AAA/CAA’s team of professional lodging and restaurant inspectors have visited some 58,000 establishments in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. During periodic unannounced visits, they conduct on-site evaluations using published criteria to evaluate the accommodations or cuisine, as well as the service, atmosphere and facilities. For more information, go to AAA.com/Diamonds.
After graduating Cum Laude from Johnson & Wales University with a degree in Travel & Tourism Management, he began his career as a travel consultant with AAA. After spending many years in the travel and tourism industry, this born and raised New Englander currently finds himself traveling over 1,300 miles by plane, ferry and automobile amongst scenic mountains and beaches while he is in his territory of Maine, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. When he is able to escape for some free time he enjoys spending time in Florida, eating lobsters and watching almost anything sci-fi.
Born and raised in central Illinois, Inspector 3 headed for California at 17 then answered an ad for summer jobs in Denali National Park. One summer led to two and then year round. She enjoyed the excitement of the national park and discovered that she also enjoyed the hotel business. She met her husband, built a home, and raised two daughters in Alaska. Summers always involved camping, hiking and exploring. For most of her working life, she has been in hotel management, except for a short stint as a caterer. She still enjoys baking, but now she is teaching her three granddaughters the art of cookie making.
Inspector 4 has worked for AAA since 1993. He has continually moved South – born and raised in Rhode Island, then educated in West Virginia (not an oxymoron) and now is settled in Central Florida. He refuses to move further south, as that may land him in Cuba. Inspector 4 has been to 48 of the 50 United States- missing out on only scenic Alaska and less-scenic Mississippi.
Inspector 8 has been an inspector for AAA for the past 14 years. Initially he managed the South/North Carolina territory. For the past 11 years he’s managed the Caribbean territory. Currently Inspector 8 is responsible for inspections in South Florida and the Caribbean. Besides managing his territory like most inspectors he has had the opportunity to work in various other states as well as Mexico.
Inspector 10 grew up in the beautiful Fingerlakes region of New York where his love of travel was born from many family trips in the back of the station wagon. In over 20 years in the restaurant and hotel industry, he gained extensive experience while managing to retain his sanity and love of food and wine. Inspector 10 still loves to travel and among his recent trips is a 14 day journey around the world from west to east. When not doing inspections for AAA, he enjoys golf with friends, the beach and yes, road trips. Currently Inspector 10 works in New Jersey and New York City.
Inspector 12 has been working for AAA for ten years and believes just shopping and eating are reason enough for any travel. She still overpacks, but is prepared for just about anything the road throws at her including power outages, foot fungus or an unexpected ripped seam. Her travel tip: don’t touch the hotel remote. Her favorite travel sight: the Brooklyn Bridge. Inspector 12′s love of the accordion means she would fit in just fine at any polka, cumbia, or zydeco joint.
Inspector 15 was born in Winchester and raised in Bedford, Massachusetts. She moved to Nashville and worked for the Waylon Jennings Organization, then in Boston as a legal secretary for one of the country’s top law firms. Inspector 15’s little brother wanted her to come to McCall, Idaho, and she visited on a round-trip ticket and stayed. It was a life-changing experience. As executive director of the McCall Area Chamber of Commerce, Inspector 15 had the challenge of writing grants and bringing businesses, restaurants and hotel owners. Coming from a mountain paradise such as McCall and having the hotel and hospitality background has helped Inspector 15 tremendously. She takes making decisions on behalf of her valued AAA members to heart — it’s not about her, it’s all about the members. Before Inspector 15 came to work for AAA, her husband would always say that she came alive and sparkled while packing and getting ready to go anywhere “on the road.” Inspector 15 is in her 6th year as an anonymous AAA Inspector for Western Colorado, Salt Lake City and parts of Idaho.
Inspector 16 is a runner enthusiast, she has been distance running for more than ten years and is training for her first marathon. Raised in the Black Hills of western South Dakota some of her fondest childhood memories include Sunday morning visits to her grandfather’s bakery to eat freshly baked donuts. Throughout high school & college she worked in the hospitality industry. After completing her college degree she worked in the Oil & Gas Industry for four years. Now working for AAA, she is looking forward to traveling her territory and discovering some new favorite running locations.
