Welcome Mentoring Class 24 - Brownell Hosting

Welcome Mentoring Class 24

We are so excited to welcome Class 24 to our Brownell Mentoring Program. The four incredible women who make up our newest mentee cohort come from across the country with their unique personal and professional backgrounds. They all share a passion for the travel industry and enriching lives through exceptional travel experiences. Their path to becoming successful travel entrepreneurs started with a week-long training in our headquarters in Birmingham. Learn a little more about them below.

 Lauren Jones

 Long Beach, CA

Lauren started her career working in the film industry, first on the talent agency side, then at 20th Century Fox on the domestic publicity team. In 2010 she transitioned to the world of luxury wedding planning, where her fondness for design complemented her proclivity for logistics. Her love of travel began with planning family adventures. It took hold entirely during her junior year in college, where she spent a semester in Florence, Italy studying abroad and living with a local family. Born in California and raised in Leesburg, Virginia, Lauren has always enjoyed adapting to life’s most significant changes with an abundance of curiosity and excitement. To her core, she believes every new excursion is a chance to get to know the people you love and the world better.


Brownell Independent Travel Advisor

Christy Menzies

Darien, CT

Christy grew up in Cleveland, OH. Her most clear and definitive memories growing up were those made with family and friends on vacations. Throughout her ten years in finance, she traveled as much as possible with a demanding career. Highlights included Ravello, Capri, and the Amalfi coast, Costa Rica, Paris, and a two two-week trip to New Zealand and Australia, which she fully orchestrated for her and a friend. In the last six years since that career, she has sold local residential real estate and had four children who are all becoming phenomenal travelers themselves. Launching her travel business is the perfect way to combine a passion for travel, sales background, far-reaching network, genuine enjoyment of logistics, and seeking out value.


Christina SmithChristina Smith

Milwaukee, WI

Christina was born and raised in Wisconsin with an innate curiosity about the world and a love for adventure. While in college, she spent a semester abroad in Seville, Spain, and a summer backpacking around Europe. After graduation, she moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, for a job at General Mills, where she spent a decade working in finance and met her husband, Craig. Almost ten years ago, Craig’s job offered an opportunity to move internationally, and the whole family spent three years in London, England, three years in Toronto, Canada, and one year in Sydney, Australia. Christina was the family travel planner, and they were able to enjoy countless adventures in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific. Christina is excited to start a new chapter of her life as a luxury travel advisor


Kim Sonenberg

Chicago, IL

A Chicago native, Kim is a seasoned sales executive with over 25 years of experience in the information systems, consulting, and technology services industries. She also led the sales initiative for a custom spa furniture and design company. With her extensive customer engagement experience and love of design, she understands the importance of listening to her client’s wants and needs, bringing those ideas to fruition, and keeping the client informed along the way. Her love of travel began early with trips to various parts of Mexico, fueling a curiosity to explore and experience different parts of the world. This led her to a 3-week trip through Greece and its islands, learning about the history, the cuisine, and being immersed in the culture. Kim’s goal is to create lasting client relationships through genuine connections & personalized service.

Click here to learn more about the Brownell Mentoring Program.



  • Welcome to the Travel Life – an inside look at the travel industry, tips for success, interviews with advisors, and more!


The Travel Life

Get an inside look at the travel industry, tips for success, interviews with advisors, and more.


Beyond Helpful

“Wow – seriously yall, this is amazing! We are all so lucky to have such a proactive and innovating hosting team. Thanks so much for continually evolving and assisting us to the best of your ability. Seriously, what yall think of and how organized you are is beyond helpful! Yall are awesome!”

Blaire Kochar, Houston, TX

We could not do this without you!

“The Mentoring Program gave us the chance and the training to start a business AND the continued support to grow that businesss. We could not do this without you!”

King & Whitson, Chattanooga, TN & Washington, VA Washington, VA

Brownell ICs are the Best

Your Brownell IC’s are the very best I have ever met. Congratulations on your excellent Brownell program.

Evelyn Weber, Manager, Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France

I am loving every minute of my new career

“The Mentorship program is amazing! I am loving every minute of my new career.”

Kristen Nix, Whitefish, MT

An incredible opportunity to join the industry as a newbie

“The mentoring program was an incredible opportunity to join one of the premier travel agencies in the world as a complete newbie. Brownell’s staff was always available and willing to help with the countless questions I had during my first year. Being mentored by the top travel professionals in the industry contributed immensely to the success that I am now enjoying.”

David Ourisman, Berkeley, CA

The mentoring program was critical

“The Brownell mentoring program was critical to the successful launch of my travel business. It was a year well-spent learning the ins and outs of the industry and the Virtuoso network. When I graduated from the program, I felt fully integrated into the company and was ready to take my business to the next level.”

Katherine Gould, Richmond, VA

I don't know how you do it

“I really don’t know how you do it, but the common denominator in all Brownell Advisors is that they are all the BEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD!!!!!!”

Susan Teeple, Amarillo, TX