Tzell Travel Group’s commitment to Personalized Service and Flawless Execution starts with our employees. Tzell’s leadership team is dedicated to delivering the very best environment for our agents and their valued clients to achieve success.

 We are proud to have an executive team that is not only highly experienced and successful, but that’s passionate about the business of travel. It’s our heart and soul. It’s all we do.

Tzell Travel Group is a division of Travel Leaders Group, which has been recognized with 30 prestigious Travel Weekly Magellan Awards in 2013 and another 29 in 2012. We’re also very proud that many of our select travel agent experts have been cited as among the best in the business by both Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure. Travel Leaders Group and Tzell Travel Group are also regularly ranked among the top 10 of all U.S.-based travel agency companies, according to Travel Weekly, #1 among all travel management companies by Business Travel News for four years in a row.

Barry Liben Barry Liben
Chairman
Protravel International and Tzell Travel Group

Barry Liben is the Chairman of both Protravel International and Tzell Travel Group, the two predominant travel agencies that comprise the Elite Travel Division of Travel Leaders Group, a North American travel company that generates gross travel sales approaching $21 billion. With more than 70 branch locations in both the United States and the United Kingdom that generate nearly $4 billion in annual sales volume, Protravel and Tzell are each recognized and award-winning leaders in luxury leisure, corporate and entertainment travel. Mr. Liben is based in New York City, and he also serves on the Board of Directors for Travel Leaders Group.

Prior to being named Chairman of Protravel and Tzell in 2016, Mr. Liben served at the helm of Tzell Travel Group as its CEO since 1977. At the time of his initial investment, Tzell Travel Group employed three people. Today, Tzell Travel Group has grown to include over 700 agents, staff and management. In 2008, Tzell Travel Group merged with Travel Leaders Group, which together rank number one in Business Travel News’ ranking of U.S. business travel agencies. From that time until 2015, Liben served as CEO for Travel Leaders Group and oversaw its enormous organic growth and numerous acquisitions that took the enterprise from $7 billion in annual sales volume to over $20 billion. During his tenure, Travel Leaders Group acquired Protravel International, Vacation.com and Nexion, while expanding internationally beyond the U.S. and U.K. into Canada, Australia, Ireland and Greece.

By combining his business skills, management savvy and personal philosophy to “create an environment conducive to initiative and hard work, encourage a sense of fun, then let people do their best and recognize it,” Mr. Liben charted the path for success, first for Tzell Travel Group and then for Travel Leaders Group’s diverse holdings. He grew the once tiny Tzell business, with emphasis on travel to a single destination, into one that focuses on a core product of worldwide business travel with additional emphasis on groups, entertainment travel, sports packages, and concert tours. Its prominence in the travel industry grew from a ranking of 40th among the “Top 50 Travel Agencies” to 1st in 2009 (according to Business Travel News). By employing his proven philosophy throughout Tzell’s culture, the nearly 50 year old company is poised for further success.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Liben resides in Manhattan with his family. In addition to starting the Protravel and Tzell Foundation in the wake of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, his philanthropic work includes serving on the board of the National Stuttering Association, five years as president of the Israel Community Development Foundation and as a member of the International Board of the Menachem Begin Center in Jerusalem. Most recently, Mr. Liben has been asked to serve on the Board of Trustees for Muhlenberg College.

Gail Grimmett
President, Travel Leaders Group Elite Travel Division

Gail Grimmett is the President of the Elite Travel Division of Travel Leaders Group, a North American travel company that generates gross travel sales approaching $21 billion. The Elite Travel Division is comprised of Protravel International and Tzell Travel Group, the two predominant travel agencies with Travel Leaders Group that together generate nearly $4 billion in annual sales volume through its more than 70 branch locations in the both the United States and the United Kingdom. Protravel and Tzell are each recognized and award-winning leaders in luxury leisure, corporate and entertainment travel. Ms. Grimmett is based in New York City, and she reports directly to Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko.

Immediately prior to being named President of the Elite Travel Division in 2016, Ms. Grimmett served with distinction as Delta Air Lines’ Senior Vice President, Global New York, where she had full financial and commercial responsibility for the airline’s domestic and international performance in New York. During this time, she oversaw the financial turnaround for the New York operations and delivered $6 billion of revenue to the airline annually.

Prior to that distinguished position, Ms. Grimmett served in several other leadership roles at Delta, including nearly four years as Senior Vice President of Pricing and Yield Management, more than three and a half years as Managing Director of Investor Relations, over one year as Director of Financial Planning and Analysis, and more than three years as Delta’s Chief Economist – Corporate Forecasting. Ms. Grimmett began her career as a Senior Regulatory Economist with the U.S. Department of Labor.

As a champion for New York, Ms. Grimmett serves as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s appointee on both the New York State Tourism Board and the New York City Regional Economic Development Council. She also serves on several other boards, including Covenant House International in New York City, the New York Building Congress, the Business Council of New York State, and NYC & Company. Her community service, along with her achievements at Delta, led to her being named among the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in New York by Crain’s Business.

Ms. Grimmett holds an undergraduate degree from Indiana University and an MBA from George Washington University with a concentration in business economics and public policy.

Cindy Schlansky
Senior Vice President

With over 25 years in the travel industry, beginning as a frontline agent, there is almost no operational position that Cindy has not held. Joining Tzell in 2000, she brings a wealth of experience in all facets of agency operations and agent functions. Cindy acts as liaison between airlines and agents and handles day to day agency issues including new agent set-up and orientation. Other duties include new branch implementation and orientation, airline performance review and ARC liaison.

Monty Swaney
Vice President, Operations

Monty works, in tandem, with Cindy to oversee Tzell’s day to day operation. Of significant importance, is Monty’s focus on the immediate, ever changing and long term needs of the agent community. In addition, his experience in the Entertainment field also allows Monty to work closely on recruitment and management of this important niche market.

Christopher Griffin
Vice President, Business Development & Account Management

Based at the company’s headquarters in New York, Chris was named to this position in January 2009 and he brings over 25 years of success in the airline and travel management business. Responsible for overseeing and guiding all sales and account management activities for the company, Chris has a proven track record of capturing new business while maintaining current partnerships. He has served in various management leadership roles with major corporations including American Airlines, US Airways and United Airlines.

Gina Gabbard
Vice President, Leisure Sales

Gina joined Tzell Travel is December 2010 after working many years in the hotel and tour operator business. Responsible for oversight and growth of the leisure business for the company, Gina manages the preferred vendor relationships and enjoys supporting Tzell’s agents in their continued growth in leisure business.

Sara Sessa
Vice President, West Coast Operations

Sara moved to California and joined Tzell Travel West in 1993, after working for several years in the video production industry in Texas. Tzell West opened its doors just a few months prior to Sara joining, allowing her the privilege of being a part of the company from its earliest days. In her role as Vice President, Sara oversees all west coast operations of Tzell and enjoys supporting Tzell’s agents in their growth and day to day business.