HomeAbout GTStaff & Contributors

Staff & Contributors


Tracey Cullen

Art Director

Tracey Cullen came to work as the art director of Global Traveler magazine in 2007. A graduate of Kutztown University in Kutztown, Pa., in 1995, she began her career at the York Daily Record. She was a graphic designer responsible for layout, illustrations, maps and infographics for the newspaper.

In 2005, in a new role as creative and design editor, she helped launch Smart and Spaces magazines, which were new publications by the York Daily Record. She realized that her passion was more for magazine design than newspaper, which led her to the job at Global Traveler magazine.

She stepped into the shoes of art director and continued using the familiar design of Global Traveler magazine — with a few slight design tweaks of her own. Then, in 2011, she redesigned the magazine at a wider format with a matte-cover finish. This redesign firmly placed Global Traveler as the market leader.

As art director, Tracey enjoys reading the articles and choosing interesting, engaging photos to accompany them for every issue of Global Traveler magazine. She prides herself in showing the readers the best of every location, and inviting them to visit far-off places through the use of photos.

Tracey and her husband of 18 years, Jim, reside in York, Pa., and have a daughter, Alli, 11.

She loves spending time in the Finger Lakes region of New York, where she has a vacation home. She enjoys wine tasting, boating, hiking and exploring new places with her family.

In her free time, she has done design work for a number of charities, including The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Chesapeake Support Our Heroes.

Richard Evans

Senior Vice President

Dick Evans has been involved in newspaper and magazine advertising for 30-plus years with a focus on international newspapers, one of which was based in London and another in Paris. Because of the international nature of his experience, Dick has worked extensively with advertising executives around the world.

He comes from a family with newspaper/magazine roots, so media is in his DNA. One of his grandfathers was a political cartoonist whose career started at the Kansas City Star, covering Teddy Roosevelt’s cross-country campaign tour. His great grandfather was a newspaper publisher and editor in the Midwest.

Dick firmly believes that democracy is dependent on a free press and a well-informed electorate, two things needed as much today as when the country first started.

Fran Gallagher


Francis X. Gallagher decided to pursue his lifelong dream in 2004 when he launched Global Traveler magazine. A graduate of St. Joseph’s University, in Philadelphia, Pa., he began his career at Knight Ridder Newspapers, followed by a brief tenure with Cresmer, Woodward, O’Mara & Ormsbee (represented more than 150 daily U.S. newspapers across the country).

He launched Business Traveler and served as the publisher for 17 years (a British-owned, monthly publication), growing the circulation and revenue year after year and taking it from a British rewrite to a true American voice for travelers.

In February 2004, he settled into his true calling – owning and running Global Traveler, the only AAM-audited monthly magazine for the business and luxury traveler.

Yardley, Pa., nestled between New York City and Philadelphia, is home to Global Traveler’s world headquarters. Since its inception in 2004, Global Traveler’s growth includes two digital newsletters, eFlyer and eFlyer Asia; two custom digital e-blasts, GT on the Go and Premium e-Deal; and custom publishing. The magazine boasts an AAM-audited circulation of 108,000-plus and a staff spanning New York, Los Angeles Shanghai and Boston.

In March 2011, Global Traveler debuted its much-anticipated redesign to a wider format and a matte-cover finish. This redesign firmly placed Global Traveler as the market leader. The next step in positing the company for growth was the relaunch of its digital products, centering around GT’s website globaltravelerusa.com. The relaunch took place on Dec. 12, 2012, centering around Global Traveler’s awards gala at The Peninsula Beverly Hills.

Global Traveler recently announced three additional editions, delivered to subscribers annually, increasing the conversation with readers from 12 times (monthly) to 15. GT’s bonus editions, The Leisure Lifestyle Book, Global City Guidebook and Class Act are Global Traveler’s 13th, 14th and 15th issues annually.

In fall of 2014, FXExpress Publications, Inc. launched TrazeeTravel.com. TrazeeTravel.com is a new website aimed at travelers aged 18–35. The website features original content, updated several times daily, and allows for community content contribution.

Millennials are a growing market and attracting those travelers is the goal of many hotels, airlines and other travel companies. TrazeeTravel.com will be reach this underserved market with content focused on products, tips, interviews, quizzes, reviews, events, weddings and alternative vacations, providing a way for travel industry partners to reach this burgeoning group of intrepid, young travelers

In addition to serving as CEO of Global Traveler, Gallagher is the publisher and also coordinates a successful charity auction, the annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards and a number of other successful events and initiatives yearly. Global Traveler remains the only monthly, U.S.-based magazine aimed at frequent luxury business travelers.

Francis and his wife of 31 years, Michele, also reside in Yardley and have two daughters, Katherine, 25, and Laura, 20.

Francis is involved with a number of charities, including The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, for which he serves on the Board of Trustees, and The Mentor Foundation. Over the years, he has been actively involved with youth athletics and coaching. He is a long-standing patron of Villa Joseph Marie High School, a private girl’s school in suburban Philadelphia.

