Sustainable Travel International

Share

Our Executive Board

The Sustainable Travel International team consists of talented professionals with a diverse background, and a deep passion for sustainability in travel and tourism.

  • Jamie Sweeting's portrait

    Jamie Sweeting, Chair

    Jamie Sweeting is Principal, Sweeting Sustainability Solutions, providing support to companies, NGOs, governments and destinations on a wide range of sustainability issues. In addition, Sweeting is the Chairman of the Board of Sustainable Travel International. Sweeting also serves as Global Sustainability Advisor to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Previously Sweeting served as Vice President, Environmental Stewardship… more

    Jamie Sweeting is Principal, Sweeting Sustainability Solutions, providing support to companies, NGOs, governments and destinations on a wide range of sustainability issues. In addition, Sweeting is the Chairman of the Board of Sustainable Travel International. Sweeting also serves as Global Sustainability Advisor to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

    Previously Sweeting served as Vice President, Environmental Stewardship and Global Chief Environmental Officer for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. where he was was responsible for establishing the company’s long-term environmental strategy and working to ensure responsible corporate environmental performance. Sweeting’s expertise guided Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s work to conserve and protect the environment.

    Sweeting has over 20 years of experience in tourism, conservation and business management. Prior to working with Royal Caribbean Cruises, he served as senior business advisor and senior director of the Travel and Leisure program for Conservation International’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business.

    Sweeting received a Master of Tourism Administration from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a B.A. honors in Leisure and Business Management from Manchester University in England.

  • Keith Sproule's portrait

    Keith Sproule, Vice Chair of Board and Tourism Specialist, World Wildlife Fund

    Keith Sproule’s areas of expertise include tourism planning, investment facilitation and community enterprise development. Mr. Sproule has worked and traveled to over 100 countries, with regions of extended experience in Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Middle East, North and Southern Africa. His hybrid career includes positions in the public, private and NGO sectors. He has… more

    Keith Sproule’s areas of expertise include tourism planning, investment facilitation and community enterprise development. Mr. Sproule has worked and traveled to over 100 countries, with regions of extended experience in Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Middle East, North and Southern Africa. His hybrid career includes positions in the public, private and NGO sectors. He has managed large land acquisition and tourism development projects in the US and the Caribbean and served as a senior policy advisor to government ministries, including three years with the Belize Ministry of Tourism, two years with the Egyptian Tourism Development Authority and three years as the Ecotourism Advisor to the Supreme Commission for Tourism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He is a past two-term Chairman of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) and a current member of the board of the Charture Institute. He is the founder and managing director of The Bentwood Inn, a luxury lodge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

    Keith currently lives with his family in Windhoek, Namibia, where he manages the tourism portfolio of the World Wildlife Fund Namibia Program, focusing on joint-venture lodges with communal conservancies.

  • Karyl Leigh Barnes's portrait

    Karyl Leigh Barnes

    Karyl Leigh Barnes is the managing partner of DCI’s Tourism Practice, the leader in marketing places. She directs the company’s PR/Consumer Marketing, Digital Marketing, Trade Marketing, Meetings/Incentive Sales and Research Divisions, overseeing offices in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and regional staff in Chicago and Tampa. Since joining DCI in 1998 from a New York… more

    Karyl Leigh Barnes is the managing partner of DCI’s Tourism Practice, the leader in marketing places. She directs the company’s PR/Consumer Marketing, Digital Marketing, Trade Marketing, Meetings/Incentive Sales and Research Divisions, overseeing offices in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and regional staff in Chicago and Tampa. Since joining DCI in 1998 from a New York State DMO, she has led destination strategy and campaign implementation for travel destinations on every continent except Antarctica. Karyl Leigh is passionate about the preservation and sustainability of tourism destinations around the globe because tourism allows humans to gain a greater understanding of the world around them and enhances the quality of life of local residents through job creation.

    She holds a master’s degree in global marketing communications from Emerson College/Brussels, a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Anderson University, is professionally accredited in marketing communications by the International Advertising Association and has completed her CDME with Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI).

