Andrea Brooks, CTD President
Andrea is the President of CTD. Her commitment is to provide authentic travel experiences and unique stops on every tour! She finds joy in writing about travel, scouting destinations, and traveling with the “CTD family”. Before joining the tourism industry, she served for many years as a Communications Director in the public sector.
In true CTD fashion, Andrea loves to travel and always plans her vacations to see the local "off-the-beaten-path" stops. From hiking in Israel’s Valley of Elah, to exploring the USS Nautilus in Connecticut, and making homemade tortillas in Guatemala – she loves to experience all the unique stops of a destination.
Andrea and her husband, Colin, have been married nearly 10 years. On the weekends, they enjoy playing tennis, biking, cooking, fishing, watching old tv shows, and facetiming their extended family in Ohio.
Nan Delwiche, VP of Operations
Nan is the Vice President of Operations and ensures all the details of our tours are taken care of with the highest care. With over 35 years of experience in the travel industry, she meticulously oversees the operations of CTD.
Her travels around the United States and abroad give Nan a unique perspective in helping CTD pick the best destinations each year. If you can believe it, she's traveled to 49 states (just has North Dakota to check off), 38 countries, and all the provinces/territories in Canada with exception of 2 (Nunavut and Northwest). Her favorite place to visit is Catalina Island off the coast of California.
Nan and her husband, Jim, love to be outdoors hiking Wisconsin State Parks in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter. Outside of work, you can find Nan in her garden or spending quality time with family and friends.
Grace Skendziel, Marketing Coordinator
Grace is CTD’s Marketing Coordinator. In this role, she helps create new content to spread the word on all the new and exciting tours. She is passionate about writing and loves to be creative and witty. Coming to us from the Public Relations field, Grace had the opportunity to sharpen her writing skills in a variety of modalities.
With a passion for travel and adventure, Grace looks forward to visiting many more destinations in the future. She also considers herself a huge foodie, which pairs nicely with travel! On weekends and evenings, you can find Grace at a yoga class. (Namaste!)
Grace was born and raised in Kenosha, WI, but now calls downtown Milwaukee her home. She loves the upbeat energy of city life and takes advantage of all Milwaukee has to offer.
Lauren Ecke, Senior Tour Planner
Lauren is a Tour Planner and plans many CTD trips. Did you know she holds a CTP (Certified Tour Professional Program) certification? With this specialized training, she enjoys creating the highest quality tours for our travelers.
Out of all the locations she's visited in the world, Spain and Portugal were her favorite. She spent 3 weeks visiting Barcelona, Madrid and the island of Mallorca, one of the Balearic islands off of Spain as part of a wine and food pairing class. She loved getting to know all the friendly people and taking in the beautiful architecture and scenery along the way.
When Lauren isn't planning fun vacations for our travelers, she enjoys teaching dance classes at the local Rec Department, painting, shopping, and spending time with her husband, Jordan, and their pup Ziggy.
Michelle Slater, Tour Planner/ Air Specialist
Michelle is a Tour Planner for CTD with over 25 years of experience in the travel industry under her belt. Prior to starting her role at CTD, she served as a group cruise coordinator, travel agent, and held numerous positions within the airline industry. Michelle is passionate about finding the unique spots that make a vacation extra memorable.
As an avid traveler, Michelle enjoys exploring new destinations and experiencing different cultures. She says trying the local delicacies is a MUST! One of her most memorable trips was Cuba where she had the opportunity to get to know the locals and visit an artisan community for a salsa dancing lesson.
Michelle is the proud mother of three and when she’s not planning departures, she loves to read, attend festivals, and spend time with family by the water.
Laney Lovell, Tour Planner
Laney is one of our Tour Planners who is always looking for opportunities to check new destinations off her travel bucket list. Laney is passionate about helping others discover the hidden stories and lessons that the world has to offer. She is constantly seeking out experiences that allow her to learn about new perspectives and expand her horizon.
Having lived in Wisconsin her entire life, that list is constantly expanding. Out of all the destination she has traveled to thus far, her favorite has been an adventure to the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, and Poland.
In her free time, you will often find Laney visiting with family and friends, collecting books to add to her personal library, watching Wisconsin sporting events, and spending time with her dog, Granger.
Laura Poellmann, Tour Planner
Laura is one of CTD’s Tour Planners. With a degree in Hospitality and a passion for creating memorable experiences, Laura strives to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of you! As a meticulous planner with a constant itch to travel, she has found her perfect fit here at CTD.
In the fall of 2022 Laura spent 4 months studying abroad in Florence, Italy. She visited a total of nine countries during this time with her favorite memory being a visit to Switzerland during the holiday season. Although, Florence will always hold a special place in her heart and she hopes to return soon!
