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Harold D. Partain, CTC, CCTP, DS

1-harold-d-partain-ceoFounder and Executive Director
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Being equally at home in Italy and Texas, Harold has dedicated over 40 years to the travel industry. His ownership, management and training skills have lead several companies to success and recognition. Harold, a senior partner with McCabe Travel Group LLC, lectures on travel styles and trends, destinations, and the history of food – most recently at Brookhaven College in Dallas, and for various travel organizations and conferences. Often the theme of his lectures, as well as professional specialization, is the Mediterranean region.

Harold is the Founder and Executive Director of Epicopia Culinary Journeys. Epicopia is the natural evolution of a long travel career now focused on all aspects of culinary tourism. 

Focused on food and wine tourism Harold has marketed creatively designed travel experiences such as; Pilgrimage for the Perfect Pinot Noir, The Architecture of Wine Making: Spain's Commitment to the Future, Arts and Opera – A Taste of the Veneto, Down on the Farm – Italian Style, and recently developed a travel series focused on the Extraordinary Women of Wine, among many others.

In a remote region of eastern Tuscany where he spends time each year Harold advises and consults with several local enterprises; Priello – a restored 50 acre 17th century hillside organic farm, Valle di Mezzo one of the largest goat farms in Italy and the only 'fabbricazione di formaggio di artiginale' in the region, and Farm In Tuscany – a management/reservation service for agriturismi, country houses and village apartments.

Harold has served on the Board of Directors of the International Culinary Tourism Association (ICTA) since 2004. In October 2006 his professional colleagues honored him when he was elected Vice-Chairman, Board of Directors. He was elected Chairman, Board of Directors in 2011. He also serves as Chairman of the Education & Certification Committee. Harold also serves on the Advisory Board for Foodtrekker.com.

Harold was one of the first to earn the CCTP designation confirmed by ICTI – International Culinary Tourism Institute. CCTP – Certified Culinary Travel Professional is the only industry certification program available for those seeking a higher level of knowledge and verification of their professional dedication to the high standards of culinary tourism.

Harold's career led to Dallas in 1972 where he has been associated with several leading travel companies. His knowledge, management and training skills helped to bring these companies to national recognition. In 1991, Harold founded Exclusive Travel Designs International with business partner, Ann Olene Sale.

A passion for books and seeing a change ahead in the travel industry led Harold in 1997 to accept the challenge as Director of Travel Operations for Voyagers The Travel Store in Dallas. His association helped to forge the team that quickly grew the company to four retail locations and a substantial Internet Store offering complete travel services along with travel books, luggage, accessories and a wide range of travel related gifts.

Harold studied at Ouachita Baptist University, University of Arkansas, and University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He did advance degree study for Masters in Philosophy at New York University.

His passion for travel is contagious. The wonders of the Ancient World always beckoned him. Harold's collection of international postage stamps was a farm child's link to the mysterious and unusual. He spent hours watching planes high above winging their way to unexplored worlds. Today he is passionate in sharing these adventures with his many clients.

Harold is an avid supporter and member of the Slow Food movement. He makes every effort to live by the Epicopia philosophy, "Eat Local, Drink Local, With the Locals!"

Our Partners: 

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