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An Avenue Apart

Meet the Team

Todd Bliwise
Founder and Owner
New York, NY
todd@avenueapart.com

Todd says “Travel is and always has been one of the richest and most magical things we can do and with this short life we have-we should be out there seeing all we can at every turn. I can only rest my head soundly at night when I know that every client that books with us is out there experiencing the world the way it was meant to be explored. In that way, just maybe I can inspire the next dreamer to dream far beyond his wildest imagination and reach for the stars.”

Born in California, Todd has always had a drive to explore the world. On his 15th birthday, he gave himself the goal of traveling to 50 countries by the time he was 25. He knew that somewhere on this incredible journey he would discover what it is he wanted to do.

Over the 10 years that followed, he traveled to 60 countries and flew nearly 1,500,000 miles across this beautiful planet. He learned and studied every trick in the book with respect to airlines and airfare, learning the ins and outs first of every economy cabin, then business class, and eventually first class cabin. Paying his dues as he did, he prided himself on experiencing every airline on earth, learning every product, every seat type, plane type, and frequent flyer program. Throughout college as an international Business Major at the University of Redlands in Southern California, his business emerged. While he was studying and along with other academic responsibilities, he took every opportunity to travel somewhere, whether it was freshmen year of college hopping on a 15 hour flight to China for 72 hours during fall break or spending a semester abroad studying in Milan, Italy, living with a local family and studying at an Italian university; his time spent traveling across the world taught him many lessons, lessons about people, about life, humility, relatively, and happiness. At a relatively young age he experienced lavish wealth juxtaposed next to indescribable poverty. He found kindness in the most unexpected destinations and he saw beauty beyond his wildest dreams. He discovered that the very art of travel is being able to accurately define who you are based upon finding your place in the world, and even now he still wants to learn more about the world we live in.

This all lead to the founding of An Avenue Apart, which he describes as the easel within which we paint everyone’s perfect trip. Along with all the airline studies he had also begun studying hotels and destinations the same way while in school. From relaxing in the turquoise blue lagoons of Tahiti to hiking the peaks of New Zealand, to exploring the villages of Nepal and Bhutan, he learned there is something out there for everyone and he made it his personal responsibility to make sure to match the client with their perfect destination based upon all that he saw and experienced. The differentiation strategy for An Avenue Apart is that he (along with the growing team) spent and continues to spend so much time on the road actually experiencing these properties and destinations first hand, that they never have to send clients anywhere An Avenue Apart doesn’t already know. Todd lives by the moto that he never wants to be a run of the mill travel company who searches things we don’t know;  An Avenue Apart should be a never ending encyclopedia of knowledge-and we are doing just that. The love and passion he has for what we do stems from the same passion that drove him to explore the world in the first place. He makes sure that he and his team work hard to not just plan trips for people, but that we really spend the time getting to know the client to find the root of what is driving an individual to a particular destination and design a unique and customized trip that will shock and awe at every turn.

 

 

Teddi Bircks 
Admin and Team Support
New York, NY
tbircks@avenueapart.com

Teddi caught the travel bug at an early age when her parents began taking her on amazing vacations to the Caribbean.  Her love for travel was only deepened after she toured through Europe in college.  She has worked as a customer service representative for years, but it just wasn’t fueling her fire.  Teddi is excited to combine her customer service experience with her passion for travel to give An Avenue Apart clients best-in-class service!

 

 

Olivia Christians
Advisor
Dallas, TX
Olivia@avenueapart.com   

A true adventurer at heart, Olivia fell in love with travel at a young age. Ever since, she has been on a mission not only to see every corner of the world, but to eat its best cuisine as well. Through her travels, she’s found herself water skiing on Lake Como, practicing archery at a castle in Ireland, creating hand-rolled pasta with perfect Bolognese in Italy, enjoying private boat rides around the Amalfi Coast and exploring the most pristine beaches in the Bahamas.

Olivia pours her passion into creating personalized and unique luxury travel experiences that can’t be replicated through Internet searches. Olivia has the innate ability to communicate with her clients and gather a deep understanding of their dream trip, allowing her to anticipate her clients’ needs. With Olivia’s southern hospitality and keen eye for curating once in a lifetime memories, she elevates vacations from the ordinary to the unforgettable.

Olivia is also a member of the national GenerationJOY Committee, part of the Joyful Heart Foundation.

 

 

Andre Grant
Advisor and Team Support
Atlanta, GA
Andre@avenueapart.com 

Andre Grant has a background in business consulting and development; working with various corporate and startup companies in all stages of growth. Grant began traveling at a young age and always knew he would find a way into the travel industry. Mr. Grant is an honors graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology and really applies his business expertise to his travel/event planning and will frequently offer onsite support and management for An Avenue Apart client events.

He shares the same passion for travel he has always had for his work and studies.

 

 

Tracy Effron
Advisor
Miami, FL
Tracy@avenueapart.com 

Tracy Effron speaks the language of hotels and hospitality.  She lives, breathes and sleeps luxury.  Some of Tracy’s favorite pastimes include traveling the world, experiencing the unknown, rejuvenating her senses, lounging Miami Beach style and catching spectacular sunsets.

With a degree in Hospitality Management & Travel Tourism under her belt, Tracy loves to connect with people and curate personalized and memorable experiences.  Her passion for culture- and cultures- has led her to enjoy incredible experiences such as shopping at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, private wine tastings in the Austrian countryside, yachting around The Caribbean and discovering treasures along historical streets in Lisbon.

With Tracy, opulence is always an option!

 

 

Amber DeGan
Advisor
Atlanta, GA
amber@avenueapart.com 

Amber had never stepped foot outside of the United States until college and after her first trip to Rome, Italy she has no plans to stop. Her travels have allowed her to experience anywhere from an Italian wine dinner overlooking the beautiful vineyards of Tuscany, waltzing along the Champs-Élysées in the drizzling rain, to a week on a sailboat in the Bahamas for a full week of scuba diving with sharks.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Administration from Georgia State University and spent the early part of her career working in top rated private county clubs. This has given her a love for fine dining and creating experiences for others. She is an avid scuba diver and loves spending time enjoying the beautiful landscape the ocean has to offer. Her favorite part of travel is meeting people from all over the world and the experiences other cultures have to offer.

She loves to genuinely connect with others and truly understand their needs. She believes travel is the greatest gift you can give to yourself!

“I am my best self when I am creating experiences for others.”

Miriam McCargar
Admin and Team Support
New York, NY
miriam@avenueapart.com

Ever since Miriam was young, she has been traveling to exotic destinations. Through these travel experiences she developed a longing to share her love of travel with as many people as possible. Miriam has been an intern with travel companies during both high school and college. As a team member of An Avenue Apart she shares her love of travel and to introduce as many cultures around the world with various people she meets with the upmost care and attention to detail.

Jessie Lampkin
Advisor
Detroit, MI
Jlampkin@avenueapart.com

Jessie believes travel is good for the soul. It has provided her with opportunities for meeting new people and partaking in unique experiences, not to mention gaining a taste for exotic foods—all of which have shaped many of the passions she has today. Her favorite travel memories include excursions in her vintage Airstream with her family, driving a dune buggy throughout the mountains of St. Lucia, and sailing and wakeboarding on the Caribbean Sea.

Utilizing her degrees and experience in the I.T. field, Jessie focuses on using technology to its greatest potential for travel and event planning. Her desire is for all her clients to not only enjoy the travel advising process, but be inspired, refreshed, and transformed by their travels. Pick a destination, an immersive experience, and start the countdown to a life-changing adventure!