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Meet Our Team

 

Mollie Fitzgerald (Frontiers Co-Owner): Mollie is a cum-laude graduate of Duke University and literally grew up with the travel business. Her destination knowledge spans the globe and fuels her ongoing passion for travel. She is most comfortable in the wilds of the great outdoors and has a love of fly fishing, but is equally at home in the world's most sophisticated capital cities and no stranger to ultra-luxe resort destinations, so specializes in these types of sojourns as well. Mollie has traveled extensively with her daughter, Abby, so she's very attuned to the needs of the well-documented trend of increasing numbers of families traveling with children. She enjoys photography, gourmet cuisine and fine wines, and draws upon her own interests and experience when incorporating elements of fine dining and wine tasting in itineraries. Author of the On Campus Cookbook (Workman Publishing, 1984), she's studied cooking in Italy, India, France, Morocco and Thailand. Mollie serves on the Advisory Boards of Abercrombie & Kent, Belmond, Saveur magazine and Condé Nast Traveler magazine. She is also a Trustee of the Atlantic Salmon Federation. She has been identified by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the "128 Top Travel Specialists" in their annual August issue (since the inception of the list ten years ago). In addition, Mollie is part of Travel + Leisure's Super Agent A-List and was recognized by Virtuoso as the "Most Admired Travel Advisor -- USA/Canada, an award she was presented in 2010. She is co-owner of Frontiers, the family-owned company founded by her parents in 1969. Mollie oversees the Elegant Journeys Division of the company, Atlantic Salmon fishing and our Air Department.

Destination Specialties: Southeast Asia and Indochina; India & The Maldives; Italy and Western Europe; Scandinavia; Morocco; Dubai, Oman.

Recommended Reading: A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth; The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason; and Wild Swans by Jung Chang.

Favorite Films: A Passage to India; Last Holiday; A Room with a View. Favorite Meals: a.) Cheese souffle at La Goulue in Miami b.) Saturday lunch at Le Voltaire in Paris (Dover Sole or the poulet roti) and c.) outdoor lunch of fried calamari on the verandah at Grand Hotel Monaco in Venice.

     
     

Kristine Brooker: Kristine joined Frontiers in April 2004 in the South America Fishing Department, where she worked for several years, eventually managing the Tierra del Fuego fishing program. She has experienced fishing for sea-run brown trout and dorado and wing shooting for doves in Argentina. Currently, Kristine assists in the France and Barge Departments of the Elegant Journeys division and is looking forward to adding another chapter to her travel experiences. Her education accomplishments include a B.S. degree in Human Nutrition and Food Science and a B.A. degree in Business Administration. In her spare time, Kristine loves being outdoors -- mountain biking, hiking, fishing and kayaking. Leisure time is also enjoyed at her family's cabin along the Clarion River. Indoor pursuits include reading and cooking. She spends her time with her husband John, her new son Luke, and two golden retrievers, Coda and Merlin.

Favorite Trip: "So far, it has to be Alaska. I loved kayaking alongside glaciers and fishing for salmon. It was truly a trip of a lifetime! For my next big trip (which is also my dream trip), I would love to explore the natural wonders of the Galpagos Islands with my family."

     
 

Michelle Brown: Michelle joined Frontiers in January 2006 in the South America Fishing Department, where she worked for several years as a Program Manager for Chile and Argentina. Currently, Michelle assists in the Africa Department of the Elegant Journeys division. Her education accomplishments include a B.A. degree in Italian Studies. In her spare time, Michelle loves being outdoors – walking and biking. Indoor pursuits include cooking and watching old movies. She spends her time with her husband, family and friends.

Favorite Travel Memory: "I have a lot of wonderful memories! What immediately comes to mind are: Family trips to Italy visiting my Grandparents and relatives.

Dream Trip: "Traveling to Scotland with my husband."

Favorite Quote: "The Past is already gone, the future is not yet here. There’s only one moment for you to live, and that is the present moment." -Gautama Buddha

   
 

Leigh Buches: Leigh has always had a love for foreign languages, but did not get the chance to travel until college. That first trip, a study abroad semester in Augsburg, Germany, launched a series of adventures in Germany, Central Europe and Eastern Europe. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with degrees in German and Linguistics, Leigh went on to graduate school at the University of South Carolina, which included an academic year as an instructor and student at the Otto-Friedrich-Universitaet Bamberg in Bamberg, Germany. Upon completion of her Masters Degree in German in 2013, Leigh was thrilled to have the opportunity to use her language skills and travel experiences at Frontiers. She looks forward to spreading knowledge of her favorite destinations, as well as traveling to exciting new places in the future.

