It’s Time for a Travel Upgrade…

Josh Alexander | Katie Cadar | Kate Doty | John Galante | Cari Gray 
Michael HoltzWilliam Kiburz | Tom Marchant | Eric Maryanov | Ignacio MazaJudy Perl | Kristen Korey Pike | Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg

You want a trip packed with authentic, meaningful experiences—and the AFAR Travel Advisory Council knows how to make it happen. We’ve selected a well-connected group of specialists in experiential travel, and they’re eager to share that expertise with you! Learn more about each advisor below and contact them for an itinerary tailored to your interests and budget (consultations provided for a fee).


Josh Alexander

Luxury Travel Advisor, ProTravel International
New York, NY
212.651.2110 ·  Email Josh

Josh enjoys tailoring itineraries to a client’s needs and budgets, including honeymoons and multigenerational trips. He has visited over 65 countries, with expertise in Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean. He was recognized as a 2014 Virtuoso Rising Star.

katie cadar

Katie Cadar

Director of Leisure Sales, TravelStore
Los Angeles, CA
310.689.5415  ·  Email Katie

While studying in Sweden, Katie explored as much of Europe as possible, traveling to Russia, England, France, Holland, and Romania. Now, as the Director of Leisure Sales for TravelStore, she still counts Europe, African safaris, Tahiti, adventure travel, and luxury hotels among her specialties.


Kate Doty

Managing Director of Premier Access, Geographic Expeditions
San Francisco, CA
800.777.8183  ·  Email Kate

Kate has been crafting extraordinary journeys for more than two decades, tailoring each to meet a traveler’s dreams. These efforts have included arranging a private audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and private New Year’s Eve celebrations at the Giza Pyramid. She spearheaded the launch of GeoEx’s offerings in Africa and Southeast Asia and coordinates research expeditions in remote and challenging areas for Disney and Pixar. Learn more about Kate Doty’s travel style.

John Galante

Luxury Travel Advisor, SmartFlyer
Aspen, CO
970.300.4880 ·  Email John

John has been involved in the travel industry for 30 years, and spent most of his career working with top travel publications such as AFAR, Travel + Leisure and Departures. This gave him the opportunity to travel all over the world, staying in the best hotels and resorts, experiencing both cities and off-the-beaten-path destinations. His experience and his many relationships in the industry, allows John to create incredible trips for his clients.


Cari Gray

CEO and Owner, Gray & Co.
Toronto, Ontario
416.998.4082  ·  Email Cari

Cari accompanied her parents on overseas work assignments and later became an insatiable explorer in her own right. After 15 years with luxury operator Butterfield & Robinson, she launched Gray & Co. in 2008 and continues to craft active journeys for discerning travelers. Gray & Co. supports sustainable practices and is a member of the Adventure Travel Trade Association.


Michael Holtz

Owner/CEO, SmartFlyer
New York, NY
212.269.9088  ·  Email Michael

Michael’s curiosity sends him in search of the best the world has to offer. He founded SmartFlyer more than 20 years ago after graduating from Washington University in St. Louis. Michael designs unique, once-in-a-lifetime itineraries and knows the best ways to issue First/Business Class tickets for his clients. Michael sits on both the Starwood and Park Hyatt Advisory Boards. Learn more about Michael Holtz and SmartFlyer.

 Willaim Kiburz

William Kiburz

VP, Coronet Travel Ltd
Saint Louis, MO
314.721.1170  ·  Email Will

Will began his travel career at age 16, escorting groups for Coronet Travel, an agency started by his mother in 1977. Will and his brother, Jack, have led the company since 2000, and they cater to high-end independent leisure travelers. Will treats all of Coronet’s clients like family; some relationships are now in their third generation.

Tom Marchant 

Cofounder, The Black Tomato Group
New York, NY
646.558.3644  ·  Email Tom 

After living in Moscow, Johannesburg, and Buenos Aires, Tom joined forces with friends to found The Black Tomato Group, with the mission of helping clients maximize their travels by connecting them with unique experiences. It now has offices in New York and London.

Eric Maryanov

Los Angeles, CA
800.225.3614  ·  Email Eric

Eric launched his company in 1984 with one employee, was an early adopter of technology in travel booking, and has grown into an award-winning operation with a focus on luxury cruise lines and customized experiences.

Ignacio Maza

Executive Vice President, Signature Travel Network
New York, NY
212.239.7388 x 2010 ·  Email Ignacio 

Born in Cuba and raised in Latin America, Ignacio held senior roles at Virtuoso and American Express’ Travel Related Services division before joining Signature Travel Network in 2004 as Executive Vice President. In his current role, Ignacio is responsible for developing the network’s luxury travel business.

jdy perl

Judy Perl

President, Judy Perl Worldwide Travel
New York, NY
212.979.7400  ·  Email Judy

A 30-year industry veteran, Judy has built a reputation for expertise in luxury bespoke travel. She’s coordinated safaris for multi-generational family reunions, round-the-world journeys, destination weddings, spa retreats, and more. Factor in her past work experience at luxury cruise lines, and she’s well suited to personalize a wide range of travel experiences.


Kristen Korey Pike

Founder/CEO, KK Travels Worldwide
Atlanta, GA
404.458.6800 ·  Email Kristen

Growing up overseas gave Kristen insight into other cultures. She loves sharing that knowledge and creating meaningful journeys for her clients—the type who don’t just want to tour a vineyard but also have lunch with the owners. Kristen has been acknowledged for her expertise in destination weddings and honeymoons.

Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg

Co-owner & Co-president Valerie Wilson Travel
New York, NY
212.592.1210  ·  Email Jennifer

Jennifer knows the ins and outs of travel planning, having joined Valerie Wilson Travel in 1991. Now, as co-owner and co-president, she specializes in business travel and manages airline relationships. She also happens to be an avid golfer and partial to Scotland’s links.