Please Go Away™ Vacations Team
MARILYN J. KOPKE / President
A graduate of Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas with a BA Degree in Business Administration. She has been actively engaged in the day-to-day growth of the business since 1972 and has also personally hosted travel experiences throughout the world during this time.
Marilyn is also active in her community, serving as an officer and board member of multiple civic organizations, including Past President and current board member of Pilot Club with an emphasis on assisting brain damaged individuals of all ages. During her tenure as Membership Chair and President her leadership and resulting membership growth resulted in the Great Bend organization being recognized as one of only two clubs in the world (the other in Tokyo, Japan) for having created the most outstanding membership development programs. She also currently serves as a board member of the Golden Belt Community Concert Association.
She is the mother of two daughters and one grandson. Her husband is Larry.
PAULA AXMAN / Vice President
As officer and owner, Paula utilizes her 28 years of travel experience with Please Go Away™ Vacations to oversee the daily operations of the corporation and to manage multiple specially-created "private label" departures throughout the world for various private organizations; as well as the personally-hosted groups division of Please Go Away™ Vacations itself. She has been recognized nationally by multiple professional travel organizations for her innovative capabilities and the effective management procedures she has developed.
Her pleasant personality and uncanny ability to retain multiple factoids of useful information have also made her a favorite personal hostess on numerous group travel experiences she has personally escorted throughout the world. In 2015 she was named "One of the Top 25 Travel Agents in the United States" by TravelAgent Magazine.
Paula is a native of Hoisington, KS and attended Barton County Community College. Residing in Olmitz, KS, she and her husband, Kenneth, have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren, including a set of twins.
More than likely, Annette’s mature attitude, sparkling personality and pleasant demeanor will be your initial contact with our organization when you call or stop by our offices. She will quickly direct you to the first person available to serve you.
Annette was literally ushered into the lure and love of foreign travel experiences at birth, having been born in Germany as a U.S. citizen, and living there for a period of time with her military-engaged family She has traveled extensively prior to joining our team. Craig is President of T&C MFG & Operating, Inc. of Great Bend. With the increasing demand for our professional travel services, combined with a number of new opportunities to serve additional geographic areas that have recently been presented to us, the need to commit to the future is paramount. We are delighted Annette has joined our team.
She attended Brown Mackie Business College and has been married for 30 years to Craig. Craig is President of T&C MFG & Operating, Inc., Great Bend, KS They have three children: Brandon, Clinton and Shantel; and 3 grandsons: Brinson, Easton & Braxton. Her family's motto is "Faith, Respect, Honesty and Honor." She and Craig have been members of the First Christian Church in Great Bend for 20 years where their children grew up in the Christian faith. Annette and Craig enjoy camping, tropical and other vacations, and quiet nights on the deck.
LARRY KOPKE / Secretary-Treasurer
Born and raised in Pawnee Rock, KS, Larry earned his AB Degree in Political Science from Fort Hays State University and his Doctor of Laws Degree from Washburn University School of Law. An active practicing attorney for numerous years heading his own firm, he retired from the practice in the mid-70s to enjoy full time his passion for travel and the creation and development of successful business opportunities after his wife, Marilyn, had purchased a tiny travel agency.
Working primarily behind the scenes of daily front office operations, his efforts are directed toward working in the creation and promotion of successful travel programs for multiple organizations, resulting in membership benefits packages and monetarily rewarding programs for the organizations themselves. As he has developed, and actually participated in, travel programs on all 7 continents and all the oceans of the world for these organizations, Larry has pioneered the concept of “win-win” relationships utilizing his personally developed “3-Legged Stool” and "3 Promotional Pillars" concepts of promotional programs and service.