This month, we pay tribute to the men in our lives. Our very own Fernando Gonzalez talks about the importance of travel and, of course, family. Also in this edition, we delve into things men like to do. Is your favorite guy a thrill seeker who prefers to drive down the French Riviera in a classic car or is he the laid back type who would be just as happy indulging at a luxe cigar lounge? We share with you some places our F1S men love: Luxury hotels with unique and stylish cigar lounges and a spectacular golf getaway in Italy.
With a ready smile and relaxed vibe, Rich Pampinella always wants to make his clients feel at ease, and more importantly, have a great time.
After all, his career has been built on making people happy. Early on, the professional DJ fell into the travel business by accident, filling in at an agency during the day while spinning tunes at night in the 1970s. The Brooklyn native says, “I worked at a mom and pop agency learning everything from soup to nuts. I’d handwrite tickets, do accounts payable, file brochures, and eventually developed the art of selling travel.”
The love of music has never left him. In fact, it’s even stronger today and fuses his travels with music. Every year since 1990, Rich travels to Trinidad for Carnival, the festive season before Lent. “The first time I experienced Carnival in Trinidad, I was absolutely blown away– the music, the freedom, the joy that people felt in expressing themselves,” he remembers. It instilled his appreciation of island life, a relaxed, care free approach to living. He now participates in various Carnivals about once a month.
Rich was also a pioneer in the travel world working for Kennedy Travel, one of the nation’s first travel agencies specializing in the needs of gay and lesbian travelers in 1988, and later buying it in 2004. Kennedy now exists as a First in Service affiliate.
Whether he’s helping a client with leisure, corporate, or group travel, Rich still feels “warm and fuzzy” when his clients rave about the trip he planned for them. Our rhythm-loving agent is excited about next visiting Cuba and South Africa – both countries celebrated for their musical heritage.