Park Avenue Travel Staff
CLEVELAND, OH | 216-692-1200 | EMAIL
Dora founded Park Avenue Travel Services in 1998
I was born into the travel business. After serving in World War II my father worked for the Refugee Relief Organization in Germany where he help thousands of war torn refugees immigrate to the USA to realize the American Dream. When he returned to the U.S. with my mother and my 3 older siblings he continued to help Europeans immigrate to the United States. At the urging and suggestion of an airline representative my father started a travel agency in 1958.
My foundation in the travel industry was based on my father's simple but profound belief in treating our customers like we would want to be treated ourselves and spending their money as if we were spending our own.
At a very young age I started answering phones in my father's agency. I learned to read an OAG (a massive book listing flight schedules), calling in reservations to airlines and then handwriting airline tickets. In 1979 I helped my father bring automation into our agency which really began the evolution of the travel industry. I started working in a regulated travel industry which evolved into a deregulated travel industry. I began at a time when airlines begged travel agents to help them market their flights to a time when they push travelers to circumvent travel agents and go direct to their websites. These challenges and evolutions have been a learning experience for everyone. The most valuable lesson I have learned is that in this ever-changing industry the customer must come first. Park Avenue Travel focuses on reliability. We want our travelers to know they can depend on us to provide them with the most efficient, cost effective travel arrangements. This service standard is a non-negotiable commitment on which our agency has thrived and one that has been instilled in every one of our agents.
In 1986 I had the great fortune of meeting my business partner Jill Goldie. In 1989 I asked Jill to come work with me in my family's agency and happily she agreed. Although Jill had limited experience in the travel industry I recognized in Jill her great enthusiasm, her unbridled energy and her innate ability to work with people. In 1998 we founded Park Avenue Travel.
828-230-1846 | EMAIL
Jill founded Park Avenue Travel Services in 1998
I never planned on being a travel agent. My undergraduate degree is in Sports Medicine and my Masters is in Sport Management and Administration. I was going to run an Orthopedic / Sports Medicine Center. But things changed and here I am, a travel agent!
In 1986 I met Dora Bourgault. Our paths were brought together when Dora was asked to manage travel for a major foreign car manufacturer bringing 500 (non English speaking) executives to the USA to visit American auto manufacturers in various cities. I was brought in as the logistics coordinator. The trip went off without a hitch despite the usual travel challenges; flight delays, cancelations, inclement weather, varying traveler needs and the biggest challenge the language barrier.
After the success of this trip I decided to follow my passion for tennis and worked as a teaching tennis pro in Boston.
Then one day Dora called to ask me if I would be interested in joining her family's travel agency to help with the growing travel needs of a corporate client, specifically meeting planning and event coordination. I was a bit hesitant because of my lack of travel experience but decided "nothing ventured nothing gained", so why not give it a try. So on August 8, 1989 I became a travel agent!
AND here I am 25 years later, still a travel agent, enjoying the loyality of many long standing clients, and enjoying meeting new people and introducing them to our customer service focused travel management company.
SAVANNAH, GA | 912-346-4681 | EMAIL
Terri joined Park Avenue Travel Services in 2001
I have enjoyed this crazy, ever changing business for over 30 years. Lucky for me I started right after grade school! I have had the good fortune to travel to many places and experience what so many people can only wonder about.
Getting people to their destinations with the understanding that this and every trip is important to them is important to me. I want you to feel confident that you have no worries! We will handle your travel arrangements as we would our own. It is especially rewarding when I can advise someone to get out of the long delay line at the airport and head to a new gate, knowing they can smile and wave goodbye to the others standing there without our expert help!
I joined the travel industry in 1982 looking for an adventure! I have a back ground with the airlines, tour companies, step on guide services, leisure travel and corporate travel management. Finding my place among our experienced agents. My work experience gives me a good insight to both sides of the travel industry. I love working with corporate travelers that know where they need to go and when. Just imagining the next caller asking me where they should go on vacation sends me into giggles!
Working with corporate, experienced travelers and the occasional leisure traveler is my passion! My specialty is attention to the details. I enjoy booking group travel, scouting locations and properties to make sure that our clients have a positive experience and enjoy the location as much as they possibly can while taking care of the business at hand. It is all in the details! I stay in this crazy business because I LOVE IT!
ALBERTVILLE, AL | 800-949-0191 | EMAIL
Lora joined Park Avenue Travel Services in 1999.
In 1984 I left my family home in a small farming town in Ohio with one suitcase and $50.00 ($20.00 of which my brother slipped to me when he hugged me goodbye) to take a job at a corporate travel agency in Huntsville, Alabama.
The first thing I noticed about Alabama is that they talk funny. They cut off lights, carry people to the store, and water the garden with a hose pipe. Someone is always fixing to whup up on something or someone. All kidding aside, I fell in love with the place and with the man in the apartment above me. I got married to the good looking neighbor upstairs in August of 1985. In 1987 I had my first daughter, Summer, who is now 26it's amazing how time flies! My second daughter, Kelsy, was born in 1991.
I have been working in the travel industry since moving to Alabama in 1984. I love talking to people about just about everything. I like to feel the sense of accomplishment when I make arrangements to get that harried business traveler to a very important meeting just in the nick of time, then home again to his son's baseball game that evening. There have been many times during a holiday season that I have stayed up late on the computer trying to get a father or mother home to their family in time for the holidays during a raging snow storm, other weather conditions or mechanical delays. I will find any opportunity that exists to get my traveler home. Getting something done that others say is impossible is an awesome feeling. This is a stressed filled career but the reward of the "well done" makes it all worthwhile.
SHIPPENSBURG, PA | 717-530-6647 | EMAIL
Robin joined Park Avenue Travel Services in 2012
I like people! It may start out as a company account or a group booking, but then at its most basic it becomes about taking care of individuals. At Park Avenue Travel it's all about individuals and their travel needs, and making the process and the trip as easy for them as possible.
I have lived both sides of the travel experience while shepherding familiarization tour groups of convention planners from my Baltimore-Washington D.C. territory to the island of Hawaii for Surf Resorts International. When you make the travel arrangements and then actually make the trip with the clients you experience everything from their perspective. You see first-hand how everything on the trip will be perceived and having that information served me well in other positions in the travel industry.
I also gained first-hand knowledge while hosting visitors to the city of Baltimore and Baltimore County for the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development Office of Tourism. This was the next step after making the convention sale. Now instead of turning over the details and follow-through for the trip or event, I was the one to whom the details and follow-through was assigned. Instead of spelling out what was planned to make it all enjoyable and productive, I could make sure it happened as planned. I liked being able to insure that it all came together.
Throughout my career, I have had more specific customer contact when handling operations or marketing and sales for various corporate hotels. I learned a lot about tee times and golf terminology when I was responsible for Marketing and Sales for the Toftrees Resort in State College (Pennsylvania) and handling arrangements for Viking Range when I was temporarily assigned to a hotel in Greenville, Mississippi (Viking corporate headquarters), and getting to tour their corporate training facility, was a case study in first-class operations.
I have over 30 years in the travel and hospitality industry. I've seen it from every angle and now, at Park Avenue Travel, I'm able to give the client the benefit of all of that experience.
|ZELJKA STERLING (RACHEL)
CLEVELAND, OH | 216-692-1200 | EMAIL
Rachel joined Park Avenue Travel Services in 2006
I was born in Croatia and lived In Italy before I immigrated to the United States. I Speak Croatian and English fluently and can understand quite a few Slavic languages.
I have always loved world history; I enjoy learning about different places in the world, the people and their cultures, so it is no wonder that I joined the travel business. It has giving me the opportunity to travel all over the world, meet new people and experience their culture.
I have been in the travel business for 30 years, I specialize in international travel, my background consists of leisure and corporate travel management, FIT itineraries, group travel, visas and immigrations. I have been with Park Avenue Travel Services since 2006 but worked many years with Dora in her family's travel agency business.
My work experience has enhanced my knowledge in the travel industry and I am happy to help in both, corporate and leisure travel. My dedication to customer services insures my determination to arrange for my clients the most convenient travel accommodations at the best possible pricing.
CLEVELAND, OH | 216-692-1200 | EMAIL
Marcia joined Park Avenue Travel Services in 2000
I have been in the travel business for about 26 years, the last 14 with Park Avenue Travel. I specialize in corporate travel, domestic and international and meeting planning. My meeting planning experience is in small meetings for just a couple people to major corporate events at venues around the United States and Canada. I am also able to help with Passport and Visa processing.
Having come from an accounting background in a major corporation, I welcomed the challenges of the Travel Industry with great enthusiasm. I find arranging travel for my clients a much more rewarding experience and look forward to helping any way I can.