He is an avid golfer, playing rounds wherever he touches down worldwide and shares these experiences in Global Traveler’s monthly golf column, often teeing up with key global clients. He is a member of the Union League of Philadelphia and Jericho National Golf Club in Washington Crossing, Pa.

Gallagher frequently travels around the world — from China to Los Angeles and from India to Europe. He often settles in the Outer Banks, N.C., where he has a second home. He enjoys traveling, playing golf, gardening and spending time with his family.

Janice Hecht

Senior Editor

A lifelong resident of Connecticut, Jan discovered a passion for reading and writing at an early age. She studied English and theater at Southern Connecticut State University and earned a master’s degree in liberal studies/writing at Wesleyan University.

Joining Global Traveler as senior editor in 2008, Jan enjoys “traveling” the world every day and learning about other countries and cultures through the articles submitted by GT’s team of inspired writers. She brings a wealth of teaching, writing and editing experience to her current role: teaching college English composition; tutoring students with learning disabilities in writing; directing an adaptive technology lab for university students with disabilities; writing software documentation; freelance writing and editing for business startups; and — a lifelong dream — owning and operating an independent bookstore.

Jan and her husband of 40 years, Stuart, live outside of New Haven, Conn., where they raised their two sons and now spend time with their six grandchildren. Their location provides easy access to New York and Boston, but they also enjoy exploring New England’s beaches, cities and countryside. When at home, Jan finds time for creative interests — gardening, quilting, writing fiction and reading.

Akhil Kalepu

Akhil Kalepu joined FXExpress Publications, Inc., in August 2014, taking on the role of digital coordinator for Trazee Travel. A graduate of Temple University, Akhil was active with media at a student radio and in independent news before helping with the launch of Trazee Travel.

Akhil got his first experiences in media in high school, when he and a friend founded a charitable youth venture called SeniorLink. The organization worked to secure computer donations to set-up computer labs for nursing homes and retirement communities. Akhil’s role as vice president covered donor relations and managing the venture’s media presence. He also spent one summer interning for The Times Foundation, the community outreach wing of the Times of India newspaper based in Mumbai.

Akhil’s lifelong passion outside of school and work has been music. He began training in classical violin at age six, and later moved to electronic music production in high school. Akhil expressed this passion in college by producing a student radio show on WRGW Radio called Funkadelic Freestyles, a weekly hip-hop program that grew to become a hub for the local music scene. He has also worked at Temple’s student record label, Bell Tower Records, helping to produce and market two EPs.

Before Trazee Travel, Akhil interned in the media outreach department of Democracy Now!, an independent news program syndicated on public media. Taking on social media and community outreach responsibilities, the internship was strong experience for Akhil, who enjoyed the opportunity to work in New York City and political media.

Outside of work he is an avid reader of politics and still jams out on the violin from time to time.

Kimberly Krol

Editor in Chief

Kimberly Krol joined Global Traveler in 2006 as circulation and public relations executive. She attended Syracuse University, with a bachelors of science in magazine journalism, and is a die-hard Orange fan. Kim received her Masters degree in Writing Studies from St. Joseph’s University in 2012.

After deciding her true passion was on the editorial side of the publishing industry, Kim moved into the role of managing editor in 2011. In 2014, Kim assisted with the creation and launch of Trazee Travel, in her role as editor in chief. Kim is also responsible for planning all FXExpress Publications, Inc., yearly events and handling public relations. Before beginning with the magazine, Kim interned at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and The Philadelphia Orchestra.

A 2005 study abroad semester in London sparked Kim’s love of travel, and since then, she’s enjoyed the good fortune to travel to some of the best places in the world. Favorite experiences include hiking the Liwa Desert at sunrise in Abu Dhabi; a waterfall helicopter landing in Kaua’i; watching the Philadelphia Phillies win the 2008 World Series; floating in the Dead Sea in Israel; and watching the bulls run in Pamplona.

Kim is heavily involved with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Eastern Pennsylvania. She joined the organization in 2011 as a Team in Training participant, raising funds and running the St. Luke’s Half Marathon, before staying on as a coach and mentor. Kim also serves on a variety of LLS committees. Kim is the Officer of Development for the Philadelphia chapter of Millennials in Travel.

Kim resides in Philadelphia’s Pennsport neighborhood, growing up in Bucks County, Pa. Kim is interested in reading, cooking, visiting new restaurants, attending Philadelphia sporting events, entertainment and pop culture and exploring the city.

Jenna Payesko

Advertising and Editorial Coordinator

Jenna Payesko was born and raised in Hamilton, N.J., making her a Jersey girl at heart. She recently graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in public relations and a minor in sports and entertainment management.
She discovered a passion for writing in grammar school, which eventually turned into a hobby. After changing majors and colleges — not once, but twice ­— she finally came to the realization she was not meant to be a neurosurgeon.

