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Dan Hornby, Director
Talk to him about: websites and exchange rates
Having lived in Estonia for 7 years during the company's formative period, Dan relocated back to the UK to manage TCBC's growth. Based in the Cheadle office, Dan travels regularly, meeting both clients and suppliers in various locations worldwide and occasionally heading back to Estonia to check on the Tallinn office staff :)
After 9 years studying Russian, followed by 15 years leading educational school tours across the globe, Dan was well placed to start the niche business of running school trips to Russia which has since developed into TCBC School Tours.
“I’m delighted with the success of TCBC and the unexpected way in which it became a family business. It has always been my main goal to offer each client who travels with us the same high level of service we have become known for. To this extent we are very conscious of managing our growth responsibly. I must admit however I still get the same buzz when a new school commits to travelling with us - I know they have made the right decision and we’ll do everything possible to prove this!”
Favourite City: Istanbul
"A wondrous, exotic city that left a big impression on me. The warm people, the delicious food, the stunning scenery, the historic sights all played their part. From drinking mint tea and playing backgammon on the streets on a balmy afternoon to sailing across the Bosphorus from Europe to Asia, this city offers a truly cultural experience to any visitor."
Ben Hornby, Director
Talk to him about: drums and professionally taken photographs
Ben was the first person to join Dan in the early years. With a similar background in Russian and several years of sales experience, he was the perfect choice to help grow the business after the very positive and encouraging beginning. He is based in Manchester and runs our Cheadle office.
Ben is involved in all aspects of the business, but enjoys communicating with clients most of all. “We form strong relationships with our clients many of whom we have known for years. I believe the emphasis we place on the personal touch, both on the phone and when we meet teachers in person at their schools, is what sets us aside."
Favourite city: Berlin
"I love this city and am always looking for excuses to go back. It offers a fascinating mix of history, politics, culture and entertainment, plus the U-Bahn makes it so easy to get around. It’s easy to understand why this is one of our most popular destinations."
Talk to her about: who's the real boss
When Diane joined TCBC she cemented the status of “family business”. After a distinguished career in sales, Diane was persuaded to leave her position and team up with her sons to help grow the company. She has since cultivated a database that any educational tour company would be proud of and no opportunity gets missed.
“With growth comes extra responsibilities and it’s more important than ever that we continue to manage our clients’ expectations as closely as we always have. It’s a delight to be a part of a successful family business - you are constantly motivated to do well!”
Favourite city: New York
"I fell in love with New York the moment I arrived. The excitement, the hustle and bustle, the intoxicating atmosphere all appeal to me. It has a little of everything and I will be going back to explore further!"
Talk to her about: the gym and baking
Joanne has built our Flights Department up from scratch and now manages every aspect of the flights side of our operations. She communicates directly with airlines on a daily basis to ensure a smooth process, from initial enquiry through to booking and travel.
Since starting in the Travel and Tourism industry 25 years ago, Joanne has worked in a number of roles ranging from management to customer service to operations. After receiving a degree in Business Studies she worked in Israel for 9 years before settling back in the UK. Jo prides herself on excellent negotiating skills, being superbly organised, and an ability to build strong and lasting relationships with suppliers.
Favourite city: Tel Aviv
“My home from home. A vibrant cosmopolitan city offering an unusual mix of amazing sandy beaches and great shopping, together with a taste of history and culture. A city that never sleeps, with hustle and bustle comparable to New York and one of the best cuisines in the world. There's so much to explore in this fascinating city.”
Talk to her about: fashion and Freddie (her pet dog)
Victoria is our Operations Manager and is based in our Tallinn office. She is responsible for the logistics and planning of your tour and will no doubt be in touch with you prior to departure to finalise your itinerary. Victoria often travels to our destinations to meet with suppliers, so don't be surprised if you meet her on tour!
Victoria spent 4 years studying in Denmark and is delighted to be putting her degree in Tourism and International Hospitality to good use. “I’m lucky to be using my education in tourism at work. I enjoy helping to plan the tours knowing that students will have a great time!”
Favourite city: Barcelona
"I fell in love with Barcelona the first time I visited. It's difficult to put it into words because I liked pretty much everything! The incredible architecture, the festive colourful atmosphere, the distinctive cuisine (paella is my favourite), the fact that you are surrounded by the sea and mountains, not to mention the glorious weather, all combine to make it a very special place for me."
Talk to her about: computer games and theatres
Mila works closely with Victoria in our Tallinn office, providing assistance with all aspects of tour planning, both pre departure and on tour. Mila also travels to meet with suppliers, something which is handy when visiting Moscow as she gets to meet her family there too!