Destination Specialties: Leigh’s personal travel experiences are centered on Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Russia.

Favorite Travel Memory:  “I cannot pick just one: The first was the day I fulfilled a childhood dream and saw the Hill of Crosses in Siauliai, Lithuania. The second was all the evenings my friends and I watched the sunset from one of the many bridges and overlooks in Bamberg.”

Dream Trip: “I would love to visit the countries along the Mediterranean Sea, especially those in the Balkans.”

     
 

Anne Burgard: Anne joined Frontiers in November of 2007 and is currently a Program Manager in the South America Department. When she's not at work, Anne spends time with family, friends, and enjoys the outdoors.  She also loves to cook new dishes. 

Destination Specialties:  Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, Easter Island, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, and Uruguay. 

Favorite Travel Memory:  Lounging in a hammock with a glass of wine in hand watching the sunset over Pinnacle Rock in the Galapagos Islands. 

Dream Trip:  Peru and an Antarctica cruise. 

   
 

Donald Clark: After graduating Westminster College with a B.S. in Business, Don rediscovered his passion for travel. He joined the Africa team at Frontiers in 2011 and has extensive outdoor experience throughout the Western United States, Canada and Alaska. His favorite activities include photography, golf, archery and personal fitness.

Favorite Travel Memory: “A 28-day, self-guided trip in the Northern Rockies. The trip started with 90 degree weather and a mild case of heat stroke and ended with freezing temperatures and 20 inches of snow. A lightning-induced forest fire about half way through the trip provided excitement by forcing me to backpack into a safer, albeit completely new, area. The sight of mountain goats, bears, and of course elk, made it all worthwhile.”

Dream Trip: A solo kayak trip around Prince of Wales Island in southeastern Alaska. Recommended reading: The Wheel of Life by Bunny Allen; Months of the Sun by Ian Nyschens. These are obscure, but entertaining books about East Africa’s bygone safari era.

     
 

Eileen Datt: With Eileen's sense of adventure and love of the outdoors, it was no surprise that she jumped at the chance to join Frontiers' Elegant Journeys team in 2007 to work in the Africa Department. She has always enjoyed traveling to exotic, remote corners of the world, and with 34 years in the travel business, has had the opportunity to explore almost every part.

Destination Specialties: Eileen's destination knowledge spans the globe, but her concentration now is on Africa. She coordinates all details involved in planning a customized safari including air reservations. Eileen has traveled to Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda. Favorite Travel Memories: "So many! Approaching the Pyramids in Egypt on horseback; hiking on the Great Wall in China; taking in a sunset at the Taj Mahal; rafting on the Pacuare River in Costa Rica; exploring the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru; sipping homemade wine while lying in a hammock in the jungles of the Amazon; the helicopter flight I took over the Okavango Delta in Botswana, getting a bird’s –eye view of the animals and landscape; fly fishing for rainbow trout in Lake Michaelson on Mt. Kenya at 13,000 feet; viewing the majestic Victoria Falls from above in an open cockpit microlight flight; watching two baby mountain gorillas taunt each other like children while gorilla trekking in Uganda. But, if I had to choose only one, it would be my trip to Africa in March, 2012 when I checked off one of the dream trips on my bucket list by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and successfully reaching the summit.  This will be extremely hard to top, but I'll certainly keep trying!”

Recommended Reading: Elephant in the Kitchen, a cookbook published as a joint venture between Mombo Camp's acclaimed chef, Craig Higgins, and internationally renowned wildlife photographers and filmmakers, Dereck & Beverly Joubert. Elephant in the Kitchen also includes beautiful photos and tales about life at Mombo, one of Africa's finest wildlife refuges located in the heart of Botswana's Okavango Delta.

Dream Trips: Traveling to Antarctica, Galapagos and Easter Island, white-water rafting on the Zambezi River, seeing the Northern Lights and Polar Bears in Churchill Canada, hang gliding in Norway, going on a yoga retreat in the Himalayas, renting a motorcycle in Cape Town and riding through the winelands and garden route in South Africa, and trekking to Everest Base Camp.

