Charlotta Adolfsson

Charlotta Adolfsson

Born in Uppsala, Sweden, Charlotta Adolfsson now resides in Aix-en Provence, France. Charlotta has worked in the travel and restaurant industry for almost 10 years.

While in Sweden, Charlotta worked as a night stewardess on the Seabourn Pride, a ship that earned the World's Best Cruising Ship Award in 1993 and 1994. She has served as head receptionist in charge of conferences for the Hotel and Seminary AHUS STRAND. Most recently, she has been the marketing manager for the Hotel and Restaurant GASTIGIVARGARDEN. Charlotta has been with AHI since 2000 and has directed groups in South Africa, Egypt and several European countries.

Charlotta is fluent in Swedish, French and English and can understand a little German. In her spare time, Charlotta enjoys hiking, horseback riding, swimming and other forms of exercise. Her other passions include gastronomy, wine tasting and travel.

Paula Afonso Fernandes

Paula Afonso Fernandes

Born in Lisbon, Paula Afonso Fernandes now resides in San Sebastián, Spain. Her educational pursuits earned her a degree in Tourism Technics and Tourist Guide. She also graduated from the New University of Lisbon with an anthropology degree. She pursued English and Italian language studies at Lisbon’s American Language Institute and its Italian Institute.

Paula, who has spent more than 20 years in the tourism industry in a diverse range of activities, finds tourist guiding her favorite. She is multilingual and fluent in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, her native language.

Cristina Albergo

Cristina Albergo

Cristina Albergo was born and raised in Bari in Italy’s Apulia region. She earned a bachelor’s degree in translation and interpretation studies. Her areas of study included English and Spanish linguistics and history.

Cristina has lived and led travel groups in Italy and Spain, and she has worked in Greece. She has traveled extensively throughout the world and enjoys meeting and working with people from other countries and cultures.

In addition to her native Italian, Cristina is fluent in English and Spanish, and she has studied French.

An avid traveler and cyclist during her free time, Cristina says her “backpack is always ready for new destinations.” Cristina volunteers on environmental projects, and she also is a certified hatha yoga instructor.

Emanuele Aprea

Emanuele Aprea

Emanuele Aprea graduated from the University of Naples and worked as a dental technician for over a decade. In search of new experiences, he moved to London, England, where he spent two years studying English and further developing his career. Upon his return to his native Naples, he began working for his family's destination management company, which specializes in leading travelers throughout southern Italy.

Passionate about his homeland, Emanuele looks forward to welcoming you to Italy. A talented artist, Emanuele's work has been showcased in citywide events in Naples. In his free time, he enjoys painting, photography, art and learning about other cultures.

Sherif Attia

Sherif Attia

Sherif began his career in tourism in 2007 and has managed travel experiences for private tour groups, incentive travel groups, organizations and celebrities. His attention to detail and excellent communication skills are reflected in the outstanding customer service he provides. He looks forward to applying his expertise to create memorable experiences for our travelers.

Sherif graduated from Helwan University in Cairo, where he studied tourism guidance. He speaks Arabic and English.

Outside of work, Sherif enjoys reading, traveling and playing soccer.

Ines Becerra

Ines Becerra

Born in London, England, Ines Becerra spent most of her childhood in Santiago, Chile, as a result of her father's position as an International Official for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. She also lived in the United Kingdom, and has traveled extensively in North America, South America and Europe. Ines earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and Finance from Kingston University. In her professional career, she has worked in the hotel industry.

In her free time, Ines enjoys reading, gardening, music, snorkeling and swimming. She is fluent in English, Italian and Spanish. Ines also supervised and managed the cultivation of olives and sunflowers at her family's estate.

Amalia Alayza

Amalia Alayza Bettocchi

Amalia Alayza Bettocchi was born in Lima and raised on the central highlands of Peru. She returned to Lima to study at Villa Maria High School. Although she planned on becoming a dancer, she trained with the National Tourist Bureau during the weekends and school vacations. Amalia's favorite subject is Pre-Incan Art, Crafts and Folklore. After lecturing and guiding, Amalia became a Tour Director, leading groups around Peru.

Recently, Amalia has taught at San Marcos University, where she is also taking classes. She loves her country, its history, geography and traditions and is excited to share her knowledge with you.

Chiara Bracaloni

Chiara Bracaloni

A native of Tuscany, Chiara Bracaloni was born in Pisa and currently resides in Florence. After finishing her law studies at the University of Florence she began working as a tour leader, specializing in the Tuscan and Chianti regions of Italy where she has assisted travelers with her extensive knowledge of Italy. Chiara also worked during the contemporary art festival, Festival Fabbrica Europa, in 2006. She founded her own company, which interacts with cultural and tourism projects.

Chiara also enjoys studying languages. In addition to her native Italian, Chiara is also speak English and French, and has a knowledge of German. During her free time she enjoys movies, traveling and sports, especially running. Chiara has participated in several marathons around the world.

Fiona Brennan

Fiona Brennan

Born in London, Fiona Brennan now resides in Galway, Ireland. Fiona’s father came from Scotland, and her mother was from North Yorkshire, both areas Fiona knows well and loves. She returns as often as possible to her birthplace in London, where she has an apartment on the banks of the River Thames.

Fiona has worked in the hospitality and tourism industry for over 35 years. She and her husband also owned a successful pub and restaurant in the county of Galway.