Originally from Moscow, Mila has two degrees, one in Law, the second in Interpreting, from the prestigious Lomonosov Moscow State University (MGU). This, combined with her subsequent work experience as a PA for 5 years, means she can turn her hand to almost anything and loves paying close attention to all the details involved when planning itineraries and meeting our customers' requirements. Mila says she's "happy to work in a great team and provide the opportunity to discover the amazing world around us.”
Favourite city: Moscow
"There is no place like home. The city may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I’m absolutely sure that everyone can find something special in Moscow. Yes there are big boulevards, people and cars everywhere, huge buildings - at first glance it can appear overwhelming. However, with the right guide, perhaps wandering off the tourist track, you can also find many small cosy streets with quirky buildings and tempting cafés :)
Talk to her about: art and music
Asia is based in our Tallinn office and works with Victoria and Mila planning and carrying out tours from start to finish. She coordinates with suppliers, looks after trip preparations, and communicates with teachers about tour details as they get closer to departure.
After studying Resource Management, Asia found herself working in the service industry where she was able to hone her customer service skills. She joined the TCBC team ready to put those talents to good use. Says Asia, “I’m happy to be in a new industry and using skills gained from past experiences to plan outstanding trips!”
Favourite city: St Petersburg
"St Petersburg is full of museums, creative events and stunning sights, all of which inspire and motivate me. It’s so easy to find myself filled with new, fresh ideas each time I visit the city! I take these home with me where they influence my positive attitude and outlook on life."
Talk to her about: ballroom dancing and karaoke
Nicola's main role at TCBC is tour coordinating, providing a point of contact for all schools and teachers that travel with us. She manages our schools' accounts and tour requests, communicating with teachers daily to make sure they have everything they need.
Nicola comes from a strong travel background. She studied Travel and Tourism, Russian, German and Spanish and has worked in various roles within the industry. She is passionate about providing excellent customer service, being organised and building strong relationships with clients. She has travelled widely, through work and personally but she is most looking forward to visiting new destinations and experiencing exactly what the students do on our tours.
"I have always had a passion for travelling the world and learning about different cultures along the way. Any opportunity to do this is most welcome and luckily I get to visit some of our destinations, such as Russia, working at TCBC. That way I can see for myself what's involved and meet some of our clients on tour. This all goes towards being able to provide the best service for our schools. This is also a great opportunity to improve my Russian, as it has been a while since I've used it!"
Favourite city: Paris
"As soon as I stepped off the plane, I fell in love with Paris. It has everything; interesting culture, great food, bustling nightlife, fascinating sights, intriguing history and amazing fashion. The French language is beautiful and next on my list of things to learn! I'm hoping to go back soon and see the things I didn't get to see the last time, as there's so much to do. My favourite part was seeing the Eiffel Tower's twinkling lights in the evening."
Talk to her about: Bon Jovi and guinea pigs
Rebecca works as a Tour Coordinator alongside Nicola. She also comes from a strong travel background having studied Tourism Management at University and worked in various roles in the industry. She trained as a secondary teacher in Travel, Tourism and Aviation and taught at Newcastle College. However, after a year of teaching, she missed working in the travel industry and joined our team. She has travelled widely both for work and leisure and is always looking for opportunities to experience new destinations and cultures.
"When it comes to world travel, inspiring young minds has always been important to me. This job combines that with my own love of travel. I use every opportunity that I can to explore the world and it's great working for a company that allows me to do this."
Favourite city: Durban
"I love Durban, it has year round sunshine and has miles of sandy beaches. You can drive for an hour up into the mountains or go on a safari drive in the bush. The diversity is incredible - there’s culture, great shopping, adventure, everything. On top of that, the laid back African lifestyle really appeals to me."
Talk to her about: cattle ranches and exotic destinations
Katheryn spent a year as an intern for TCBC before founding an independent consulting firm specialising in school trips to the United States. She now oversees all aspects of TCBC’s America trips and manages the accounts of our international schools, wherever they may be travelling to.
Originally from a small town in Texas, Katheryn now divides her time between several cities in America and Europe. She is a long time lover of all things travel and never turns down an opportunity to explore. Regarding working alongside TCBC, she says "I understand the importance of world travel, especially in an educational context, which is what makes this such a great fit.".
Favourite city: Vientiane, Laos
"On a recent trip to Southeast Asia I visited the tiny, sleepy capital and was more than intrigued by the charm and elegance of the French colonial city. Its boulevards, lined haphazardly with bougainvillea and frangipani trees and empty except during the busiest hours, along with the relaxed night markets on the lazy Mekong river drew me in and encouraged me to extend my visa indefinitely. Here's to dreaming!"