Originally from New Haven, Connecticut, Andrew studied early American history as an undergraduate at Middlebury College and political geography and criminology at the University of Colorado-Boulder graduate school. He is trained as an historical researcher, geographer, and cartographer, and in additional to his duties as a tour guide, he oversees knowledge management for Turnstile Tours, maintaining our archive, library, and blog, and designing our tour maps and brochures. Prior to working at Turnstile, Andrew lived in Moscow and Irkutsk, Russia, where he studied geography and worked as a reporter, editor, and translator for a number of media outlets.
After moving to New York in 2009, he worked at the International Coalition of Historic Sites of Conscience, a worldwide network of museums and historic sites that use difficult histories to promote positive social change, coordinating their programming in the former Soviet Union. Andrew is fascinated by military and maritime history and the contemporary workings of New York Harbor, both manmade and natural, and he is an avid shipspotter, birdwatcher, and paddler. He has led the research and development of the World War II tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which launched on Veterans Day 2012, and our tour programs at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Andrew and Cindy were married in April 2014 at Williamsburg’s Most Holy Trinity-St. Mary Church, with food provided by street vendor Veronica’s Kitchen, and they are the proud parents of Salty. Andrew is a member of the US Naval Institute.
Tours: Brooklyn Army Terminal • Brooklyn Navy Yard • Food Cart Tours • Prospect Park Tours • Harbor Tours • Public Market Tours • DUMBO • Wafels and Dinges Factory Tours
Turnstile Tours offers highly-specialized tours of lesser-known places and stories of New York City that can be adapted to complement undergraduate, graduate, research, professional development, and industry-related programs. Built around rigorous research and close connections to the communities in which we work, each tour is offered in partnership with a non-profit organization and explores topics ranging from the the history of New York City’s industrial waterfront and military infrastructure to contemporary stories of the city’s manufacturers, immigrant entrepreneurs, urban planners, and architects.
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Head of Sustainability Programming
Doug’s diverse talents include being a working actor and an ecological design consultant, experience he gets to blend together at Turnstile Tours. Doug is a LEED-accredited professional with the US Green Building Council and for five years worked as the director of research for internationally-renowned ecological architecture firm William McDonough + Partners. Doug also worked with Bruce Mau and the Institute without Boundaries to produce Massive Change, a multi-media installation exhibit focusing on the capacity of design to shape our world for the welfare of humanity exhibited across North America, and he worked on a project to bring sustainable building technology to Haiti. Doug is also an accomplished actor working regularly on stage, in film and commercials and possesses a Masters in Fine Arts from the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College. Recently, he has appeared in productions at New York’s Guggenheim Museum and in the Solutions Grassroots Tour, a stage show about the impacts of climate change and hydraulic fracturing.
Doug led development of both the Urban Ecology and Sustainable Architecture and Industry tours at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and he helps Turnstile to incorporate sustainability- and environmentally-focused content into all of our programs and operations, including our annual benefit reporting.
Tours: Brooklyn Army Terminal • Brooklyn Navy Yard • Food Cart Tours • DUMBO • Prospect Park • Wafels and Dinges Factory Tours
Turnstile Tours offers interactive and educational tours in partnership with non-profit organizations on topics ranging from the the history of New York City’s industrial waterfront to the contemporary stories of the city’s manufacturers, immigrant entrepreneurs, urban planners, and architects. Select a tour program below for more information on booking a tour for students, including detailed information on K–12 educational standards that these programs fulfill.
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Turnstile Tours has many years of experience working with the travel trade, and we can offer experiences for a wide range of ages, interests, and budgets. We work directly with travel agents, receptive operators, destination management organizations, and tour operators to deliver high-quality and unique experiences in New York City. Whether you’re looking for a step-guide or a multi-day itinerary, Turnstile Tours can deliver.
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Visitor Experience Associate and Tour Guide
Gina Gao joined our team in 2018 as a full-time intern through the Brooklyn Navy Yard Summer Internship Program. Since that time, she has become an important member of our team and regularly leads tours in Mandarin and English, assists with marketing and sales efforts, and provides ongoing support to ensure that our tours operate smoothly and are responsive to visitors’ needs. Gina is originally from China, is an undergraduate student of the New York City College of Technology in Hospitality Management. She previously obtained a Bachelor’s degree in the same major from Hubei University in China and worked for seven years there as a tour guide and itinerary planner. She is very passionate, friendly, and is a hard-working person. She loves traveling and cooking, and her dream is to set foot in as many places around the world as she can. She brings positive energy to people around her and wherever she goes she looks for new ideas for improving her workplace and engagement with customers. She follows the motto that a person should always feel hungry for more, and that these inner feelings make people work hard, investigate and explore more and more.
Brooklyn Waterfront Educator and Research Associate
Stefan Dreisbach-Williams is a native of Staten Island who researches and writes about New York Harbor, its estuary, and its maritime network. He recently joined our team to lead our tours of the Brooklyn waterfront and to support our archival and research efforts. He is the Seamen’s Church Institute’s Associate Archivist, Museum Associate at the Waterfront Museum in Red Hook, Brooklyn, member of the volunteer crew restoring New York Harbor’s Robbins Reef lighthouse, and is training to paddle sale the Erie Canal for its bicentennial.
Food Tour Educator
A native New Yorker, Amanda has always had a deep seated love for the culture, people and history of New York City, and is delighted to bring her passion for history, immigrant cultures, and storytelling to visitors through Turnstile’s food-themed tours. When Amanda isn’t leading tours for us, she is the host of How to Be American, The Tenement Museum’s podcast that explores multiculturalism and American identity through people’s stories. Amanda formerly managed the Group Services Department at the Tenement Museum and led tours there as a museum educator. She has also gained experience in the art world and in tourism. She previously worked at The Museum of Modern Art and moved to Miami, Florida for a short while, where she worked for an eco-tourism company and was able to combine her fondness for the outdoors with educating groups about local history and ecology. Amanda has a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities from the University of New Hampshire. When not sharing her love of New York City with visitors from around the world, Amanda enjoys making pottery, traveling and relaxing at home with her husband, son, dog and cat.
Tours: Food Cart Tours • Wafels and Dinges Factory Tours