We Are Virtuoso Advisors

Specialists In The Art Of Travel

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  • Laura Massoni
    Laura Massoni
    Virtuoso Advisor
  • Ursula Pearson
    Ursula Pearson
    President & Virtuoso Advisor
  • Greg Pearson
    Greg Pearson
    Vice President & Virtuoso Advisor
  • Sue Bethke
    Sue Bethke
    Virtuoso Advisor
  • Cheryl Cashman
    Cheryl Cashman
    Virtuoso Advisor
  • Judy Fishburn
    Judy Fishburn
    Virtuoso Advisor
  • Hertha Prager
    Hertha Prager
    Virtuoso Advisor
  • Janet Thomas
    Janet Thomas
    Virtuoso Advisor
  • Susan Valentino
    Susan Valentino
    Virtuoso Advisor
Laura Massoni
Virtuoso Advisor

Based In: San Diego, CA
Selling Travel Since
: 1996
Languages: English, Italian, Spanish
Destination Specialties: Italy

Interests:
Family Vacation, Food & Wine, History & Culture, Honeymoons, Independent Tours

My Background

I have been in the travel industry for 15+ years but only in 2011 have I found my true passion, Italy! I had to leave my country to realize only after years how much I am in love with it and especially how much I would like for other people to experience it the same way as the local’s do!

I love to put together trips for people that are looking to experience the AUTHENTIC ITALY. I am not a cookie cutter trip builder, I love to custom design every trip according to people desires.

I love for each one of my clients to have contact with the local’s and experience it as such.

Ursula Pearson
President & Virtuoso Advisor

Based In: Hoffman Estates, IL
Selling Travel Since
: 1965
Languages: English, German
Destination Specialties: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain

Interests:
History & Culture, Honeymoons, Independent Tours, Ocean Cruising, River Cruising

My Story

I immigrated to the United States from southern Germany in 1965. I quickly found my love of arranging travel when I began my career with Globus Tours in 1965.

Three years later, I started with Kobelt Travel in Chicago where I was taught all aspects of the travel industry. After growing the agency from 1 million dollars to 35 million dollars, the agency was sold.

In 1992, I began my own company, Travelex International. After 27 years, I had developed great relationships with my clients and was ready to use my extensive experience to build my own agency.

I have visited 6 of the 7 continents, including most European countries, Russia, Turkey, Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina and other Latin American countries, most Caribbean Islands, Canada, Mexico and Australia. Antarctica here I come!

I look forward to assisting you design your next exciting journey to somewhere amazing!

Greg Pearson
Vice President & Virtuoso Advisor

Based In: Hoffman Estates, IL
Selling Travel Since
: 1996
Languages: English, German, Norwegian
Destination Specialties: Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom, Argentina, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Austria
Alliance Programs: VAST – Virtuoso Active & Specialty Travel

Interests:
Adventure, Destination Weddings, Food & Wine, History & Culture, Safari

My Story

Travelex International, which is a family business established in 1992, is comprised of three business segments – corporate travel management, personalized leisure travel, and custom group travel. Ursula and I along with a dedicated staff of travel professionals have worked hard at building a brand based on High Touch (exemplary service) and High Tech (state-of-the-art travel technology & social media).

My background is based on a deep love for travel and in building relationships based on 25-plus years in corporate America. My purpose as your travel concierge is to inspire your imagination.

I have had the pleasure of traveling extensively and have enjoyed experiencing different cultures throughout the world. Based on these experiences, I thrive on creating unique travel experiences for my clients.

I have a particular strength in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific as I am a Premier Australian and a Kiwi specialist. I am actively involved in producing food & wine tours on board ocean and river cruise ships and in producing opera & classical tours throughout the world. Adventure & specialty travel is my next horizon to explore for my clients.

As a travel professional, my business is full service and over one – half of my business is to international destinations. Chances are that I have been where you are going.

So, let my experience be yours!

Sue Bethke
Virtuoso Advisor

Based In: Hoffman Estates, IL
Selling Travel Since
: 1995
Languages: English

Interests:
Escorted Tours, Family Vacation, History & Culture, Ocean Cruising, River Cruising

My Background

I love my job!  I enjoy working with clients who like to travel well, but who struggle to find real value. I have extensive experience in helping clients plan new and exciting trips.

Let me help you design a vacation to remember!

Cheryl Cashman
Virtuoso Advisor

Based In: Port Townsend, WA
Selling Travel Since: 2015
Languages: English

Interests:
Adventure, Beach & Sun, Safari, Sports & Outdoors

My Background

Travel to me is about the adventure of being part of another culture. I don’t get caught up in luxury or budget travel.  What I work hard at is finding what will give my clients the best experience for the highest value.

As my client, you will get my extensive travel knowledge of 30 plus years across all 7 continents.  You can expect my dedication to crafting once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will meet or exceed your expectations.  Continuous follow through with my clients keeps everyone informed and where we are in the process of the planning.

Prior to the travel industry I owned and operated a very successful franchise of an international employment agency.  Finding the right people for the right job.  Listening to my clients was critical to my success.  Listening to you is key to planning your travel dreams.

I was 12 when my grandmother said “Cheryl, it is a big world out there.” And she was so right and I have been so very fortunate to have traveled a lot of it.

Judy Fishburn
Virtuoso Advisor

Based In: Hoffman Estates, IL
Selling Travel Since
: 1976
Languages: English

Interests:
Adventure, History & Culture, Independent Tours, Ocean Cruising, River Cruising

My Background

My formal education was in…Education – and I taught in the local school system after graduation from college.

However, while I was still a college student…the “Travel Bug” was already biting me  – in the form of 2 Trans-Atlantic crossings – and 7 weeks of travel across Europe. Actually, I would say that the “Travel Bug” ate me up!

My career in education was a short one – for aviation was calling my name – so I entered the exciting and exotic world of “Stewardess with Trans World Airlines”! Here I was awarded the unique view of air travel from the “other side of the seat belt” – and it merely fueled by hunger for more travel.

Marriage – and a couple of Baby Carriages later – I heard the Travel Bug’s voice again – and so opened the first office of Getaway Travel, Inc. Two more Getaway Travel offices  followed – along with The Getaway Travel Academy. This opened the Exit Doors out to the “Travel World” for many an adult student!

In 2009, I became affiliated with Travelex International – a forward thinking and communications savvy young office.  Travelex opened the world of Virtuoso to me – and thus to my Clients.  I value each client’s expectations, interests, time and lack of it!

This is really all about YOU! I gave in to the Travel Bug’s magic long ago – and now I just love “spreading the Travel Bug around”  to as many folks as I meet!

I invite you to bring your family, your friends and your travel dreams to me – and let’s see what we can create!

Bring me your Bucket Lists – your “Non-Negotiable Must-See’s and Do’s”!

Let’s dive right in!   The water is always fine.

Hertha Prager
Virtuoso Advisor

Based In: Hoffman Estates, IL
Selling Travel Since
: 1982
Languages: English, German

Interests:
Beach & Sun, Escorted Tours, Family Vacation, Ocean Cruising, River Cruising

My Background

I was  born in Munich, Germany and traveled over the years many times to Europe…just about every country several times.

Europe is my specialty. I have taken many escorted tours to obtain knowledge of it’s many cultures.

My recent trip was in July taking my grand daughter to Germany on a Trafalgar Tour called ” The Best of Germany. ”

Over each of the past 8 years, I have taken a large group of Line Dancers on a Caribbean Cruise. I have also been on many Apple Vacation trips over the years to Mexico, Jamaica, Punta Cana, Costa Rica and Hawaii.

I have taken 3 different river cruises in Europe recently and discovered they are my favorite.

Janet Thomas
Virtuoso Advisor

Based In: Hoffman Estates, IL
Selling Travel Since
: 1985
Languages: English

Interests:
Air Travel, Art & Architecture, Escorted Tours, History & Culture, Independent Tours

My Background

I have always loved to travel, but I was really bitten by the travel bug when I traveled to Europe with my college choir.  Since then, I have traveled all over the world.

I specialize in group travel, but I love to put together independent trips as well.

Susan Valentino
Virtuoso Advisor

Based In: Hoffman Estates, IL
Selling Travel Since
: 2005
Languages: English
Destination Specialties: Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, Belize, Bhutan, Costa Rica, France, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom
Alliance Programs: VAST – Virtuoso Active & Specialty Travel

Interests:
Adventure, Food & Wine, History & Culture, River Cruising, Safari

My Background

In my first life, I was a commercial Interior Designer in Chicago. The design process I learned as a designer I bring to the table as a Virtuoso travel advisor:

  1. A Creative & Collaborative Process. I believe the best results will occur when planning travel is collaborative process between you and me.
  2. Form Follows Function & Value. Understanding what you want, how you travel and what you want to accomplish will ultimately lead to your best vacation value.

What kind or traveler are you? Let’s find out together, I enjoy a challenge!