  • Hon. Edmund Bartlett's portrait

    Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Former Jamaica Minister of Tourism

    Edmund Bartlett was born in Westmoreland on December 3, 1950 to Alexander Rudulf Bartlett and Olivia Lawson-Bartlett. He attended St. Elizabeth Technical High and the University of the West Indies. An active Member of Parliament for more than 22 years, Mr. Bartlett has represented the constituency of East Central St. James since 2002. During that… more

    Edmund Bartlett was born in Westmoreland on December 3, 1950 to Alexander Rudulf Bartlett and Olivia Lawson-Bartlett. He attended St. Elizabeth Technical High and the University of the West Indies. An active Member of Parliament for more than 22 years, Mr. Bartlett has represented the constituency of East Central St. James since 2002. During that time he has also served as Opposition Spokesman for Tourism, earning the respect of Industry players in both the private and public sectors for his active participation in and thorough knowledge of the sector as well as for sound judgment and fair play in all commentary on its development.

    Minister Bartlett comes to his new appointment with a track record of service as a legislator in central government in both chambers of the House, in the Upper House as a Senator, and in the Lower House as a Member of Parliament, the position which he currently holds. He has served as Minister of Youth and Community Development as well as Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and Culture in a previous administration of the Jamaica Labour Party in the 1980s. His professional career spans several positions including Senior Accountant-Revere Alumina Jamaica Ltd., Vice President-World Conference on Cultural Policies and Vice Chairman-U.N. International Youth Year Advisory committee. He counts his tenure as Marketing Sales Manager-Texaco Caribbean Inc. immediately preceding his entry into representational politics as perhaps some of his most valuable years in the private sector in preparing him for his current assignment.

    A member of Lions Club of Sav-la-Mar, Jaycees, Montego Bay chapter, and the Electoral Advisory Committee he is also the Founder and Patron of Jamaica Foundation for Children. Minister Bartlett enjoys playing cricket, dominoes, table tennis and dancing. He has been married for 32 years and is the father of two. 

  • Beth Beloff's portrait

    Beth Beloff, Founder and President of BRIDGES to Sustainability

    Beth Beloff is Founder and Principal of Beth Beloff & Associates, a consulting group that develops sustainability strategies and assessment methodologies. She is President of BRIDGES to Sustainability Institute, which she founded in 1997 to develop approaches to support corporate decision-making regarding sustainability. It is currently producing “beyond the Divide,” an innovative multimedia film and… more

    Beth Beloff is Founder and Principal of Beth Beloff & Associates, a consulting group that develops sustainability strategies and assessment methodologies. She is President of BRIDGES to Sustainability Institute, which she founded in 1997 to develop approaches to support corporate decision-making regarding sustainability. It is currently producing “beyond the Divide,” an innovative multimedia film and stage production bringing together indigenous and international performers and wisdom keepers to offer perspectives on protecting the Earth for future generations.

    In 2005, Golder Associates acquired the intellectual property of BRIDGES; for three years Beth developed and directed US sustainability practice of Golder Associates while refreshing the vision of BRIDGES. Previously, Beth founded and directed the Institute for Corporate Environmental Management (ICEM) in the business school at the University of Houston. ICEM developed executive development seminars/ workshops on how business could best integrate environmental issues into its core business strategies.

    She chairs the sustainable supply chain roundtable of major chemical companies working within the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) to address supply chain issues and developed a sustainability statement endorsed by all of the US engingerring societies for the UN’s Rio +20 Conference, to which she was a delegate. She is on the boards of both the Santa Fe Chamber Festival and the Santa Fe Concert Association. She has written extensively on how to develop actionable sustainability strategies.

    Ms. Beloff is one of the founding directors of Sustainable Travel International and a past chair. Beth has a BA degree from the University of California at Berkeley, a Master of Architecture degree from UCLA, and an MBA from the University of Houston.