After college Inspector 17 enlisted in the Coast Guard on a whim and stayed for the next 27 years. He retired in 2001 just before Sept. 11, which occurred while he was typing resumes for the many promising jobs he had lined up before leaving the service. Those opportunities immediately dried up, so Inspector 17 went hunting via traditional methods. On Sept. 30, 2001, an ad for a Tourism Editor appeared in his local paper and after submitting his application he was invited to interview. Amazingly, Inspector 17 was hired, much to the chagrin of his neighbor’s adult son who had also applied. He started at AAA on Veterans Day 2001 and remains in the position of Tourism Editor to this date, almost a decade later. Still amazed!
Inspector 20 was raised bilingually French and English and, having lived in three countries and travelled to over 25 countries, she has found herself in many intriguing cross-cultural challenges and profound opportunities, including navigating the subtle cultural nuances of being an immigrant to the United States from Canada. She is currently completing her master’s degree in intercultural relations at the University of the Pacific, in partnership with the Intercultural Communication Institute. When home from her expansive territory spanning 4 states, 2 provinces and 4 countries, she loves to cook, read, hike and kayak. This inspector met her husband when she travelled to volunteer as a bodymarker and wetsuit peeler at the Lake Placid Ironman. They now live in the Adirondacks with their two cats, Pork and Chop.
Inspector 25 is based in the desert southwest with a large territory that includes New Mexico and Mexico. She loves long drives with blue skies and big vistas along with her favorite companions, satellite radio and a loaded iPod. Her background in the hospitality and tourism industry led her to the best job in the world as an anonymous AAA inspector, much to the envy of her friends. 25 has always enjoyed travel and has spent time in Europe, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America and many parts of the U.S. She spends her free time in the company of family, friends and her two cats..
Born and raised in the Northwest, Inspector 26 has worked for AAA for 17 years and has always loved travel, new experiences and meeting people … is there a better job? Along with his wife, he enjoys traveling all over the US and goes internationally on a yearly basis. A favorite vacation would be something that includes a train ride or riverboat cruise.
A South Dakota native, Inspector 29 is new to the AAA family but not new to travel and hospitality. After being “on the other side of the desk” for several years in the hotel industry, she became a quality assurance consultant for a large franchise company holding that position for 16 years. When she isn’t working she enjoys traveling to exotic lands, off-roading, camping, attending motorcycle rallies with her husband and spending quality time with her family.
Inspector 31 is an Indiana native who grew up in a small town near the shores of Lake Michigan. After graduating from Purdue University with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, she went into the hotel business for ten years finally becoming the general manager of a popular branded hotel in Indianapolis. Now she travels throughout Indiana, Illinois and Missouri in search of the best places to recommend to AAA members. She enjoys traveling and loves to plan road trips across country and visiting historical landmarks and little roadside “tourist traps” along the way. In her free time she enjoys reading and writing. But her first loves are boating, fishing, and swimming (usually on Lake Michigan) and spending time with family and friends. She also speaks Spanish and hopes to travel to Latin America someday.
Inspector 33 covers and travels around Southern Nevada, Reno/Lake Tahoe, Northern Arizona and Southern Utah on a weekly basis. During these travels, he assures that all the hotels and restaurant AAA list are up proper standards and would attract our members. It is a great job, and Inspector 33 is able to see many fun and interesting areas.
Inspector 37 is in his 21st year as an anonymous AAA lodging and restaurant inspector and has evaluated over 10,000 properties for AAA Approval and the Diamond Ratings that appear in TourBook guides and on AAA.com. His territory is south central and coastal Texas as well as parts of Mexico. He has experienced several earthquakes including a 7.2 on the 42nd floor on a hotel (it was like walking on a water bed) and encountered scorpions, tarantulas, and even Zapatista rebels in the Lancandon jungle of Chiapas. Favorites include Mayan cuisine (he even speaks a little of the language) his twin grandchildren, fishing, ranching and history.
