CTC, Chief Executive Officer and Founder
Head Cheer Leader
Michelle Fee founded Friendship Travel, a full-service travel agency, in 1981 with her friend, Lynn Korn. After several successful years in business, Michelle and Lynn joined forces with industry veteran, Marvin Davis, to co-found Cruise Planners in 1994.
With just five franchisees in the first training class, Fee believed the newly founded Cruise Planners would create a new business model that would change the travel world.
She never looked back.
Today, as CEO of the nation’s largest home-based travel franchise organizations, Fee’s commitment to her Home Office team and nationwide network of travel consultants is undeniable. Under her leadership, Cruise Planners has empowered franchise owners for success through access to award-winning marketing programs, hands-on training and evolving technology, allowing them to operate efficient and competitive travel businesses in a fast-changing industry.
Birthplace: Miami, FL
Hobbies: Shopping for shoes!
Favorite Vacation Spot: I’ve traveled a lot and have seen some amazing places in my life, but if I had to select a favorite, I guess I would have to pick Africa. I took a safari tour that was beyond any expectation I had envisioned.
Bucket List: I’ve checked so many of them off already, but would love to go to Iceland.
Cruisitude™: Cruisitude is a way of life, one that most all Cruise Planners live by! My CRUISITUDE is at its best when I’m hanging out with our CP agents, at our convention, on an inaugural sailing, or anytime we all get together. The green machine comes out in all of us!
-I was a high school state runner-up in track (hurdles)
-I married my high school sweetheart
-I love reality TV shows
Chief Operating Officer and Co-Owner
Chief Kool-Aid Maker
Vicky Garcia has spent more than 25 years in the cruise industry and is now one of the most respected women in travel. Garcia learned the industry ground up from her beginnings as a reservation sales agent at Royal Caribbean International and today is co-owner and Chief Operating Officer at Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative.
Garcia oversees the overall strategic and operational responsibility for all business development and marketing programs including third-party partnerships that have become an extension of the company’s in-house offerings for Cruise Planners franchise owners.
Despite her demanding career, Garcia is an advocate and volunteer for many causes close to her heart. She serves on non-profit boards and various cruise line and travel industry boards. Garcia was honored in 2014 by Viking River Cruises as godmother of the European long ship Viking Magni.
Birthplace: Miami, FL
Hobbies: I love my gadgets (iPhone, iPad, iPod, Camera’s, Wii & Xbox – that I never have time to play), I love to cook and watch Food Network – my favorite event is the South Beach Food and Wine Festival, and I love living on the beach – it’s my sanctuary
Favorite Vacation Spot: Santorini, Greece
Bucket List: Bora Bora
Cruisitude™: "Live, Laugh, Love – REPEAT"
-I have the coolest niece (Chelsea) and nephew (Jake) who are both avid cruisers
-Did I mention I love gadgets???
-Everyone knows me for my MARTINI obsession!
Chief Financial Officer and Co-owner
#1 Bean Counter
Tom Kruszewski is an accomplished financial executive with more than 20 years of experience. In his past roles he served as CFO of a group of Miami-based companies including Rally Manufacturing, Inc., Intec, Inc. and i-Tec Electronics, Inc., leading manufacturers of automotive, video game and consumer electronics accessories, prior to joining Cruise Planners in 2008.
Birthplace: Dearborn, MI
Hobbies: Kayaking, board games/card games, biking, racquetball, and entertaining friends at home
Favorite Vacation Spot: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Bucket List: To visit New Zealand, Galapagos, Italy, Turkey, and Greece, and eventually dance at my granddaughters’ weddings
Cruisitude™: I sincerely believe that happiness is a choice and I do whatever I can to share that choice with others.
-At one time I had 36 different rare and tropical fruit trees and plants growing in my backyard, including a chocolate pudding tree and a tree that bore square bananas.
-As a high school teacher, I sponsored an annual “food lab,” where students were able to taste the most exotic ethnic foods imaginable, including Rocky Mountain Oysters, lamb tongues, calf brains, chitlins, squirrel, curried goat, pigeon, etc. No one knew what they were eating until after they sampled it. It was an eye-opening experience for all involved.
-I received “fan mail” from as far away as Australia and Poland (and still receive some to this day on a regular basis) for a board game I invented back in 1985 – “Chase”
Chief Information Officer
Lord of the Geeks
Brian Shultz oversees all the technology that is produced and maintained at Cruise Planners. Brian works closely with the different departments in-house as well the agent community to drive his team to produce industry-leading tools that make the management of their business seamless and easy.