  • Richard Edwards's portrait

    Richard Edwards

    A college exchange program took Richard to the midst of ecotourism and sustainable development in Costa Rica in its early years in the 80′s. Living there for over a decade, he’s been immersed in adventure and sustainability ever since. As the founder of the marketing and destination firm, ecoism, he’s committed to helping companies and destinations… more

    A college exchange program took Richard to the midst of ecotourism and sustainable development in Costa Rica in its early years in the 80′s. Living there for over a decade, he’s been immersed in adventure and sustainability ever since. As the founder of the marketing and destination firm, ecoism, he’s committed to helping companies and destinations benefit from taking a more practical and cost-effective approach to marketing, while doing all in their power to develop and promote a socially and environmentally responsible approach to travel.

    A wide-ranging career in the adventure travel industry through the 90’s had Richard in various leadership positions with a number of luminary adventure organizations, such as Costa Rica Expeditions, Wildland Adventures, and Austin-Lehman Adventures. His work as the founding Executive Director of the Trusted Adventures consortium allowed him to assist a host of pioneering adventure companies on their marketing, positioning and branding efforts. He has always found time for interesting and unique projects working on marketing strategy, messaging, product development, CSR programs, and community development with destinations, such as Belize and Korea, large corporations like Discovery Communications and Hilton, as well as his own boutique adventure company GreenSpot.Travel. Most recently Director of Marketing & eCommerce at the adventure giant G Adventures, he was also the first Director of the company’s non-profit Planeterra, the global organization dedicated to sustainable community development through travel. He continues to be part of the executive boards of several non-profits dedicated to ecotourism and sustainability in travel.

    Condé Nast Traveler cites Richard as a Top Travel Specialist for his ability to bring results-oriented travel marketing and great product together with sustainability to build award-winning trips for upscale adventure travelers.

  • Hugh Hough's portrait

    Hugh Hough, President, Green Team USA

    Hugh Hough began his advertising career as an art director in Madrid in 1980. For 13 years, he worked in around the globe (Madrid, Colombia, New York) in big, international advertising agencies (Ogilvy, Grey) for big, international clients (Panasonic, Ralston-Purina). In 1993, Hugh walked away from mainstream Madison Avenue, and opened Green Team, New York’s… more

    Hugh Hough began his advertising career as an art director in Madrid in 1980. For 13 years, he worked in around the globe (Madrid, Colombia, New York) in big, international advertising agencies (Ogilvy, Grey) for big, international clients (Panasonic, Ralston-Purina).

    In 1993, Hugh walked away from mainstream Madison Avenue, and opened Green Team, New York’s first (and at the time only) environmental advertising agency.

    In the subsequent years, Hugh expanded Green Team’s core capabilities to include social and cause related marketing, progressive brands and travel. On 2007, Green Team opened its first satellite office, in Hobart, Tasmania. Hugh and Green Team have created work for numerous non-profits, including WWF, Environmental Defense, Conservation International, National Geographic and the Smithsonian Institute. Green Team travel clients include Scotland, Ecuador, Dominica and Lindblad Expeditions. Green Team also works with a number of major corporations, helping them with their environmental and cause campaign. These include Johnson & Johnson, BP and Coca-Cola.

    Hugh was recently selected by Al Gore and The Climate Project to be one of 1,000 individuals chosen to present a modified version of Gore’s presentation about global warming, chronicled in the film, An Inconvenient Truth.

  • Alexi Huntley Khajavi's portrait

    Alexi Huntley Khajavi, Vice President, Global Strategy, Mercury CSC

    Alexi Huntley Khajavi is the Vice President of Global Strategy at MercuryCSC where he is responsible for curating and cultivating trends, research, capabilities and industry developments in the categories of expertise for MercuryCSC; travel, outdoor retail, food and sustainability. Alexi also leads the company’s organic and new business growth in domestic and international markets. Prior… more

    Alexi Huntley Khajavi is the Vice President of Global Strategy at MercuryCSC where he is responsible for curating and cultivating trends, research, capabilities and industry developments in the categories of expertise for MercuryCSC; travel, outdoor retail, food and sustainability. Alexi also leads the company’s organic and new business growth in domestic and international markets.

