Nancy StrongNancy Strong, one of the Founders of Strong Travel, has been in the industry over 35 years. Nancy has traveled the world and has flown on everything from the Concorde to a first class cabin on the A380 and has ridden on everything from an ostrich to a camel. Nancy enjoys planning itineraries for her clients with all her worldwide experience and relationships.
Jim StrongOne of America’s leading luxury travel consultants, Jim Strong is the President of Strong Travel Services in Dallas, Texas, a Virtuoso member agency.
His unparalleled experience and travel insights are sought by an exclusive clientele that includes prominent names in the arts, business and entertainment.
Jim travels extensively throughout the world selecting and vetting unique hotels, villas and destinations for his clients so that their travel always becomes a celebration of life’s moments.
Jim is the author of two luxury travel books and recently developed an iPhone and iPad app all under the name “Craving for Travel.” Additionally, he was the Producer and part of the creative team behind the Off-Broadway comedy, Craving for Travel, which ran in New York City January — February 2014.
He is a Certified Travel Counselor and an Accredited Cruise Counselor.
Jim serves on the advisory boards of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Ritz Carlton Hotels, Rosewood Hotels, Travel + Leisure Magazine as well as many other luxury travel organizations.
Steve HarrisSteve has been a travel industry professional for over 27 years and with Strong Travel for 20 of those. He excels in city stays with a pulse on the latest hot spots for dining, entertainment and cultural activities. Steve can usually be found enjoying live music, food, wine, and Formula 1 and Moto GP racing.
Sandy FreelandAs an agent in the travel industry for over 30 years, Sandy has experienced the evolution of the travel industry. She assists the business and corporate community with planning and time managing for domestic and international travels. Working with Strong Travel since 2009 has allowed her the opportunity to also assist travelers with their leisure trips, bucket lists, holiday travels and vacation journeys.
Natalie StroubeNatalie is a native Texan and has been in the travel industry for over 21 years. She started as a Reservations Agent for a large Tour Company and has been with Strong Travel for over 10 years. She has had the opportunity to travel the world and to learn the importance of service and details required by her upscale clients. She enjoys handling luxury adventures all over the world but is an expert at arranging private, custom trips to Europe. Natalie has earned her CTA Designation and ACC Designation as well as completed many other expert programs.
Jody RainsJody worked with Braniff Airlines before starting her travel career with a travel agency. She initially worked with large corporate accounts and owned a leisure agency for several years. For almost the last 7 years she has been with Strong Travel as a Leisure Travel Consultant. Jody enjoys helping individuals and large, multi-generational family groups put together trips which will give them the memories of a lifetime.
Stephanie HouseStephanie was born and raised in Illinois and graduated from Murray State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She has lived in Dallas the past 19 years and has been in the travel business for over 35 years handling trips all over the world. Stephanie enjoys sending clients to many interesting and beautiful destinations as she feels travel is a life experience for her clients.
Toni PonczekToni lives in Arlington, Texas with her husband of 35 years, Mike, and our three dogs. She enjoys travel of any kind, walking, music, family and friends. “I can honestly say I enjoy my work everyday!” Toni’s clients travel to a city for business or somewhere wonderful to get away and relax, knowing from departure to return, a travel challenge or just a familiar voice, she is a phone call, email or text away.
Scott StoutScott was born with a traveler’s soul. His first “real trip” was with his college choir to Europe and the Holy Land. It was a dream trip for someone from a very small town who had only read about or seen those places in movies. From then on he was hooked on languages, history, customs and the people of such renowned capitals. For more than 30 years, Scott has worked to provide that same sense of wonder to corporate and luxury travelers.
Amanda Garcia-SlaterAmanda has been in the travel industry for 35 years. Her experience includes working with airline, hotels and travel agencies. Amanda is a Certified Travel Associate. She increases product knowledge by traveling extensively and enjoys meeting clients and working with them to develop the trip they envision.
Angela BurnsAngela joined Strong Travel with an already established history of service to luxury clientele. Working as the Executive Assistant to Jim Strong, president of Strong Travel, Angela parlays her experience into creating world-class travel experiences for the firm’s most discerning customers. In 2016 she earned her accreditation as a Certified Travel Advisor.
Susan PinabelRaised in Dallas, Texas, Susan started her travel career in 1976 focusing the next 25 years on corporate travel and management. She has been fortunate enough to travel to many destinations. She tried a different career in real estate for a few years but returned to what she truly enjoys: travel. In March 2013 Susan joined Strong Travel Service where she focuses on luxury cruises, family vacations and building lasting relationships with her clients.
Daniel ScherDan began working with Strong Travel in October, 2016, from a career as a Corporate Travel Consultant in Houston since 1994. He has a BBA in Operations Management from University of Houston and CTC from The Travel Institute. He has worked on SABRE his entire career and has a corporate travel management focus.
Clark MitchellAfter graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in Public Relations and Advertising, Clark went to work for a small retail travel agency in 1981. He was hired in 1987 by United Airlines at DFW as a customer service agent and quickly advanced to Account Executive/Travel Agency Sales. In 1995 Clark joined DFW Tours, a national consolidator and tour wholesaler until joining GTT International as the manager for Transatlantic and South Pacific Markets. He joined Strong Travel in 2009, dealing with client relations and finance. Clark is also a Virtuoso Voyages cruise host on many sailings around the globe.
James Strong IIAfter many years of traveling the globe with his family James attended the University of Mississippi, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management. In August 2016 he joined Strong Travel as an office coordinator with experience from many internships around the world. He looks forward to being a great asset to the travel industry in the future.
