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.

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.

“Because of IGA’s strong reputation and excellent training, I went to work as a tour director immediately after completing the class. I utilize the valuable skills I learned at IGA on every tour and desire to help others find their successful start in the world of tour directing.”

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 seventy 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

Terri Britt Ross, CITM started her Tour Management career by taking IGA’s International Tour Manager Program held aboard the Norwegian Dawn. She believed that taking the training aboard ship would be most like the work of tour management. Terri launched right into her new career as a Tour Manager building on her skills as a trainer, artist, and avid traveler.

In 2015, Terri worked in Panama, Cuba, Mexico, and several states in the US. In 2016 she added Costa Rica to the list and in 2017 Canada. She averages 17 assignments over the course of a year working with IGA and tour operators Sun Tours and Friendly Planet.

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. She’s been very delighted this year! You can contact Terri at

Doug Paterson, CITM, a graduate of the International Tour Manager program has 50+ 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 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:

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:

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, Cuba, China, Canada, Denmark, Jamaica, Colombia, Aruba, Guatemala, Belize, Europe, and numerous Caribbean islands. He has completed 10 tours in China in the last 60 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 and is also active in teaching English to Chinese students. 2018 commitments include China, USA, and Europe. Contact is:

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, Central and South America, Europe, Middle East, 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 served on the Advisory Board of Travel and Tourism in Denver. He has been a Tour Director in over 30 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 last 6 years Frank has led more than 40 tours in Cuba and his Cuba 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. In 2017 and 2018 he led tours in the USA and Cuba and on cruise ships in the Caribbean as well as a round-the-world tour including China, India, Nepal, United Arab Emeritus, England and France. In 2019, Frank has let multiple tours in Cuba, and is assigned in the fall for work in the Caribbean and a photography themed tour in Portugal. Contact is:

Tim & Elise Lentz, CITM: With over 30 years combined experience in the Travel Industry – Tim and Elise Lentz have specialized in leading groups on cruise ships and riverboats as a husband and wife Tour Director team. After many years working for major corporations, Tim and Elise decided to “cash it all in” and find a career where they could work together. On a trans-Atlantic trip cruising via a small ship, they met a husband and wife Cruise Director team. It was at that time they decided to build a plan that would give them the skills and knowledge to move from the world of cubicles and corporate structure to the open seas and exotic ports of call.

After graduating from IGA, Tim and Elise were hired as a Cruise Director team for the same small ship company they vacationed on. Since then they have worked for a variety of other Tour Operators offering group travel on Cruise Ships and Riverboats and even some land based itineraries. Their assignments have taken them all around the world (over 50 countries) and they consider themselves fortunate to (as quoted by IGA) “Be Paid To Travel”.

The skillsets they learned in the IGA classes were critical to their success in moving from a Corporate Environment to the Travel & Leisure industry. The role-playing exercises presented real life scenarios that established a strong foundation for building confidence. Even after their tenure in the industry, they are still faced with new situations or challenges, where they rely on the basic building block skills they learned at IGA. They can be reached at: and

Terri McConnell, Ph.D., CITM: Terri McConnell gained a sense of wonder as a child when vacationing in Smoky 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:

Gary White, CITM – received his certification through IGA and quickly found employment with a variety of tour operators. Offering itineraries that include both domestic and foreign destinations, these companies keep Gary quite busy all year. However, when he is not on the road, you will most likely find him in his beloved hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. In Nashville, Gary serves as a step-on guide for local receptive companies as well as for outside tour operators that offer Music City as a destination.

Eager to find a life outside the confines of a luxury motorcoach, Gary takes to the streets by foot and leads a weekly walking tour of Nashville’s downtown area. In addition to his work in travel and tourism, Gary contracts with resettlement companies and serves as a “local expert” helping foreign business executives navigate the challenging relocation process as they and their families move to Middle Tennessee to begin a fresh work assignment in a new land.

Gary is a member of the International Association of Tour Directors and Guides and he is the leading figure behind the newly formed Nashville Association of Tour Guides.Contact is:

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: His company website is:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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