Peck moving in a new direction
After a lifetime of public service, Orange County native Patsy Peck has made a career move in a new direction. In September of 2007, she started as a home based Traverus Travel agent.
“I thought this would be a great way to earn a little extra income when I retired. My daughter was married in Hawaii and we did a destination wedding. We did not have a very good travel agent.
That spurred the interest in doing destination weddings,” said Peck.
She firmly believes that it is important to get all of the facts and information possible when booking trips, cruises, tours and wedding destinations. A lot of training and certification work was involved to give Peck the ability to start booking trips for friends and family. Little did she know that the idea of working as a full-time travel agent would catch on like wildfire.
“I had no idea it would take off at the speed it has. There’s nothing like word of mouth and advertising when it comes to making or breaking something. Both have worked for me. My business is growing more and more with each year,” said Peck.
A part-time fascination with assisting customers with their travel needs turned into a blossoming new lifestyle for Patsy and her husband of five years, David.
Patsy had worked for the Orange County Adult Probation Department in the Vidor probation office for 10 years. She retired in June. Peck had also worked as a church secretary in the area for the 20 years prior. Working so closely with the public and other computer related duties gave her added skills to aid in her current career.
“The work for the county was investigative type work using search programs to find probationers who had not kept up with reporting to the probation office or who had not kept current on their fees. It would take lots of cross searching, phone calls and hunches that would lead to the location and arrest of many people. I have to say, I got quite a kick out of this part of my job,” said Peck.
She was transferred to the main office in Orange in December 2005 to continue her tracking duties and also her primary job of working with court officers. She held that position until the destruction of Hurricane Ike in September. At that time, the downtown office was destroyed. Peck and others were moved to a temporary location at the sheriff’s training facility.
“Some of our support staff duties had to be revised due to the location, to accommodate for this change. I enjoyed my 10 years with the probation office, but I was ready to do something different. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be able to do it now,” said Peck.
Not only did life take a rocky path for Patsy, but husband David found a shaky start to 2009. News came in December that the services of seven workers, including David, were no longer needed at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. With the loss of David’s job with the sheriff’s department, their situation began to look bleak.
“David was lucky enough to have enough years for retirement if he chose. God has a way of working good out of bad which is exactly what He did. I really don’t like to use the term, but ‘it was for the best that things happen,’” noted Peck.
As fate would have it, David received a call about a job opening and did secure a new job as the Corporate Department of Transportation Regulations Manager for Ohmstede Industrial Service. He now manages all of their sites including ones in Texas, California and Louisiana.
Patsy continued, “Retirement and Traverus will allow me to do so many things. I’m able to spend more time with our four children and seven grandchildren. My travel business is fairly flexible and mobile which allows me to travel with David when he has to go out of town for his job.”
Not only does Peck have many satisfied customers, she also has many return customers. Using a travel agent does not make travel planning any more expensive than going to some of the more well-known internet based booking sites. Peck prides herself in giving 100% to her clients when it comes to taking care of their travel needs.
Skip and Linda Moore recently returned from a trip to Mexico and said, “The trip was ‘excellent’ and we thank you so much for your help in organizing our trip. Everything you did turned out just right! Thanks so much. It was a needed break for the two of us.”
Peck believes that travel plans seem to turn out for the better if travelers take the time to let a travel agent work and search for them. She also says that it ends up saving a lot of time and effort. In addition, she states that trouble shooting down to the last minute is one of her specialities and is not only free of charge, but it’s her pleasure.
There are many different types of services offered by Peck and her ‘partner in crime’ Ellen Ray. Special destinations are one of their favorites, but they can put together travel packages that include everything from an overnight hotel stay to a special occasion cruise with all the trimmings. The wants and needs of local customers are never too great for Peck and Ray to tackle.
After a trip to Disney World, Ruth Hancock and family said, “Oh Patsy! What an amazing trip! We are so glad we went and can’t thank you enough for the effort you gave to our trip. There wasn’t one problem with any of our arrangements. Thanks again!”
Group trips are another important aspect that excited Peck in her Traverus work.
“I love doing these trips. You meet lots of new people, develop new friendships and see great places. We did a big New York City trip in December and a San Francisco trip in June that were both very successful.”
Peck and Ray are working hard to plan several group trips throughout the year to give people an extensive range of options. Not only do the trips feature a wide variety of activities, many are also very budget friendly. In October, Peck has set up a Georgia bus tour that includes four nights in Savannah, a Paula Dean tour with dinner at her restaurant and tours of several historic sites.
“This upcoming trip is booking so quickly. We recently advertised in The Record Newspapers that we had over 50 seats available and now we have just 30 seats remaining. How much better can it get, a wonderful husband and family, retirement from a job I thoroughly enjoyed every day and now a new business doing what I love.”
For more information on upcoming events or to get in touch with Patsy Peck call (409)670-6989 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Ellen Ray at (409)988-1619, e-mail email@example.com. Please see the announcement in the Our Community bulletin board section of this paper.