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Founders

Rick Montgomery & Alessandra Gardino, Owners

M&G founders, Rick Montgomery and Alessandra Gardino Ranghiasci Montgomery, joined forces in 2002 to create a niche travel company that offers meticulously-planned, culturally-oriented expeditions all over the world.

With a combined 25 years of travel industry experience, Rick and Alessandra 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.


Biographies

Alessandra Gardino Ranghiasci Montgomery
Born in Genoa, Italy, not far from the home of Christopher Columbus, Alessandra was born into a family of travelers. Her father, a world-famous mountaineer from Piedmont, made sure that Alessandra grew up with a keen love and understanding of the Italian and French Alps. Her mother, the proud descendant of an ancient family in Umbria, passed on to Alessandra a profound love of European arts and culture.

As a young girl, Alessandra explored the ancient ports of Ajaccio, Dubrovnik, Corfu and Piraeus and all of Europe's most important museums. Later, after graduating university in Genoa, Alessandra became a corporate executive in the Mediterranean's competitive tourism industry and helped to implement diverse tourism programs in Turkey, Greece, Egypt and other destinations ranging all the way to the Caribbean Sea.

From the very beginning of her career, however, Alessandra harboured a dream of to creating a small company that could introduce intelligent travellers to the diversity of complicated cultures and to the most amazing art and archaeology sites in the world. She met her husband Rick in 2002 and started her own expedition company a year later.

Alessandra is a strong believer in the importance of sustainable tourism. She has given passionate talks about this and about her culture all over the US. The heiress of a historical palazzo in Central Italy, Alessandra is now using her palace as a base for M&G clients. Only in this way could she afford to preserve her family's heritage and the palace that her ancestors built 800 years ago.

Alessandra speaks Italian, French, Spanish and English.


Rick Montgomery
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). He met his wife Alessandra on a ship in Thailand in 2002 and started M&G one year later.

Today, when he is not working with Alessandra and Betta to create exciting trips for M&G, Rick can be found wandering the developing world in search of local humanitarians who are helping needy children. Rick is 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. Rick speaks English, Mandarin Chinese and Italian but he claims he can order a glass of draft beer in 15 other languages. We have yet to test him because we still need him to write next year's itineraries.