The Best & Brightest

Global Connections is home to some of the most experienced and brightest minds in the travel and leisure industry.

Our executive and management teams average more than 20 years of industry experience and our employees average more than 10 years of employment with Global Connections.

Meet The Executive Team

Tom Lyons

President & CEO  • 

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Tom Lyons

President & CEO  • 

Behind every successful business is a gutsy entrepreneur. At the helm of Global Connections, Inc. is Tom Lyons. Tom’s drive and determination took him from a door-to-door salesman for what was then a buying service in 1975 to co-founder and CEO of what is now Global Connections, Inc., a leading leisure travel company and travel club fulfillment center with the highest member satisfaction in the industry.

Tom is both a successful business owner and humanitarian. In addition to Global Connections, He is co-founder and CEO of TITLE Boxing Club, the fastest growing fitness franchise in the country, a co-owner in Invicta FC, as well as many other small businesses. Next to success, Tom likes nothing more than giving his time, talents and resources, to raise awareness and funds for an array of causes and organizations.

Richard Washburn

CPA, Chief Financial Officer  • 

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Richard Washburn

CPA, Chief Financial Officer  • 

Rick Washburn is partner and founder of Walsh Washburn, LLC and serves as the Chief Financial Officer and tax director for Global Connections and related companies. He is responsible for the management of the accounting department, issuing financial statements, Federal and State tax returns, tax planning, banking relationships and all financing requirements.

He is instrumental in strategic and tactical budget management, cost-benefit analysis, forecasting needs and securing new funding. Rick advises the CEO and ownership, and leads a strong team of professionals to ensure the integrity and the accountability of all of the companies under the Global Connections umbrella.

Prior to founding Walsh Washburn, LLC, Rick was with Deloitte LLP for 15 years where he served as a director in the Kansas City Tax Department.

Frank Zawojski

Chief Information Officer  • 

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Frank Zawojski

Chief Information Officer  • 

Frank Zawojski has been with Global Connections since its inception. He began working with Tom Lyons 23 years ago in sports management before coming onboard when Global Connections opened in 1996.

Today, Frank is responsible for implementing new ideas and solutions, as well as managing the company’s Technology Services Department and Executive Merchandising Services. With more than 30 years of experience in systems analysis and process development, Frank brings his talent for making the impossible not only possible, but profitable.

He has led numerous initiatives designed to provide better functionality and service to Global Connection’s members, partners and affiliates. He led the development of the company’s proprietary software for reservation and inventory control, contract administration, product purchasing and sales, and other web-based application, all specifically designed for Global Connection’s customized travel and buying services.

Cathy Wunder

Chief Operating Officer  • 

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Cathy Wunder

Chief Operating Officer  • 

Catherine Wunder has been with Global Connections since its inception in 1996. She helped launch Global Connections after her successful tenure as vice president of Travel Investors, Inc., where she co-developed the company’s travel club and spearheaded the growth of the company from five to more than 100 employees.

Cathy brings her passion for travel and extensive travel club experience to her current role of Vice President of Operations, in which she is responsible for ensuring projects, people and departmental objectives align with Global Connections’ strategic goals and overall mission, while also developing new business opportunities. Cathy’s many accomplishments include: earning the Bill Sowers Award for outstanding accomplishments in the vacation industry; playing an integral role in opening all of the offices and resorts that have fueled the growth of Global Connections; lecturing at Travel and Tourism college; and serving on the World Conference/Portugal panel for The American Society of Travel Agents.

Melanie Gring

Cheif Strategic Alliances & Brand Officer  • 

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Melanie Gring

Cheif Strategic Alliances & Brand Officer  • 

Melanie Gring joined Global Connections, Inc. in 2004. She is responsible for corporate communication, brand management, and strategic growth of the company through the development and support of its independent distributor sales and marketing model. Melanie also plays an integral role in product development and enhancement.

With more than 40 years of experience in the vacation, travel club and timeshare development industries, Melanie continues to share her expertise through various mentoring opportunities. She has conducted accredited classes and lectures on vacation club membership and ownership as an adjunct professor for Lynn University College of Hospitality Management in Boca Raton, Fla. as well as Lucerne, Switzerland, educating students from around the world.

Dave Dawson

Vice President Resort Acquisitions & Development  • 

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Dave Dawson

Vice President Resort Acquisitions & Development  • 

David M. Dawson is Vice President, Acquisitions and Development, responsible for overseeing the management, acquisition, development, and disposition of Global Connections’ owned inventory of condominium resorts and individual units located throughout the U.S.

David’s real estate career spans more than 30 years in commercial, residential, and resort property management, leasing, and sales. Prior to joining Global Connections he served as Director of Property Management and Acquisitions for Travel Advantage Network.

He is an active member of the ARDA Resort Management and Membership Committees. He also serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Cooperative Association of Resort Exchangers.

Michelle Zimmerman

Vice President Human Resources  • 

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Michelle Zimmerman

Vice President Human Resources  • 

Michelle Zimmerman joined Global Connections, Inc. in 2002 and has been a part of the human resources team ever since. Her goal is to work side-by-side with executive management to help the organization by both acquiring and developing engaged talent devoted to the well-being of Global Connections. Her role is to help bring organizational change that aligns with our company’s mission and goals.

Michelle earned her masters’ degree in science for industrial/organizational psychology as well as obtaining her certification as a senior level human resources person (SPHR). She has been a teacher, instructing on Human Resources and Organizational Change classes for an online degree program and has the opportunity at GCI to do what she loves. That means working as an organizational development expert and working with the leadership of our company to ensure clear reciprocal communication, being a champion for our company’s mission and building programs designed to support company commitment to corporate social responsibility and community involvement.

Chad Lyons

Vice President Information Technology  • 

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Chad Lyons

Vice President Information Technology  • 

Chad Lyons has been a part of the Global Connections, Inc. team since 2005 and works to lead and support the information technology and software engineering divisions. He has more than two decades of computer engineering and programming experience and brings his expertise to Global Connections on a daily basis.

Chad’s focus lies in product development, research, and marketing while helping achieve goals through technology. He uses his technical ability to create programs to help impact everyone positively and to satisfy customers. He is on the forefront of helping Global Connections improve across the board through design and implementation of technologies for websites, determining organizational direction and using his interpersonal savvy to manage complex customer issues.

Kevin Cover

Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing  • 

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Kevin Cover

Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing  • 

Kevin Cover has been with Global Connections since 2018 and brings a detailed background of nearly a decade in the travel industry working in the world of direct sales. His goal in his role with Global is to turn our company into a national household name, synonymous with traveling.

Kevin studied accounting at Adelphi University and is able to apply his keen number sense to sales to help Global Connections attain the most success possible. His competitive nature that has helped him as a collegiate soccer player and win a World Series of Poker event is a true asset to the organization. His career is focused on helping people get the most experiences out of the money they earn. Kevin uses his talent to add to the great values and products that allows Global to make travel affordable to almost anyone and loves helping people experience the world the way they deserve.

Meet The Management Team

Brian Riedel

Director of Software Engineering

Brian Stearns

Director of Information Technology

Carrie Lee

Assistant Controller

Eric Stout

Director of Membership Administration

Kelli Brazier

Regional Manager

Lori Smith

Travel Agency Manager

Miranda Calkins

Contract Administration Manager

Nancy Porter

Assistant Manager, Travel Department

Steven Grecco

Director of Corporate Sales & Marketing

Annie Tumlin

Director of Creative + Digital Marketing