For the last eight years, Fiona has enjoyed bringing many a walker along the streets of Galway. Fiona is also recommended by travel guide Rick Steves for her popular walking tours of Galway and holds a Failte Ireland Tour Guide badge. In the past, she has enjoyed the company of AHI travelers as a specialist guide in Galway.

Fiona’s hobbies include hill walking, particularly in the Yorkshire Dales, swimming, reading, equestrian sports and looking after her beloved pugs and Maltese dogs.

Frits Branner

Frits Branner

Born and raised in Copenhagen, Frits Branner is a former high school teacher who now enjoys leading U.S. and Australian travel groups in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. He’s also led groups on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway and Norway’s famous Hurtigruten ships.

Frits, who earned degrees in psychology and philosophy from the University of Copenhagen, is fluent in all three Scandinavian languages, as well as English and German. He also speaks some French and Italian.

His interests include history, politics, literature and sports.

Paul Bradley

Paul Bradley

Some 20 years ago, London native Paul Bradley traded city life in London for Spain's Costa del Sol, settling in the town of Nerja. He bought a local German-language magazine, which led him to the world of travel directing when a magazine advertiser asked him to lead a German travel group. In addition to leading groups, Paul writes local guidebooks and developed a website about Nerja.

Many years prior to settling in Spain, Paul spent some time living in Scotland. His job brought him all over the country including to places like Stirling, Glasgow, the Highlands and Edinburgh, where his grandfather was born.

Paul and his wife have two daughters. He speaks English, German, Spanish and some French. He looks forward to spending time with you on your trip.

MarieBroström

Marie Broström

Born and raised in Sweden, Marie Broström has lived on Poros Island since 1994.

After spending several years training and working as a nurse in Swedish hospitals, Marie became fascinated by foreign cultures and countries and traveled extensively throughout Europe.

Her love of travel inspired her to leave the nursing profession to pursue a career in the travel industry, a decision she doesn’t regret. Marie finds welcoming travelers to Greece to be stimulating and rewarding.

Marie is fluent in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, English and Greek. She also enjoys reading, traveling, exploring nature and interior design. She spends much of her free time with her family, friends and cat.

Fredrick Burke

Fredrick Burke

Fredrick Burke, one of AHI's most experienced Travel Directors, has guided AHI travelers on programs all over the world — more than 20 countries and counting!

Born into an Air Force family, Fredrick began traveling at a young age. When he finished high school, he joined the Army and hasn't stopped traveling since.

Fredrick's diverse experiences as a soldier; an English, history and geography teacher; and a production assistant on the Jacques Perrin documentary "Le Peuple Migrateur" make him an ideal Travel Director for your AHI journey. Before joining the AHI family, Fredrick also led adventure travel groups in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Fredrick, who was born in Delaware, now makes his home in France with his wife and two children. He enjoys skiing, scuba diving, hiking, swimming, biking and traveling.

He is fluent in English and French and has a working knowledge of German.

Marie Brusselmans

Marie Brusselmans

Marie Brusselmans was born and raised in Belgium, where she received both a French and Dutch education. After obtaining her MA degree in French Linguistics and Literature from the University of Louvain, she pursued her interest in history, literature and travel by working in publishing in Canada, journalism in France and the United Kingdom, and within cultural organizations such as the National Trust in London, before becoming a Travel Director.

Her career and her travels have taken her around North America and Europe, and she now lives in Normandy, France, with her British husband. She is fluent in English, French and Dutch, and relishes every opportunity to learn more languages and to share her enthusiasm and insights into European culture and history. When she is not traveling, she enjoys cooking, reading, writing, and spending time in her garden

Alejandra Cabieses

Alejandra Cabieses

Educated at the highly regarded Escuela Nacional de Turismo, Alejandra Cabieses has over two decades of experience in the tour industry. Early in her career, she spent several years teaching art history, geography and Peruvian history.

Alejandra has been welcoming and lecturing to travelers since 1986. Her expertise is widely respected and she has led groups from countries such as the United States, England and Korea. From 2003-2004, Alejandra was President of the Tour Guide Association in Lima. A native of Peru, she speaks Spanish and English fluently.

In her free time, Alejandra enjoys cooking, spending time with her husband and two children, and traveling to Europe, Central America and the United States.

Valentina Cioffrese

Valentina Cioffrese

Valentina Cioffrese earned her degree in Foreign Literatures from IULM University of Milan. After working in the advertising industry, she became a licensed city guide for the Milan area, as well as a licensed Tour Director. In addition to working as a tour guide and conductor in Milan, she has led tours in numerous cities in Italy, including Rome and Florence. Valentina is proud to be Italian and enjoys introducing people to her country.

Valentina's interests include yoga, dogs, drama, opera, history, architecture and art. She enjoys studying and developing her knowledge in these different areas.

Simona Contarini

Simona Contarini

Born in Padua and currently a resident of Florence, travel has been a predominant interest in Simona Contarini's life. Her studies have brought her abroad to Pasadena, California; Cambridge and London, England; and Montpellier, France. She holds a degree in Modern Languages from the University of Bologna.

Professionally, Simona worked for 25 years as a tour manager and has specialized in guiding groups through the many splendors of Tuscany since 1996. She is a licensed environmental guide and a member of the Association of Environment Guides.

Simona has also taught English and worked as an interpreter. In addition to her native Italian and English, she also speaks French and Spanish.