     
 

Kristene Fitzgerald: Kristene has always had a passion for being outdoors and loved going to new places on family holidays. However, she did not have the opportunity to travel abroad until joining Frontiers in 2005. Her jaunts have included Mexico, Europe, and Belize as well as extensive travel in the U.S. Kristene is equally comfortable taking in the sights, sounds and smells of South Beach as she is on a horse pack trip into the remote regions of Montana to fly fish for trout. Today, she plays a number of key roles within the organization and assists with clients' travels to many different areas. Outside of the office, she is accomplished in the kitchen, keeping it "simple and healthy." Kristene is an avid reader, loves fly fishing, and is a certified scuba diver. Her two teenage children also keep her very busy.

Destination Specialties: Kristene has made two comprehensive trips to the United Kingdom and Ireland, and the British Isles are her current focus at Frontiers. She is the in-house golf contact and enjoys customizing itineraries in Scotland and Ireland that include not only golf but also fly fishing and sightseeing. Diving and U.S. domestic travel are subspecialties.

Favorite Travel Memory: "Picking just one is impossible! Three that immediately come to mind are: diving with the sharks and head marine biologist at the Denver Aquarium; fly fishing on the West Fork of the Bitterroot River in Montana; and watching the sun set at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland while sipping a Guinness."

Dream Trip: "An extensive South Pacific odyssey to include diving the Great Barrier Reef, fly fishing in New Zealand, and wine tasting in Australia."

Favorite Quote: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain

     
 

Bethany Hunkele: After graduating summa cum laude from Westminster College with dual degrees, a B.S. in International Business and a B.A. in French, Bethany joined Frontiers in the fall of 2004. During the course of her studies, she spent a semester living in Grenoble, France, (which is completely surrounded by snow-capped mountains and was the plus-perfect setting for her first European adventure) and developed her love for not only the French language and people but also for traveling. Bethany’s other loves include her dear husband Dave, 5 year old daughter Lilly, and 1 year old son, Ethan.

Favorite Travel Memory: "I would have to say that while I immensely enjoyed all of my school and staff trips to France, my absolute favorite trip was my honeymoon -- which was a Caribbean cruise. Lounging poolside with Dave, tropical sun shining down on us, with piña colada in hand was one of the most relaxing times in my life!"

Dream Trip: "Tahiti with my husband to stay in an overwater bungalow, but I also would love to take my daughter to Europe, and specifically France, on a mother-daughter-only vacation."

     
 

Jill Jergel: Jill was born the youngest child and only daughter to a B-26 pilot and his war bride who thought nothing of taking her out of school for both domestic and international explorations. On the eve of her graduation from The American Fashion College in Lucerne, Switzerland, she bravely told her father she really didn't want to be a department store buyer, as was the original plan, and her father, well aware she had been designing trips for her classmates to use their Eurail passes, immediately replied "I've always thought you should be a travel agent." Thirty-five years (30 of those with Frontiers), countless international trips, two nearly adult children and a neurotic poodle later, Jill earned the Destination Specialist designation for France from The Travel Institute and is very honored to have been included on Condé Nast Traveler magazine's Top Travel Specialist list for the past 11 years with a specialty in European Canal Barge Cruises.

Destination Specialties: In addition to the above-named programs, Jill is equally passionate and knowledgeable about Switzerland and is a Certified Switzerland Specialist for the Swiss Tourist Board), European River Cruises, Turkey, Croatia, Scotland and Indonesia. When not assisting Frontiers' travelers with their journeys, Jill is "mission control" for a chaotic household but finds time to take exercise classes and sip chardonnay daily, purely for medicinal purposes!

Favorite Travel Memories: "Two weeks in Kauai and Maui with husband and kids was a family treasure; scuba diving in Fiji and coming nose-to-nose with a lion fish, huge sea turtle and neon-colored Christmas-tree worms that whooshed back into their rock if you got too close; and hot-air ballooning with celebrity balloonist Buddy Bombard on a sunny spring Sunday in Siena with the church bells reverberating through the hills."

Favorite Quotes: "Imitation is the highest form of flattery," and from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Butch says "I've got vision, and the rest of the world needs bifocals."

