Thank you to Todd Cimino-Johnson, Owner of impACT Tours & Travel, LLC, for answering these questions! Learn more about the Chamber’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility (DEIA) Committee here.
Where were you born and raised and, if it was someplace else, why did you make Leesburg/Loudoun your home?
I was born and raised in Martinsburg, West Virginia, just an hour away. Me and my husband moved to Leesburg so he could reduce his commute to work. We picked Leesburg because it seemed like a wonderful place to live. We were right!
When did you launch your first business and how did you get into your current line of work?
Out of college I was a corporate accountant for 12 years. From there I went into higher education teaching business and economics for seven years. impACT Tours and Travel began March 2021, during the pandemic. I saw a need to offer travel services as the pandemic was not going to last forever. Some travel companies did not make it and I saw an opportunity. I focus on educational travel for groups but offer any type of travel services.
Have you had any special mentors or inspirations that influenced your career?
My biggest mentor right now is my husband. He is very supportive as I have changed careers. I can bounce ideas off him and he gives great advice.
I am also inspired by my father. He passed away when I was 14 but he was always working hard. He was an entrepreneur and I saw what he put into his business and what he got out of it.
What is the best part of your job and why?
Working for myself is the best part. I can set my own goals, schedule, and metrics. The downside is that it can be hard to turn that off and not always think about the business when I should be relaxing.
The second-best part is seeing people finish their trip and hearing how happy they are they went. Many of the groups we book are school based. Taking a group of students to New York City for the first time is fun. The students are excited, inspired, and wide eyed with that experience. It makes it worth it knowing you have impacted a life.
What is it like owning/running a business in Loudoun?
It is wonderful! I never saw myself starting and running my own business as I always worked for companies. I taught entrepreneurship for seven years in higher education. So, all the advice and knowledge I passed onto students I put to work for myself. Loudoun offers a great opportunity to network and meet great people. I have met so many wonderful people at Chamber events and other events.
What does Pride Month mean for you?
Pride month for me means remembering those who were LGBTQ+ that came before me and fought for equality. Without them my marriage might not be recognized, or society might not be as accepting as they have been. It also means we still have a lot more work to do with how some groups are demonizing our transgender brothers and sisters. Being a minority and having to fight for the rights afforded to others is tough. Pride Month lets us celebrate the gains we have won and the focus on what’s remaining.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you are not working?
Travel is one of my favorite things to do. Even though my brain is always working while on vacation and traveling it is great to get away and relax. I also enjoy reading. I usually have two to three books I am reading at the same time.
Learn more about Todd’s business, impACT Tours & Travel, LLC, here.