Our mission is to create a Global CommUnity first by fostering meaningful connections amongst family members and then by engaging families with other cultures, all while leaving a positive footprint at home and abroad.
Founders and Owners
Global CommUnity is led by experts in the travel and marketing field. Through their joint experiences of working with brands, travel clients and conscientious travelers over the years — particularly families — the concept of Global CommUnity was born.
Christie Holmes, Co-Founder/CEO
Christie's passion for other cultures began when she was a child living abroad. International exposure as a child not only opened her eyes to the sights and sounds of other cultures but was the germination of her curiosity for others. As an adult she continues to explore culture, starting in her own home as a born yankee married to a 5th generation southerner. The fostering of a broader world view and exploring culture at home and abroad continues to grow in importance as she is raises teenage children of her own.
Based in Nashville, Christie began her career as an educator and artist. After completing a graduate program at Portfolio Center in Atlanta she began her successful career as a graphic designer owning a branding company that served the music and travel industries. To satiate her desire for travel, Christie made a career change in 2012 to full time travel consultant. At that time the germination of Global CommUnity began. Almost at the year mark of it’s official launch she has seen Global CommUnity raise a first round of capital and brought on an advisory board of top travel agencies in the US.
Her hope and desire is that Global CommUnity will allow people to learn how to engage culture at home and abroad as they connect with families and friends. Christie received a BA from Furman University 1990.
Keith Waldon, Co-Founder/Advising Partner
A native Texan, Keith Waldon began his career in luxury travel while still in college in Dallas as an intern for Rosewood Hotels. He continued his career there as a marketing manager after graduating from Southern Methodist University. Keith later spent 16 years as a senior executive for the international luxury travel network Virtuoso, where creating the Virtuoso brand and elevating the awareness of travel advisors were among his accomplishments. With 25 years in the luxury travel industry and a bit of a maverick Texan personality, Keith developed the Departure Lounge retail travel concept as a new way to engage travelers where they live. Based in Austin, Departure Lounge is now a franchise concept expanding to other cities. Waldon has a 21-year-old daughter, who has traveled around the globe with him since she was born, and she is part of the inspiration of Global CommUnity.
Lorelei Calvert, COO
Lorelei began her career in 1987 with Knapp Communications (now Condé Nast), publishers of Bon Appétit and Architectural Digest in the circulation department. She joined Texas Monthly in 1987, successfully selling it to Emmis Publishing in 1998 and continued to serve as COO until 2009. She then joined Andrew Harper, LLC as the COO. Andrew Harper is the publisher of the Hideaway Report and owner of Andrew Harper Travel and the Harper Alliance. In January 2017, Andrew Harper, LLC sold the travel office to Travel Leaders Group. Since then she has worked as managing partner of LMC Squared whose clients include Andrew Harper, Texas Monthly, Gobe.com and Hodinkee.com.
Lorelei received a BS degree in marketing from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Jena Gardner, Partner
Entrepreneur, travel industry icon and marketing expert, Jena Gardner has channeled her lifelong passion for travel into a thriving enterprise. Jena is President and CEO of JG Worldwide, parent company to some of the tourism industry’s most respected brands including JG Black Book, a global hospitality consulting firm, and bespoke tour operators Heritage Tours and Revealed America. She is also the co-founder of The Bodhi Tree Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting environmental and humanitarian efforts related to travel sustainability.
As a true believer in the power of travel to transform lives and make us more educated, accepting individuals, Jena has made it a priority to travel with her three boys since their earliest days. Global CommUnity’s commitment to helping families make the most of these irreplaceable moments through long-term travel planning truly inspires Jena. She is honored to serve as a Partner in Global CommUnity and is committed to the mission of creating travel experiences that connect families with cultures around the world and with one another.
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Austin-based travel entrepreneur Keith Waldon believes the best way to create global citizens is to start when they're young.