Payesko has been fortunate enough to travel to many wonderful destinations — among her favorites, Aruba and Hawai’i. Being able to experience new places and cultures provided her with the desire to explore the world and eventually turn it into a lifestyle. Her love for writing and travel led her to join theGlobal Traveler team in July 2016 as advertising and editorial coordinator.

In her free time, she enjoys trying new foods, attending concerts and sporting events and spending time with her family and friends at the shore. Payesko plans to continue to travel, aspiring to visit every continent.

Angelique Platas

Assistant Advertising and Marketing Coordinator

As a recent Temple University graduate with a major in communication studies, Angelique Platas joined the Global Traveler team in 2015 as the assistant advertising and marketing coordinator.

Her interests in art, history and music set her on the path to travel early in life, first with quick trips to museums, then music festivals that developed into a passion for travel and exploring new places and things.

She was born and raised in New Jersey and outside of work continues to enjoy live music as well as reading, running and hiking with her dog, Vixey.

Nicole Quaste

Associate Editor

Nicole Quasté’s passion for writing and travel brought her to Global Traveler in October of 2016 as assistant editor.

When she’s not reading and writing, Nicole enjoys visiting art museums and wineries, fostering rescue dogs, and traveling as often as possible. Her love of Gothic architecture and history place Prague at the top of her favorite destinations list, and her most memorable experiences include hiking on Sheep’s Head peninsula in Southern Ireland, climbing Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica, and touring wineries right here in her native Bucks County, Pa.

Nicole attended Millersville University as an undergraduate and will be graduating from Villanova in May with her Masters degree in English. She currently lives in Ambler, Pa. with her fiancé, Owen.

Katie Skrzek

Vice President/Digital Director

Katie Skrzek joined the Global Traveler team in 2011. Katie grew up in Bucks County, Pa., before venturing to Manhattan to attend Fordham University. During her time at Fordham, she was heavily involved with the university’s Global Outreach service program. Over her four years, Katie participated in service projects to Washington, D.C.; Waynesburg, Pa.; Immokalee, Fla.; and New Orleans. She also served on the student board for two years, including as co-president during her senior year.

Besides on-campus activities, Katie interned at several companies in the entertainment industry, including Paramount Vantage and Columbia Pictures. While at Global Traveler, Katie had the good fortune to travel to Iceland, Germany, Texas, the Netherlands and Ireland.

Outside of work, Katie is interested in cooking, improv comedy, exploring new places, trying new food, attending seasonal festivals and spending time with family and friends.

Patricia Vanikiotis

Associate Editor/Copy Editor

Born and raised in Portland, Ore., Patty majored in Language Arts and Drama at Oregon College of Education (Western Oregon University) before pursuing graduate work in Theatre at Ohio State University. Marrying and returning to the Pacific Northwest, she spent the next 20-plus years teaching and raising two daughters.

She parlayed a lifelong love of the written word and her time as a high school English teacher into a second career as a freelance copy editor and proofreader. Over the past 15 years Patty has worked with a small publishing house and several clients in the travel industry, including Holland America Line and Windstar Cruises. Since joining the staff of Global Traveler in 2008, she has taken on the occasional writing assignment in addition to her copy editing duties and blogging weekly on the GT website.

When not reading about exotic locales and cultures, Patty enjoys traveling with her husband of 33 years, Harry, and indulging in great wine and food around the world. Now residing in Southern Oregon, she finds satisfaction in tending her own private paradise — her garden — and spoiling her grandson.

Banu Yilmaz

Advertising Director

Banu Yilmaz joins Global Traveler after a successful four-year tenure with INK Publishing, working with Rhapsody Magazine, Hemispheres and American Way. She brings with her a wealth of experience, both with agencies and in media sales focused on travel and luxury goods, specifically watches and jewelry.

Yilmaz resides in New York City. She was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, until age 14, and received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from University of Georgia. She is an avid traveler, and plays both beach and indoor volleyball.


Victoria Abbott Riccardi

Kristy Alpert

Margaret Backenheimer

Susan Barnes

Harriet Baskas

Joe Baur

Ron Bernthal

Beth Blair

Debra Bokur

J.D. Brown

Mark Chesnut

Ellen Clark

Patrick Cooper

Laura Daily

Susan Finch

Eunice Fried

Lois Friedland

Mary Gallagher, RN, MSN, CCRN

Terry Gardner

Deborah Geiger

Marlene Goldman

Michael Goldstein

Simone Grandmain

Becca Hensley

Megan Hill

Sharon King Hoge

Steve Jermanok

Ilona Kauremszky

Dale Leatherman

Tim Leffel

Karin Leperi

Irvina Lew

Felicity Long

Kim Mackinnon

Betsa Marsh

Justin Mastine-Frost

Gregory McCluney

Sharon McDonnell

Katie McElveen

William McGee

Allie Moore

Chadner Navarro

Richard Newton

Beth Reiber

Katherine Rodeghier

Barbara Radcliffe Rogers

Stillman Rogers

Megan Rowe

Terry Sprunger

Carley Thornell

Barbara and Jim Twardowski

Susan Van Allen

Allison Voigts

John Wroblewski