Hobbies: Basketball, software development, and drawing/illustration
Favorite Vacation Spot: I love the west coast; Napa Valley, California in particular
Bucket List: Take a tour of the great cities of Italy. I would love to see Rome, Venice, and Sicily. I have a fondness for both art and history, and I cannot think of a better place to immerse myself in both.
Cruisitude™: I love watching the city as the ship leaves the port and realizing that what I can look forward to relaxation and fun on my vacation. To me, there is nothing better than a cruise to reduce stress and increase fun
-I was a Social Science major in college
-I was an accomplished artist who won several competitions before getting into IT
-I always wanted to be a pro golfer- unfortunately I stink at golf
Vice President, Franchise Development
16 years in Franchise Sales & Development. Previous executive positions with Lady of America Fitness Centers, NutriSystem, and Kenny Rogers Roasters.
Hobbies: Reality TV (was I on Survivor?), swimming, Crown Royal, and dodge ball (it’s more fun as an adult)
Favorite Vacation Spot: It’s a toss-up between Barcelona, Spain; Venice, Italy; or Oia, Greece
Bucket List: Traveling to Egypt, Tahiti, and the Orient
Cruisitude™: It’s DOCTOR of CRUISITUDE, thank you very much
-I’ve been politely asked not to return to Chicago
-I’m a great charades player despite what my friends say
-I appeared on national television as Britney Spears (and won the bet)
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
The Cruising Queen
Theresa Scalzitti worked for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., for 21 years before joining Cruise Planners in 2016. Her past roles included Cruisetour Product Marketing Manager for Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, Manager of Onboard Revenue/Hotel Operations and Quality Assurance Manager. Scalzitti was the dedicated Home-Based Channel Sales Manager for several years working with the nation’s top Home-Based agencies and she is known as being an advocate for travel agents (especially home-based). She is results-driven, has an extensive background in various marketing programs and created and executed several new programs and promotions that generated millions of dollars in incremental revenue.
Today, as VP, Sales & Marketing for the nation’s largest home-based travel franchise organization, Scalzitti leads the organization’s sales and marketing and business development teams and is committed to giving the franchisees the marketing and sales tools needed to help them make their business a highly profitable one.
Birthplace: Pembroke Pines, FL
Hobbies: CrossFit and Shopping
Favorite Vacation Spot: I’ve had the luxury in my 20+ years in travel to visit many destinations, so it’s hard to pick one; but Italy and Spain are my two favorite countries to visit.
Bucket List: Thailand, Fiji and Australia
Cruisitude™: I always try to find the positive in everything and everyone.
-I set a record in high school on my swim team (200 yard medley relay)
-I have a set of twins (boy/girl)
-I love reality TV shows
-I skydived (once!) and love roller coasters
Vice President of Strategic Development
The Singing Salesman
Scott Koepf is Vice President of Strategic Development with Cruise Planners supporting the growth of the Cruise Planners network by leading the Training and Events teams and exploring new opportunities for strategic development. Once you meet Scott, you will see his natural motivational training style that inspires and impacts sales.
Scott joined Cruise Planners with more than 30 years of experience in the travel industry and he started as a travel franchise owner, eventually becoming president of that organization, so he knows what it takes to be a successful franchisee. He is a travel agent advocate and loves helping each Cruise Planners franchisee achieve their goals. His commitment to travel agents runs deep as Scott is a well-known industry icon who serves on many supplier and industry advisory boards and is a highly regarded motivational speaker.
Scott is a globetrotter with a passion for entertainment…and entertaining. He’s a trained opera singer who still performs in musical theatre productions, so it’s no wonder they call him the “Singing Salesman.” However, to balance his theatrical bent, Scott was a football player and writes a regular article in an industry publication where he is known as the “Sales Coach.” His extensive knowledge of Sales and travel retail operations are now focused on helping each and every Cruise Planners Franchise reaching it’s full potential.
Birthplace: Berkeley, California
Hobbies: Singing, Musical Theatre
Favorite Vacation Spot: Anywhere with a great Beach or a Mountain to ski
Bucket List: Tahiti, Skiing the Alps
Cruisitude™: Living life to the fullest
-I was a PE teacher in South Africa
-I have been madly in love with my bride since 1985
-I have 3 fabulous daughters and a granddaughter – Girls Rule!