Simona has enjoyed traveling extensively across six continents! She spends her leisure hours participating in sports—including tennis, running and hiking—seeing movies at the theater and spending time with her daughter.

Kathleen Cullen

Kathleen Cullen

Coming from an illustrious career in the fashion industry, Kathleen Cullen looks forward to sharing her energy for life, enthusiasm for customer service and love for Ireland with you.

Prior to beginning a career as a travel director, Kathleen worked in the customer care department at Harvey Norman and as a high-profile sales assistant for ladies fashion at the Richard Alan and Escada department stores in Cork and Dublin. She also worked as a sales assistant in the sheet music department at Dublin’s McCullogh Piggots.

Kathleen studied arts and crafts, upholstery and wood turning at Abbeyleix Further Education Centre and has spent time volunteering at a local college presenting fashion shows.

During her free time, Kathleen enjoys public speaking, writing, gardening, restoring furniture, singing and traveling.

Daniel Duran Duelt

Daniel Duran Duelt

Daniel Duran Duelt’s passion for history is the cornerstone of a career that has included roles as a curator, historical advisor, researcher, teacher and consultant. He has also authored several books, contributed chapters for scholarly publications and written articles on historical topics. A native Spaniard, he has lived in Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and Greece.

Daniel attended the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as a doctorate, in history. In addition to Català and Spanish, he is fluent in French, English, Italian, Latin and classical Greek. Daniel looks forward to connecting personally with our travelers and sharing his expertise during their journeys.

Catherine Ekima

Catherine Ekima

The eighth child of an African family from Cameroon, Catherine was born in Paris, where her parents moved in the 1960s. Curious about people and cultures, she traveled to Africa to learn more about her origins, and then throughout Europe including to London where she worked as an au pair. She obtained a degree in Psychology and continued with a Master's degree in Languages (English and Spanish). She worked as a Bilingual Assistant in an international translating company. Then she completed her curriculum with a course in Art History and passed the exam of Tour Guide. She has been working as a Bilingual Licensed Tour Guide for 10 years, giving tours of the most renowned Parisian museums and monuments. Catherine's interests include physical activity including jogging and cycling, sports games like ping-pong and badminton, and writing a travel diary.

Ahmed El Housseiny

Ahmed El Housseiny

Active in the tourism industry since 2000, Ahmed has capably supervised tours throughout Egypt. He is skilled at client relations and has utilized this expertise while managing tours for a wide range of travelers, including incentive groups and celebrities. Ahmed is a graduate of Helwan University in Cairo where he majored in tourism.

Fluent in Arabic and English, he also has a good command of French and Italian. When he is not working, Ahmed enjoys reading, traveling and sports.

Marie Fitzpatrick

Marie Fitzpatrick

Born in Dublin, Marie has spent most of her life living in Ireland—apart from periods of study in France and Germany. She graduated from University College Dublin with a foreign languages degree and teaching diploma which she has used in adult foreign language teaching over many years.

Marie began her career (happily she says) accidently in tourism when hired by Dublin Tourism for her foreign language ability. Her passion for tourism and tour guiding grew from those early days. Over the last thirty years her career has included periods with the State Apartments, Dublin Castle managing visits by State dignitaries, European Union presidency meetings and organization of tour groups, and a decade with the Historic Properties and Heritage Services of the Office of Public Works, Ireland’s state agency for the preservation of state buildings and national parks. A return to study included a qualification in tour guiding management.

Marie has always loved working in the customer care and visitor management area in the leisure, conference and incentive sectors. She has enjoyed working on alumni programs and is an active participant on her own alumni social program at University College Dublin. In her leisure time Marie enjoys train travel, golf and yoga.

Martine Freeley

Martine Freeley

Born in County Mayo, on the beautiful West coast of Ireland, Martine Freeley is passionate about her country and is looking forward to welcoming you. Fluent in French, Martine received her training as a tour guide, translator and interpreter on the island of Corsica. She traveled extensively and worked in France, Italy and the United Kingdom. Now settled back home in Ireland as a certified national tour guide, Martine enjoys sharing the best of Irish culture with international travelers. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cycling, hiking and horseback riding. She loves cooking, baking and organizing dinner parties for family and friends.

Ivana Gavran

Ivana Gavran

Ivana was born in Zagreb, Croatia. She was raised in the picturesque countryside, where she developed a love for the outdoors and healthful, locally produced food.

After high school, she decided to study languages and literature at the University of Zagreb, and she also worked as a part-time guide and tour manager.

She earned a M.A. in Italian and Polish, and she also speaks English.

When she has free time, Ivana enjoys exploring and learning about the world, regardless of the means: reading a book, trekking in the nearby mountains in Croatia or traveling abroad.

RossieGelb

Rossie Gelb

Rossie Gelb was born and educated in Canada, but has spent the majority of her adult life in Israel, where she currently resides in Rehovot. She also has lived in Turkey, Korea and Japan. Rossie studied to be an ESL instructor at a university in Tokyo and she taught ESL in South Korea.

Rossie is an experienced tour leader who has led groups in more than 20 countries. She has traveled widely in North America, Europe and Asia.

Recently, she has sailed with AHI on several waterways of Europe and along the Yangtze River in China. Along with English, she can speak Hebrew, Yiddish, French and some Japanese.

Rossie is always willing to go that extra mile to ensure the success of your trip.

