Meet The Team

A.J. Rick Mazza

President and CEO, American Marketing Group

A travel industry visionary for more than half a century, Rick is the founder, president and CEO of TRAVELSAVERS and its parent company American Marketing Group. He has been a tireless advocate for the success of the independent travel advisor and has guided the creation of 19 pioneering and highly successful companies that have advanced the industry.

Rick founded AMG in 1970 to serve and strengthen the travel agency community. AMG encompasses TRAVELSAVERS, the first marketing group for travel advisors, and NEST, the first and only marketing group for independent home-based agencies. Both networks were bold new concepts and business models that organized agencies into cooperatives, offered support, and pooled their buying power to compete against larger agencies.

TRAVELSAVERS and NEST are now marketing powerhouses of more than 3,000 independently owned agencies with over 25,000 advisors. Through innovative technology, services, and programs, AMG’s 17 other companies also support the profitability and growth of independent travel advisors and agencies. Today, AMG companies generate more than $20 billion in annual sales.

Prior to starting TRAVELSAVERS, Rick owned a Diners Club travel agency based in his hometown of Brooklyn, NY. He originally trained as a civil engineer and spent many years in the steel and construction business.

A widely respected trailblazer, Rick has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to the travel industry. He was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Travel Advisors for his creativity, dedication and inspiration. Rick also served as President of the Diners Club Franchisee Organization and co-founded the American Travel Affairs Council.

Rick enjoys traveling the world with his family, especially his grandchildren. Two of his favorite destinations are Hawaii and the European Alps. He’s passionate about cruising as well as shopping in Paris, London and Rome. Rick’s top dining destinations are the Normandy region of France, Campania region of Italy, Bavaria region of Germany and Argentina, for its barbecue.

Kathryn Mazza-Burney

President

Kathryn brings over 30 years of sales and agency relationship management to her role as Chief Sales Officer for TRAVELSAVERS and The Affluent Traveler Collection and President of NEST. She is responsible for growing the membership base and managing the strategic sales direction for the divisions as well.

Kathryn also oversees the day-to-day quality assurance system with a keen focus on ways to improve each agency’s financial success. One of the keys to the TRAVELSAVERS and NEST quality assurance program is the North American Business Analyst team, which Kathryn played an instrumental role in establishing. This team, the first and only group of its kind within the travel consortium space, works hand in hand with each agency to review its business and create customized sales and marketing plans to make them more profitable. Kathryn is passionately involved with AMG’s charitable causes including Autism Speaks.

Kathryn is a river cruising devotee and godmother to a river cruise ship. Her favorite itinerary is the Rhine, as she is passionate about wine. A cruise along the Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia, where Kathryn vividly recalls the monks chanting across the river, was a powerful, moving experience. Her fondest family travel memory is going on safari in South Africa with her son, an animal lover.

Nicole Mazza

Chief Marketing Officer

As Chief Marketing Officer, Nicole manages all marketing and supplier relations initiatives for TRAVELSAVERS, The Affluent Traveler Collection and NEST. Her responsibilities include developing and maintaining relationships with preferred suppliers and establishing and implementing inbound marketing programs that deliver leads, boost sales and maximize profits for the groups’ 3,000-plus travel agencies and preferred suppliers.

Nicole has extensive experience with travel agency and preferred supplier relationships, integrated marketing and promotions, strategic planning and brand awareness. She was instrumental in developing the publishing division of American Marketing Group. Under her guidance as publisher, both The Affluent Traveler, an international luxury travel magazine, and JOURNEYS, a consumer travel magazine, have been honored as award-winning publications. As well, Nicole spearheaded innovative custom solutions and lifestyle marketing campaigns for TRAVELSAVERS, The Affluent Traveler Collection and NEST.

Nicole’s favorite travels so far include Egypt, Africa and the Galapagos Islands. She is passionate about cruising the world’s rivers and road tripping with her family through the US national park system, the US coastlines and the backroads of Europe.

Wayne

Wayne Spector

Senior Vice President

With an extensive background in the travel industry spanning over 16 years, coupled with eight years of experience as a business owner in unrelated fields, Wayne brings a wealth of expertise to the NEST team. He is keenly attuned to the unique needs and aspirations of NEST's highly motivated members.

