Our expert staff has been all over the world. We would like to share our experiences with you. Feel free to contact any one of us with questions you may have.

Tom Diecks

Tom is the founder and owner of Greater Pittsburgh Travel, established in 1986.  He has been in the travel industry since 1979.  Tom has extensive experience in all phases of the travel agency industry, and has traveled to many destinations around the world, especially the Caribbean.  Some of his favorite destinations are; St. Maarten, Riviera Maya,  Mexico, Jamaica, Alaska, South Beach, San Francisco, Europe, the Mediterranean and most of all Italy. Tom has recently returned from escorting a very successful tour of Ireland. Other recent trips include Paris, Cannes and the French Riviera, Cancun Mexico, Spain, St. Maarten, and an amazing tour of Cuba. Upcoming trips include a Steeler group to San Diego, and a tour of Sandals Ochi in Jamaica. Upcoming potential group tour destinations for 2016 to include; Cuba, a European river cruise and a return to Italy.

Tom is an active owner and can be found most days behind his desk.  He is involved in charitable organizations including Exceptional Athletes of the Robinson Township Girls Softball League and Special Olympics.  Tom is also a board member for the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Alliance of Pennsylvania, and Cribs for Kids

tdiecks@greaterpittsburghtravel.com

Trish Kramer

Trish has 40 years of experience in the travel industry.  She has been with Greater Pittsburgh Travel since August of 2011 and plays an active role as a Travel Consultant.  Trish started her career in travel during the summer following her high school graduation. She has extensive group and meeting travel planning experience to compliment her leisure travel skills. 

Trish has traveled to many exciting places such as Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Hawaii, Bermuda, Paris, Germany, Canary Islands, The Bahamas, and many other Caribbean islands.  Her favorite vacations are Hawaii, Bermuda, Caribbean Cruises and Las Vegas

tkramer@greaterpittsburghtravel.com

Traci Elder

Traci has worked in the travel industry for 25 years.  She started her career in travel one week after graduating with high honors from the Boyd School in the winter of 1985.  She has extensive corporate travel planning, along with working with VIP’s of several different companies and conducting travel seminars. 

Traci has traveled to places around the world including Hawaii, London, Ireland, St. Thomas, Cancun, The Bahamas and many more. 

Traci is also looking forward to traveling to Belize at sometime in the near future.

telder@greaterpittsburghtravel.com

Derek Schemonitz

Travel has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember! I have been lucky enough to travel to various places all over the world and I love to help my clients plan their dream vacations. I have extensive knowledge of the Disney brand and All-Inclusive vacations.

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Walt Disney World for their Travel Agent Education Program and I am now the Disney Specialist at Greater Pittsburgh Travel! Whenever you book your magical Disney Vacation through me I am able to help with resort recommendations, activating your Disney account, dining reservations, magic band customization, FastPass+ selections and much more! I had clients who booked a last minute Disney trip and wanted to leave within two weeks. I was able to confirm hard to get reservations for them at Cinderella's Royal Table, Be Our Guest, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, and Chef Mickey's!


Some of my favorite destinations I have had the opportunity to visit are:

  • Disney World
  • Italy
  • London
  • Cancun
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica

I recently took a motorcoach tour throughout Italy and I was blown away by this beautiful country. I took a pizza making class in Florence, toured the Colosseum by entering through the same gates that the Gladiators used, enjoyed dinner at a working Tuscan vineyard, was serenaded on a gondola in Venice, and ended the trip at a hilltop hotel in Assisi that provided panoramic views of the Italian countryside. It was a once in a lifetime experience filled with great food, wine, and friendly Italian locals!


My certifications include:

  • Disney College of Knowledge
  • AMResorts Master Agent
  • Universal Orlando Resort Specialist
  • Certified Sandals Specialist
  • Jamaica Travel Specialist
  • Iberoster Destination Wedding Specialist
  • Globus Tour Expert
  • Monograms Booking Agent
  • Avalon Waterways Agent

ldiecks@greaterpittsburghtravel.com

Derek Schemonitz

Derek joined us from Ponzio International Travel in the 2012 merger.  Derek has been in the travel industry since 2000, bringing 12 years of international experience as an international leisure specialist.  Derek managed Ponzio International Travel since 2006.  Specializing in European & Asian travel, before joining us as our International Certified Tourism Specialist.


Derek is officially certified by or as:

  • ENIT: Tourism Board of Italy
  • Tourism Board of France
  • Tourism Board of Greece
  • Tourism Board of Germany
  • Tourism Board of Britain
  • Tourism Board of Switzerland
  • TurEspana: Tourism Board of Spain
  • JNTO: Japan National Tourism Org.
  • CNTO: China National Tourism Office
  • KTO: South Korean Tourism Org.
  • Taiwan Tourism Board
  • Australian Tourism Board
  • Celebrity Cruise Consultant
  • Las Vegas Certified
  • Norwegian Cruise Lines Specialist
  • AM Resorts Master Agent
  • Globus/Monograms/Avalon Waterways Expert

He holds Western European Destination Specialist, Italy Certified Specialist & France Certified Specialist certification by the The Travel Institute.  He has brought with him a wealth of international expert knowledge, including contacts/connections from all over the world. 

Since joining us in Dec 2012, Derek has handled planning hundreds of customized trips, tours, and cruises to: Italy, France, UK, Spain, Germany, Greece, Central & Eastern Europe, South & Central America, Mexico, Caribbean Islands, Hawaii, South Korea, China, The Philippines, Australia & New Zealand.  His clients return from these customized itineraries extremely pleased and with great satisfaction.

In Derek's extensive travels he has been through Italy, Greece & the Greek Islands, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Alaska, The Caribbean, Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore & Hong Kong. 
He
specializes in building custom itineraries worldwide, but also enjoys finding the perfect escorted tour, vacation or cruise for his clients.  He enjoys traveling independently, but has traveled on escorted tours, cruise, river cruise & mega yacht lines.  His favorite cities are metropolises like London, Paris, Rome, Athens & Singapore but loves being out in the countryside or seaside as well.

Derek's most recent travel journey, in his own words:

"I've returned recently from two different trips. The first of which was a 16 day Avalon Waterways river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam in October/November. We sailed up the Danube, then on the Main, and finally on the Rhine up to Amsterdam. We spent one pre night in Budapest before the cruise, and 1 post night in Amsterdam after. In between the cruise sailed through Slovakia, Austria, Germany and Netherlands. Favorite Highlights of the trip included Budapest, Vienna and Amsterdam, among other smaller villages and towns along the river. Overall an amazing experience with Avalon, and highly recommended.

Our second trip was a beach vacation to Mexico's Riviera Maya for 4 nights in February. Where we spent an extended weekend getaway at the luxurious Adults Only, Secrets Maroma. Maroma Beach is one of the top 10 beaches in the world, and after seeing it first hand, it truly is the best beach I ever been on. Secrets Maroma was fantastic with it's upscale all inclusive dining and drinks, including room service. Great shows and entertainment daily, you cannot go wrong at this beautiful resort!

 

Whether you are looking to travel to London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, or Rio de Janerio, your travel arrangements will be handled with the utmost personalized attention to detail.   Hotels, transfers, guides, drivers, museum reservations, dining recommendations, opera tickets, train tickets, visas and more.  Wherever it is you want to go, whatever it is you wish to see/do, Derek will build the perfect itinerary catered to your personal travel desires.  Contact Derek to arrange your absolutely perfect itinerary, he will make your travel dreams come true!

dschemonitz@greaterpittsburghtravel.com
Derek's Travel Website
Derek's Clients Travel Feedback
Derek's Travel Portfolio Collection