Meet our Ambassadors

Mile Markers LogoWhat if there was one place to find all of your inspiration for taking the perfect trip in Illinois?

We’ve rounded up the best Illinois travel enthusiasts. They are here to share their experiences with you, give you the inside information and put you on the path to vacation bliss!

Think you have what it takes to be a Mile Marker? We want to hear from you at enjoyillinois@gmail.com.

Take a look at a few of our current Mile Markers and stay tuned to see when new ones arrive!

——————————————————————————————————-

arrow

Amor Montes De Oca

Arts & Culture
close
info:
Amor is the publisher of Arte y Vida Chicago, a website dedicated to fostering cultural diversity through the celebration and promotion of Hispanic art and culture.

A very rounded individual, Amor is a mother, publisher, photographer, travel enthusiast, self-described flamenco addict and knitting novice and aspiring queen of culture. Her travel interests include photography and art galleries, scenic road trips, wineries, dining out and family-friendly attractions.
arrow

Nick Ulivieri

Photography
close
info:
Nick is a Chicago based photographer specializing in commercial photography with a focus on food, and commercial/residential architecture. Nick began his professional career in the advertising industry where he developed a passion for the impact branding and design have on a business.

Nick’s creativity, and affinity for working a camera naturally led to photography as a career at Nick Ulivieri Photography. With a prominent following on Instagram, Nick looks forward to spreading his love for photography throughout the Land of Lincoln!
arrow

Amy Larrick

Foodie
close
info:
An Illinois native, Amy was born in Bloomington, grew up Rockford and moved to Chicago 10 years ago for college. She studied Interior Design at Harrington College of Design and during school began working in the restaurant industry.

She’s worked for Phil Stefani in the restaurant business for nearly nine years. A foodie at heart, Amy loves dining out at restaurants, as well as cooking at home. She’s always been adventurous with food and enjoys trying new ingredients and flavors. The same can be said for her love of travel. A love for discovery of new places and soaking up the culture that goes with it lends itself to the adventures ahead in Illinois!
arrow

Adam Sommer

Family Travel with Dad
close
info:
Adam is a St. Louis based travel writer focused on family-friendly travel with a special emphasis on the American Midwest. Adam’s personal travel blog, Visit Flyover Country, chronicles his family’s travels throughout America’s heartland.

Adam enjoys discovering new places with a family atmosphere; relishes local, unique, & kid-friendly dining establishments; and simply loves to talk travel. Kid-friendly attractions usually drive Adam’s itineraries, including zoos, children’s museums, and anything related to trains, super heroes or dinosaurs. Illinois is one of Adam’s favorite states to visit, so he looks forward to seeing more of the Land of Lincoln!
arrow

Pamela Toler

History
close
info:
Pamela D. Toler is not your average freelance writer. She holds a PhD in history, is notoriously curious and has a long-standing love affair with road trips. As an author, Pamela has penned multiple books as well and has been featured on the History Channel.

She loves the thrill of exploring places of historical significance that link today with times of past. She blogs about history, writing, writing about history — and the occasional road trip through history — at History in the Margins.
arrow

Colleen Kelly

Family Travel with Mom
close
info:
Colleen currently serves as Host and Travel Guide for Family Travel with Colleen Kelly, a National Public Television Show launching in July 2013. Colleen explores must‐see locations and attractions throughout the U.S. and abroad, but looks forward to the special experiences coming up in Illinois.

She loves sharing expert travel tips and insights that create easier family vacations filled with once-in‐a‐lifetime memories for her fans. Although she has traveled all over the globe, she still calls Chicago home.
arrow

David & Veronica

Empty Nesters
close
info:
David and Veronica are experiencing the collision of Baby Boomer and Empty Nester. When their youngest headed off to college, they decided to grab life by the horns, sell the nest, hit the road and become GypsyNesters!

They've been full-time travelers and have been breaking the empty nest rules since 2008. Frequent visitors of Illinois, they are looking forward to exploring the Great River Road this spring!
arrow

Josh Friedrich

Scenic Byways
close
info:
Josh is a self confessed Route 66 addict. He loves it all: cruising the two lane road, vintage gas stations, classic roadside eateries, cool signs, interesting architecture, quirky attractions, and unique people.

His family likes traveling the roads less traveled with something different around every bend. Josh is big into photography and likes taking old Polaroid shots of Route 66 attractions. Look forward to following his adventures along Route 66 and all over the classic roads in Illinois!
arrow

Connie Reed

Travel Adventure
close
info:
A lifelong Chicago area resident, Connie likes the rush of the city during the workday contrasted by the quiet of small town life at night. She enjoys variety in her travels, too, always eager to explore new places, mixing nature, historical, culinary, shopping, adventure or just plain fun attractions.

Connie shares her travel stories through Examiner.com, focusing on attractions and events in and near Illinois and on her own blog, Midwest Wanderer. When not traveling or writing, Connie likes to putter in the kitchen, trying new dishes with unique ingredients she finds at markets she has visited.
arrow

Ferdia Doherty

Farm-to-Table
close
info:
Ferdia Doherty is the owner of local craft tavern Farmhouse Chicago. After growing up in Ireland, Ferdia moved to his new home – Chicago. He has traveled all over Illinois in search of ingredients for his locally-sourced menu and has a deep appreciation for the people and places in the Land of Lincoln.

Ferdia always says farm-to-table dining comes down to the fact that it’s just good to know where your food comes from. Follow along as he explores what he calls Midwestern fare, and get a taste of the melting pot that inspires his own food creations.
arrow

Katy Walsh

Girlfriend Getaways
close
info:
Katy has three major passions: travel, writing and theatre. She enjoys experiencing new places and people. By day, she is the Director of Development & Communication at the National Runaway Safeline. And at night and on the weekends, Katy is on to the next big adventure. She's looking forward to venturing out of her Chicago hometown to see what Illinois has to offer.

Be on the lookout for her perfect girlfriend getaway weekends and ideal hang-outs for group travel. Katy has been reviewing Chicago theatre for four years on her blog at The Fourth Walsh. She also has been chronicling hitting an age milestone on her other blog 500 Days to 50.
arrow

Laura Schwartz

Unexpected Illinois
close
info:
As the White House Director of Events for the Clinton Administration, Laura produced more than 1,000 White House events and traveled the world with the President. Today, as a professional speaker, author of Eat, Drink& Succeed and television commentator, she continues to travel experiencing different cultures, foods and ways of life.

But no matter how far she travels or exotic the places may be, she loves landing back in Chicago and embracing all Illinois has to offer. She's been named to the Top 100 List of Women in Chicago by Today's Chicago Women Magazine and 1 of the 5 Most Bold and Beautiful by Chicago Magazine. Laura loves travel adventures and people and looks forward to combining both as she explores Illinois!

All views of Illinois Mile Markers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Illinois Office of Tourism (IOT).