Colette Glynn

Colette Glynn

A native of Ireland, Colette earned her bachelor’s degree in English, Irish and economics at the National University of Ireland in Galway and a higher diploma in education at the university’s Maynooth location. A secondary teacher for many years, she frequently arranged student trips and also assisted on a travel program in Italy.

She is certified as a national tour guide and has received a post-graduate diploma in Italian from the National University of Ireland in Galway. Recently, she has served as a guide and tour director for American, English and Italian travelers and enjoys sharing the best of Irish culture with them.

In her free time, Colette enjoys reading, swimming, traveling and sports.

Christine Guyot

Christine Guyot

Born in Poitiers, France, Christine Guyot currently resides in Nice, France. She has served in the travel industry for over 20 years and will bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm to your program.

Throughout her long professional career, Christine has directed countless groups on a wide variety of travel programs including seminars, congresses, voyages and incentive programs. She has been an international cruise delegate and Cruise Director on the Mermoz and the Azur, France, and has served as Travel Director for incentive travel agencies in Paris. Christine has also served as a Cruise Director for Dutch, Italian, Swiss, and Greek travel companies. More recently, she spent time in China learning the language and graduated from the University of Guilin.

Christine is fluent in French, English, German, Italian and Chinese. She also speaks Spanish and Dutch.

Joannie Herbst

Joannie Herbst

Joannie Herbst has been escorting passengers around the world for over 20 years and has extensive experience and knowledge regarding European rivers and waterways.

A resident of St. Louis, Missouri, Joannie was a bilingual early childhood education teacher for many years before joining the travel industry. She also lived in Mexico for a few years while attending the National University in Mexico City. Joannie is fluent in Spanish and English.

Joannie loves to travel, explore, cook and entertain family and friends in her home in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. Joannie is thrilled to be a part of the AHI family and she hopes to help all passengers create lifetime memories and extraordinary experiences while on their trip.

Antonella Inferrera

Antonella Inferrera

After studying and working in different parts of Italy, Antonella has returned to work in her native Sicily.

She holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Catania.

She has worked as a tutor for foreign students at the university and is a longtime volunteer for a horse therapy association that works with people with special needs.

In addition to her native Italian, Antonella also speaks fluent English and some German.

Antonella enjoys leading travel programs across her homeland and looks forward to showing you the best of Sicily.

Ariana Kaplun

Ariana Kaplun

Ariana was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and studied cinema production and communications at the University of Buenos Aires. After a career in television production, she discovered her real vocation as a tour guide. She studied to become a professional tour guide and has since directed groups in different travel programs throughout South America. She has also served as a local tour guide in Buenos Aires and has been involved with AHI Travel groups since 2009.

Ariana has attended seminars and courses about art, architecture, the history of the Jewish community in Argentina and the history of the tango, among others. She is fluent in Spanish and English and has some knowledge of Hebrew and Portuguese. Her passion for traveling has taken her to over 30 countries on four different continents.

In her free time, Ariana loves camping and exploring every corner of Patagonia with her husband and their two boys.

Beata Karlikowska

Beata Karlikowska

A Polish native and a resident of Kraków, Beata Karlikowska has worked in the travel and restaurant industry for over ten years.

After graduating from the University of Kraków with a degree in Marketing and Management, Beata worked in some of Poland's finest hotels in many capacities including supervisor of a wine bar and manager of reception. In addition, Beata has served as a tour leader for a travel company based in England.

Beata is fluent in English and is continuing her studies in German and Italian. In her spare time, Beata enjoys reading, watching films, dancing, hiking and traveling.

Fredrik Kase

Fredrik Kase

Born and raised in Moss, Norway, Fredrik Kase still makes his home there when he isn’t leading travel groups through Scandinavia, as well as Russia. Fredrick, a former teacher, also had led groups through China, South America and Antarctica. He also has led Norwegian groups on trips in the U.S.

Fredrik, who taught English and social studies, has a bachelor’s degree in modern history and political science. He also has master’s degree in British and American studies.

In addition to his native Norwegian, Fredrik speaks English, Swedish, Danish and German.

During his free time, he can be found downhill skiing, mountain hiking, traveling, listening to classical music and reading.

Monika Scheele Knight

Monika Scheele Knight

A German citizen and a former resident of Chicago, Monika Scheele Knight now lives in Berlin, Germany. While residing in Chicago, she worked in AHI's office in the Operations and Product Development department as a program manager. After relocating back to Germany, Monika became a freelance translator, lecturer, writer and coordinator for an urban planning project.

Monika holds a master's degree in American Studies, Comparative Literature and Theater Studies from the Free University of Berlin. She is fluent in German, English, French and Spanish. During the summer and winter, she works out of her own office on a variety of texts. During the spring and autumn, she enjoys meeting with travel groups.

In her free time, Monika likes to read, travel and work on volunteer projects with autistic children.

Jeremy Knowles

Jeremy Knowles

Jeremy Knowles was born and educated in Cape Town. He graduated from the University of Cape Town. He became a high school English and history teacher. After a year of traveling around Europe, became a teacher at The South African College High School (the oldest school in the country!) in Cape Town.

Teaching was great, but after 14 years in the game, Jeremy grew restless. During school holidays over the years, he would set off in a 4-X-4 and “discovered” most of South and southern Africa. And so he began to think, “What about doing this as a living?” The rest is history, as they say. He qualified as a South Africa National Tour Guide in 1997 and has since led many tours around South Africa and its neighbouring countries: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Lesotho and Swaziland.