Inspector 44 began his career with AAA in 2001 after a long career in multi-unit restaurant supervision. His first trip to the Northeast was September 10, 2001, the day before 9/11. During that trip, Inspector 44 grieved the horrible attack and felt uncertain about how he would travel home. His position with AAA has allowed him to visit some great destinations which include; Carmel by the Sea, Charlotte, S.C., and Colorado Springs. Inspector 44 also enjoys the food experiences that come with the position and cherishes the AAA trips he’s been able to take with his wife.
Inspector 48 has had many diverse jobs and careers, which include being a medical tech, a motel owner and working in the probation field. None has been more challenging and rewarding than that of an AAA inspector. She is fortunate to live in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York that Inspector 48 has called home most of her life. This job allows her to enjoy and appreciate all areas of our beautiful country. One of Inspector 48’s goals is to see all of our National Parks one day as well as travel the rest of the world.
Originally from the Northeast, Inspector 49 relocated to the south just in time to be greeted by Hurricane Katrina. Having survived Katrina’s wrath she is often dodging tornadoes & torrential downpours while covering her territory which includes Mississippi, Alabama, Florida panhandle & a slice of Tennessee. Prior to her AAA gig, Inspector 49 was involved in the world of dance holding positions as a teacher, choreographer, General Manager for a regional ballet company and on the U.S. production team of an international touring ballet troupe. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her two granddaughters, visiting family & friends, reading, arts & crafts & indulging in an addiction to sudoko.
Inspector 51 has moved about the country more times than he can remember. After experiencing early adult wanderlust, which led to running away and joining the circus and other zany adventures through 46 states and multiple foreign countries, he finally decided to settle down and get a real job. He spent 15 years in the hospitality industry working for high-profile AAA Four and Five Diamond Rated properties and also owned a restaurant before deciding to hit the road again. With his home base now in Phoenix, Inspector 51 covers parts of Arizona and Mexico and enjoys exploring offbeat destinations in his vintage Airstream trailer.
Inspector 60 began her career with AAA as a Swing Field Inspector. She traveled around the U.S. and Canada for nearly two years- living out of three suitcases.What an adventure that was- the highway and many a city and state was her home. Inspector 60 traveled to just about every town that you can imagine, large and small, each with its distinct character and flavor. She has seen such wonderful sights- national and state parks, country roads with wild flowers, farmlands, forests- nature surrounding me. She’s also met so many wonderful people and has stayed at and dined in such wonderful hotels and restaurants in her travels. For the past 18 years, Inspector 60 has been assigned to the west coast of Florida. Every day is an adventure and she has been blessed to have a wonderful life-long career- 25 years and counting.
In her 19 years with AAA, Inspector 64 has worked in 40 states, 3 Canadian provinces and 12 Caribbean islands. After studying art in college and finding it wasn’t a great way to make a living, she applied her lifelong love of travel and dining to her career at AAA where she’s now considered an “old timer” on staff. She’s a native Mid-Atlantic resident and beach lover, currently covering the region from Ocean City, Md., to the Crystal Coast of North Carolina and much of Virginia. She’s passing along her interests to her 4-year-old son who stayed at his first Five Diamond hotel at 9 months and now, as an expert on hotels, is known to offer an extra point or two to properties with a waffle maker at the buffet. Music and the arts are big passions for Inspector 64, and the boys in her life have always been big sports fans so family trips often combine the three, along with great food of course.
Inspector 65 was born and raised in Minneapolis, but now calls the Sacramento area home. A graduate of the University of Hawaii School of Travel Industry Management, she has traveled to 76 countries, mostly through working various travel jobs. Her territory includes parts of Northern California, Hawaii and parts of Mexico. She has experienced three earthquakes and two tsunami warnings, has hiked to the base camp of Mt Everest and has done ocean kayaking
I was born in Connecticut and was raised in Virginia. I graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s degree in Pre Veterinarian Medicine. Deciding to take a short break before Vet School, I went to Europe for an extended period of time. I traveled through 13 European countries, from the UK to the former Yugoslavia and all the countries in between. Having spent all the money I had for vet school, I had to get a job. I turned to the hospitality industry, as I had worked in hotels during college. I took a job with Marriott and worked in a few different hotels, spending six years with the company. Then I discovered the best job in the world, being a AAA Inspector. I’ve been with AAA since 1983. I’ve inspected hotels, restaurants, campgrounds and attractions from Maine to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and throughout the Caribbean. I’ve been married for 19 years to my beautiful wife. We have two kids, a girl, 8, and a boy, 11. Every day brings a new adventure.
