Our Dedicated Staff
Shore Excursions of America truly believes we have some of the best staff there are to offer. Our team of dedicated staff works diligently to create, design, operate, manage, and guide our customized and unique excursions. It is our main goal to present our clients with a menu of experiences, guaranteed to be a highlight of your company’s itinerary!
Dedicated Shore Excursion Specialists
Unlike other tour companies, Shore Excursions of America follows our product all the way to execution. These Tour Managers are essential to the overall success of our tours. Our strict and highly competitive hiring process ensures that our Shore Excursion Specialists are the best – prepared to handle any situation thrown their way with a smile and professionalism. They become the face of our company, interacting with our guests regularly, ensuring every excursion meets guest expectations and runs as smooth as possible!
A native of Colorado, Gayle began her career in the travel industry as a flight attendant, moved to tour directing and then returned to the airlines as a passenger service agent. Gayle has always cherished the great outdoors and enjoys sharing “America’s Heartland” with guests. She joined the American Queen family on the inaugural voyage and is excited for the upcoming season on the American Empress!
A native Texan, Valerie began her travel career in Austin and after managing a full-service retail travel agency for over 20 years, she purchased the agency in 2006. After selling the agency, she expanded her travel career into tour directing in America’s National Parks. She loves sharing her passion for travel with our guests and now works onboard both the American Queen as well as the American Empress.
April hails from the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado and currently lives at the base of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs. She loves to explore and travel the great outdoors, learning the history and stories of new destinations with friends and family! Her ongoing personal love for adventures of all sorts led to her career in the travel industry as a tour director on the American Queen.
Tari resides in Tybee Island, Georgia because of her love for the ocean and marsh lands. She has always loved traveling and because of that she began her career with The Ohio State University Leadership Development program. Tari also had the privilege of traveling on the maiden voyage of the Mississippi Queen before becoming our tour director on the American Duchess.
Rhea’s first travel memory involves a station wagon trip across the country, which remains her favorite experience. This led her to always have her bags packed and ready for the next adventure. After raising 3 daughters and more than 20 years in the hospitality industry, Rhea earned her Tour Director Certificate from ITMI. She always makes time for a stop at the local bakeries and loves sharing her passion for travel with everyone she meets.
Jana Hall resides in California. After college, Jana became a registered nurse, which she enjoyed for many years. Her love of travel and people eventually influenced her decision to retire from the medical world and join our team as a Shore Excursion Specialist. In her free time, Jana spends time exploring her passion for history by getting lost in new biographies and historical novels. Jana is looking forward to sharing her knowledge with the guests she meets each week!
Alex started her career in the hospitality industry over 30 years ago in Branson, MO. Before becoming a tour director, she worked with Andy Williams as his personal assistant and a performer in his live stage show in Branson. For the past several years she has guided tours in the Western National Parks, the Canadian Rockies and the Fall Foliage tour in the Northeast region of Canada and the U.S. Being a woman who loves to travel herself, she is happy to be able to assist you in getting the most enjoyment from this cruising experience.
Leslie, a native Arizonan, currently resides in the mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona. Before joining the American Queen, Leslie has had an eclectic career as a professional dancer, cruise director with Princess Cruises, choreographer, teacher and ITMI certified Tour Director. She raised two children at the south rim of the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff. Now an “empty nester”, Leslie enjoys sharing her passion for travel and adventure on the rivers of America.
Wendy Stickler currently resides in Allentown Pennsylvania with her husband, Mark and her pug, Weezie. Wendy has spent nearly 20 years in the resort and hospitality industry in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. Travel has always been her passion, and now as an “empty-nester” she felt the timing was right to pursue a career that would take her on new adventures.
Caralyn’s lifelong love of traveling began at a young age when she toured Europe with her grandparents. After a successful career as a registered nurse and raising 3 children, she decided to follow her passion for the travel industry and became certified as a Tour Director. Caralyn believes travel broadens our minds personally and culturally. She loves meeting new people and sharing her passion of travel.
Diane currently resides in St. Louis, Missouri. After relocating many times to exciting new places such as Boston, Tampa, the Dominican Republic and even China, her family motto became “we don’t vacation, we move there!” Diane loves the jazz, blues, dining, theatre and symphony experiences that her current home offers. Now retired from the corporate world, she continues to enjoy exploring the United States and sharing the curiosity of travel with others through guided tours. Diane looks forward to assisting American Queen guests in their best travel experience.
Carol Ann Ellis
A native of Michigan, now living in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, Carol Ann’s background began in the airline industry before working with her husband in their tour and travel business. Carol is a tour director on the American Queen.
Gina, was born and raised in Pennsylvania, but now resides in Denton, Texas, and says she definitely enjoys the warmer weather. She graduated from Emerson College with a degree in media production, but her love of traveling and the touring industry brought her to become a tour director on the American Queen. Gina was also just recently married.
This dedicated group of staff may not be the face of our product, but instead they are the roots and the backbone of our company. Located in the small town of Easton, Pennsylvania, the SEA Office Staff grows excursions from the ground up. Each and every excursion offered is fully customized and encompasses the unique essence and culture of the region, to ensure guests receive an experience that is exclusive to your company, rather than the “cookie-cutter” tours known to shuttle groups from one location to the next. This small, but growing, team all plays an essential role in the creation and implementation of those excursions!
Principal and Vice President of Product Development
As one of the principals of Shore Excursions of America, James is responsible for the “big picture” of the company. In addition to his many daily contributions, he has also taken on a role within the Product Development Department, helping to create our signature product.
