Meet the Executive Team
Rick Zimmerman, President & CEO
Life has a way of taking us back to our roots, and that’s certainly the case with Rick. He joined the travel industry fresh out of college where he worked as a travel agent for a small agency in Cleveland, Ohio. Rick left the travel industry to follow his brother into the residential construction industry where he spent the next twenty-five years. In early 2005, he began to dabble in travel again. One thing led to another and KHM Travel Group was founded. While not a gambler, Rick’s passion is taking trips to Vegas with friends, family and agents. Rick’s vision for KHM Travel Group is to have the best agent support, state-of-the-art educational programs, and to be known for having the highest commission payouts in the industry. Rick is an active advocate of the travel agent community and serves on multiple travel-related Advisory Boards.
Lisa Findura, Senior Vice President of Operations
Lisa began her travel career over 25 years ago after attending Southeastern Travel Academy in Florida. She has worked as a travel agent, a travel and tourism instructor at a business college, and as a member of the Royal Caribbean International team. Eventually Lisa took to the skies as a flight attendant, traveling to places across the globe before returning to Ohio to be with her family. Since joining KHM Travel Group in 2009, Lisa has been an integral part of many of the agency’s new programs and initiatives. She has also developed relationships with our Preferred Suppliers and found innovative ways to help promote their travel products. As a leader to several of the company’s major departments, Lisa works closely with the rest of the Executive Team to ensure their vision is implemented from an operational standpoint.
Geoff Cox, Vice President of Sales & Supplier Relations
Geoff’s exceptional leadership skills and commitment to growing KHM Travel Group’s sales volume make him an excellent addition to the company’s Executive Team. As Supplier Relations Director, Geoff played a significant role in increasing the host agency’s production with several key Preferred Suppliers including Mark Travel, Delta Vacations, and Carnival Cruise Line. Geoff has also helped strengthen the bond with many of the company’s top producing agents through his involvement with the Pinnacle and Basecamp programs. When Geoff joined KHM Travel Group in 2011, he was no stranger to the travel industry. From 1993-2002, he worked as Business Development Manager and Key Account Manager at Royal Caribbean International. After his time with Royal Caribbean International, Geoff served as a Business Development Manager with Carnival Cruise Line for 8 years.
Karen Siburt, Vice President of Finance and Administration
Karen brings a diverse background in regulatory, corporate, and employment law to the KHM Travel Group team. She received her bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from Myers University in Cleveland, Ohio. After receiving her degree, she spent several years building her business experience with several Northeast Ohio companies. Throughout her career, Karen has increased her knowledge in a variety of areas including corporate law, franchise work, and trademarking. Since she joined KHM Travel Group in 2010, her role has expanded to fit the growing needs of the company. In addition to being a member of the Executive Team, Karen currently oversees the Commissions, Compliance and Resolution, Human Resources, Membership, and Environmental Services teams. She is also dedicated to ensuring that the host agency remains compliant with the dynamic travel industry and all regulatory laws.
Anita Pagliasso, Vice President of Industry Relations
Anita Pagliasso joined the KHM Travel Group team in early 2020, having previously held the position as Founder and President of Ticket To Travel. After starting her own home-based travel agency in 1992, Anita’s one-person business quickly evolved with agents looking to her for mentoring and guidance. By sharing her success tactics, Anita has become a renowned industry speaker, home-based travel agent advocate, author, and a mentor to thousands. In addition to her role as KHM Travel Group’s Vice President of Industry Relations, she is also a member of The Travel Institute’s Professional Educators Program, PATH, ASTA, and the California Coalition of Travel Organizations.
Craig Freeman, Business Optimization Executive
Craig started working with KHM Travel Group in 2013 and has been a valuable asset to the team ever since. With 41 years of business management and entrepreneurship experience, Craig is able to work with the other members of the Executive team on big picture ideas to promote leadership development and a positive company culture. Craig’s background includes such roles as Management Transition Director and Interim Director for several high profile hospitals, along with serving as a Risk Management/HR Specialist for small to midsize companies. Craig has introduced leadership core competency training, improved the structured of team meetings, and worked with department managers to analyze and document operational processes and functions.
The KHM Travel Group Family
The 70+ team members that make up KHM Travel Group’s Corporate staff come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. This means that we are able to support our agents in all areas of running their businesses: education, commissions, sales and marketing, working with suppliers, systems, and technology, staying compliant, and events.
We are a growing team that loves what we do! To learn more about careers at KHM Travel Group, visit our Careers page.
If you are ready to become a travel agent with us, you can get started here or give our team a call 1-888-611-1220.