His interests are reading, hiking, gardening, birding and traveling. His attitude to travel is best expressed in the words of Robert Frost, one of his favorite poets, in “The Road Not Taken”:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.

Steve Koch

Steve Koch

Steve received his B.A. in history from the University of Cape Town and then continued to earn an honors degree in geography and a post-graduate degree in education.

From 1983-1996, Steve was a high school teacher of geography, history, English and Afrikaans. He then followed his passion for travel and became a tour guide and specialist geography guide.

Steve is fluent in English and Afrikaans. In his leisure time, he enjoys reading, hiking, birdwatching, badminton and swimming. He looks forward to welcoming you to his native South Africa.

Natascia LaValle

Natascia LaValle

A native of Rome, Natascia LaValle spends her time between Tuscany and Rome. She studied German language and culture at the University for Languages in Munich and received her degree in languages and foreign literature in French and German at the Second University of Rome. She also took courses in pedagogy at the Third University of Rome.

She is fluent in German and English in addition to her native Italian. She has worked as an interpreter and translator in Rome and abroad. Currently, she is busy leading English-speaking and German-speaking tour groups throughout Italy.

In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, swimming, playing the piano, volunteering and spending time with her daughter.

Nadia Magarò

Nadia Magarò

Born in Florence, Nadia was educated in England. She has a degree in Political Science from Florence University, and her interest in international relations has contributed to her love of travel. As a tour manager and organizer, Nadia has enjoyed a distinguished career. She has led groups and organized conferences all over the world, and her work has enabled her to visit over 25 countries.

Her enthusiasm for the places she visits and the people she meets is readily communicated to those fortunate enough to travel with her, and her attention to all the fine details which are so important when visiting another country will undoubtedly make your traveling experience a memorable one.

In her free time, Nadia likes to entertain in her home near Florence. She also enjoys photography, scuba diving and motorcycle racing.

Natalia Makarova

Natalia Makarova

Natalia Makarova received her degree from Moscow Pedagogical State University in Linguistics and Intercultural Communi­cation. In 2002, she was awarded a scholarship from UNESCO to spend a semester at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona. While in Barcelona she had the opportunity to travel throughout Spain, France, Germany and Austria.

Natalia has worked as an interpreter for many organizations at exhibitions, conferences, workshops and negotiations. She is also the Director of Language Instruction at the Executive Language Center.

In her free time, Natalia enjoys music, art, literature and traveling. She grew up around music and today, she works as a translator with the Russian National and the National Symphony Orchestras.

Pauline Martin

Pauline Martin

Prior to her career in the travel industry, Pauline was a library assistant at Maynooth University. While employed there, she took a leave of absence for one year to work in India and Nepal with Mother Theresa and the Sisters of Charity, serving as a paramedic and teacher’s aid. Later she moved to Holland and worked for a publishing company and the European Space Agency, where her duties included organizing conferences and making travel arrangements.

She returned to Ireland and has been involved in the tourism industry for the past 14 years. Pauline is a Failte Ireland approved Tourist Guide and also worked with the Ritz Carlton, Powerscourt as Concierge and Guest Relations Officer. Most recently, she qualified as a genealogist with University College Dublin.

She lives in Dublin with her husband and two children and likes to keep fit with hiking and Pilates. Pauline is passionate about Ireland’s history, culture, craft and food and loves to show it off to guests. In her spare time, she enjoys theatre, cinema and her book club and never says no to a shopping trip.

Inga Marzahn-Dalton

Inga Marzahn-Dalton

Born in the German Democratic Republic, Inga Marzahn-Dalton escaped from the rule of Communism with her family at the age of five. Inga received a Baccalaureate in Economics and Language and studied in Heilbronn at the school of Economics and Tourism. She is fluent in German, English and French and also has a good knowledge of Spanish.

With almost thirty years of experience in the tour industry, Inga has led an interesting career in several countries, such as the former USSR, China and Kenya. Her specialties include serving as Cruise Director for both worldwide and European cruises. She also spent time as a safari guide in East Africa and Australia.

In her free time, Inga enjoys swimming, snorkeling and biking. She also loves nature, cooking and reading historical novels.

Ashraf Masoud

Ashraf Masoud

Ashraf has an extensive background in creating and managing travel experiences for groups and individuals visiting Egypt. With a strong focus on customer service, he has handled operations and logistics for numerous corporate board meetings and large conferences, including the Global Peace Initiative meeting of People to People International. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in history from Ain Shams University in Cairo and received tour management certification from the Tour Management Institute in San Francisco and Helwan University in Cairo. In addition to Arabic, Ashraf is fluent in English and Spanish.

In his free time, Ashraf enjoys basketball, yoga, tai chi, reading, cooking and traveling.

Antonio Mattesini

Antonio Mattesini

Antonio Mattesini was born in London to Italian parents. After school and college, he went to work as a professional photographer for about a decade. His specialty was editorial portraiture of musicians, actors, writers and artists. During this phase of his life, he learned how to listen and respond to people in order to ensure that his pictures captured their personality. Then came a change of career path and Antonio became a full-time tour manager, leading tours all over Europe and to China, as well as traveling to places including Mexico, Japan, Israel and the USA. With that change of career came a change of home, and he now lives in Padova, just an hour from Venice in northeastern Italy. He enjoys using the English language to delve into the cultural, and often hilarious, differences between the Anglo-Saxon and Latin worlds. In his leisure time Antonio enjoys world cinema, reading, technology and, being the son of a chef, Italian cuisine. But even more than that he enjoys his role as a father to his turbocharged young son.

