a tour manager for a variety of operators as he guides both domestic and international itineraries. When he is home in Nashville, Tennessee, Gary serves as a step on guide offering in-depth tours of Music City, USA where his ability to play the banjo and guitar can supplement the tour experience.
He received his BA in International Relations and the Russian language from the University of Memphis and was awarded a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University where he served as the Director of Religious Life. A member of the International Association of Tour Directors and Guides, Gary is also a Trained-Trainer for Critical Incident Stress Management and has served as an anti-poaching pilot while living in the bush country of Tanzania.

The words of poet, Mary Oliver, often lend perspective to Gary during his travels. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild, precious life?” Gary reasons, “Time spent traveling is time that doesn’t count against our total days allotted for our one wild and precious life.” “The relationships we build with our guests, the vendors, local guides, and the information we impart and absorb, easily alters this career in the travel industry into a life well lived.”  Contact is: Gary.p.white@mail.com

Amit Ariel, CITM, lives by the mantra: "When you love what you do, you don't work a day in your life"!  Amit is a native of Tel Aviv, Israel, has been working in the travel industry for over twenty-five years. Amit was certified by IGA in the International Tour Director program. She traveled extensively and has lived in Israel, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Miami. 
Throughout her career she worked as a Special Groups Tour Operator, Tour Guide and Tour Director. She led groups of all ages around the country and abroad. From Washington DC to Alaska, from Cuba to Morocco, from Jerusalem to the Great Lakes.

Her knowledge and enthusiasm make it very easy for her to relate to anyone she works with.  Amit speaks English and Hebrew and is currently learning Spanish.  Contact is: amit@arielgroundservice.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


Barb Hahn, CTG, CITM: Barb graduated from both the Certified  International Tour Manager and the Certified Tour Guide programs and also participated in the IGA Destination Awareness-New England class.  Prior to becoming a Tour Director, she worked as a teacher, school psychologist, special education director and as a consultant for the California Department of Education.  Barb received a B.A. degree from Ohio State University in Education and her M.A. from California State University, Long Beach in Psychology.

 

“My tour director experience has included motorcoach, train, air, and cruise ship travel.  I have extensive experience with groups from the United Kingdom and enjoy having them learn about the United States while also realizing that our country and theirs are similar in many ways.  I am also a local guide in Southern California and provide visitor information as a volunteer at LAX.  The companies I have led tours for include: The AARP Travel Experience from American Express, Globus/Cosmos, Holland America, Titan Tours, Tour Mappers, Tourco, and Newmarket Holidays.  I thank IGA for helping me develop the skills and knowledge to make each tour a learning experience and an enjoyable adventure for the passengers!  I also enjoy keeping in contact with other IGA students and following their career development.”  Contact is: barbhahn1000@yahoo.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


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