Principal and Vice President of Hotel Management
In addition to his ownership roles as a Shore Excursion’s partner, Bob has also taken on a new role within the company as the Vice President of Hotel Management. Because of Bob’s background in the travel industry, he has built many relationships and partnerships throughout the country. This new role allows him to work with those local contact and establish future contracts for hotels.
Principal, CFO, and HR
Bebe is responsible for multiple duties within the company, beginning with her role as business partner. In addition, Bebe is the sole Financial Officer for Shore Excursions of America, managing the incoming and outgoing finances, creating and implementing budgets, tracking our financial growth, and authorizing payments. As the Director of Human Resources, Bebe also manages employee benefits, disciplinary actions, and regulations as well as all of SEA's Certified Guide training.
Lindsey, the company’s second employee began her career within Shore Excursions of America in the Marketing Department. She has taken on a new role within the company as the Managing Director, responsible for the overall growth of our company and its business plan in relations to each department and its employees. Her main goal is to keep every aspect of our company in line with our company’s vision.
Director of Operations and Administration
Stephanie is responsible for the management of the Operations Department throughout the company. She directly oversees all office and administrative functions, as well as the Operations Managers and creates on-board procedures to ensure each of our tours are operated accurately. Because her role directly relates to the functions of our product, Stephanie also oversees the onboard Shore Excursions Specialists.
Senior Director of Strategic Business Relationships
Ruth was Shore Excursions of America’s very first employees and took on many of the roles within the company as it grew. Over the years, Ruth was able to create an important relationship with our partners, as she became a familiar contact. As the company rapidly grows, it is important to maintain these partnership relations, and it became apparent that Ruth was the best fit due to her history.
Director of Destinations
Cheryl is responsible for the management of our Pre and Post City Stay Programs, which is one of the newer developments within our company. Her role focuses on strategical ways to advance the program, as well as coordinating the details to our partners. Cheryl also plays a key role in our Hospitality Services at the pre-hotels by remotely managing a team of local representatives to carry out the standards of our company.
Director of Marketing and Development
Savanna is responsible for overseeing both the company’s Marketing and Development Departments. In addition to developing future marketing plans and overseeing the company’s marketing duties, Savanna acts as the liaison between the company’s developers and the departments to streamline and simplify procedures, bringing our product to the next level. Savanna is responsible for creating new processes, procedures and consistency between these two important functions within the company.
Leah, under the direction of James Palmeri and Labebe Buesing, is responsible for the accounting duties for Shore Excursions of America. Her daily duties include reporting weekly profits and losses, documenting expenses, and helping with budgeting.
Accounting Assistant and IT Manager
Bryan works closely with the Director of Operations and Administration and the Accounting Manager to provide accounting support as well as overseeing company information technology. Bryan is responsible for day to day accounting duties for Shore Excursions of America including reporting weekly profits and losses, documenting expenses, and helping with budgeting. Bryan also handles all Information Technology systems in the office.
Under the Director of Destinations, Carly provides a key supportive role in the administrative side of our Hospitality & City Stay programs. Carly’s main duties include creating and distributing weekly vessel reports to internal and external staff. In addition, Carly maintains the important role of managing & auditing hotel and transportation reservations for all guests in our City Stay program.
Associate Director of Excursion Development
Eric, with the help of the Development Team, is responsible for the initiation of a tour. His duties include research and development of future tours, as well as implementing modifications if the tour does not live up to company standards. Eric’s experience in the Operations Department allows him to assist in the development of tours from the beginning with an Operational mind.
Associate Director of Excursion Development
Christina, with the help of the Development Team, is responsible for the initiation of a tour. Her duties include research and development of future tours, as well as implementing modifications if the tour does not live up to company standards.
Under the Director of Operations, Nicole is responsible for daily operations management of the American Queen, the largest vessel for our largest partner. Nicole makes certain that the onboard staff, as well as the drivers are in coordination with the planned itineraries and becomes the bridge between onboard Shore Excursions Specialists and our office staff. Daily duties include contacting and confirming visits with vendors, providing necessary notes and reports, working out timing matrices to ensure the accurate delivery of our tours and providing direct support to the Director of Operations.
Assistant Operations Manager
Under the Director of Operations, Courtney is responsible for daily operations management of the Victory I and Victory II vessels for our largest partner. Courtney makes certain that the onboard staff, as well as the drivers are in coordination with the planned itineraries and becomes the bridge between onboard Shore Excursions Specialists and our office staff. Daily duties include contacting and confirming visits with vendors, providing necessary notes and reports, and working out timing matrices to ensure the accurate delivery of our tours.
Marketing Brand Manager
Jon is responsible for creating and maintaining marketing documents, procedures and branding. Jon provides direct support to the Director of Marketing, and maintains a fresh, standardized design for marketing materials while overseeing marketing projects to ensure that branding standards are met through every stage. His daily duties also include social media management, website maintenance, reservations and customer relations.
Kelly is responsible for the daily marketing needs for each of our clients. Using the standardized branding implemented by the Marketing Brand Manager, Kelly creates all the physical documents, flyers, brochures, and signage needed for each of our partners. Her daily duties also include inventory tracking, ordering and receiving, and social media management.
ITMI and Shore Excursion Certified Drivers
Whether the destination is just down the road or across the country – our highly trained, extremely professional guides will get you there in comfort!
Shore Excursion trained and Certified Local Guides
There’s no better way to get to know the true story of a town, than by hearing it from someone who lives and breathes its culture day in and day out. These guides go through some serious training to meet the Shore Excursion Standard and will take that knowledge – along with their personal knowledge of their hometowns, to give guests an authentic, full-immersion experience.