Mary Jo Nelson

Owner/Travel Consultant

Mary Jo was born and raised on a farm outside of Howard, SD. After high school graduation, she went to Travel School in Ft. Lauderdale, FL to get started on her career in the travel industry.

Mary Jo worked in Ft. Lauderdale in sales for a tour operator specializing in tours to the Middle East and Europe for four years. She then moved to Rockford, IL to continue her career. She started at the entry level in a local agency and worked her way up to a management position. After 9 years in Rockford, a family emergency in South Dakota prompted her to move to Sioux Falls, where she went to work for Jack Rabbit Tour & Travel.

The owner’s decision to sell the business gave Mary Jo the opportunity to take her passion for this business to the next level. She purchased the business and renamed it to Travel Partners in August, 2000.

In her 42 years of experience, she has coordinated many types of travel. These include corporate, group, leisure, international, weddings and honeymoon. She’s also experienced at escorting group tours. In other words, she’s done it all!

Away from work, Mary Jo is an avid gardener who enjoys going for walks, cooking, golf and reading. She and her husband, Steve, love to spend their free time……traveling!! Imagine that……

Tracy Wilbeck

Travel Consultant, Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialist

Tracy grew up as a farm girl in Wilmar, MN, but turned into a city kid when she moved to Sioux Falls, graduating from Roosevelt High School.

She started working right after high school, gaining experience as a Radio Producer and an insurance agent. But she really had her heart set on the travel industry!! While still working, Tracy earned a Travel and Tourism Degree online from Penn State University.

That led Tracy to Travel Partners in August, 2008, ultimately becoming a Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist. She has traveled extensively throughout Mexico, the Caribbean, and Hawaii.

When she’s not focused on travel, Tracy is busy with her two sons. Tucker is 17 years old and very much into soccer. His involvement includes…..TRAVEL!! Grady is a 13 year old football fan, who is also really in to video games.

As you can tell, Tracy is very active. She and her husband, Ryan, enjoy spending their free time with friends and family.

Daniella Stich

Travel Consultant

Born and raised in Howard, SD, Daniella was an only child until she was 12 years old. That’s when she gained a sister to whom she is still very close. In 2012, her family expanded with the addition of a stepfather, 3 more sisters and a brother. A real “family person”, Daniella’s real joy comes from spending time with “my large, crazy, fun family”.

Daniella started her work career in Brookings, SD. She decided that a move to Sioux Falls was in order to further her work as a phlebotomist. She eventually found that a career in the travel industry was more enticing than “blood work”, so she joined Travel Partners in May, 2011.

Daniella and her husband, Mike, make their home in Sioux Falls. Mike is a Consumer Loan Underwriter for Wells Fargo and is very active in softball and watching anything sports related. They are the very proud parents of 1 1/2 year old daughter Emersyn and are excited to announce the addition of another daughter this coming July!

Thus far, Daniella has traveled to California, Florida, New York, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Maya in Mexico, the Bahamas, Jamaica and Costa Rica. Her most memorable experience while traveling was Zip Lining through the Rain Forest in Costa Rica. Feel free to ask her about that!

Amy Gulbranson

Independent Travel Consultant

Amy grew up in Sioux Falls, graduating from Washington High School. She attended the University of South Dakota, ultimately earning her Masters of Education degree. Amy then put that degree to use, teaching elementary education at area schools for 12 years.

Her husband, Chad, is the regional sales representative for Titleist. That position requires that he travel, so they decided that Amy would step away from teaching to focus on raising Dylan, 16, and Katy, age 9. Both kids are very active. Dylan is involved in basketball, baseball, golf and waterskiing. Katy also enjoys waterskiing as well as soccer, swimming, yoga and just playing outside.

Amy then spent time working as a Vision Therapist, but has always had a bug for helping others plan their travel. So in 2013, she came to work as consultant with Travel Partners. She has traveled extensively with trips to Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Cozumel, Costa Rica, Grand Cayman, Dominican Republic, Hawaii, Jamaica, Puerto Vallarta, St. John, St. Thomas, St. Croix and many states in the U.S.

Adventurous vacations with family and friends that allow for fun, relaxation and experiencing the local cuisine make the perfect vacation for her!

Kristen Hosek Walker

Travel Consultant

Kristen was born and raised in Wagner SD. The summer between her junior and senior year in high school, she took a nanny job on the East coast and that really fed her need to be in the travel industry.

Upon graduation from high school, she went to Vancouver Washington to attend the International Air Academy. Kristen went on to work for Continental Airlines and a couple different travel agencies before settling in Vermillion SD and opening her own storefront location - Travel By Kristen. Her family dynamics have changed some (that is what brought her to Sioux Falls) but she is the same travel agent with the same personalized service. There is a saying that goes "find something you love to do and you'll never work a day in your life" - that statement truly defines her.

In her 20+ years of experience, she has traveled extensively in the United States, Caribbean and Mexico. She is very well versed in cruise travel as well as groups, destination weddings, honeymoons, corporate, leisure and all things Disney.

Outside of the office, she is hard at work for a different set of clients. Kristen has 5 children; KaMeesha (23) & Brandis (22) are both in college full-time, Reidel (16) is a Junior in high school, Kishonna (13) is in the 8th grade and Shadae (10) is in the 4th grade. Between helping the older two get organized for college and Reidel & Kishonna's many sporting events, they are always going somewhere.

Amy Bruns

Sales/Administrative Assistant

Growing up on a farm outside Grafton, NE, Amy is the 2nd of 3 children. She graduated from Sutton Public High School and already had an eye for the travel industry. She attended Spencer School of Business in Grand Island, NE where she earned her degree in Travel Management.

After college, Amy worked in a bank, did bookkeeping at a school, and worked over twelve years designing kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Prior to coming to Travel Partners, she was a specialty pharmacy technician for a local pharmacy company.

Amy's husband, Don, has worked for Raven Industry for several years in sales. When they're not working, Amy and Don enjoy watching their boys Koby (17) and Teage (13) play football, lacrosse, soccer and baseball.

Amy's travels have taken her to Cancun, Cozumel, Belize, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Punta Cana and Roatan, Honduras. Her domestic travel highlights include Hawaii, Florida and California.

In her free time, Amy enjoys scrapbooking, camping, boating and being with family and friends. And, of course, there's always that next trip to look forward to.......

Steve Nelson

Office Manager

Growing up in Salem and Arlington, SD, Steve’s small town roots run deep. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration along with a minor degree in Psychology from Northern State University. Prior to joining Travel Partners in 2012, Steve spent several years in the business consulting and training world. Prior to that experience, he spent many years traveling the region as an industrial salesman working with “mom and pop” shops to Fortune 100 corporations.

Steve and his wife, Mary Jo, have three children.....and one granddaughter to spoil rotten! Ashley and her husband, Derek, teach Elementary Education in the West Central School District. They are also the proud parents of baby Teagyn, Grandma and Grandpa's pride and joy.

Eric graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University and is employed by the Wyoming State Department of Corrections. Austin is a senior at SDSU, focusing on business & marketing. He and his fiancé, Megan, will be married this June.

Steve likes adventure – on land, at sea and in the air! He's crewed a hot air balloon in Sioux Falls, skydived in Canton, and has parasailed and cliff jumped in Jamaica. His sea adventures so far are snorkeling and sea trekking. Steve’s hobbies are golf, pheasant hunting, and traveling with Mary Jo.