Mary Meehan

Mary Meehan

Mary Meehan has spent 25 years working in the tourism industry for both private and public corporations in Ireland and England. Her interests include gardening, walking and music.

An Irish language speaker, she has a great love and knowledge of all things Irish. She looks forward to sharing it with you.

Paula Melgers

Paula Melgers

Paula Melgers was born and raised in the Netherlands. She began her tourism career in Spain and then worked for an American company as a tour leader in Europe. Later, she served as a tour leader for European tourists in Florida and the Dominican Republic.

She then decided to return to the Netherlands and work as a local guide, using the seven languages she speaks. During the winter, Paula provides language instruction in English, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese to adults on a part-time basis. She also enjoys volunteering and has organized zumba classes for the elderly and children of the Mercedes Church in Havana, Cuba, and taught English to underprivileged children in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

In her leisure time, Paula enjoys writing short stories, painting, dancing, performing one-woman shows, going to the opera and theatre, and roller-blading or running.

Anja Mortensen

Anja Mortensen

Born and raised in a small town on the Baltic Sea coast of the former East Germany, Anja Mortensen currently resides in Bremen. She holds a M.A. degree in Eastern European History with minors in both Slavic and American Studies.

While living in the Frankfurt area, she worked as a service attendant to Japanese tourists on round-trip bus transfers to Düsseldorf, and also assisted arriving and departing North American passengers as an AHI Airport Representative.

In addition to her native German, Anja is fluent in English and is conversational in Russian and French.

Her personal interests include traveling, reading, history, art history, archeology, ballet and classical and modern music.

Medhat Nassif

Medhat Nassif

Medhat’s considerable travel experience in Egypt includes supervisory roles in tour operations and quality control, as well as previous responsibilities as a senior tour coordinator and hotel program manager. His detail-oriented approach and emphasis on continuous communication help to ensure high-quality service to travelers. Medhat speaks Arabic and English.

During his free time, Medhat enjoys traveling, playing sports and reading. He has also completed the Lean Six Sigma green belt program and is pursuing a black belt through PMI London, based in Dubai, UAE.

Marc Nathan

Marc Nathan

Born in France, Marc returned to his father’s homeland of South Africa at a very early age with his parents. He grew up in Cape Town’s winemaking Constantia Valley.

After graduating from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Marc and his wife explored some 45 countries, driving all the way to Europe along the East African coast before returning to South Africa along the west coast of the continent.

After running his own business for a few years, he followed his enthusiasm for travel and found himself in the South African tourism industry. His many years as a national guide have allowed him the opportunity to travel extensively throughout southern Africa.

Marc is fluent in English, French and Afrikaans. He also has a working knowledge of German. In his leisure time, he enjoys reading, hiking and red wine.

Mary O'Donovan

Mary O'Donovan

Originally trained in nursing and counseling, Mary O'Donovan combines the nurturing aspect of these professions with her love of travel as she leads groups throughout Ireland.

In addition to her training as a nurse and midwife, Mary also received a diploma in counseling from Trinity College in Dublin. Mary has served as a Liaison Nurse Counselor for children with learning disabilities and has worked abroad in Scotland, London and Israel.

Mary's interests include history, archaeology and Irish culture and heritage. She enjoys walks in the countryside and through the cities of Ireland, exploring her remarkable country.

Josephine O'Keeffe

Josephine O'Keeffe

Josephine O'Keeffe has over 25 years experience in the catering and tourism industry. After finishing a training course in Ballymaloe House under Myrtle Allen in Co. Cork, she completed two stages in Parisian Restaurants, including "Le Dodin Bouffant" under Jean-Pierre Clement. In 1981 she managed the Ballymaloe House and FBD affiliated restaurant in Paris where she made valuable contacts in the tourism industry. She also worked with W.H. Smiths, before returning to Ireland in 1989 to begin National Tour Guide training. Since 1990, Josephine has been guiding tours in Dublin and the surrounding areas, as well as for several garden tours in Ireland.

Her interests include farming, horticulture, gardening, hiking and bridge. A keen gardener herself, she completed the RHS General Certificate Course in 2001. Josephine speaks both French and English. She is widowed with two sons, ages 25 and 23.

Carole Petipher

Carole Petipher

Carole Petipher grew up in the Chiltern Hills in England between Oxford and London. After earning her degree in French and Spanish, she embarked on a career in the French steel industry. She became Head of Sales Development for the UK markets before undertaking a further degree in Management Studies.

It has been some years since she escaped "the fast lane of corporate life." During a sabbatical, she booked a passage on a French barge and fell in love with the lifestyle and the country. Since then she has become a freelance guide and Tour Director in France and elsewhere in Europe, specializing in rivers and canals. She also shares her knowledge of medieval history and art history.

After living in France for a number of years, Carole has returned to her native Chilterns. An ardent animal lover, she works with a number of animal rescue societies there. In her free time, she loves to garden and enjoys walks in the Chiltern Hills and visiting the many Historic homes managed by the National Trust.

Marianna Pirazzi

Marianna Pirazzi

Marianna, a licensed tour guide and tour leader, began her career in the travel industry after graduating with a degree in tourism economy from the Catholic University of Milan. At the same time, she also worked as an event planner for major culinary events.

