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Leigh Elizabeth Israel

Leigh Elizabeth Israel
(President)

Leigh Elizabeth Israel joined Avondale Travel in March 2013. Leigh was born into the travel industry (her father founded Avondale Travel Bureau, once one of the nation’s largest travel agencies). By the time, she was 18 years old, she had extensively traveled and cruised most of the world.

Upon graduating from the University of North Florida, with a BBA in marketing, Leigh began her career managing sales, marketing, advertising, and client relationships for a small business marketing company. This experience, and her love for fashion, led her to work in the fashion industry, but she always knew her passion was in the travel business.  Leigh applies her knowledge of sales, marketing, advertising and client relationships to the everyday operations of Avondale Travel.

Outside of the office, Leigh is very involved in the local community. She currently sits on UNF’s Coggin College of Business board, and participates in activities with WBO (Women Business Owners).


Sandy Harbison

Sandy Harbison
(Managing Director)

Sandy’s love for travel started as a young girl traveling all over the country with her family, whether it was for vacation or relocating due to her Dad’s military career. In 1984, Lou Black, Founder and CEO of Avondale Travel, hired Sandy after he was impressed with her Sales Skills. Lou gave her the opportunity to use those skills to sell travel, and she has now been in the business for over 30 years. Sandy’s career has included both Corporate Travel Management and Luxury Travel Planning. She has had the opportunity to travel to over four continents, fourteen countries, and twenty eight states.


Cindy Webb Payne
(Associate Advisor)

Cindy is a Jacksonville native with a passion to see new places and things, which had developed when she began traveling as a child. She has experience in real estate marketing and sales, and is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism. Travel has given Cindy, the opportunity to learn about the world, its people and cultures. She has traveled to over three continents, including Australia, Europe and North America. Cindy is also a member of the Jacksonville Junior League, and the Junior League Beaches Sustainers. Cindy tailors customized itinerary travel plans for leisure, corporate, and non-profit clients.


Jeannie Wyllie

Jeannie Wyllie
(Associate Advisor)

Jeannie Wyllie wasn’t ready for full retirement after completing 32 years working for the federal government. Jeannie joined the Avondale Travel family in April 2005, and has since, completed many extensive courses to become a Master Cruise Counselor. Jeannie specializes in river and ocean cruising as well as group travel.


Kristina Bonilla
(Associate Advisor)

Kristina Bonilla began daydreaming of travel at the age of twelve. She took her first trip out of the country while in college, and has been passionate about travel ever since. After receiving her BA degree in Psychology from Flagler College, Kristina began working as a behavior therapist with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities. She decided to combine her passion for working with children with ASD and travel by specializing in special needs vacations.


Kyra Fox

Kyra Fox
(Director of Corporate Travel)

Kyra has always had a passion for travel, history, different cultures, and art. Since becoming a Travel Advisor in 1985, her passion and interest for Europe has grown tremendously. With some of her family living in Scandinavia, Kyra has become very familiar with Sweden and its culture. Kyra enjoys visiting the U.S. National parks and with its diverse topography, she has visited majority of the US. Kyra’s specialty is both corporate and air travel. She loves assisting clients with airfare, cars, and hotels.


Sue Hartley

Sue Hartley
(Associate Advisor)

Sue’s career in the travel industry started in 1988. Along with experience in handling travel for the government/military, corporate, and leisure clients, being a military spouse, Sue had the opportunity to live all over the U.S. Sue has visited most of the Caribbean islands, U.S. states (including Alaska and Hawaii), and continues to extensively travel internationally. Through her desire to travel and learn about new cultures, new environments and areas, Sue feels that travel opens our eyes to a better understanding and knowledge of our world and all of its people. Whether it is travel for business, special occasions, celebrations, or family vacations, listening to the wants and desires of her clients, and exceeding their expectations is what keeps Sue’s passion alive. She is fortunate to have long and loyal clients, and also friends who continue to trust her to take care of their travel needs. Sue also loves receiving new travel clients through referrals, meetings, and/or calls.


Tammie DeMello

Tammie DeMello
(Luxury Travel Advisor)

Tammie began working in the travel industry for Avondale Travel in 1986. She began her travel career by handling air, hotel, and car reservations for top corporate accounts such as Prudential, Merrill Lynch and the Jax Port. Throughout Tammie’s Corporate Travel career, she always booked leisure expeditions for family and friends. The passion of putting together every aspect of travel for leisure clients has led her transition from being a corporate travel advisor to a leisure travel advisor. Tammie enjoys helping others plan their vacations, and always looks forward to hearing all of the fun, thrilled adventures her clients enjoyed while on a holiday. Tammie’s specialties are Hawaii, honeymoons, cruising and family vacations.


Zack Luders
(Luxury Travel Advisor)

Zack recently moved to Jacksonville from West Michigan after completing his BS in Hospitality and Tourism Management, with an emphasis in Tourism from Grand Valley State University. His move to Jacksonville was with hope of a new adventure, new experiences, and some warmer weather. Zack gives a lot of credit to his dad for inspiring his passion for travel at an early age. From close to all of the states in the U.S. (including Hawaii) to multiple destinations in Mexico, Zack has experienced a lot, and is looking forward to experiencing more of the world in the future.