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ACIS Staff Spotlight: Meet Heidi

November 1, 2023 Sarah Bichsel 1 Comment

Get to know ACIS in our Staff Spotlight series where we introduce the amazing team members who help make your educational travel dreams a reality. Next up is Heidi Pettit, Director of Relationship Management.

1. Tell us a little about yourself!

Hello! My name is Heidi. Fun fact, I was born in Germany while my parents lived there; and yes, I was named after the German cartoon, likely due to this catchy theme song. I love cooking, trying out new recipes, and shopping for unique houseware around the world.

2. When did you join the ACIS staff team?

I started as a child (kidding, sort of) back in 2003.

ACIS Staff member Heidi in Capri

3. What made you want to work in travel?

Although I was born abroad, I grew up in South Dakota. Instead of Christmas presents my parents gave us lots of trips. I was hooked at a young age. Since working at ACIS, I have tried to experience as many new countries or destinations as I possibly can each year.

Heidi in Egypt

4. What is your favorite travel destination?

This is always the toughest question to answer. For countries, I’d say Italy, and for cities, I’d say Paris.

5. Talk about a “Travel Changes Lives” moment that has happened for you.

Certainly a Travel Changes Lives Moment for me would have to be traveling to Boston in May of 2003…with one suitcase packed to “just live there for the summer.” I started working at ACIS shortly after, traveled the world, met my husband, and had three kids. I’d never been to Boston before that trip!

6. Where do you want to go that you haven’t been and why?

Norway! Many of my ancestors are from Norway, and I’d love to travel there (with my mom and dad) to try and meet some of our distant cousins. Traveling through the fjords looks breathtaking!

Heidi in front of the Sphinx

7. What would your advice be to your younger self?

“Just GO! Book the trip, figure it out, and learn some languages too.”

8. Any fun stories from your trips to share?

The last time I was in Costa Rica, the group I was with was going zip lining (you have to do that in Costa Rica!). The group was a wide age range of adults. I was determined to avoid the “Tarzan swing” at the end -sorry, not a thrill seeker really – but then I saw an 80-year-old take the swing right in front of me, and just before that his 75-year-old wife did the same, and I was like “yeah, I guess I am going have to do that Tarzan swing.” I did it, and there is a pretty hysterical video (proof!) of me screaming like a child or maybe some sort of wild jungle animal. ACIS has it stashed somewhere. 😊

Heidi and her family

9. I can’t live without _________when traveling

A good podcast. I only listen to them when I’m on a plane or in my car on a long road trip. I always have to ask my sister for her latest fave to download before my trip.

10. Strudel or sachertorte?


11. Spaghetti or pizza?  


Sarah Bichsel

Sarah Bichsel

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