    Prior to joining MercuryCSC, Alexi spent 8 years at Nature Group where he was Chief Marketing Officer, a Central American travel consortium. Alexi led the branding, marketing, sales and corporate social responsibility programs for four affiliated brands—regional airline Nature Air, tour operator Nature Vacations, travel publication Landings and an aviation school. During his tenure Nature Group grew from $1M to nearly $18M in sales, making it one of the fastest growing travel companies in Latin America.

    Alexi was the project manager behind the carbon reductions and offset initiative, helping Nature Air become the world’s first certified carbon neutral airline. He is a graduate of University of California.

  • David Michael Jerome's portrait

    David Michael Jerome

    David Michael Jerome has global experience in making large, publicly traded companies more innovative, sustainable, effective, efficient and relevant to their customers.   He has always found the complexity and importance of these issues appealing and has established and successfully managed these areas on three continents and across all major corporate staff.   Areas of experience include:… more

    David Michael Jerome has global experience in making large, publicly traded companies more innovative, sustainable, effective, efficient and relevant to their customers.   He has always found the complexity and importance of these issues appealing and has established and successfully managed these areas on three continents and across all major corporate staff.   Areas of experience include: Branding and Reputation Management, Corporate Affairs, Measurement and Reporting, Stakeholder Engagement, Public Policy, Communications, Value Chain Management (supplier/distributors/franchisees), CO2, Emissions, and Energy Management, Organizational Effectiveness and Integration into the Core Business.

    Prior to private consulting, David Michael Jerome was the Senior Vice President for Corporate Responsibility (CR) at InterContinental Hotels Group based in the United Kingdom.  David founded and led IHG’s Global CR Team from IHG’s headquarters in the United Kingdom from 2006 until the end of 2012.  Under David’s leadership, IHG came to lead the hotel industry in environmental innovation with its sustainable hotel design, building and operations programs.  David also established new collaboration models to support local communities and led all CR related new product innovation, development and brand integration.

    David teaches sustainability at Cornell and Cambridge Universities.  Additionally, he has published on branding and sustainability and presented at TED Global on the future role of hotels in society and currently serves on the TED climate change challenge team.

    Before IHG, David led Corporate Affairs for AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer.  Prior to AB InBev, David worked for General Motors in a variety of staff and operational roles.  He was head of GM Korea before assuming responsibility for GM’s global reputation and corporate responsibility activities.   David practiced law in Washington,D.C. before joining GM.

  • Julie Klein's portrait

    Julie Klein, Principal, Confluence Sustainability

    Julie is the Principal of Confluence Sustainability, LLC, a consultancy focused on collaborative strategies and solutions, utilizing travel and tourism as a catalyst for sustainable growth and a bridge to preserving and celebrating cultural heritage. Her work encompasses destinations, public and private partnerships and organizations committed to broad-based, stakeholder engagement to build scalable, multi-sector programs and replicable best practices…. more

    Julie is the Principal of Confluence Sustainability, LLC, a consultancy focused on collaborative strategies and solutions, utilizing travel and tourism as a catalyst for sustainable growth and a bridge to preserving and celebrating cultural heritage. Her work encompasses destinations, public and private partnerships and organizations committed to broad-based, stakeholder engagement to build scalable, multi-sector programs and replicable best practices.

    Prior to establishing Confluence Sustainability, she was the Director of Environmental Affairs for RockResorts and Vail Resorts Hospitality, a wholly owned division of Vail Resorts, Inc. where she led hospitality and corporate-wide sustainability programs across the company’s domestic ski and transportation divisions and international hotel portfolio. During her tenure with Vail Resorts, she also served as the Director of Environmental, Health and Safety for the Grand Teton Lodge Company where she led U.S. Department of Interior award winning environmental and health and safety programs certified to ISO 14001, 9001 and OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs. Her career is also marked by serving as the administrator for Denver Recycles/City and County of Denver, Colorado’s municipal recycling program and nearly 10 years of media relations and marketing communications experience in ski, travel and hospitality industry segments.

    Julie has a Masters’ Degree in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver, a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication and Journalism from Colorado State University and is a USGBC, LEED AP.

