Tzell Travel Group’s commitment to personalized service and flawless execution starts with our agents and employees. Tzell’s leadership team is dedicated to creating 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.

Barry Liben has served as Chairman of Tzell Travel Group since 2016. Prior to that he was the organization’s CEO for nearly 40 years. Liben’s strong business acumen, management savvy and leadership skills charted the company’s path to growth and success and, today, Tzell Travel Group is a highly recognized and award-winning travel agency organization specializing in luxury leisure, corporate and entertainment travel with offices in 20 states. In addition to establishing the Protravel and Tzell Foundation in the wake of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, Liben’s philanthropic work includes serving on a number of high profile association and community organization boards including the Israel Community Development Foundation and the National Stuttering Association.
Cindy Schlansky, a highly experienced travel industry veteran, is Co-President of Tzell Travel Group. Schlansky, who began her career filing brochures at a travel agency, has worked in all aspects of the retail travel business, first as a leisure agent before transitioning into key areas of specialization including corporate travel, groups and meetings. She eventually rose to Senior Vice President of Account Management and Operations at Stevens Travel before joining Tzell Travel Group in 2000 as Vice President of Operations. Schlansky’s role included overseeing all aspects of the day-to-day operation, including new advisor on-boarding, branch integration and managing the ARC processes. She was later promoted to Senior Vice President focused on organizational growth, operations process and agent development including agent trouble-shooting, coaching and counseling. Under her leadership of branch acquisitions, the number of Tzell branches grew from eight to 50. Schlansky’s deep understanding of the travel industry and agency operations positioned her well for her current role where she, together with Co-President Monty Swaney, is responsible for daily operations as well as the strategic direction and future growth of the brand.
Monty Swaney works in tandem with Cindy Schlansky to oversee Tzell’s strategic and day-to-day operations. Of significant importance, is Mr. Swaney’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 Mr. Swaney to work closely on recruitment and management of this important niche market.
Don Jones bring a wealth of luxury travel experience to his role as Senior Vice President of West Coast Operations for Tzell Travel Group. Prior to his current role, he served as Executive Vice President for Cadence Travel and Vice President of Sales, The Americas, for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Currently, Jones is responsible for guiding the organization’s leadership structure and strategic plan, as well as increasing market share and revenue, particularly for Tzell Travel Group on the West Coast. He has also held positions with the Beverly Wilshire and The Pierre hotel properties as well as the Four Seasons Hotels in Atlanta and Newport Beach. Jones is based in the Los Angeles area.
Awilda Gonzalez began her professional career in radio before transitioning to the travel industry, first as a ticket agent with American Airlines and then as a travel agent before joining Tzell Travel in 1997. Over the past 20-plus years, Gonzalez has served in a variety of capacities on the leadership team, giving her a unique view of the independent contractor business model and an in-depth understanding of Tzell’s culture and position in the marketplace. Currently, Gonzalez serves as Senior Vice President of Operations and Engagement. In her current role she oversees agent relations and company culture, along with events and a wide variety of special projects.
As Vice President of Operations for Tzell Travel Group, Elisa Foley oversees day to day operations, process improvement, agent support and growth as well as serving as a key supplier-agent liaison. Foley has nearly 25 years of experience in the travel industry and has served in a variety of roles including travel agent, agency manager, corporate travel manager and as a vice president within the aviation industry. She joined Valerie Wilson travel as Executive Director – Corporate in 2016, overseeing that company’s corporate advisor team, sales development, account management, meetings and incentive, and reporting teams. She moved to her current role at Tzell Travel Group in 2017.
Based at Tzell headquarters in New York, Chris Griffin has served as Vice President, Branch Relations since 2009. Responsible for overseeing and guiding all sales and account management activities for the company, Griffin has a proven track record of capturing new business while maintaining current partnerships. He brings over 25 years of experience in the airline and travel management business to his current role and has served in leadership positions with major corporations including American Airlines, US Airways and United Airlines.
Vice President, Partnerships & Leisure Operations
Karen Magee is Vice President, Partnerships & Leisure Services at Tzell Travel Group. Her department focuses on the growth of Tzell’s advisors luxury travel business through partnership initiatives, education, and resource development. In her role, she is also responsible for facilitating and strengthening preferred supplier agreements and relationships within the Tzell network. Prior to joining Tzell, Karen has held positions with a focus on supplier relations management at other agencies as well as serving as a Global Sales Director for a luxury hotel company. Beyond that, Karen Magee serves on the board of a variety of luxury hotel brands, is a past board member of WinIt (Women in Travel), and co-founded YTP (Young Travel Professionals).
Asmita Singh is Vice President of Marketing and Demand Analytics for Travel Leaders Group, parent company of Tzell Travel Group. Singh leads Tzell’s marketing programs focused on promoting the company’s best-in-class travel agents and attracting new clients. Singh brings more than 12 years of experience to her role and, prior to joining Tzell, served as Vice President of Digital Experience & Marketing Optimization for PR Newswire, managing that company’s global digital experience, reporting and analytics, and marketing technology teams.
Sara Sessa has been with Tzell Travel Group for 25 years and was an integral part of the team that built Tzell’s West Coast operation and evolved it into the tremendously successful and respected organization it is today. Prior to joining Tzell, she worked in the video production field. In her current role, Sessa oversees all West Coast operations for the company, ranging from day to day operations to supporting agents in their career growth.
Jason Oshiokpekhai serves as Managing Director of Protravel International U.K., Tzell Travel Group U.K., Colletts Travel and Scotia Travel, all part of U.S.-based Travel Leaders Group. Based in London, he oversees daily operations for the brands which serve luxury leisure, corporate and entertainment clients in the United Kingdom. Prior to his current role, Oshiokpekhai worked as Director of Sales and Account Management for Protravel and Tzell Travel Group where he built a new and highly successful sales and account management team. He has also been instrumental in building corporate travel business for the U.K. market. Jason previously worked in the corporate sales divisions of Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.