Laura is recently engaged and when she’s not planning tours (or her wedding) she enjoys spending time with family, being a vendor at local craft fairs, and hanging out with her pups Finn and Parker.
Pam Jackson, Lead Reservations
Pam is our Reservation Coordinator and helps our travelers book their dream vacation. When you call in to CTD, she'll happily answer all your questions on a tour and help reserve your spot.
Pam has nearly 20 years in the tourism industry after spending 18 years as a flight attendant for Ozark, TWA and American airlines. If you ever have a question about flying, she's your gal! She knows all the tips and tricks after visiting almost every main airport in the United States.
Her favorite trips have been to China in 1999 and 2003, because that's when she brought home her two daughters, Katie and Liana. In her free time, she enjoys time with her family & friends, walking the local bike path, and - of course - flying.
Matthew Lynch, Reservations Coordinator
Matthew is a Reservations Coordinator for CTD, meaning he's here to help book your favorite tour! With many years in the hotel sector, Matthew is experienced in customer service and hospitality. He can answer questions about a departure, book your reservation over the phone, or help walk you through the booking process online.
Matthew is also an experienced photographer and has spent years running his own photography studio. As an avid traveler, he even spent a year studying and working in Florence, Italy.
When Matthew is away from the office, he enjoys photography (of course!), reading sci-fi novels, and baking.
Janet Placht, Accountant
With tremendous experience in her industry, Janet is CTD’s accountant. She holds a bachelor's degree in MIS from Westminster College and a Post Graduate Certificate in Informatics from St. Louis University. Janet also works for our partner company, Sunrise Tours.
A majority of her role includes crunching numbers and handling the financial details of our business. Her favorite part about working for CTD is the culture within our staff - we really are like family! When she's not diving into data, she also enjoys playing volleyball and traveling outside of work.
Lindsay Lohrenz, Graphic Designer
Lindsay works remotely from her home in St. George, Utah to develop all of our printed promotional material. As an integral part of our marketing department, she helps us produce stunning mail pieces and graphics. Lindsay says her favorite aspect about her work is getting to preview the exciting new tours! As an avid traveler, she is inspired by CTD’s tour photos and loves to partake in photography, too.
Lindsay and her husband, Kyle, definitely have a thirst for adventure. Scuba diving in Belize, surfing in Costa Rica, spelunking in Barbados, and island-hoping in the British Virgin Islands are some of their most memorable experiences. Her favorite warm-weather activities include mountain biking and rock climbing, as well as paddle boarding with her dog.
Mark Ratay, Tour Director
Mark Ratay has 35+ years of experience in the travel industry. Having traveled to 45 U.S. states and 55 countries multiple times. His favorite destinations include all of western Europe, Greece, Israel, and Mexico. In 2021, Mark acquired dual citizenship with Luxembourg through his great grandmother, who emigrated from there in 1890, so he can travel freely throughout the European Union on that passport.
A native of Wisconsin, Mark has lived and worked in Hawaii, Mississippi, Mexico, and The Netherlands. When not out on tour or traveling for leisure, Mark and his spouse love to hike, read, and spend time with family in both the Midwest and Mexico.
Ann Kaiser, Tour Director
Ann’s enthusiasm for our travelers and the experiences they share is contagious! Her goal is attending to details along the route so the trip goes smoothly, and travelers can relax and enjoy. Tour directing is Ann’s “retirement career” after working as editor of Country Woman and Taste of Home magazines. While at Country Woman, she regularly traveled to farms, ranches and rural businesses to “work a day” with the owners and their families.
Ann and her husband, Louie, live on a small lake near Hartland, Wisconsin and spend part of their winter in Florida. They enjoy boating, golfing, traveling, reading, and spending time with their two sons’ families. Keeping up with six grandkids keeps them young!
Ann Sloane, Tour Director
Ann has worked with Country Tour Discoveries in numerous facets since 1991. She is a wife, mother of two daughters, a new grandma to a baby boy, and a retired educator. After retirement, Ann and her husband Mike moved to the Town of Fifield - Pike Lake area. Noticing the need for volunteers in her new rural home, Ann got involved with the local snowmobile club, lake association, church, and joined Pike Lake Fire & Rescue as a certified firefighter and EMS.
Ann and her husband enjoy the great outdoors. You can often find the pair snowmobiling, hiking, bicycling, gardening, and scuba diving. Both are avid travelers and love exploring new places. Ann is especially passionate about sharing the best experiences with CTD travelers.
