Our Story

Background

Found in 1997, Exito Travel specializes in airfare to Latin America. Over the years, we began offering a variety of services related to selling airfare to both non-IATA and IATA organization. These few partners have grown to more than 125 partners and our services have been refined into 5 distinct “Air Simple” solutions. All of these services are managed by Exito Travel Solutions, a division of Exito Travel Inc.

How Do We Develop Our Solutions?

Travel Solutions mission has been to make air simple for our partners. This means never losing sight that we don’t have clients, we have partners. Our solutions are designed to provide the best solution to our partners’ needs. In other words, our Air Simple solutions were developed to address the needs of existing partners. After we have found a solution to a problem or need, we make it available to other organizations as an Air Simple solution.

Some Key People at Exito

Todd Jones, President

Graduating from the University of Colorado with a degree in International Business. Todd Jones graduated from the University of Colorado and is the founder and president of Exito Travel. Mr. Jones brings to Exito a complete understanding of the air travel industry from many different points of view including that of an owner, agency acquirer, sales agent, ticketing agent, airline employee, frequent flyer, and most importantly, strategic visionary. Throughout Exito Travel’s 18 year history, Mr. Jones’s insightful and forward-thinking leadership has allowed the company to respond to changing industry factors and thrive.

Prior to launching his Exito Travel (originally named Eco Travel Services) in 1996, Mr. Jones had a variety of positions in the industry. In 1992, he started at America West Airlines where trainees were required to do every task including baggage handling, operating the jet way, baggage claim and runway worker before becoming an airline gate attendant. In 1993, Todd put his fluent German to use when he went to work in Munich to open Germany’s first branch of Council Travel, the world’s largest student travel agency at the time. In 1995, he moved to San Francisco to work for a travel agency specializing in around-the-world flights.

Surrounded by a strong and experienced management team (together for 15+ years), Mr. Jones focuses his attention on Strategic Development, strengthening long time relationships and in recruiting new partners for Exito Travel. During the last 6 years, he has been the principal architect in redefining the company’s strategy that has led to a quadrupling in air sales and tickets sold by Exito Travel.

John Slocum (Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer)

Mr. Slocum is the newest member to Exito’s management team, but he has a long history with the company dating back to 1996. Mr. Slocum and Mr. Jones worked together to re-brand Eco Travel Services as Exito Travel, and both worked hard to recruit Ms. Sutton to join Exito in 1997. From 1997-2002, Mr. Slocum’s company, AmeriSpan, owned shares in Exito Travel.

Mr. Slocum graduated from Albion College in 1985. At age 24, Mr. Slocum earned his CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) in the investment field. At age 29, he quit his job as a stock portfolio manager at Independence Capital Management to live and travel through Latin America. After spending 4 months abroad, he wrote out the first draft of a business plan for, what would become, AmeriSpan Study Abroad on a beach in Brazil. Founded in 1993, AmeriSpan grew to be one of the largest US-based study abroad organizations. In 2007, he sold the company but stayed on as Director of Marketing until leaving to join Exito Travel in May 2012. While he was AmeriSpan’s Director of Marketing, the company was named a finalist for the prestigious LTM Star Award all 5 years, earning Best in North America for 4 years (2009-2012).

Wendy Angove (Vice President, Product Development & Quality Control)

Ms. Angove joined Exito as one of its first employees. Her 12+ years of previous sales and management experience, coupled with her well-honed travel industry skills, made her a perfect choice for Exito.

During her 15 years at Exito, she has excelled in a variety of roles and her influence is seen everywhere; from building Exito’s B2B partnerships to training staff, to developing crucial sales procedures. In 2012, she relocated to Denver and spearheaded Exito Travel’s development of a Quality Control department and development of a new generation of sales agents. Ms. Angove is the primary force behind finding and securing most of Exito’s broad array of standard and specialized air products.

Susanna Garner (Chief Financial Officer)

Susanna Garner graduated from Colorado State University in 1995 and reluctantly used the CFO title because she feels that is just one of her many roles at Exito. She was recruited to join Exito because she had grown up working in small businesses, had a diverse skill set and knew the “ins and outs” of running small businesses. As anyone who has started a company from the ground up knows, you need people who can wear multiple hats. Ms. Garner is a fourth-generation entrepreneur and is equally comfortable doing accounting, management and marketing tasks in a variety of settings.

Her background in working with other small businesses has been instrumental in helping to build Exito Travel from a small traditional agency in California to the multifaceted travel provider it is today. She works to keep track of sales trends in order to help to create marketing plans and strategies to bring the best products and services to our clients. The unique characteristics of the travel industry mean that the quality of the information about clients and products directly correlates with a company’s ability to react to the market with agility and intelligence.

Emma Sutton (Vice President, Personnel & Client Relations)

Ms. Sutton was the first person that was ever recruited to join Exito. She was cajoled to “just come and meet Todd”. After relenting to at least meet with Todd, she headed to the meeting sure it was a waste of time. After the face-to-face, both felt it was a perfect fit. She was already everything Exito wanted to be as a company: professional, personable, and knowledgeable, with the ability to always make the client happy. She brought 10 years of experience in the travel industry with her – everything from tour guide to Senior Regional Manager at Council Travel (then the nation’s largest student travel company). With a degree in International Relations from the University of Washington, she added management experience and professionalism to the Exito team.

As good as those talents are, her biggest attribute is her people skills. She has a special talent to make co-workers, partners and clients relaxed and trust her because she genuinely cares.

Isaac Hilpman (Director of Partner Accounts)

Mr. Hilpman joined Exito in 2004 as a new untrained agent after responding to an ad in the Fort Collins, CO newspaper. Since then, Isaac grew into one of Exito’s most successful agents and account managers. He has utilized his outgoing personality to forge strong relationships with tour operators throughout North America and Latin America.

In 2012, Mr. Hilpman was promoted to Director of Partner Accounts and leads a team of 5 partner account managers. Isaac speaks a bit of Portuguese, a bit of Spanish and a whole lotta Portanol.

Jim Kane (Director of Business Development)

Graduating with a psychology degree and a concentration in marketing from the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Kane’s pre-travel career focused on marketing computer and music accessories at a company based in Philadelphia. This all changed following an inspirational trip to South America where Mr. Kane would return to live and learn Spanish (Merida, Venezuela). Upon returning to the U.S. he found a position combining his passion for language & travel with his expertise in marketing and joined AmeriSpan Study Abroad (founded by John Slocum, see above).

At AmeriSpan he had a variety of marketing and business development positions before leaving to found Culture Xplorers, a winner of multiple travel awards and recognitions. Following the 2008 financial crisis, business slowed and he agreed to work as a business development consultant for Exito for “a few months”. Four years later, Mr. Kane continues to be fully committed to Exito’s success. With his own company again experiencing growth, Mr. Kane has stepped back from his day-to-day role at Exito but remains a key member of the management team. Fluent in Spanish & French, Mr. Kane has lived, worked &/or studied in six countries, including: Spain, France, Venezuela, Honduras and Ecuador.