  • Roger A. Lang, Jr.'s portrait

    Roger A. Lang, Jr., Principal, Lang Studios

    In addition to being the principal of Lang Studios, Lang previously was owner and founder of the Sun Ranch Group (SRG). Lang devised SRG’s market-driven model for conserving important tracts of the American West. Passionate about the need to conserve wildlife habitat and migration corridors, Lang developed a model for a market-driven conservation approach that… more

    In addition to being the principal of Lang Studios, Lang previously was owner and founder of the Sun
    Ranch Group (SRG). Lang devised SRG’s market-driven model for conserving important tracts of
    the American West. Passionate about the need to conserve wildlife habitat and migration corridors,
    Lang developed a model for a market-driven conservation approach that included sustainable
    lodging and recreation, cattle ranching and ecology-driven residential real estate development
    appropriate for open space.

    Earlier in Lang’s career he co-founded a financial software company, Infinity Financial Technology,
    which grew to become the world’s leading supplier of derivatives trading, risk management and
    processing software. As Infinity’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, Lang led the company
    through its initial public offering on NASDAQ in 1996, and its subsequent merger into SunGard
    Data Systems in 1998. Lang was named one of the 50 most influential people in the history of
    financial risk management by Risk magazine, a major industry publication. Lang is the largest
    investor of Fluid, Inc., an e-commerce software and services company, and is the founder and
    chairman of Cutthroat Communications, Inc., a rural broadband and telecommunications company
    headquartered in Montana. Lang is an active angel investor to innovative technology companies
    including SnapLogic, 4delite, GroupPrice, Catch.com, Rock Prodigy, and others.

    In the world of non-profit organizations, Lang has been a board member or chairman of several
    entities. He is currently chairman of the Pollinator Partnership, the goal of which is to influence policy
    relating to food security and the vital role of pollinators to human populations. Lang is also a board
    member of the Turneffe Atoll Trust, focused on finding solutions for coastal development that aim for
    sustainability of coral reef systems.

    Lang holds a B.A and M.A. from Stanford University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, with distinction and
    honors.

  • Mercedes Meléndez de Mena's portrait

    Mercedes Meléndez de Mena, Secretariat for Central American Tourism Integration (SITCA)

    Mercedes earned her BA in Economics from the University Centroamericana Jose Simeon Cañas of El Salvador in 1981 and Diploma in Institutional Management from Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She attended various courses and seminars, specializing in Central American integration, economic development and tourism, local development and organizational. She has nearly 30 years of professional experience… more

    Mercedes earned her BA in Economics from the University Centroamericana Jose Simeon Cañas of El Salvador in 1981 and Diploma in Institutional Management from Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She attended various courses and seminars, specializing in Central American integration, economic development and tourism, local development and organizational.

    She has nearly 30 years of professional experience in public and private sector, regional institutions and international organizations. In the public sector worked in the Ministry of Foreign Trade in El Salvador in the area of investment and export promotion. He served as Project Director of the Social Investment Fund for Local Development (FISDL) driving the definition of the National Strategy for Local Development and as coordinator of international cooperation, in the tourism sector, as Director of the Salvadoran Institute of Tourism (ISTU), a regulatory body and promoter of tourism,as Manager of Planning of the Salvadoreña Tourism Corporation (CORSATUR) and as Executive Director of Mundo Maya Organization (WMO), which includes Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize and El Salvador.

  • Steve Noakes's portrait

    Steve Noakes, Founding Chair, Pacific Asia Tourism Pty, Ltd.

    Steve Noakes is founding Chair of Pacific Asia Tourism Pty Ltd, an international project management company focused on tourism’s capacity to contribute to the MDGs and the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. He is also Director of Eco-Lodges Indonesia, owning and operating five properties with a wildlife & biodiversity conservation focus across Indonesia. In… more

    Steve Noakes is founding Chair of Pacific Asia Tourism Pty Ltd, an international project management company focused on tourism’s capacity to contribute to the MDGs and the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. He is also Director of Eco-Lodges Indonesia, owning and operating five properties with a wildlife & biodiversity conservation focus across Indonesia.