Inspector 70 lived an eclectic, nomadic life before settling in the Western U.S. and taking on the life of an anonymous AAA lodging and restaurant inspector. She gained knowledge of the hospitality industry by working in a casino on an American Indian reservation and also catered to the needs of guests and horses while working for a horseback riding tour company in Las Alpujarras, Spain. Inspector 70 was lucky enough to spend six months working odd jobs in Edinburgh, Scotland. She continues to travel to far-off places for fun. Some of her favorite experiences include drinking tea with geishas in Kyoto during the Plum Blossom Festival, snorkeling in the barrier reef around Grand Cayman, and climbing to the top of the pyramid in Chichen Itza. In addition, Inspector 70 knits a mean sweater.
A native of Ohio, Inspector 71 is a graduate of Ohio University. He lives in southwestern Ohio with his wife and two children. He has worked for AAA for 25 years and has had postings in the Midwest, Northeast and Canada. Varied travel experiences include being stalked by a macaw at a hotel in Pennsylvania and visiting the Museum of Sex in Manhattan. His current territory embraces much of Ohio and Kentucky, as well as parts of Indiana and Illinois. Inspector 71 loves the countryside and small towns of the Midwest. In his limited free time he enjoys hiking and camping, and has an active interest in the history of the area where he lives.
Inspector 75 has loved traveling ever since childhood road trips ranging from the ocean in Florida to the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. As an adult, she spent several months backpacking through Europe, and continues to travel internationally whenever possible. Before joining AAA/CAA in 2005, 75 had the opportunity to travel through the Canadian Arctic including small towns in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon. While based primarily in Ontario and Michigan, 75 has an insatiable desire to explore as many nooks and crannies of this big small planet as possible in one short lifetime and is thrilled to have a job that helps her accomplish this goal — one town at a time.
Inspector 76 is originally from Eugene, OR and remains a die-hard University of Oregon Ducks fan. However, after receiving his bachelor’s degree in Hospitality from the University of Delaware, he stayed on the east coast and now lives in Center City Philadelphia. His territory includes areas in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. When he’s not inspecting hotels and restaurants, he enjoys spending time with his family and traveling outside of the United States.
After living and working in the Virginia foothills for over 30 years, I have been given this amazing opportunity to live and work in the Pittsburgh area. My love affair with travel started early while watching TV shows like the Globetrotter, Julia Child’s and Masterpiece Theatre. Who knew someday I would live in the city where Mr. Rogers could be my neighbor. Although my background has been hospitality I have learned that dining out should be a pleasurable experience not a stressful one. While trying to navigate around this new territory, I have learned through my experiences this past year that around every turn is the start of a new adventure.
Inspector 80 was born, raised and educated in America’s heartland. He has spent numerous years working in the hotel industry and has held various management positions with major brands. He loves to travel and has been to Cancun, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Hawaii, the Florida Keys, Western Washington and many other parts of the United States. While he has only been with AAA a handful of years, he describes his current position as his ‘dream job. Inspector 80 still resides in the Midwest and is currently working in Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.
Inspector 81 has been a tourism editor with AAA for 12 years and currently works in the Mid-Atlantic area. He grew up in Ohio and has lived in the Carolinas and Colorado. Inspector 81 moved to Virginia in 1999 when he accepted the job with AAA . He knows Shenandoah Valley like the back of his hand and has many tales from the road to share. Each day on the job is an adventure— Inspector 81 has evaluated properties that have ranged from One to Five Diamonds in 34 out of 50 states. He’s in the only child of a dad with a military background and a mom who was a school administrator.
