A Brief history of The Travel Group


As mentioned, it all started in 1948 with our founder, Bernard “Bud” Dober, a true pioneer in the retail travel industry in Connecticut and New England. His first location was in the historic Arcade in downtown Bridgeport almost opposite the Barnum Museum, thus the name Barnum Travel. Bud would tell stories of booking clients on the original Queen Mary or ticketing clients for European flights on Pan Am and TWA when the new modern DC-3 was all the buzz in the infancy of the retail travel industry, or how he would escort clients on trips to St. Andrews to play golf. He had a million stories to tell and he loved his vocation until the day he left us for a better place.

Barnum Travel was renamed The Travel Group in 1990 to reflect the acquisitions that started in 1988 when Glenn and Sandy Ward, then owners of All-Ways Travel, bought  Barnum and Greenfield Hill Travel, and later buying Imperial Travel, Kingsway Travel and incorporating Continental Travel into one entity.

It is interesting to note the following: Barnum started in 1948; All-Ways in 1968 May Strader and Marie Keller Owners; Imperial in 1969 John Duncan Owner; Greenfield Hill in 1978 Sheila Madow Owner; Continental in 1989 Maria Mathe Owner; Kingsway in 1990 Barbara Crisanti Owner. All of the above agency owners, with the exception of Barbara Crisanti and Maria Mathe, started their respective careers working for Bud Dober at the original Barnum Travel. However, Maria Mathe began her career working for John Duncan of Imperial Travel.


1. Superior Travel Knowledge

2. Customized Vacations

3. Global Expertise

4. Online Price Match Guarantee

5. Celebrating Over 66 years of Service

6. Satisfaction Guaranteed

“As I look back now, as President of The Travel Group, I can’t help but reflect on the history and longevity of these owners over those many decades, the changes they saw, the experiences they had, the professionalism they brought to our industry and how they served our communities. Collectively, the above-mentioned represent 227 years of experience that have been passed down to the current generation of The Travel Group and why, 66 years later, we are still here to serve our community and fellow travelers with passion and commitment.”

Glenn Ward | President

Agents & Staff

Glenn Ward – President

Formerly Vice President of Northeast Bancorp, left banking in 1987 to pursue his passion and knowledge of travel. His primary focus the first few years was directed toward consolidation starting with the purchase of All-Ways Travel in 1985, then Barnum Travel, Imperial Travel, Greenfield Hill Travel and finally Kingsway Travel creating The Travel Group. His expertise, from the beginning, has been group travel with a mandate that he and Sandy would personally escort each and every group to insure the best possible experience. Glenn estimates that he and Sandy have escorted at least 85 cruise tours from 7 to 18 days in length as well as 70 plus land tours of 6 to 22 days in length. His favorite destination being Italy.

“We have clients/friends from coast-to-coast and around the world yet the relationships we form and the lives we are able to enhance within our own community seem to provide us with the greatest sense of purpose and lasting satisfaction.”

Sandra “Sandy” Naylor-Ward – Secretary/Treasurer

Formerly a Contracts Administrator for Summagraphics in Fairfield, Sandy left her position in 1985 to become Agent/Owner of All-Ways Travel, Inc. with the primary responsibilities of servicing corporate, individual and leisure travel clients. Her passion for travel is centered on anywhere in Europe or the Caribbean Islands. Sandy and Glenn both lived in Black Rock where they met and married in 1969 and still maintain strong community ties.

Benard “Bud” Dober – Founder

Our founder in 1948, was considered by our travel partners, i.e., the major airlines, cruise lines, hotels and resorts to be the most knowledgeable travel agent in the country which is probably why he was elected President of the first ever National Travel Consortium in the United States in 1968. He is very much missed by his colleagues, clients and friends but the legacy continues and we, at The Travel Group, all endeavor to match his ability to fulfill their expectations.

Gabriella Dober – Travel Consultant

Gabi was in the travel business for over 40 years before retiring. She was involved in all aspects of the office including back office systems and reservations. She is the dedicated and loving wife of the late founder, Bernard “Bud” Dober.

Maria Mathe – Travel Consultant

Maria has been in the travel business for over 45 years. Born in Hungary, she is a long time resident of Easton, CT. Her specialty is customized trips to Hungary and has vast experience with all types of leisure travel.

Jason Ward – Travel Consultant

 Jason started with the agency in 1988 spending his days delivering airline tickets to the agency’s corporate clients and creating relationships.  He is a passionate musician and drummer since childhood and expert restorer of vintage drums.  Jason is a sales associate focusing on individual leisure travel and worldwide travel for musicians and bands; some famous and some not-so-famous but all are treated as rock stars.  Jason has resided in Milford, CT for the past 21 years.  He is described as Mr. Congeniality.



Mr. Dober was very professional, and very puctual with e-mail correspondence and questions answered. Mr. Dober was also very patient, and his customer care is what I valued most.

Robert B., North Carolina

Great to deal with. Extremely detailed and best price overall. Will definitely use him again. Thanks David!


Andy G. Illinois

Promptly responds to e-mail questions. Takes care of all the trip details. Very well organized. Family trip to Italy worked exactly as planned. Fantastic experience.

Robert H. Texas

David was very responsive to our requests and was very personable during our interactions.


Robert B., North Carolina