#PCTImpact: Meet the Bloggers


The staff of Premier Custom Travel and some of our VIP clients are headed to the Dominican Republic for a very special fathom impact + travel cruise. Throughout the 7-night cruise, each member of the traveling party will be sharing their experiences via various social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and this blog.

Here is a brief introduction to our group:

Chris Grum is the Owner/President & CEO of Premier Custom Travel and an avid cruiser with a wide variety of itineraries and ships in his sailing history. Chris was born in Dallas and has lived all over the country since then. Growing up, he spent about ten years in Westchester County, just outside of New York City. He also spent a couple of years going to school in Pennsylvania. His high school years were spent in Lufkin, Texas and that’s where he got his first job in radio. The broadcasting industry would ultimately take him to Boston, Las Vegas, back to Lufkin and finally to Houston. Over a 25-year career, he played every type of music and met (and worked with) some amazing people.

A long-time supporter and fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Chris is especially looking forward to improving the quality of life for both the children and the adults of the Dominican Republic.

Scott McAlister is Vice President & Group Coordinator for Premier Custom Travel. He spent over nine years in the outdoor gear & clothing industry and also worked in the broadcast industry for several years.

Scott currently volunteers with the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo on the Special Attractions Committee and the Armed Forces Appreciation Committee. He is active with the Woodlands Church and its Disaster Relief Ministry. Scott spent a great deal of time recently working on repairing flooded homes in his area.

He is also a licensed Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty – The Woodlands, specializing in assisting Veterans with their real estate needs.

Michelle McAlister is an elementary teacher with 15 plus years of experience and a Custom Travel Concierge for Premier Custom Travel in her spare time. She graduated from McCullough High School in The Woodlands, Texas and attended Stephen F. Austin State University where she graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. Later she attended Lamar University while teaching in Willis and earned a Masters degree in Education Administration.

Michelle was CC Hardy’s Teacher of the Year in 2004 and was named the Elementary Teacher of the Year for Willis ISD. She was also recognized as a regional Teacher of the Year finalist for Region VI. She has been interested in travel as long as she she can remember, and is excited to be a part of this amazing voyage. Michelle is a volunteer at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, working on the Special Attractions Committee.

Growing up in a military family, Melissa Watkins had the opportunity to live in seven different states and Puerto Rico all before age fourteen.  After graduating from Texas A & M with an education degree, Melissa was offered a position at Harby Jr. High in Alvin, Texas, where she is currently a 6th grade World Cultures and Language Arts teacher.  During her tenure, Melissa has led teachers, coached soccer, sponsored the National Junior Honor Society, and was voted Teacher of the Year in 2013.  It’s that school year that affected her most because she witnessed her students put their all into helping complete strangers.

In the summer of 2012, Melissa found an email pen pal exchange and signed her students up.  They learned all about students from nine different countries, but a school in Uganda ended up being the most important.  After hearing about the school’s loss of its one and only restroom (for 650 students) to a flood, Melissa and her students began fundraising.  After four months of hard work, almost $3,000 was raised to build two new restrooms for the school.  Since then, the students in Melissa’s class exchange letters every year with the Ugandan students, and continue fundraising to help with school fees.  Deep bonds have formed between the two schools. It is lessons like this that show just how a little impact can change everyone’s life.

When not teaching, Melissa enjoys spending time with friends, relaxing with a good book, watching movies, and planning for the next school year.

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Megan Annecharico was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. She is a retired business owner with over three decades in the pest control industry. She attended SMU and has a degree in Business Administration from Bliss College. Megan enjoys the NCIS tv shows, movies (especially romantic comedies and westerns) and is a huge Disney fan, traveling to the Magic Kingdom as often as possible.

Her other favorite past destinations include Alaska, Portugal and Norway. This is her first trip to the Dominican Republic. Her husband Lou will also be one of our guest bloggers.

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Lou Annecharico was born in New Jersey but raised in Miami, so having our cruise depart from that port is like a homecoming. Lou has a degree in entomology from the University of Florida. When not killing bugs during his many years in the pest control industry, you can find him studying them. He also enjoys the outdoors, especially kayaking and fishing.

Lou and his wife Megan are both retired and frequent travelers. When not flying or sailing to a new destination, you can find them criss-crossing the country in their motorhome.


Throughout our journey, we’ll post our thoughts on the ship, the excursions and the impact we’ve had on the Dominican Republic (and in turn, the impact it has had on us).

All of our updates (including these blogs) will be available in one place:


Have questions or comments for us? Either comment on these blog posts below or send us feedback at impactquestions@premiercustomtravel.com

One comment

  • Lou Annecharico

    One day before we leave. The packing is almost done. Chris has all our travel plans under control. Now it is time to focus on the trip. I have researched the arthropods (BUGS) that we might see on the trip and hope to have some great photos of some new bugs. The Dominican Republic has not had much in the way of arthropod (BUGS) research done. We may find some undiscovered animals on this trip. The big thing is that we will be helping people. Ya, we are there only four days, what impact can that make? Well That is four days times 700 people on the ship. That is a lot of help. That is equal to 2,800 work days of help. YES we will make a difference! Think about it, how many of us can say we helped re-forest an area with hard woods for cooking fuel and fruit trees for free food that will impact the local people for decades. Help make homes safer by replacing dirt floors by pouring concrete floors. Help the locals develop paper re-cycling, and to helpveach them english so they can get higher paying jobs. We will make a positive impact with the people. Now that is exciting.