chris cole

Chris Cole has a truly individual and eclectic background full of adventure, travel and cultural diversity.  Born and raised in the wide-open spaces of Abiquiu, New Mexico, Chris rubbed elbows with famed artist Georgia O’Keefe.  He graduated from New Mexico Military Institute and studied cultural anthropology at the University of Arizona.  His passion for travel and exploration took him across continents, where he used his multilingual talents to build friendships and experience a variety of local cultures.


Cole’s passion for exploration, people and their cultures is matched only by his passion for automobiles. During the 1980’s, Chris guided tours from the American Southwest to Alaska.  He later moved to Honduras where he became a founding stakeholder in the Honduran Tour Operators Association.  Cole merged his two passions – tourism and vehicles – becoming a consultant to Land Rover and assisting the Land Rover team in mapping the route for the Honduras portion of La Ruta Maya in 1994 and the Camel Trophy Mundo Maya in 1995.  Chris also co-founded a chain of automotive dealerships importing Russian UAZ vehicles into Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize. 


The rugged off-road 4×4 UAZ vehicles were used in the original Maya Odyssey tours developed by Cole in the 1990s in Honduras, Guatemala and Belize.  In 2010, Cole designed a series of expedition tours throughout the Southwest part of the United States to include Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado.  He also developed and implemented numerous cultural and historical tours throughout the State of Florida. Cole has been involved in a multitude of Tourism Development projects in New Mexico, Texas, Alabama, Florida and Honduras. He splits his time between Sarasota and Santa Fe with his family and continues to be an avid adventurer.   Chris was awarded “The Excellence in Tourism” award in 2012 from the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association for his work in Sustainable Geo-Tourism Initiatives.  


Mark has developed worldwide contacts and has become well-versed in the international tourism market during his 27 years in the tourism industry.   He has served as Director of Indian Tourism, Tribal Liaison, and Director for New Mexico’s North American Tour Trade for the U.S., Canada and Mexico for the past 15 years. 


As Director of the North American Tour Trade, Mark created a Five-Year Strategic Plan for growing New Mexico’s tourism industry with an emphasis on cultural tourism that focused on New Mexico’s history; Native American peoples, customs and art; natural features of the State and National parks and the different cultures that have contributed to the State and its culture.   Under his leadership, the New Mexico tourism industry grew from $3 to $5.5 billion per year and tourism from Mexico and Canada increased by 50%. 


Mark has coordinated familiarization tours (FAMS) for travel writers, meeting planners, tour operators, travel agents and other tourism-related entities to develop New Mexico as a tourist destination.  As Director of the Santa Fe Film Office, he recruited films to the Santa Fe area.  Mark and Chris have been friends since middle-school and have maintained contact and a mutual passion for tourism throughout the years.


Director of Business Development & International Accounts, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Tourism Division


Tracy Vaughan joined GDEcD’s tourism division in August 2014 as the director of business development and international accounts. In her position, Ms. Vaughan provides leadership in developing and implementing Georgia’s global tourism sales and marketing plan. She is responsible for building relationships with key international and domestic travel trade and international media to increase product and brand awareness, ultimately driving positive growth of inbound leisure travel to Georgia. 


Prior to joining GDEcD, Ms. Vaughan advanced through the ranks at VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, in a career that spanned for over 22 years. Ms. Vaughan was promoted to director, international marketing in 2008. In this role, she led the design and implementation of multiple strategic, industry-supported and cooperative marketing ventures which generated more than $3 million in revenue annually. Ms. Vaughan was also instrumental in the development and implementation of VISIT FLORIDA’s air service development program designed to secure new international routes for the state. In the course of her duties, Ms. Vaughan travelled extensively on 5 continents, building a network of industry colleagues that she is now introducing to Georgia tourism.


Ms. Vaughan received her business degree from the University of Texas. She has been actively involved with the U.S Travel Association having served on the IPW planning committee and currently is co-chair of the Domestic and International Trade Professional Development Network.  Ms. Vaughan has quickly adopted Atlanta as her new home, becoming one of the City’s biggest boosters. She is an avid cyclist and runner, activities that have allowed her to explore Atlanta and embrace the city’s many charms.


Jane Desgrosseilliers established and incorporated Mountain View Media in Arizona 2001 which is currently operating in Florida as well.


International work includes marketing for Stratco and Ecopath designing national and international graphics for ads, tradeshow graphics, brochures, pocket folders and other collateral materials. Jane’s company also successfully managed printing, negotiated the add placement and editorial placement nationally and international for 4 years from 2004-2008. Mountain View Media was recognized by the C200 group for outstanding service for the work done with Stratco and Ecopath. 


Working for the Westgate grand opening at the Glendale arena, Mountain View Media placed TV and radio adverting and designed and distributed marketing materials for this event.


In 2014 Jane’s company created all branding and logos, marketing materials and the website for AERO Federal Credit Union working with Honeywell board members and organizing focus groups results.


Recent work includes building a national farm to table website and implementation of the marketing for this nationwide client.


Jane has a wide background in business strategy, customer service and art direction. Combined with some of the best technical and internet strategies she is able to help her clients in many marketing areas.


Robyn K. Levin is the founder of Robyn Levin Media, Inc., a strategic marketing & PR consulting firm, created in San Fransico and based in Sarasota, Florida. Levin specializes in celebritizing™ entrepreneurs, travel/tourism companies and CEO’s in helping them attain name recognition and expert status in their industries. Her efforts land clients in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Time Magazine, CBS MarketWatch, Fortune Small Business and more. She guided PENSCO Trust, a financial services client in tripling their assets to $3 billion in less than three years.


As a passionate connector of small business owners to big brands, Levin has forged strategic partnerships with Citibank, NHL, Women Sports Foundation, sports celebrities and many others to raise awareness and revenue.


A graduate of Temple University & Netherlands School of Business, she guest lectures at Temple University & Wharton’s Executive Program for Working Professionals on Marketing Strategy & PR.