M&G founder Alessandra Gardino joined forces with Rick Montgomery in 2002 - and created a niche travel company that offers meticulously-planned, culturally-oriented expeditions all over the world.
With a combined 25 years of travel industry experience, Alessandra and Rick refused to accept that modern tourism should require flag-waving tour guides, overcrowded venues, mandatory shopping stops and uninspired food served only to tourists. Instead, they left their jobs as tourism executives to create a different kind of tour company. Small group sizes - usually only 15 members - and a limited number of trips each year allow M&G to concentrate on personal service and a commitment to sustainable tourism in relatively fragile parts of the world.
M&G Expeditions was founded in the USA as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and now has offices in Portland, Oregon, and Genoa, Italy MG Expeditions also does business as Customized Journeys.
Alessandra Gardino Ranghiasci, Director
Born in Genoa, Italy, Alessandra was raised to be a world traveller. Her father, an active mountaineer from Piedmont, made sure that Alessandra grew up with a passion for nature, and knowledge of the Italian and French Alps. Her mother, heiress to the historical Central Italian palace Palazzo Ranghiasci, instilled in Alessandra a profound love of European arts and culture. These family traditions have allowed Alessandra to fully develop her passion for art, food, wine, archeology, and of course, adventure.
After graduating, Alessandra became a corporate executive in the Mediterranean’s competitive tourism industry. There, she helped to implement diverse tourism programs in Southern Europe, and other locations as far as the Caribbean Sea. From the very beginning of her career, however, Alessandra harbored a dream of building a company that introduced curious, active travellers to diverse, fascinating cultures and some of the world’s most amazing art. That dream became a reality in 2003 with the creation of M&G Expeditions. With over a decade of experience in the customized travel industry and a deep knowledge of European culture, Alessandra is well equipped to lead travellers on tailor-made, discovery journeys that are simply unforgettable.
Alessandra speaks Italian, French, Spanish, and English.
Rick Montgomery is an American citizen and travel industry veteran who has lived, worked and travelled in more than 75 countries. Rick hit the road for the first time at age 17 when he crossed North America alone by Greyhound bus on his way to catch a cheap flight to Europe from NYC.
After taking a degree in International Studies at the University of Washington, Rick hit the road again, this time making his way to Beijing where he studied Mandarin Chinese. He found himself working in Southern China a few years later but couldn't resist the lure of the road. Rick organized his first independent expedition in 1992 with a small group of Americans over Vietnam's heavily-fortified Chinese border. The experience led to full-time expedition leading (GCT and Geographic Expeditions) and part-time magazine writing (Outside, Men's Journal, Travel and Leisure).
Today Rick consults with MG for all Asian and African journeys. Rick is also the founder and executive director of Globalroots.org – a children's charity that helps locals take care of needy children in places where they are commonly exploited.