About Us

Seeing a need for highly targeted, premium direct mail reaching high net-worth yachters, Treasure Chest hit the market nearly 30 years ago, featuring unique luxury travel experiences.

The original database of 100,000 was created via lifestyle, demographic and psychographic modeling. Extraordinary consumer response and more travel companies raising their hands to participate led to an expanded portfolio showcasing inspiring travel experiences all over the world. Soon, it was time to update the company name to properly reflect what we were so proudly promoting—The World’s Greatest Vacations.

Today, our proprietary, highly targeted omni-channel database of 1.1 million active travelers is the gold standard for qualified, active vacation travelers. These passionate consumers are reached by premium direct mail synchronized with millions of digital impressions.

We know what works for the travel market and our clients’ continuous and consistent successes allow us to offer something that no one else in advertising can—guaranteed success.

Simplicity, effectiveness, passion, accountability and partnership are our hallmarks. Our team is driven by a true desire to help our partners be their very best. Your success is our ultimate goal.

Say hello to The World’s Greatest Vacation’s team:

Richard Shane

Founder

Richard Shane

Founder and CEO of The World’s Greatest Vacations, Richie has earned a reputation as a luxury travel marketing expert through his many years of industry experience. Treasure Chest as launched based on a foundation of knowledge from Madison Avenue and strategic planning for American Express Travel, Trans World Airlines as well as packaged goods, market research, and management.

Richie’s inspiring personal story has also had a tremendous impact on The World’s Greatest Vacations. The first 20 years of Treasure Chest, Richie as having 20 seizures each month. In all, over 3,000 seizures for 22 years until brain surgery blessed him being one of only a handful of people cured of epilepsy. His greatest passion is earning that blessing, largely through FACES (Finding A Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures), and has run 8 marathons in NYC and Jerusalem raising money and awareness for the disorder.

A graduate of Syracuse University, Richie played semi-professional baseball, and splits his time between NYC, Los Angeles and Aspen.

Favorite destination: Port hopping in the Mediterranean and Adriatic.

His incredible story and unwavering positivity have been featured by news outlets throughout the country. Check out the video library to hear directly from Richie about his experience and the impact it’s had on his business.

A recent follow up about Shane’s medical miracle and how it has impacted The World’s Greatest Vacations.

Featured on ABC Eyewitness News

Captain Peter Philpott

Chief Information Officer

Captain Peter Philpot - WGV Team

Captain Peter Philpott’s nautical career had humble beginnings as a Navigating Cadet on cargo ships at 17 years old. Realizing the sea was his calling, his hard work and passion saw him rise up to Officer Ranking by the time he was only 27. He then took the helm in the ocean cruising industry, commanding numerous impressive vessels throughout his career including his current post as Captain of the Queen Mary 2, the most famous passenger liner in the world today. Recently retired, Captain Philpott frequently writes for The World’s Greatest Vacations and has sailed aboard our partners’ vessels, writing, video blogging and consulting on their behalf.

Michal Makaruk

Chief Digital Officer

A 20-year internet marketing veteran, Michal’s expertise is in email and social media marketing for luxury products and services. For the last 10 years, he has focused on digital marketing for luxury travel and retail specifically in both the United States and Europe.

Jens-Uwe Weidner

Vice President, International Markets

Jens’ two decades of travel experience has created a deep understanding of the opportunities, challenges and nuances of the industry, a knowledge base that is invaluable to his role in overseeing international growth for The World’s Greatest Vacations. An avid traveler himself, Jens is also a talented photographer and videographer and has helped create powerful content for many of our clients.

Strategic Advisors

The company you keep. The World’s Greatest Vacations’ strategic advisors are an all-star team of industry veterans available to provide valuable expertise, insights, and direction. In addition to seeing the successful WGV platform work firsthand, and their bountiful knowledge is priceless. Consultation with one or more is available to our partners.

John Delaney

John Delaney

With more than 30 years in executive travel and hospitality roles, John’s industry experience is as extensive as it is impressive. His strong finance background, including spending six years running the Financial Planning & Analysis department at Disneyland, was foundational to his achieving success in each of his roles, pushing boundaries but always with a focus on the bottom line. Much of his career has been spent in the cruising industry in positions such as VP of Revenue Marketing at Holland America Line, SVP of Global Marketing & Sales for the ultra-luxury cruise line Seaborn, and most recently as President of award-winning Windstar Cruise Line.

Captain Peter Philpot

Captain Peter Philpot

Captain Peter Philpott’s nautical career had humble beginnings as a Navigating Cadet on cargo ships at 17 years old. Realizing the sea was his calling, his hard work and passion saw him rise up to Officer Ranking by the time he was only 27. He then took the helm in the ocean cruising industry, commanding numerous impressive vessels throughout his culminating as Captain of the Queen Mary 2, the most famous passenger liner in the world today. Recently retired, Captain Philpott frequently writes for The World’s Greatest Vacations and has sailed aboard our partners’ vessels, writing, video blogging and consulting on their behalf.

Joni Rein

Joni Rein

Joni Rein, President of Rein Global Consulting, heads a talented team that works with leaders to optimize their national and international resources and portfolios, principally in the areas of margin improvement and expansion & diversification. She previously served as vice president of worldwide sales for Carnival Cruise Line, where she launched Carnival’s first concentrated push for international expansion. As Carnival’s VP of U.S. field sales, Joni headed implementation of CRM systems that delivered large-scale sales and profit improvements. Her prior experience includes both executive and management roles in sales, marketing, and business development with The Scenic Group, Costa Cruises, Online Vacation Center and Renaissance Cruises.