     
 

Beth Kurcina: Beth feels passionate about discovering new destinations and especially enjoys using her thirty years of travel knowledge in creating memorable journeys for Frontiers’ clients. Beth’s previous professional experience includes positions as food & beverage directors for Sheraton and Marriott luxury properties, marketing research consultant, conference and event planner and most recently incentive travel and special interest group travel manager. Educational accomplishments include an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts, a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a Masters of Business Administration. Beth serves on several boards for causes ranging from global peace building to regional civic development. Her interest include reading historical fiction; entertaining guests with thematic dinner parties an exploring Central and Eastern European destinations off the beaten path.

Destination Specialties: Western Europe with specific concentration in Spain, Italy, Germany; Central & Eastern Europe with particular focus on Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Austria; Southeast Asia with focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Favorite Books: Sophie’s Choice by William Styron, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy; Prague Winter by Madeleine Albright.

Favorite Films: The Godfather trilogy, Rear Window, Now Voyager, Reds, Gone with the Wind. Favorite Quote: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

     
 

Michelle Llewellyn: Before joining Frontiers in June of 2012 as a Program Administrator in the Elegant Journeys Department, Michelle’s previous experience included working as an Administrative Assistant in the construction industry. She loves to spend time outdoors and considers herself an adventurous person. Whether it's taking a walk in the woods or swimming with sea creatures, Michelle is thrilled that she can now enjoy it her experiences with her two daughters now that they are older.

Favorite Travel Memory: "My family and I went on a cruise to the Western Caribbean in November 2011 with stops in the Grand Cayman Islands, Honduras, Belize and Cozumel. I most enjoyed swimming with the dolphins in Cozumel and stingrays in Grand Cayman.”

Dream Destinations: I would like to see Australia, England, Italy, Hawaii, and Turks & Caicos. In addition, I would love to experience a hot air balloon flight, and cage dive with the Great White Sharks!

     
 

Susan Lloyd: Coming from a background as a paralegal and teacher, Susan has joined Frontiers Travel with excitement and passion and embraces her new profession, as she loves to travel and has traveled extensively!  Susan graduated from Butler County Community College with an A.A.S. in business management; she also teaches there on a part-time basis, as a life-long learning instructor, Windows, Word and American Sign Language.  Other places Susan has visited include Alaska, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Greece, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America.  Susan has lived in many places including New Jersey, New Hampshire, Michigan, Massachusetts and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.  She also lived abroad in Finland for five years, where she freelanced as a teacher, testing agent, website editor and tutor at several educational institutions and high schools.  Susan speaks conversational Finnish and American Sign Language.  Susan is very proud of her two adult children, both of whom live with her, a son who was born in NH, and a daughter who was born in Finland. 

Recommended Reading:  While visiting Alaska, Susan read James Michener’s Alaska, which not only enriched the trip educationally, but also helped put the trip and the history of Alaska into perspective, all of which enriched her appreciation for this bastion of untamed land. 

Favorite Travel Memory:  Susan’s great-grandmother immigrated to the United States in the 1800’s from Oslo, Norway, settling in Iowa.  While living in Finland, Susan had the opportunity to visit Norway, which gave her a sense of belonging and home-coming.  Not only is Norway the most beautiful country she has ever visited, she would welcome the opportunity to return again one day.

Dream Trip:  Scotland, Ireland and Wales are all on the bucket list especially to explore the other half of her heritage!

   
 

Lynda McDonough: Hearing stories in her childhood about her grandparents' life and adventures in their native Ireland sparked Lynda's longing to see the "emerald hills" as well as many other faraway places. After graduating with a B.A. degree in Education and Marketing and a Masters in Human Resources, Lynda spent a summer in Europe studying the educational systems of various countries, thus further fueling her desire to study beyond the books.

Destination Specialties: Ireland and Scotland are Lynda's specialties, including extensive knowledge of the golf courses and fishing opportunities as well as historical sites and architectural finds. She has also experienced cruising the waterways of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany in style aboard the ultra-deluxe River Cloud.

Favorite Travel Memory: "What a dilemma to decide -- I have so many. However, some of the top contenders are: hiking a mountain in Switzerland; touring a private Van Gogh collection in the Netherlands; getting a rare glimpse of life behind the scenes in Derry, Northern Ireland; and learning the art of falconry in the Highlands of Scotland."

Dream Trip: "Traveling with my daughters through Ireland and Scotland would be a wonderful trip. Another dream excursion would be to tour Italy's great architecture and indulge in its culinary delights."