Jeanette Eggers, Tour Director
Jeanette is a proud fourth generation Californian. Jeanette and her husband John, have been in the farming industry for all of their adult life in Northern California. They have three grown children and in her free time, Jeanette enjoys gardening, floral design, and of course traveling. Her favorite part about Tour Director is having the opportunity to meet new people and create new memories with them while traveling.
Jill Whitham, Tour Director
Jill has been leading group tours since 2014. She always says, "there is no better way to travel than having shared experiences with new friends!"
In her free time, Jill enjoys hiking, visiting National Parks, watching college volleyball and basketball, and playing card games and board games with family.
Michelle Amich, Tour Director
Michelle joined CTD in 2019 after retiring from teaching. A passion for learning has always included travel. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Michelle and her husband Jeff now live in Northeast Georgia. They enjoy the woods and the water of this area through boating and hiking.
Michelle’s most memorable travel moments are visiting Vietnam and Thailand, when she brought home her son and daughter. Hiking in the Italian alps with friends and snorkeling in StingRay City, while in Grand Cayman are also two fond memories. She is also always up for cooking and trying new foods wherever the road takes her.
Rhonda Briel, Tour Director
Rhonda is a born and raised Virginian. She was a corporate accountant and administrator, earning both business and culinary degrees along the way before becoming a Tour Director.
At home Rhonda enjoys spending her freetime cooking & reading. She also tries to gather as much dog love as she can! She loves the preliminary research, writing and sometimes footwork that prepares her for a new tour. Visiting new places, especially off the beaten path is one of the biggest perks to Tour Directing! She also enjoys sharing the history and uniqueness of the places we visit as we travel through our beautiful country with new friends.
Susan Blaesing, Tour Director
Sue was a former elementary teacher for 34 years before joining the CTD team. She enjoys meeting our travelers and learning about all the places they have visited. Sue has traveled internationally and has an international background with a father from Ireland, mother from England and being born in Canada. She enjoys traveling with family and friends- her goal is to visit all 50 states! Sue loves to find destinations where she can learn about the history of the area as well as take a walk/run to check out the local trails!
Sue loves spending time with her family, especially her grandson and chickens! She enjoys meeting new people, shopping, and being in warm climates so she can run, golf, garden, paddleboard, or go boating!
Gale Strain, Tour Director
Gale has joined CTD after a 35-year career as a Middle School Physical Education Teacher and Coach in Florida. Vacation time was travel time when teaching and now it’s an all year round occurrence with the motto - “Adventures Ahead”! For Gale the best parts of traveling are meeting people, immersing herself in the local culture, and of course, trying the local cuisine.
For the past few years, Gale has been actively involved in revitalizing and organizing the small museum in her hometown in Central New York. This has been a labor of love as she enjoys learning the history of her hometown and the destinations she travels to. Gale is an avid baseball fan, Pickleball player, wood crafter and organizer of fundraising events for the American Cancer Society.
Gale is excited to share adventures, experiences, and memories with CTD travelers.
Patti Honacki, Tour Director
Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Patti Honacki brings a world of experience to the CTD team. After retiring from her life as a Cruise Director for various cruise ship companies, Patti started leading incentive tours and meetings to feed her hunger for travel. After visiting over 80 countries and all 7 continents, Patti's favorite places include Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. She calls herself an epicurious traveler, and never passes up the chance to try a new cuisine!
While she's not traveling, Patti enjoys live theater (with frequent trips to NYC to catch the most recent Broadway shows), and acting. You may catch her in the background on Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, or Chicago P.D. She also loves living in Lincoln Park, as she's an avid walker and biker, and is only a short walk from Wrigley Field, the home of her beloved Chicago Cubs!
Patric Douglas, Tour Director
Patric is a seasoned tourism veteran with 35-years of thrilling adventures under his belt! From leading guided tours spanning the exotic landscapes of China, to the vibrant cultures of Argentina, Brazil, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and beyond, he's truly a global explorer.
For a quarter of a century, Patric served as the dynamic CEO of a pioneering commercial white shark cage diving company at Guadalupe Island in Mexico. Here, he not only revolutionized sustainable shark tourism but also spearheaded groundbreaking shark tagging research. As if that wasn't enough, he also played a key role as an Executive Producer with Shark Week, bringing the mysteries of the deep to audiences worldwide.
But when he's not submerged in the world of sharks and tourism, you'll find Patric kicking back in Bend, Oregon, where he swaps the depths of the ocean for the serenity of local rivers. Armed with his trusty sidekick, Kodiac the Wonder Dog, he indulges in his passion for fly fishing, casting lines, and making memories in the great outdoors. With Patric, every adventure is bound to be unforgettable!