Fluent in Italian, English, French and German, she has led travel groups of many different nationalities throughout northern Italy. Marianna enjoys playing the piano and reading during her spare time.

Mick Plewman

Mick Plewman

Mick Plewman has worked for several years as a tour guide in Italy. In addition to his career in the travel industry, Mick has been an Educational Psychologist in both England and Italy. He also taught English in Cortona and served as a teacher at St. Ignatius College in Enfield, England. Prior to teaching, Mick was a builder in London and a shopfitter in Jerusalem, Israel.

Mick has been working in Italy for over a decade and has been a member of the AHI family since 1999. He has led programs throughout Italy, including Cortona, Chianti, Sorrento, Orvieto, Veneto and Sicily. To quote a recent traveler, “his wry English humor coupled with his factual knowledge was the best we have encountered in our world journeys.”

Jessica E. Powers

Jessica E. Powers

A native of California, Jessica Powers has lived in Europe since 1992. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and art history from the University of California at Santa Barbara she traveled to Europe, fell in love with Poros Island in Greece and ended up living there for 10 years. While there, she painted, worked as a tour guide and soaked up the Greek culture.

Her love for travel has taken her to many different destinations and for five winter seasons she worked as a ski instructor in Austria. In 2003, Jessica moved to the small alpine town of Meiringen, Switzerland, where she continues to work as a tour guide and an artist. She recently completed a Masters program in art at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

Since 1999, Jessica has been leading AHI groups through Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Ireland, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania — just to name a few!

She is fluent in English, German and Greek and has studied French, Spanish and Italian. When she is not traveling, she enjoys playing and teaching the guitar, skiing, hiking, and mountain climbing with her husband, Marc.

Annemarie Priem

Annemarie Priem

Born and raised in the Netherlands, Annemarie Priem studied in her native country and France before beginning her career at a French TV channel in Paris. After working on travel programs, she decided to pursue her interest in leisure travel and has been in the travel and hospitality industry for more than 20 years. She has traveled extensively to a large number of countries for both business and pleasure.

Annemarie is fluent in Dutch, English, Spanish, French and German. She enjoys exercising her language skills and learning as much as possible from the people she meets and the countries she has the chance to visit.

In addition to having home in Amsterdam, Annemarie also resides with her husband and daughter on the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife, where building her “dream house under the sun” has become a reality in recent years. In her leisure time, Annemarie enjoys skiing, swimming, reading and cooking.

Sergey Pulkhanov

Sergey Pukhanov

A native of Russia, Sergey Pukhanov is deputy dean for Science of the Humanities, head of the International Relations Office and associate professor of linguistics at Tula State University.

Along with his extensive work at the university, he is also involved with Project Harmony and the Net Institute of Social Innovations (a spinoff of the Soros Foundation). Sergey has received many grants and awards, both in Russia and abroad. He has also published 17 articles and five methodical aids for students.

Over the past several years, Sergey has lead many AHI trips in Russia and Ukraine. In his free time, Sergey enjoys traveling, hiking, swimming and amateur theater.

Emiliano Rio

Emiliano Rio

Since 2001, Emiliano Rio has been a guide, travel director and a program coordinator for several different types of travel groups. He has led many AHI Travel groups throughout South America, Europe and Asia.

Emiliano, a native of Argentina, is one of AHI Travel's most popular Travel Directors and an AHI Director of International Operations. His love for languages makes it easy for him to get along with the local people wherever he goes. He is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French and is currently learning German.

Emiliano resides in both Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Brussels, Belgium, and he continues to travel extensively during his free time. He also enjoys reading, history, art and architecture.

Pamela Rogers

Pamela Rogers

Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Pamela Rogers earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She later studied at the New York Art Students League, the Vermont Studio Center, and with the renowned N.C. artist Jacquelin Jenkins. Pamela worked as an interior designer and taught art until her interest in Greek philosophy and culture prompted her move to Poros Island in 1990. There she resumed painting, writing poetry and conducting art workshops. Her paintings are included in private and corporate collections throughout the world. There is even one in the British Royal Collection!

Pamela joined the AHI family in 1998 as Campus Director of the Greek Alumni program on Poros and she has been a Travel Director for AHI in France and on Mediterranean cruises throughout Italy, Greece and Turkey.

In her free time Pamela enjoys reading, cooking, music, dance and museum hopping with her husband Francis, an art historian. She recently published her first novel, GREEKSCAPES Journeys with an Artist.

Antonio Ruiz

Antonio Ruiz

Antonio was born in Úbeda, Spain, a Renaissance city in southern Spain that instilled in him a love of history and art.

He graduated from the University of Granada with a degree in linguistics. He studied abroad at Galway University and lived in Edinburgh, Scotland. After returning to Granada from his time abroad, Antonio taught Spanish language and culture to international students. He also was a program manager for a North American company that provided services to American students attending the University of Granada.

He has traveled throughout Europe and North Africa. His favorite pastime is bicycle touring, and in his spare time, he can be found riding his bike in the Sierra Nevada. He also likes to hike, explore the historic sections of Granada and meet with friends at tapas bars.

In addition to Spanish and English, he can speak some Arabic and French.

Karine Rybaka

Karine Rybaka

Karine Rybaka grew up in southern France but has been living in the Paris area for nearly 20 years. Her love of travel began at an early age when her family spent a year in Chicago when she was 8 years old. She has returned to the United States a number of times since her initial visit, for both short-term and long-term visits, and has traveled to many places around the globe.