     
 

Linda Rumburg: A lifelong Pittsburgh resident, Linda spent most of her career in the steel industry. A persistent passion for travel and enthusiasm for the outdoors led her to Frontiers in 2002, where she fit right in. A self-described U.S. National Parks junkie, Linda has visited Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Yosemite, Zion, Bryce, Yellowstone, Capitol Reef, Grand Canyon, Lake Mead, Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park. At home, she & her husband can be found bicycling on the many local rails-to-trails, hiking in the western PA area, kayaking in the Pittsburgh rivers and lakes, or running a 5K race. She has passed on her love of the outdoors to her children & grandchildren.

Destination Specialties: Active Travel; in addition to being Frontiers resident VAST specialist with Virtuoso, Linda is also an Adventure Travel Specialist from the Travel Institute.

Favorite Travel Memory: ‘This hard to narrow down category includes hiking the Inca Trail, heli-hiking in the Canadian Rockies, hiking the "Narrows" in the Virgin River at Zion National Park (like hiking on slippery bowling balls), biking the MS 150 from Pittsburgh to Geneva, Ohio (see what we mean about the active travel thing?) and touring the Tuscany area of Italy. However, Tanzania with my husband in November 2008 takes the cake...so incredible!'

     
 

Kathy Schulz: Whether flying halfway around the world or driving three hours north to her parents' cabin near a national forest, travel is Kathy's passion. Her enthusiasm and sense of adventure have provided her with a wealth of amazing experiences around the globe, but especially Africa. She has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, trekked for gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda, sailed on a dhow off the coast of Zanzibar, gone cage diving for great white sharks in South Africa, flown in an open-sided helicopter across the Okavango Delta, and slid down the "roaring dunes" in Namibia, to name a few highlights.

Destination Specialties: As Frontiers' Africa Department Manager, Kathy has custom designed photographic safaris to Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. With over 24 years' experience in the business, she is well qualified to plan an exploration of the many facets of Africa -- its vast savannahs, expansive deserts, and water holes teeming with wildlife activity -- from open safari vehicle, dugout canoe, hot-air balloon, horseback, elephant back, camel back, and even on foot.

Recommended Reading: "Tania Aebi's Maiden Voyage depicts an 18-year-old girl's real life adventure circling the globe on a 26-foot sloop. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Relin describes Mortenson's transition from a mountain climber to a humanitarian committed to reducing poverty and educating girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan -- promoting peace . . . one school at a time."

Dream Trip: "Like the main character in Maiden Voyage, my dream trip consists of circumnavigating the globe by sailboat and all the unknown adventures that would occur!"

     
 

Cindy Smith: Cindy began her career working for a local television station in production. Seven years later, she decided to be her own boss and started a business, which she ran for over a decade. During this time, she traveled throughout the Caribbean, looking for an island to retire on (long before House Hunters International!). After selling the business, she "retired" and helped family and friends plan their vacations. Realizing quickly that she was too young to retire, Cindy turned her vacation planning hobby into a career as a full-time travel agent and has been enjoying it for the past 17 years.

Destination Specialties: Since joining Frontiers in 2001, Cindy's focus has been the Caribbean, where she has frequented many of the islands, and Central America, where she resides in Honduras three months of the year. Cindy also specializes in international cruises, is well versed with the countries ringing the Mediterranean, and is a yacht specialist with American Safari Yacht Cruises.

Favorite Travel Memory: "A multi-course lunch with local food and wine on the patio of the Splendido Hotel in Portofino on a gorgeous summer afternoon.”

     
 

Cory Van Horn: Cory brings a unique blend of traditional and digital marketing expertise to his role as Marketing Director at Frontiers. Prior to joining the company in 2013, he spent ten years leading marketing initiatives for three technology start-up companies. Cory received a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Grand Valley State University. He went on to earn a M.A. in Food Studies from Chatham University for his work in culinary tourism development. He is an avid food writer, educator and traveler. His food and travel blog, Food Guy Magazine, was a Webby Award honoree in 2012.  Cory is also passionate about the outdoors and has fully embraced the fly fishing and photographic safari sides of the business.

Destination Specialties: Cory is passionate about culinary and active travel destinations. He also knows Disney like the back of his hand – he interned at Walt Disney World in college and is now a certified specialist. Southern Africa destinations have most recently captured Cory’s imagination. 

Favorite Books: Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton. Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

Favorite Quotes: “Find something you really, really love and do it with extraordinary focus.” – Ben Stein. “Living consciously is part of leading a food lover’s life.” – Mollie O’Neill