Inspector 84 was born, raised, and still lives in the smallest of our great states, Rhode Island. Growing up by the ocean meant learning how to dig for clams and shuck oysters by the time she was 7 years old, not realizing this would someday prepare her for a life of adventurous eating. While in college, Inspector 84 began her career with AAA as an intern at the local Auto Travel call center. She loved helping members plan their dream vacations and is happy to still be guiding them today. She has always had a passion for traveling, experiencing nature, and learning about different cultures. It has brought her on a quest to see all things beautiful in the 14 countries and 17 states she has visited. Her favorite places tend to be sunny locales with turquoise waters and swaying palms including Mexico, Hawaii and the Florida Keys. When not on the road, Inspector 84 enjoys spending time with family, photography, gardening, driving her husband mad with yet another house project and spending time at the neighborhood animal shelter.
Inspector 86 is a native to upstate New York, chilly temperatures and snow are two of her favorite things, well next to Tully’s Tenders. After graduating high school she decided to move north to the Adirondack Mountains to attend Paul Smiths College, in which, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management and an associate’s degree in Hotel Restaurant Management. An eight-year veteran to the hospitality industry but new to the AAA team she has a passion for food, travel, and adventure. As well as sunsets, long walks on the beach and picnics.
Inspector 88 grew up along the coast of southern Maine and has an appreciation of ‘off the boat’ fresh seafood and swimming in the surf. Traveling the states and other areas of the globe have always been a part of life – particularily enjoying the cuisines of each destination.
Inspector 90 has been an inspector with AAA for 11 years. She grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa., then lived for various years in Atlanta, Orlando, Asheville and Raleigh and has finally settled in Montana.Inspector 90 met her husband while on assignment in Alaska, so that state always holds a special place in her heart. Currently taking advantage of all the outdoor activities the Big Sky country has to offer, she enjoys boating, hiking, 4-wheeling, fishing and camping. Inspector 90 enjoys partaking of elk, venison and pheasant but leaves the hunting up to her husband. Luckily, her inspection duties keep her busy in a location she enjoys.
Inspector 94 is a 23-year employee with AAA and for 17 years has evaluated hotels and restaurants in at least 23 U.S. states and in Mexico. He grew up in the picturesque mountains of central Pennsylvania. After traveling to Nyack, New York, where he received his B.A. in Social Science and a Master’s Seminary degree, he became an ordained minister and presided over a church in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. After marrying his wife of 25 years, they moved to Florida for new opportunities and began working at a Four Diamond resort. After a few years he moved on to work at the AAA National Office where he came in contact with many inspectors and became interested in the job. When the opportunity arose, he was hired and now works primarily in Illinois and Wisconsin. A great interest continues to be evaluating some of the finest restaurants in the world right here in Chicagoland.
I was born and raised in South Florida; therefore, by blood is about as thin as it can get. My hospitality background began as a lifeguard at an esteemed Five Diamond resort on the island of Palm Beach. I would work there while on college breaks from my beloved Florida State University. I went on to earn a Master’s degree at FAU while working full-time in many facets at the before-mentioned resort. I found this fantastic job and company in 2007 and have since worked every nook and cranny of Florida as well as many other states. Although I am a warm weather guy I love the mountains and won’t miss an annual snowboarding trip. I’ve been to Costa Rica several times and it is still my favorite place to go.
Wisconsin is where Inspector 5 hails from. After being raised in the tundra (mostly in Madison), she decided to thaw out in the desert and Las Vegas became her new home. This is where she gained knowledge in the hospitality industry working in a Las Vegas hotel and casino for 11 years. That was followed by 5 years in some of Southern California’s most exclusive 5 diamond resorts, catering to many a Hollywood celebrity, sports figures and politicians. Hospitality experience in these destination cities offered Inspector 5 the opportunity to dine at hundreds of restaurants casual to fine dining, many led by celebrity chefs, where her palette was fine tuned – a good preface to inspect and rate restaurants for AAA.
Inspector 199 grew up in Okinawa, Japan and moved to California many, many years ago. She has worked in the travel industry since her graduation from university (also many, many years ago). Inspector 199 can speak lots of English, some Japanese and a bit of Cantonese. Her motto in life: live to eat! She has her dream job as a AAA Inspector and has been joyfully tasting her way through America ever since.