Sara RodriguesBorn and raised in Europe, Sara has been in the travel industry for eight years and recently moved to the US with her husband. After graduating with a degree in Tourism, she worked as a tour guide in Portugal for a few years before working in the travel agency’s office where she was responsible for organizing custom trips to Portugal and Spain for a Virtuoso on-site. She is very familiar with European destinations and believes attention to detail and listening to the client is key to make a successful trip with lasting memories.
Amy SpenceGrowing up, Amy’s family enjoyed many road trips throughout the country, but the travel bug really bit when she travelled Europe for the first time at age 13. In high school she spent an eye-opening summer in Calcutta as an exchange student, travelling India and learning the culture from a host family. Amy began her travel career in the very early 80’s with the Dallas Cowboys. She thrives on the fast paced world of corporate travel, and treasures the time she spends creating memorable vacations for clients.
Barbara SaffleThe opportunity to work as a travel agent was Barbara’s dream come true. Her 40-year career in travel includes escorting groups to Europe, Alaska and the Caribbean, and taking clients on cruises. She counts it a privilege to work in such an exciting and interesting job and has spent 16 years of her career at Strong Travel. After being a stay at home wife and mother she wanted to work at something that would never be boring. Being a travel agent is perfect – every day has a whole new story to tell.
Joan KerrGrowing up and spending many years in far west Texas on a Cattle Ranch near El Paso, it was time to take wings and venture into the “wild blue yonder.” As a former airline stewardess, Joan knew travel would always be part of her life, even though there were a few detours along the way. Once she and her husband were empty-nesters, she decided it was time to get back into the one thing she loves most: travel. With cruising as a specialty, Joan has managed to visit all seven continents in her 35 years as a travel consultant.
Dennis NienkerkDennis, who grew up on a Minnesota farm, has over 40 years’ sales experience, including 25 years in commercial real estate and 15 years as a luxury cruise specialist. He has been on over 60 cruises on all major luxury and premium cruise lines and has visited over 100 countries around the world. He passion is advising and consulting with his clients to find and design the perfect cruise vacation for their needs and interests.
Jennifer RukMarried for 20 years and the mother of three, Jennifer came into the travel industry with a desire to provide unique travel opportunities for an exclusive list of clients. Formerly an elementary school teacher and stay at home mom, her love for travel and goal-oriented personality inspired her new career. Her client list includes politicians, entrepreneurs, corporate executives and artists. Planning family travel is a major element of her daily routine as she views the education of travel as an enriching life experience.
Susan FrapartSusan has been a leisure travel consultant for 20 years. Her early focus as an agent was with family vacation planning including cruises, Disney, ski trips and beach vacations. Her expertise today includes honeymoons, multigenerational travel and luxury travel including private and small group experiences. She is just as enthusiastic to visit with you about a trip to any city, USA as she is to help you plan a bucket list trip for an African safari .
Ellie SimsTravel revives Ellie’s sense of excitement and adventure; whether it is following the Kansas Jayhawks or cruising the Seven Seas. Following the demise of Braniff International, she “tiptoed” into another segment of the travel world: luxury travel advisor. Crafting experience driven itineraries for discerning travelers creates memories that last a lifetime, and she loves it!
Independent Travel Consultant
O: 888-464-2797 | C: 248-331-6323
Jim GauthierJim Gauthier, DMA, MFA, CTA, is dedicated to sharing his love of the arts, history, and culture through unique luxury travel experiences. In addition to being a world traveler himself, Dr. Gauthier is a former university music professor, symphony orchestra musician, and art enthusiast who is able to bring a broad base of professional experience and a high level of expertise to the travel industry. Whether working with individuals, non-profit arts organizations, a family, or a group of friends who love to explore the world, he brings a unique perspective to the planning and implementation of any journey.
Patsy MartinPatsy has been in the luxury travel business for over 30 years. Since her days as a flight attendant for an international airline, she has always loved to travel and experience new places and to meet interesting new people. Patsy’s expertise is selling river and ocean cruises, destination weddings and honeymoons, and international travel for small groups or individuals.
Hulin FowlerHulin is a silver member of Traveler’s Century Club having visited over 150 countries. He has visited Antarctica four times and has done a cruise through the Northwest Passage from Greenland to Alaska. He and his wife, Ann, have escorted many, many groups all over the world. They have escorted eight tours to China as well as other Orient tours and an around the world tour. A graduate of SMU and holding a Master’s Degree from Texas Tech University, Hulin is very experienced in arranging tours to the Holy Land and to sites of Biblical significance.
Lynn GideonLynn is a native Texan and grew up in Dallas. For over twenty years she has been a group travel coordinator at Fowler Tours. She is fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to travel her entire life and have visited over fifty countries. Some of her favorite places include Hawaii, Alaska, India, Thailand and Ireland.
Michael PodinaMichael joined Strong Travel as an affiliate after spending time in the military and living in Italy. He views the education of travel as an enriching life experience and his goal is to build lasting relationships that turn into years of memories, adventures, and experiences that you have worked together to create. He is committed to finding the best location, amenities, and services levels, at the best value.
Sandy was born and raised in New York City. She attended college in upstate New York at SUNY New Paltz and at Ithaca College, where she met her husband Cliff, who was a music student. He has been playing double bass in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for 54 years. They’ve been married for 48 years and have two adult children and 3 grandchildren. Sandy’s love of cruising led her to the travel business. In her 21 years with Strong Travel, she has discovered luxury travel and developed a passion for all kinds of trips, from luxury cruises to African safaris, to self-driving tours all over the British Isles or sailing around the Virgin Island in a bareboat charter . . . . Sandy likes nothing better than to share her passion and her knowledge of travel with her clients . . . and they reward her by sending her lovely letters of appreciation and coming back for more!