Tom grew up in rural southern New Jersey and began developing his customer service skills at the early age of 14 - working summers, after school, and holidays for a family owned produce and garden center throughout high school and college. He attended Drake University (1975-1979, B.A. Journalism) and began his professional career with a marketing firm in Des Moines, IA representing manufacturers selling to the US Military Exchange system. Tom quickly achieved “road warrior” status, traveling to over one third of the fifty states in an 18 month period. Tom entered into the travel industry in 1984 with an agency arranging travel for foreign students to study at U.S. universities and colleges. Two years later, he joined EWA Travel as an international travel counselor servicing Winrock International, Gannett, USA Today, and others. Tom’s philosophy of flat line management enables him to maintain intimate contact with staff, stay close to the ‘heartbeat’ of clients’ needs, and keep abreast of the ever changing travel industry at the grass roots level. As a result, EWA has one of the highest staff retention rates (12 ½ years average tenure) and one of the best client retention rates. Tom has worked for EWA Travel since 1986.
Chris Van Dyke Vice President & Manager
Chris Van Dyke is Manager of EWA's Herndon Office. Chris has an extensive experience in the travel industry and has been with EWA since 1992. Chris spearheaded the efforts to expand EWA's branch office in the Dulles Technology Corridor. Since then, Chris has grown EWA's Herndon office to become what is recognized as the premier high-quality agency in the Dulles area. Chris has traveled extensively throughout the world and makes it a point to visit several new international destinations every year to be abreast of all the latest travel trends and destination advice. Chris has worked for EWA since 1992.
Robert Utne Chairman
EWA owner and CEO Robert Utne received a BA in Economics from the University of Minnesota, served in the Peace Corps in Gabon, worked six years in the Executive Office of the President as a Planning Officer and two years with Air France in sales prior to starting EWA Travel.Robert is a Certified Travel Counselor. Robert has assembled and helped to train what is widely considered are the most experienced and talented travel professionals in the industry. He believes that to best serve the clients of EWA that no stone goes unturned. No remote call centers, no impersonal and unqualified staff or other short cuts. Each of Robert's hand picked staff and managers is a highly dedicated and seasoned professional whom delights in working with our clients to help them better perform their own responsibilities. Delivering the finest of technology and auxiliary services are also hallmarks of Robert's efforts at EWA.
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