Wayne adheres to a set of four core principles that have consistently contributed to enhancing the profitability of numerous companies: Excellent Service, Retention, Growth, and Profitability. These principles serve as the bedrock upon which he assists his clients. Wayne's educational background includes a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management with a concentration in Communications and Marketing.

Rosemary Sarkis

Senior Business Analyst

Rosemary is a highly accomplished Senior Business Analyst with NEST since 2006. She works hands on with affiliated agencies to train, grow and retain relationships and uncover opportunities. Rosemary’s impressive career spans over 35 years in the travel industry. Her extensive experience encompasses various facets of the industry, including both working on the advisor and the supplier side, making her a true expert at what she does.

Rosemary’s dedication to understanding client challenges and delivering outstanding customer service makes her an invaluable asset. Her passion for the travel industry and her wealth of experience continue to drive success and innovation with NEST agency affiliates. Rosemary has been recognized three times as a Top Supplier Sales Rep by Travel Agent magazine.

Jen Duckworth

Business Analyst

With a travel career spanning over 25 years, Business Analyst Jen Duckworth brings innovative leadership, strategic acumen, and dedication to excellence to NEST. She builds close partnerships with NEST-affiliated advisors, offering them unparalleled service to ensure greater success.

Before NEST, Jen served as Vice President of Product Development at Smart Travel Group, marketing new products to advisors through digital and online channels. Her other roles there included managing B2C operations, orchestrating conferences, overseeing the call center and leading an advisor recruitment program, which won Travel Weekly’s "Best Training" award. Prior to Smart Travel Group, Jen amassed a wealth of experience at organizations including American Express Platinum Travel, Steigenberger Hotels and Morris Air, in roles ranging from specialized travel counseling to sales and marketing management.

Serra Wheeler

Business Analyst

Serra brings a pure love of igniting growth as well as a unique perspective to her role as a Business Analyst. She owned a NEST-affiliated home-based host travel agency for more than 15 years, which gives her a special understanding of advisor needs. Serra is skilled at building close connections with advisors while fostering their success. Her commitment to NEST agencies extends beyond analyzing and planning growth options. Serra also acts as a personalized coach and support system, showing affiliates how to benefit from NEST’s array of programs and products.

With a background in computer science, she assists agencies with data analysis to provide key insights into the health of their business. Serra also works to bring on new agencies that can expand to new heights with all that NEST has to offer.  

Nicholas Burney

Account Manager, NEST Plus

Nicholas plays a key role in onboarding and supporting NEST Plus advisors. His account management responsibilities include registering new advisors with partners as well as providing ongoing assistance through day-to-day interactions with advisors. Nicholas’s interpersonal abilities enable him to work closely with advisors and staff throughout the account creation and management process. He is enthusiastic about contributing to NEST and the success of its advisors during a period of strong growth.  

Prior to his position with NEST, Nicholas leveraged his computer skills to update American Marketing Group’s tripXpress platform, which lets advisors search, build and book trips easily in one place. Nicholas is passionate about travel and names a South Africa trip as his most meaningful vacation memory. He prized his time on safari as well as with people in a traditional village, who shared their culture and way of life. Nicholas is also an avid snowboarder and baseball player, competing at a high school and collegiate level.  

The NEST Advantage

NEST Products and Services

State-of-the-art Technologymore_vert
State-of-the-art Technologyclose

You can rely on our technology to customize marketing programs and solutions  tailored to your needs.

Our technology ensures you are covered in all areas to seamlessly reach your clientele and offers the best, most competitive pricing.

Read More >

Powerful Partnershipsmore_vert
Powerful Partnershipsclose

We've spent more than four decades building solid relationships with the top suppliers. Our partnerships allow us the ability to negotiate competitive pricing that is passed on to our agents.

Read More >

NEST is here to help

 

450 Agency Members

Strong and growing

Dedicated Business Analyst

Helping you become more profitable

Home-Based and Proud

Since 2004

NEST
 71 Audrey Ave, Oyster Bay, NY 11771
 888-245-6378
  info@jointhenest.com

CAREERS
For information on career opportunities at NEST:
 888-245-6378
  info@jointhenest.com

MEDIA INQUIRIES
  media@jointhenest.com