Residing in the suburbs of ‘The Motor City’, Detroit, MI, Inspector 275 enjoys the seasonality of the territory he covers that includes most of Michigan and parts of Ontario. From strolling the streets in Great Lakes resort towns to skiing at Boyne, traveling each week is a new adventure for him. After completing his BS in Hospitality Management from Eastern Michigan and a MSA from Central Michigan University, he worked in various positions in the hospitality field including General Manager at several franchised hotels in major Midwest cities. In his free time, he enjoys movies, running, Tigers baseball, spending time with friends and family and craft beer tasting. Favorite vacations are a leisurely week of sun and the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and an annual camping and tubing trip along the Rifle River. His trip of a lifetime is to visit Australia.
Inspector 401 has been a AAA/CAA inspector for over 26 years, working prior to that for several major tour operators and as a travel agent. She is now based in Ontario, but has hot-air-ballooned over the plains of Kenya, walked up a portion of the Great Wall of China, held giant bats in Bali and sailed the Galapagos Islands. Modes of transportation have included motorcycles in the United States and Canada, donkeys in Greece, elephants in Asia and camels in Egypt. A recent trip to India fulfilled a lifetime dream of visiting the Taj Mahal and it far exceeded her expectations. She believes every day should be an adventure but when asked her favorite place, she never hesitates to say her cottage home wins hands down, every time.
After more than 10 years roaming NC (plus 15 other states and the Caribbean) on behalf of AAA, Inspector 440 suspects she would go bat-guano crazy if she had to work a 9-5 job in a cubicle again. Between her formative years as a military brat and her family’s love of summer vacations, her course was set early for a nomadic life. Some of her fondest childhood memories are of criss-crossing North America on the vinyl backseat of the family Chevy, Red Rover, taking in scenic wonders while bickering with her brother, declaring a cease-fire only when their father threatened to cancel Christmas, or the green and gold lights of the next Holiday Inn (and more importantly, their pool) came into view on the horizon. Now she hits the road solo, windows down and Springsteen blasting, firmly believing that the best sounding words in the English language are “Let’s go!”
Inspector 494 hails from the rich farmlands of southern Minnesota, but feels most at home atop the Rocky Mountains or under the big sky of the Great Plains. Furthering his 17-year career at AAA, he’s back in the saddle after a decade of working the revenue generation side of the business. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of the industry to improve AAA member’s travel experiences, and has an appreciation for the simple places as well as world-renowned locations. He has visited many of both in his travels throughout Mexico, Canada & the U.S. and when asked, “What’s the best place you’ve ever eaten in or stayed at,” his response is, “What do you mean by best?” Creating a memorable experience is really all about exceeding expectations – whether at a hot dog stand, or a ‘fancy schmancy’ hotel.
Inspector 503 has been with AAA since 2008, in college she majored in Hospitality and Restaurants and knew she wanted to be an inspector at some point. Fairly quickly after graduation, while working for a casino hotel, she had some help from fate and luck when she found out about the AAA Inspector position. Her most intense experience came just two weeks into her training, when she got to visit Montana… in February… during a record setting snowfall. Since then she has visited numerous other states all with considerably nicer weather. Although, returning to Montana, in the summer, is something she would like to do. When she isn’t out inspecting, she enjoys movies, reading, and baking when the mood strikes. Her territory now consists of areas in Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas and Kentucky.
Inspector TCH is a regional manager of lodging and restaurant inspections with 28 years of AAA and CAA experience. He is responsible for inspections across Canada, as well as the northern states lining the 49th parallel, and portions of Mexico and the Caribbean. Prior to that, he spent 10 years in the food and beverage industry in Western Canada. “If you’ve ever seen the movie Julia, I related very well to Ms. Child’s claim that she dreams about food. That is a passion of mine that this job allows me to indulge.”
Inspector QE2 caught the travel bug as a youngster when taken on a trip to British Honduras, now known as Belize, and has hit the road for extended trips ever since; backpacking through Europe, a four year stint in the UK, six months camping across Australia and many other spots. Trips were funded by many years in the wine business and hotel industry. Spending several years now in her dream job with AAA/CAA has enabled her to continue her travels and she now spends more time on the road than at home, covering parts of British Columbia, Alberta and the Caribbean. Her plan is to continue for many years to come.