That’s when the brother-and-sister team, Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez, founded First in Service. The pair grew up traveling the world—their mother was a pioneer in the travel industry, running one of the first woman-owned travel agencies in the 1970s. And her children followed in her entrepreneurial footsteps: When First in Service launched in 1991, Erika had been working in travel for 17 years but had always dreamed of striking out on her own. Fernando, who didn’t originally plan on a career in travel (it was going to either be architecture or engineering), joined her—and the two have never looked back.
Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez launch First in Service, which was originally called Erika’s Worldwide Tours. Erika had been working as a travel agent and Fernando was in his freshman year of college when they started the company. Their first account: The Embassy of Spain.
First in Service moves from its original location at 141 West 42nd Street in New York to their new home, all the way across the street at 130 West 42nd Street—where the New York office is still based today.See Our New York Office
In 1995, the first independent consultant (IC) joins the company. During this time, First in Service strategically diversifies its client portfolio and enters the fashion world, working with iconic companies like Ford Models, Wilhelmina Models and Elite Model Management.
Kennedy Travel, one of the first leisure agencies in the world to specialize in LGBTQ travel, becomes affiliated to First in Service Travel
Another important partnership is established—this time with industry powerhouse Tzell Travel Group.
Hispanic Business magazine names First in Service one of the 100 fastest growing companies.
F1S expands into the entertainment sector, and soon the client roster includes A-listers and other top talent in the industry.See Our Expertise in Entertainment
First in Service goes global, opening its first international office in Bogota, Colombia.See Our Bogota Office
With a growing team, First in Service rebrands and revamps its New York City headquarters.
The same year, Travel Agent magazine names Erika a “Top 25 Agent” and F1S Helps—the company’s giving-back initiative—is established, with Fernando’s daughter, Sofia, serving as the F1S Children’s Ambassador.
F1S heads to the west coast, opening its Los Angeles office.
During this time, the company expands further into leisure travel with its signature Wonderwall program.See Our Los Angeles Office
Having already mastered travel by land and air, First in Service launches cruising, one of our fastest-growing divisions.
Virtuoso names Fernando “Most Innovative Advisor” at its annual awards ceremony.
First in Service continues to expand its international presence with the opening of its newest office in Toronto, Canada.See Our Toronto Office