Ken Jones

Ken Jones

As former CMO of Carnival Corp, Ken led all cross-brand activation and marketing efforts across portfolio of nine World’s Leading Cruise Line brands including Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Cunard, P&O UK, P&O Australia, AIDA and Costa brands. He is well versed in financial metrics, team building, talent evaluation, on-boarding, the development and the execution of strategic plans to grow business, revenue, resources and sales. With a keen understanding of how to evaluate and grow an existing business, department or enterprise, his specialties include: brand building, individual commitment, internal communications, social media and performance metrics, marketing and strategic development.

Gordon Ho

Gordon Ho

As former CMO and sales head at Princess Cruises and EVP of Marketing & Technology at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, Gordon is a leader in digital transformation, experience design, direct-to-consumer models, social media and global marketing strategies. Gordon launched Discovery at Sea, bringing Discovery Channel and Animal Planet experiences to Princess, new culinary experiences and an expanded Princess Influencer and social media program driving #1 industry earned media coverage. Spearheading Princess’s “personalization at scale” initiative and new marketing technology solutions drove double-digit ROI improvements in advertising and e-commerce conversions. Gordon led Disney’s digital marketing and content strategies, the industry’s #1 CRM loyalty program, Disney Movie Rewards, and #1 subscription program, Disney Movie Club.

Brian Patrick Powell

Brian Patrick Powell

A breadth of roles and experience make Brian one of the more rounded and passionate travel industry professionals. With a 30+ year career with a major airline, and large and boutique cruiselines, his executive knowledge and experience in Reservations, Sales, Customer Journey/Loyalty, Product Development, Marketing, Revenue Management and vendor relations allows him to successfully piece clients’ big picture together. Always an engaging presenter and listener, his love for travel is always present. Starting his career in sales management with American Airlines, Brian took his talents to RCCL for over 20 years leading several teams at the executive level, and then most recently served as CMO of AQSC.

Paul Wiseman

Paul Wiseman

Paul Wiseman is an Australian-born, master’s-educated Tourism and Hospitality (service) industry executive with over 30 years’ experience in airlines, hotels, cruise lines and tour operators, half of it in the “C”-Suite. In 2017, he launched his own coaching, training and consulting company, Partner Learning Solutions. Combining his experience and passions for self-development, he partners with clients of all industries to learn, explore, and create solutions to people and process problems that hamper businesses and individuals from achieving their best. Along with being a certified practitioner in personality assessment and many other tools, Wiseman most recently upgraded his services through the UC Berkeley Executive Coaching and International Coaching Federation programs.

Hugh Riley

Hugh Riley

The former Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Hugh Riley is a Partner of The Portfolio Marketing Group. With over thirty years of tourism and marketing communications experience, he is an ardent supporter of environmentally responsible tourism and an advocate for visitor satisfaction. He developed major tourism industry initiatives for his native country Barbados and for the wider Caribbean, identifying key market segments by niche, geography, and productivity and representing clients’ interests at the highest levels. Meeting the tourism development objectives, significant elements of that overall responsibility were international marketing and global advocacy, promoting the assets, and protecting the rights of communities and destinations of all sizes whose primary source of revenue is tourism.

Gil Antolin

Gil Antolin

President and Founder of Luxury World Traveler has visited 71 countries, 250+ luxury resorts and has 10 years experience in social media marketing for travel brands and tourism boards. More than 1,000 successful collaborations with luxury hospitality companies world wide. Featured in TedX, Forbes, Huff Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, Maxim, Buzz Feed and Wealth TV. This expertise is the perfect strategic partner for WGV and available to assist in our partners’ social media and production, needs.

Jon Bond

Jon Bond

Recognized as one of marketing’s top thought leaders, Jon’s impressive 35-year career includes co-founder of several successful agencies, a published author and an expert industry speaker. Co-Founder and CEO of award-winning Kirshenbaum Bond and Partners (KBP); former CEO of Big Fuel, one of the world’s largest social media agencies; and more. His leadership included clients including BMW, Citi, Victoria’s Secret, Target, Wendy’s, Coca Cola Company, General Motors, Gatorade, Chase, and T-Mobile. Jon is also a key-note speaker, lecturing at Harvard Business School, Columbia, NYU and more.

Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith

Lauren is Founder of ecommerce shop, SustainableTravelAndLiving.com, and principal of Lamplight Strategies, a consultancy group offering senior-level sales, marketing and sustainability services. She has spent the last decade in the travel industry, starting with tenure as VP of Marketing and Interim Global CMO for Trafalgar, Costsaver and Brendan Vacations, then leading key projects for other international travel brands as a consultant. Backed by career experience across start-up and Fortune 500 companies alike, and passion for “the intersection of creativity and analytics” she offers clients support with strategic planning, research and data analysis, brand management, UX/UI and customer journey design, CSR/sustainability program design and more.

Michal Makaruk

Michal Makaruk

A 20-year internet marketing veteran, Michal’s expertise is in email and social media marketing for luxury products and services. For the last 10 years, he has focused on digital marketing for luxury travel and retail specifically in both the United States and Europe.

Jens-Uwe Weidner

Jens-Uwe Weidner

Jens is based in Zurich, Switzerland where he heads the international growth of The World’s Greatest Vacations. His 20 years in 10+ countries in management positions for Lufthansa and other multi-national companies brings unique perspective and valuable experience to The World’s Greatest Vacations’ partners. Jens’ canny analysis and optimization of business processes and the effective execution and implementation of new topics are his hallmarks. Technology & Digitalization “Evangelist” – usage of many different technologies and software over the last 30 years always “growing with” and “into” new technologies. An accomplished photographer/videographer, Jens is also a resource to shoot, throughout Europe.