Teresa Panel McCombs
I grew up in Texas, Georgia and North Carolina and was involved in the travel business at an early age as my father worked for Eastern Airlines and my mother worked at various travel agencies as we moved across the Southeast. We traveled often during my childhood and teen years. My best memories are from our family camping trips and cruising the Mediterranean Sea. I followed in my father's footsteps and went to work at the airlines (Eastern and Delta) for a few years. By then, my parents had opened their own travel agency and I joined them as a cruise specialist, then eventually moved into all aspects of booking travel and managed their Cameron Village office once they expanded their business. After a few years, I met the man of my dreams, got married and he whisked me away to Hendersonville, NC where I went to work for Wilcox Travel and Tours focusing mainly on corporate travel and handling several large national accounts. We enjoyed a couple of years in the mountains before moving to Burlington, NC and I retired from the travel business to stay at home with our newborn son.
Two decades later, after my two sons had grown up and flown from the nest, and various other jobs in the promotions and marketing industry, retail, the art world, etc., I returned to my roots in travel. The past few years have been very exciting, taking the knowledge and experiences I have gained and using it to find solutions that provide our clients the best possible travel experiences. It's been wonderful getting a chance to work closely with my parents and sister in the family business again. With the contacts we have developed and curated over 50+ years in the industry, and our connection with Virtuoso and Travel Experts, we are able to design our clients' travel dreams and create memories to last a lifetime.
Angie Panel Scioli
The travel industry was the current that carried my family to Texas, Georgia, and then to Raleigh, North Carolina where my parents established a travel agency in 1989. While my sister joined the family business for a period, I became a high school social studies teacher in the public schools of NC after receiving a full scholarship to do so. I met my husband Brian while he was an educator; he soon became a sworn officer for the Raleigh Police Department and, by 2007, we were blessed with two amazing daughters.
Travel remained a priority in the subsequent years and I was afforded opportunities to see the American West and the Bahamas, complete a brief fellowship in Japan, and lead student tours in Peru, Europe, and China. Brian gained some experience in the travel industry by becoming a tour bus leader for student groups on his days off and I learned vicariously through his experience.
Upon retiring after 28 years with Wake County Public Schools, I joined my father and sister in the family business. The onboard training and support provided by the Travel Experts network, combined with the day to day, side-by-side guidance by my family members has been invaluable in my professional development in this new and exciting role. The detail orientation, communication skills, and relational awareness teaching requires dovetails nicely with the role of travel agent and I am enjoying the endless research that naturally creates a deeper well of expert knowledge.
A particular area of interest for me and my sister is removing barriers for independent women to travel and therefore I am project lead for the development of the Travel Sisters Circle network. It is a personal mission to create processes and structures that serve as a catalyst in creating travel opportunities and experiences for like-minded women to see the world.
I am native North Carolinian born in Waynesville and reared in Belmont, near Charlotte, and educated in the public school system there and Central Piedmont Community College. I also enjoyed additional studies at NC State University upon relocating to Raleigh. I began a career with Eastern Airlines in 1963 in Miami, FL and worked in a variety of assignments in Charlotte, Houston, Atlanta and eventually to Raleigh.
After a 25 year career with Eastern I decided to purchase a Travel Agency which was Capitol Travel located on Oberlin Road in Raleigh. Eventually we expanded to two offices and also a motor coach tour division which was based in Durham. I had many enjoyable and successful years operating the business but eventually found it increasingly difficult to find qualified travel agents and other key personnel.
The opportunity to downsize but remain in the travel business became a viable option as employees retired and others relocated. I rented an office from Navigant International for several years which was eventually purchased by Carlson Wagonlit. As organizational changes were made there I decided to affiliate with Travel Experts. They had a unique business model that catered to independent Travel Agency owners who desired to remain in the business and not be encumbered with the many requirements of the infrastructure required in the industry.
After 58 years in the business I still enjoy the challenges and opportunities afforded by this unique industry. Our agency specializes in providing travel services to small and medium size organizations and to individual clients who enjoy the benefits of personalized service for their leisure travel. Our years of experience provides the basis for selecting vendors who will best fit the needs of our clients for business and leisure travel needs. Our affiliation with Travel Experts, one of the largest and most successful independent travel hosts in the industry, gives us the ability to network with key travel vendors around the globe. Our objective is to identify the exact travel needs our clients may have and provide the service that they deserve and expect in a highly personalized and efficient process that meets their requirements.
I was born in Washington, D.C. but grew up in Belmont, NC where I met Harold, we married, and I birthed our three children.
Being accustomed to working from a young age , I resumed work in 1976 as an administrative assistant focusing on accounting in a travel agency in the Houston area. For the next 45 years I worked in accounting at large and small firms (mainly in the travel and construction industries) in Houston, Atlanta and Raleigh. In smaller firms I designed entire accounting systems and in every firm I adapted to new technologies and leaned into sharp learning curves related to hardware and software developments. In my final formal employment I was a comptroller for a large regional construction company.
My generation was the classic "sandwich generation" in that I worked full time and took full responsibility for childrearing and domestic duties. Once we purchased our own business I worked during the day and then worked in the evenings with Harold at the agency. I retired in 2007 from formal employment to care for my grandchildren while my daughter was at work.
One benefit of working in this industry is that we have had the opportunity to travel to many wonderful destinations. Now we take pride that we have built a business we can pass on to the next generation.