History of Free Spirit Vacations & Events
Free Spirit Vacations is a division of Arko and Associates, Inc.
Arko and Associates, Inc. began business in August of 1995 as a marketing company for tourism based companies and has operated with the following mission statement since that time:
Arko and Associates, Inc. is a marketing firm that transcends the typical buyer/supplier relationship and connects people to people for the mutual success of all involved. Through the use of imagination, energy, and experience, Arko and Associates, Inc. provides each "partner" a customized tour or marketing program designed to meet individual needs.
Since 1995, Arko and Associates, Inc. has grown steadily based on the concept of relationship building and working towards mutually successful programs.
As an official tour division of the company, Free Spirit Vacations
began in September, 1999. The best tour operational personnel in
the industry was solicited and retained by the company. The office
staff has over 50 years experience in the industry.
Free Spirit Vacations is a member of the Cruise Lines International Association, the National Tour Association, the Arizona Tour Operators Association, and the Travel Alliance Partners. These organizations are comprised of quality operators who must meet certain performance standards. Free Spirit Vacations carries one million dollars in professional omissions and liability insurance. Safety, service, and customer satisfaction are top priorities.
Sue Arko, President and Owner of Free Spirit Vacations, is on the
board of directors for the Travel Alliance Partners, LLC. She has
her BS and MS from Arizona State University in Recreation/Tour and
Travel. She has over 25 years experience operating companies in
the leisure travel market.
Meet our Team
No one on the Free Spirit Vacations team has a traditional title. Free Spirit's corporate culture is one of working together to exceed guests' and team members' expectations and needs in a fun and cooperative environment. We strive to transcend the ordinary and provide guests with extra-ordinary experiences.
While many other people contribute to the success of Free Spirit Vacations, the following are the full time team members.
Sue Arko— Partner and Friend
In addition to conducting tours, Sue is actively involved
in producing and conducting special events, including Spotlight
on the Southwestern USA and Winter Break. Winter Break has
been awarded one of the Top 100 Events in North America by
the American Bus Association for two consecutive years (2005
and 2006). She is a Certified Tour Professional and an active
member of the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association, the
National Tour Association (serving on the Leadership Committee),
the American Bus Association, Cruise Lines International Association,
and the Travel Alliance Partners, LLC (serving on the Board
Sue is a single mom and the highlight of her life is when
she is able to travel with her daughter, Jacey.
Theresa King - Personality Plus
||Toni Willoughby - Lifestyle Director
||Lynn Lamont - Cruise Master
||Angela Wisely - Lifestyle Director - Wellness