Karine holds a master’s degree in English language and literature from the University of Aix-en-Provence and spent more than 10 years working as a translator before joining the travel industry. In addition to her native French, Karine is fluent in English.

In her free time, Karine enjoys yoga, ballet lessons, traveling, reading, cooking for her friends and going to concerts, live shows and movies.

Vesselka Shivarova

Vesselka Shivarova

A native and resident of Bulgaria, Vesselka studied hospitality at the College of Tourism in Burgas, Bulgaria, and then continued her studies in management at the University of National and World Economy in Sofia.

She started her career at the Sheraton Sofia Hotel and also worked at the Radisson Blue Grand Hotel. Later, Vesselka returned to the Sofia Hotel Balkan as a Rooms Division Operations Manager.

Vesselka enjoys providing outstanding service to her clients while also helping them build memorable experiences during their travels. She is fluent in English and can also speak Russian. During free time, Vesselka enjoys drawing, hiking and gardening.

Rens Sloos

Rens Sloos

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Rens Sloos — who has Portuguese and Dutch citizenship — was introduced to travel at a young age, as a result of his father’s profession which took the family all around the world.

Because of his passion for travel, Rens pursued a degree in Hotel and Tourism Management. He worked for Emirate Airlines as a cabin crew member and had the opportunity to explore many unique destinations. He continued his career in the travel industry as a hotel manager in Porto, Portugal, and more recently, as a cruise director on European river cruises.

In his free time, Rens enjoys diving, snowboarding, cycling, music, reading and, of course, traveling. He is fluent in Portuguese and English and proficient in Spanish and French.

Melissa Stewart

Melissa Stewart

Melissa Stewart was born and raised in Missouri and graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, with degrees in journalism and business administration.

During college, Melissa worked at a French restaurant and a golf club in food preparation and catering, which led to a successful career in the hospitality industry. She worked as catering coordinator for Marriott and as catering manager at the Palmer House and Towers in Chicago. She received additional training in regional French cooking at the Cordon Bleu Culinary School in London, England.

In 1995, Melissa left the corporate world to pursue her other passion, travel, and she has been on the road ever since. Melissa has been energetically leading groups as a travel director to such destinations as China, Kenya, Japan, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Canada, among others.

In her free time, Melissa enjoys hiking the national parks, fitness, adventure sports, outdoor concerts, farmers markets and cooking.

Nani Strasser

Nani Strasser

Born and raised in Vienna, Austria, Nani Strasser studied advertising at the University of Vienna.

After working in England and Egypt, she moved to Greece in 1985 as a member of the hotel staff for an American student educational organization. Over the years she worked for several German, Austrian and Greek tour operators in Greece and managed the largest incoming tourism office on the Greek island of Poros, where she currently lives.

Nani considers herself a true European, making her home in more than one country, having family in Greece and Austria. She speaks fluent German, Greek, English and conversational French and has led many happy travelers throughout Europe.

In her free time, Nani enjoys outdoor activities like swimming and hiking, as well as music, history, photography, visiting museums and trying out new cooking recipes on her family and friends.

Nani Gonzalo Vargas

Nani Gonzalo Vargas

Originally from Andalucía, Nani is a graduate of the University of Granada. After receiving her English language and literature degree, Nani was awarded a grant by the European Union to travel to Finland, where she taught Spanish and studied green tourism.

In 1999, she became a licensed guide in Spain. Since then, she has led many groups throughout Spain and other European countries.

Nani’s work experience has contributed to her skills as a guide. She has taught English and Spanish, worked at the Madrid airport and has given lectures on contemporary Spain and the Prado Museum.

Nani lives in Madrid. Her interests include reading, traveling, classical music, meeting new people and spending time with her husband and children.

Victor Vattanakul

Victor Vattanakul

Victor Vattanakul completed his bachelor’s degree in biology education with honors and earned a master’s degree in microbiology in Thailand. He was a high school teacher and lectured at the university level for several years.

A licensed tour guide for Thailand, he also headed conference, incentive and exhibition programs for Destination Asia (Thailand) for 10 years before becoming a Buddhist monk of the Deravada sect. He spent two years in a Thai forest temple.

He has returned to travel directing and managing conferences and travel programs.

“I really love seeing visitors having a great experience and good time when they are in Thailand with me and going back home with fond memories and good understanding of Thailand,” Victor says of working with travelers in his country.

Sandi Wheaton

Sandi Wheaton

A curious traveler herself, Sandi Wheaton enjoys introducing visitors to Canada. Sandi’s entry into the travel industry came by way of the 2008 worldwide recession, but she has successfully reinvented herself as a travel professional.

The blog she wrote during a solo six-week journey on Route 66 received a top-10 award for road-trip blogs and widespread media attention in both the United States and Canada. Her journey and career reinvention were chronicled in the New York Times bestseller, “The Happiness of Pursuit” by Chris Guillebeau. She also has been a featured speaker at several events.

Sandi has led travel groups in Canada. An award-winning photographer, she also has led photography travel programs in the U.S. Southwest, in Holland during the height of tulip season and in Iceland to see the northern lights.

Sandi, who lives in Canada, has lived and traveled extensively in Europe and the U.S. In addition to her native English, she speaks advanced French and has a working knowledge of Spanish.



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