Chima Travel History

Our family-owned travel agency has grown a lot since 1918. Four generations later we're excited to share that history with you.
Our Founding

In 1904 Peter Chima sailed to the US from Romania at the age of 19 and settled in Newark, Ohio.

He was the first generation of Chima Travel.



In 1912 Peter returned to Romania and married 14-year-old Mary Lancea. Unfortunately, we don’t know who the dog is.



Between 1912 and 1917 Peter and Mary helped their Romanian friends by expanding into foreign exchange and selling steamship tickets.

In 1916 the Chimas earned their U.S. citizenship.

Technically 2020 could’ve been Chima Travel’s 108th year in business.


Akron, Ohio

In 1918 the Chima family moved to Akron, Ohio.

They set up shop at 1132 S. Main Street, where they would remain until 1967.


The Family Grows

Peter and Mary had 6 children – Cornel, Nick, Virgil, George, Mary, and Helen.

This photo was taken in 1926 during the family’s first vacation to Romania on a steamship.

Here is everyone, except Cornel, with Grandpa Lancea. (Guess where Lance got his name.)


World War 2

Cornel, Nick, and Virgil joined the Air Force, and George joined the Infantry. Virgil was killed in action and George was wounded in Germany.

Peter worked on the Selective Service board for 7 years. There was no travel so he added insurance and real estate to his business.


2nd Generation Chima Travel

Mary, Helen, Cornel, and George joined the family business as the second generation of Chima Travel. All but Helen married and started having children of their own.



George’s wife Jean decorated the windows and won a third place prize of $50 in an ASTA contest.



During the second generation of Chima Travel the agency began a long-lasting partnership with the University of Akron.

NYC Thanksgiving Tour

In 1960 the first New York Thanksgiving Theatre Tour was co-sponsored by the Akron Beacon Journal. The tour ran for 44 consecutive years.

New York World's Fair

Every weekend George ran buses to the 1964 / 1965 New York World’s Fair.

Some weekends he had 5 full buses.


In 1967, after 49 years on S. Main Street, Chima Travel moved to the Wallhaven Building at 1650 W. Market Street.


When Peter and Mary finally traveled somewhere other than Romania, they chose Hawaii

Chima Travel’s second generation hobnobbing with celebrities in NYC.

Lance got his first taste of international travel in 1970 and joined the family business in 1977.


3rd Generation Chima Travel

By 1985 Derek, Craig, and Lance had all joined the Chima Travel team.

Derek joined in 1985, Craig joined in 1982, and Lance joined in 1977.


52 Sand Run Road

In 1990, after 23 years in the Wallhaven office, Chima Travel moved to 52 Sand Run Road.

Helen, Mary, and George retired from this location.



In 2000 Chima Travel moved to its current location at 55 Merz Blvd.

Cornel (aka CP) and Craig retired from this location.



Brian (the fun Chima) joined the team in 2012 as the 4th generation of Chima Travel.




Robin joins the Chima Travel team in 2019.

Teri and Will join in 2022. 

Our history would not be possible without the support of you, our valued clients over the past century. 

Mulțumesc (“Many thanks” in Romanian) to you, our phenomenal clients, for making the dreams of a young Romanian immigrant in 1918 and three subsequent generations come true.