Meet Our Staff


clientuploads/Logos/Sandals Specialist.pngNeelie Kruse, Owner, CTC - Neelie is the president and founder of Cary Travel Express.  She has been in the travel industry for over 36 years and started Cary Travel Express in 1989, making this her 27th year in business.  Her favorite destinations she has traveled to are Hawaii, all over Europe, Africa, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Dubai, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji  and Tahiti. She is also a Sandals Certified Specialist (Lifetime Goldmember since 1998), a Destination Weddings Specialist, AM Resorts Master Agent and a Collette Specialist.  Neelie attributes the 27-year success of her agency to the small town atmosphere and friendly people of Cary. She was honored with the MAST Top Agent Award for the last 9 years and was named by Travel Agent Magazine as a "Top 25 Travel Agent 2013"!  Neelie's staff brings personalized service and personal travel knowledge that their clients find very reassuring.  Neelie served as a director of the Cary Grove Chamber of Commerce for 22 years and is currently serves on the MAST Board. "Even after 36 years in this business, I still LOVE to go to work each day and help create wonderful memories for my clients."  Contact Neelie at :


clientuploads/Logos/RCCL WOW.pngMargaret Merz, Travel Consultant - Margaret is a native of the Cary/Fox River Grove area.  She has been with Cary Travel Express since February 1989.  Her specialty is leisure vacations, honeymoons and cruises.  She has traveled to Hawaii, Costa Rica, the Riviera Maya, Cancun, Ixtapa and Huatulco in Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada, Las Vegas, Alaska, Greece, Turkey and has taken cruises on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, and a UniWorld cruise on the Danube.  Margaret holds the following certifications:  Carnival Cruises, Princess Commodore Agent, Sandals Certified Specialist, Royal Caribbean University Expert Certification, Aruba Certified Agent, Outrigger Resorts Specialist, Apple Vacation Specialist and Destinations Wedding Specialist, Palace Resort Specialist, AM Resorts Master Agent, Hawaii Specialist, RIU Resorts Specialist, UniWorld River Cruise Specialist,  a Louis Cruise Line Specialist, a Rocky Mountaineer Specialist, Collette Specialist and a Paul Gauguin PEARLS specialist.  Margaret is also a seven time recipient of the MAST Outstanding Travel Agent Sales Award. Margaret says "Over  the past 30 years of being a travel agent I have traveled the world and have brought my first hand experience back to my wonderful clients". Contact e-mail:


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Gail Timmer, Travel Consultant - Gail Timmer has been a travel consultant for 28 years.  Gail has traveled to the Canadian Rockies, Cancun, Riviera Maya, Punta Cana, Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, Aruba, Antigua, Grand Cayman, Jamaica  and Costa Rica.  She has traveled extensively in the U.S. to Key West, the West Coast and Disneyworld!  She is a Sandals Certified Specialist, and has been to Sandals St. Lucia, Royal Bahamian, Royal Caribbean, Emerald Bay & Beaches,Turks & Caicos and Ocho Rios.  Gail has a seventeen year old son who is working on his Eagle Scout ranking, and she enjoys assisting in his project.  Gail would like to add " I enjoy finding people their perfect dream vacation"!Contact e-mail:


Carolyn Cuttle, Travel Consultant - Carolyn works part-time here at Cary Travel Express.  She lives in Sun City Huntley and has worked in the travel industry for the last 15 years.  She loves to travel.  With 18 cruises, she is extremely knowledgeable to their unique characteristics.  She has traveled to Europe, China, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Australia, South America as well as many Caribbean islands, Mexico, Costa Rica and Canada.  When asked her favorite travel destination, she has to admit that for sheer relaxation, she loves Tahiti.  Carolyn believes for adventure and learning, there are many options for travelers based on their likes and interests.  She also has an interesting work history.  She has worked with mentally handicapped children and adults, has taught gifted education and pre-school.  She has sold real estate and has been an underwriter for residential mortgages for 15 years.  Carolyn is married and has three daughters and six grandchildren.  She owns a horse that she loves to ride.  Contact e-mail:

 Dana Prichard, Travel Consultant - Dana has been in the travel industry since 1999.  Her travels have included Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Aruba, Jamaica, Punta Cana, Disney World, Las Vegas and Caribbean cruises.  Dana can help make all your vacation dreams come true.  Many of her clients are repeat customers and referrals who have had the time of their lives while on vacation.  Dana can customize any vacation package to the latest and greatest "hot" destination.  Dana also has a great deal of experience working with brides and their destination weddings.  Dana grew up in Cary and attended Cary Grove High School.  She and her husband have five grown daughters, one son-in-law, a grandson and four granddaughters, and resides in Woodstock.  Dana adds " I know there is a little 'exploration' in all of us and I like to help people find and 'explore' what they are dreaming about and turn it into a reality. come and 'explore' the world with Dana!" Contact e-mail:

 Ursula Mata, Travel Consultant - Ursula has worked in the travel industry for 10 years.  She was born/raised in Switzerland, and now lives in Elgin with her husband and two daughters.  One of her passions and specialties is Hawaii.  She concentrates on helping honeymooners, anniversary couples, and families determine which island paradise is best suited to their desires.  She enjoys recommending “off the beaten path” restaurants and activities to make their trip truly memorable.  She also specializes in Mexico, having traveled extensively to the beach resort areas of Cancun, Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa, Panama and is also familiar with Cabo San Lucas and Acapulco as well as some of the colonial historic cities inland.  Ursula has visited the Caribbean Islands of Jamaica, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, and is a Sandals Certified Specialist.  Contact e-mail: 

 Jessica Kruse, Travel Consultant - Jessica has recently moved back to her native Cary after living in Orlando for two years where she worked in the travel industry for Club Wyndham Travel. She has traveled to Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska and many of the Caribbean Islands. Jessy's favorite destination is St. Lucia and her favorite vacation activity is scuba diving. She is a destination wedding and honeymoon specialist and is currently planning her own destination wedding to Punta Cana! Contact email:

Jamie Jones, Travel Consultant- Jamie has been in the travel industry for over 33 years, specializing in planning vacation travel. Her areas of expertise include Mexico and the Caribbean, Northern California, the Hawaiian islands, Big ship cruises, River Boat cruises, Honeymoons and custom European Vacations.  She loves the excitement of helping clients discover things that they never knew existed. Jamie has traveled throughout the U.S, Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico, Costa Rica and South America. Her favorite places to visit are the Hawaiian Islands, Italy, and Northern California. Jamie is a certified Master Agent for AMresorts, a Sandals and Beaches Specialist, a RIU Resorts Specialist,  a Viking River Cruise Specialist, and a Hawaii Destination  Specialist. Jamie is a remote based agent working most days from her home in Wauconda, but is available by appointment in the Cary office. Please contact her at (847) 526-0254, or at In addition to being passionate about travel, Jamie is passionate about Animal Rescue.  She has been a volunteer for Save-A-Pet in Grayslake for 5 years, and helps run the PetSmart Adoption center in Vernon Hills.

Kay Light, Travel Consultant- Kay Light started in the travel business in 1987 and has enjoyed working in an office as well as doing outside sales.

A Cary resident, she and her family recently returned from living in Ireland for 2 years and had the opportunity to become personally familiar with the country. "My favorite destination is always home, to where my heart is, Ireland! Let me help you explore the magic of the Emerald Isle!"  While living abroad Kay visited Prague, Rome, Paris, Barcelona, London, Edinburgh, Dubrovnik and Malta, and has enjoyed cruises, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Morocco, Kenya Safari and Hawaii. Kay can be reached at

Chloe Kadlec, Travel Consultant- Chloe has recently joined the staff at Cary Travel Express and looks forward to assisting you on planning the perfect all-inclusive or cruise vacation. She has traveled on many past Cary Travel Express spring break trips. Her favorite destinations include Mexico, Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Contact email:

Cheryl Krueger, Travel Consultant- Cheryl has been a travel consultant for 13 years. She lives in Crystal Lake and has 3 grown children that graduated from Crystal Lake South.  Cheryl enjoys personalizing travel arrangements for her clients and makes sure they have the best experience on their vacations. She specializes in travel to Costa Rica, Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska and Disney.  Cheryl also enjoys planning romantic tropical honeymoons, family group travel, customized trips to Europe, and European river cruises. Cheryl is a Sandals Certified Specialist and has been to Sandals resorts in St Lucia, Antigua, Nassau, Great Exuma Bahamas, and Beaches Turks and Caicos. She is also a AM Resorts Specialist, RIU Resorts Specialist, Hawaii Destination Specialist, Aruba and Dominican Republic Specialist, Globus Family of Brands Specialist, and a Disney Specialist. She looks forward to helping you plan your dream vacation. email contact:

Kathy Kadlec, Marketing Manager/Travel Consultant- Kathy is Marketing Manager at Cary Travel Express. Kathy has over 25 years experience in marketing, retail sales and management.  Her passion is promoting Cary Travel Express’ brand and our expertise and knowledge in planning the perfect vacation for our clients!  Kathy loves to travel to warm, sunny destinations and has been on the past six Spring Break Trips with Cary Travel Express. She has traveled to Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, British Virgin Islands, St. Barts, Tahiti, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Croatia and Montenegro. Her favorite beach destination is Cancun for its ease in getting to and Bora Bora for its exoticness!  She is a Velas Expert, Club Med Expert Agent and an AMResorts Master Agent. Kathy is married to John Kadlec and they live in Cary.  Contact e-mail:


Maureen Brommel ,Travel Consultant/Bookkeeper -Maureen has many years experience in the travel industry.  She lives in Cary with her husband and two wonderful children.  Her two favorite destinations are Europe and the Caribbean.  Contact e-mail:

 Jan Calahan-  Jan is our Travel Assistant at Cary Travel Express. She lives in Crystal Lake with her husband and has two daughters. Jan enjoys traveling to Mexico, Hawaii, Disney and cruising. Now that her oldest daughter lives in Colorado, she has added that state to her travel loves. Contact e-mail: