Your AFS

Gracious Trip Leaders

Our Gracious Trip Leaders are on a trip to serve as an liaison between the local staff and the AFS group. They are there as an escort and not a guide. Nationally licensed guides will be with you for all tours and they can answer all questions concerning the destination. Our GTLs have been selected because they have been in a dozen plus AFS trips and share our vision of having large fun!

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President & Queen Bee - Smyrna, Georgia

Suzy Davis

Suzy founded AFS and has traveled the world for 40 years with over 100 different countries stamped in her 6 tattered passports. “100 was my goal in order to join the Century Club. I admit I’m a hopeless Travel Junkie because I always want more. I’m a fan of the challenging Third World countries, however I marvel at all places. Whether near or far, I’ve never had a dull journey!”

Read her President’s Letter to understand her love of adventure. She met her husband Terry, on an African safari and married in 2006. Suzy is a former Miss Wisconsin, instructor and flight attendant with a passion for travel writing, dogs and cooking. She has received and filed thousands of gratitude notes and letters from AFS guests she’s lead around the world over two decades and sincerely cares that each person has large fun!

“My only goal is for everyone to blend and have Large Fun! It’s music to my ears when I hear…Suzy, this vacation far exceeded my wildest expectations!” Suzy

Terry Pawelko
AFS King Bee - Smyrna, Georgia

Terry Pawelko

Terry is a partner, business manager,  marketing guru, tour leader, cabana boy, chief bottle washer and pool boy. Terry handles most of the day to day business operations behind the scenes at AFS.  He also married the boss.

He has an extensive background in marketing and sales, working as a rep for a large audio visual company for 20 years.  AFS has benefited greatly with his addition to our team. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in communication and has traveled to many countries on 6 continents.

 

 

Tricia
GTL & AFS Worker Bee - Naperville, Illinois

Tricia McConville

In her previous life as a corporate Leadership & Development Manager, Tricia has had to assist people from all walks of life open their eyes to other ways of thinking, viewing things and exploring new ideas and opportunities, all of which translate beautifully into her enthusiastic passion (some call it obsession) for traveling and seeing the world.

An avid traveler, she has traveled solo, organized group travel and has taken many trips with AFS adding up to a total of 50+ countries ~ and all 7 continents!! She is happiest when she is preparing for an adventure ~ especially when she is helping others to discover a part of the world that they have never been to.

Now working full-time for AFS, she is gaining experience in all aspects of the business – working with vendors, suppliers, contracts and best of all our AFS Clients on a daily basis. She has turned her passion and love of travel into a career and there couldn’t be a better fit for her.

She relishes in seeing others enjoying themselves and LOVES to laugh! Tricia is warm, friendly, extremely detail-oriented, and has the forethought/proactive mindset that assists in deterring issues before they happen. However, should a situation arise, she has the steady and calm demeanor to handle things quickly, positively and with limited intrusion to others. Other AFS groups have labeled her “Miss Congeniality.” I call her “Mother Theresa” for her enduring patience.

“What a gem you have in Tricia. She’s the perfect combination of personable and professional. Leading India, she was organized, kept us informed and was a good resource. She is even-tempered and has the heart of a teacher/leader. And she was FUN!” – Judy Branch

Carol
Bloomfield, New Mexico

Carol Huntington

Carol has been on 20+ AFS trips over the years and has led many of our groups of single travelers. She has been a ray of sunlight to each of those groups. She has a passion for seeing the world and experiencing new cultures. Having traveled to over 92+ countries and all 7 continents, she continues to pursue her dream, while working for the past 25 years in the banking industry. Her goal is to build relationships, problem solve, and keep clients happy. She genuinely cares for people and is cool under pressure. These are great qualities for the business and the travel world.

During a recent sabbatical, Carol coordinated and lead a once in a lifetime journey around the world, visiting 13 countries! Carol’s excitement to discover new things is complimented by her unique ability to get along with and relate to people of all backgrounds. She has a deep understanding of new and seasoned travelers with a knack to inspire all. Carol is all about the experience: from skydiving to trekking with the gorillas in Rwanda, leading a group to climb Mt Kilimanjaro and always making many new friends along the way.

Margo Bailey
GTL - Kula, Hawaii

Margo Bailey

Your GTL is Margo who has been on 20+ AFS trips in 40 countries on 6 continents. She understands our vision well. You’ll be in good hands with her and your local guides. Our past groups loved her warmth and her enthusiasm is contagious.

We don’t have enough words here to fill you in on Margo, you just have to meet her. Everyone enjoys her effervescent spirit. She exudes the motto “kindness begets kindness” and we love traveling with her. Traveling is in her genes, now with 40 different countries stamped in her passport. She’s done countless AFS trips over the years and certainly understands our vision.

Margo lives in Hawaii, has 2 children and loves to bake, hike, read, knit and shop. She runs marathons and possesses the enthusiasm of a cheerleader. This former elementary school teacher lives her life by the lessons she taught. Margo says, “Lessons like play fair, share, stick together, be organized, listen, ask questions and be aware of wonder…apply these to traveling the world and you’ll have a successful journey.” FYI, teachers and mothers make great trip leaders! She has brought just a little of heaven to this Earth.

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GTL - Decatur, Georgia

Janice McDonald

Your tour leader Janice is an accomplished writer and television producer. She is an avid traveler having visited all 7 continents and more than 80 countries. Janice is the President of J-Mac Productions, an independent production company which is the offspring of passions developed while working with CNN for 20 years.

Janice has traveled the world, producing videos which include a documentary from a trip to Antarctica with the company of Prince Albert of Monaco and coverage of the Hong Kong Handover in 1997. She works with numerous media outlets in developing marketing, training and commercial materials. Clients include the Travel Channel, ABC, NBC, Fox News and MTV. She has published 7 travel books and writes for many magazines. She has had 8 Emmy nominations and has won numerous awards for educational television production. She is a member of the Atlanta Press Club, the North American Travel Writers Association and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

No words can describe her professionalism and bubbly personality. Janice consistently remains upbeat even when things don’t go as planned and is simply large fun to travel with.

“Janice did an outstanding job making all feel connected in our group and coordinated things well with our local guides. I look forward to another trip with her.” – Pat Kilpatrick

GTL - Salanda
GTL - Atlanta, Georgia

Salanda Williams

Salanda has been on over a dozen AFS trips over the years. With a passion for nature and unique cultures, she chooses our most exotic destinations. She recently led our Nepal, Russia and Galapagos groups. We received many emails praising her excellent performance.

I call her “gadget girl” because she always comes equipped with the coolest travel items I’ve never seen before (spring shoes, mosquito bands.) Since age 16, she has traveled to 5 continents, 28 countries, 44 states and countless islands. Her preference is international destinations (think Borneo) off the tourist trodden path.

Salanda manages one of the world’s largest travel agencies as a corporate travel consultant and is meticulous with organizational skills. On a personal note, she is a dog lover, an avid skier and true wine connoisseur. She has also led tour groups to wine regions abroad. Salanda has never met a stranger and is friendly to all. Everyone will appreciate her enthusiasm and astute leadership skills.

Eileen
GTL - Bradenton FL

Eileen Viau

By experience, we know mothers make the best leaders.  Eileen raised 2 great kids on her own.  She recently retired from Met Life after a 24-year career and now has time to play around the world.  With an unbridled passion for travel and a deep love for exploration, she’s visited dozens of countries near and far.

Eileeen has been on  many AFS trips and everyone enjoys her company.  Many request to be her roommate because she is so easy going and has a great sense of humor.  Her greatest joy is meeting new people and collecting friends.  Quick to smile & laugh and she is thrilled to meet any challenges with her leadership skills.  We are fully confident she’ll be a perfect fit to lead many more trips to come.