Meet Our Team
PresidentGrowing up in a small, rural town, my passion for travel began at a young age. After graduating University, the road called and I never looked backed. After 17 years in the travel industry through various companies and successful roles, it was time to embark on a new adventure. Being the owner of a tour operator has always been a dream of mine and Tours of Distinction is my perfect fit. I love travel and am excited to be able to create innovative and wonderful tours with a passionate and professional team. My door is always open. Be in touch.
Head of OvernightsHere at Tours of Distinction I manage both the Student and Overnight Tour Departments. I am a graduate of Johnson and Wales University, with an Associate and Bachelor Degree in Travel and Tourism Management. Having travelled extensively as a tour director and corporate travel agent before moving back into the group travel market. Suffice to say I have worked in all aspects of the tour and travel industry over the past 28 years.
Day Tour ManagerAll through school, I wanted to be a teacher. So, after getting a couple of degrees (Bachelor’s and Master’s), licensed to teach, and having worked a number of years as a teacher, I decided to follow one of my other passions. It was then that I came to the world of travel, and thus have found where I need to be. I enjoy researching new tour possibilities and putting ideas together to create unforgettable trip packages for groups to experience. As a Day Tour Manager, some of my favorite locations are: Vermont (born and raised, and am happy to go back to visit any chance I get!), Block Island, and Lake George. Outside of the Day-Trip realm, my absolute favorite spot is Ireland and I am eager to return. When I am not working, I love spending time with family, friends, and my dog, Oreo.
Director of Sales & MarketingI have had the “Travel Bug” ever since my parents packed myself and my three siblings in our Mini-Motorhome and drove across the country the summer I was ten. I began my career in the travel industry just after college and it has been an exciting ride. With almost 30 years of experience I have done it all – Escorting, Tour Reservations, Travel Agent, Hotel Operations, Bus Company and now Tours of Distinction! During my career I have worked at Kaplan Tours & Travel, Foxwoods Resort Casino, United States Coast Guard Academy (this was during my early Mommy years) and DATTCO Bus Company. Throughout the years I have been able to travel extensively with my jobs and my husband and I loved every minute of it. I enjoy spending time at the Lake with my husband and two children.
Land & Sea Tour ManagerMy eagerness to learn and explore the world around me washed over me the moment I stepped off the plane from the Ukraine to come to the United States in 2002. I had never been on a plane before! When landing, I will never forget that view from up above. In that instance, I knew I would make it a point in my life to explore the world and all it has to offer. My position at Tours of Distinction has given me this opportunity. I am excited to be sharing great tours with travelers and offering them the same life changing moments travel offered me.
Individual Tour ManagerBorn and raised in Ecuador, my love for travel started at a very young age. Working in the Tourism Industry for over 20 years has offered me the chance to learn about other cultures and places. I met my husband, Tyler, through the Travel Industry and we married in Ecuador and I then immigrated to Canada. As Individual Tour Manager I work our Travel Club members and manage the Tours of Distinction website. When I am not talking travel, I spend time with our daughter Taylor and Beagle - Ariel. And, Tyler too!
Overnight Tour ManagerWhile I was growing up, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel, and I absolutely loved it; seeing new places, appreciating the history of the places I visited, and the exposure to so many new experiences was simply incredible. By the time I graduated from Framingham State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, I had spent various amounts of time in three other countries and seen a fraction of what the United States has to offer. My career in travel is just beginning, but I hope that it will take me far, as I truly enjoy what I do here. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, relaxing and enjoying the seasons, and (of course) traveling whenever I am able to
Day Tour SpecialistBeing consumed by wanderlust is what has sparked my passion for my position at Tours of Distinction. As the Day Trip Tour Specialist, I look forward to discovering new locations, learning all I can about them and developing exciting Day Tour itineraries. Being a part of this team allows me to do what I love and I am happy to come to work every day! My passion for travel does not stop with my duties in the office. I recently went to Paris - which as been a dream of mine since I can remember! In my free-time, I love spending time with friends and taking my dog, Autumn, to the dog park.
Meet Our Tour Directors
Tour DirectorAs a former educator, I joined the Tours of Distinction team. For over 5 years now, I have escorted many wonderful groups on trips all over the world. Nothing more satisfying than ensuring our guests have a relaxing, fun and interesting experience.
Marina Haksteen, C.T.C.
Tour DirectorMarina is from Connecticut and has had multiple roles in the travel industry for over 25 years. Her favorite trips are Hawaii, the Grand Canyon and Canada. When Marina is not on the road, she enjoys teaching yoga classes and walking/jogging 6 miles each day.
Tour DirectorA retired school teacher, I always loved field trips, whether as a passenger, parent, or teacher in charge. As a Tour Director, I get to enjoy travel with wonderful people. I live in Canterbury, CT with my husband, and love caring for our granddaughter.
Tour DirectorA Connecticut native, Dawn has escorted for over 20 years with Tours of Distinction to all points in North America, The Caribbean and Europe.
Tour DirectorHenry is a lifelong resident of Massachusetts with more than 30 years of experience in the Travel & Tourism industry, spending the last 10 years as a Group Tour Director. His favorite tours are Mackinac Island and Cruise destinations.
Tour DirectorAfter working in the corporate world, I worked at a local travel agency and learned the business from the ground up and have never looked back. I like people, learning about new places and sharing my passion with our travelers. When not 'on-the-road, I enjoy exploring our National Parks, steamboatin' on the Mississippi and relaxing on one of the Finger Lakes when time allows.