    In 2008, Steve was honored with the inaugural Eco-tourism Australia Medal, recognizing his 30 years of active engagement in the Australian and international tourism industry. He is a long-standing member of the Bangkok-based Pacific Asia Travel Association, and an advocate for sustainable tourism practices. He was an active contributor to the development of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, serving on the GSTC Board, and has also been an active participant on the UNWTO Panel of Tourism Experts and the World Committee on Tourism Ethics, contributing to UNWTO projects in Indonesia, Korea, Bhutan and East Africa.

    Steve has also worked as a sustainable tourism consultant to the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, International Labor Organization, Asian Development Bank and a number of governments in the Pacific Asia region, southern Africa and east Africa. He is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism at CQUniversity-Australia and an Adjunct Professor at Griffith University, Australia.

  • Arnfinn Oines's portrait

    Arnfinn Oines, Social and Environmental Conscience, Soneva Resorts

    Arnfinn Oines works as Social & Environmental Conscience for Soneva Resorts. He is overlooking the responsible business practices at Soneva, which have received numerous environmental awards including the prestigious World Travel & Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow Award 2008. He oversees the operational resorts and supports the new projects are being developed in line with… more

    Arnfinn Oines works as Social & Environmental Conscience for Soneva Resorts. He is overlooking the responsible business practices at Soneva, which have received numerous environmental awards including the prestigious World Travel & Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow Award 2008. He oversees the operational resorts and supports the new projects are being developed in line with the company value known as SLOW LIFE™ (Sustainable-Local-Organic-Wellness Learning-Inspiring-Fun-Experiences).

    Arnfinn has been involved in implementing and establishing the Soneva Carbon Calculator, Soneva Clean Water Projects, Soneva Forest Restoration Project, The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust, The Soneva Sustainable Future Symposium and the group’s Social & Environmental PnPs.

    He joined Soneva in 2005 and set up an Environmental Management System, which led Evason Phuket to become the first resort in South East Asia to become Earth Check Certified. Arnfinn was also heavily involved in the development Earth Check’s Sector Benchmark Indicators for Spa Operations, world’s first ecolabel for spas.

    Arnfinn co-founded and opened Earthworkers Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia as General Manager. He also worked as Course Director for International Tourism Institute in Andalusia, Spain. He has worked several years as a free-lance journalist in Norway. Arnfinn holds a BA in Adventure Tourism Management and MBA in Hospitality & Tourism.

  • David Simmons's portrait

    David Simmons, Professor of Tourism/Director of Research Strategy and Development, Lincoln University

    David is the founder of tourism studies at Lincoln University and has been on staff for 30 years.  In 2008-2010 he held the position as Director of Research at the Australian Sustainable Tourism Co-operative Research Center where he provided content design and editorial oversight of the sustainable tourism online research portal Currently David holds a joint position as… more

    David is the founder of tourism studies at Lincoln University and has been on staff for 30 years.  In 2008-2010 he held the position as Director of Research at the Australian Sustainable Tourism Co-operative Research Center where he provided content design and editorial oversight of the sustainable tourism online research portal

    Currently David holds a joint position as Professor of Tourism and University Director of Research Strategy and Development.  David held the position of Project Leader for a number of FRST funded multi-year program examining both tourism planning and aspects of tourism yield.

    Professor Simmons is currently available for postgraduate supervisions.  His areas of expertise are:

    • Tourism Planning and Development
    • Tourism Management (financial, economic and sustainable yield)
    • Tourism Studies (geography, sociology) and Research Methods

    David is the leader of Lincoln University’s tourism programme and a founding staff member of the Social Science, Parks, Recreation and Tourism Group. He has been at Lincoln University since 1978 and a faculty member since 1980.

    His research interests are currently focused on tourism policy and planning and the financial, economical and sustainable yield from tourism.

    David has worked on tourism planning issues in Cambodia (WWF), Mauritius (UNDP), Niue, Vanuatu (WTO/UNDP), Nepal (MFAT and WWF), India (WWF), Sarawak (E. Malaysia), and DPR (North) Korea (UN/WTO).

  • Rob Torres's portrait

    Rob Torres, Managing Director, Google Travel

    Rob Torres is Managing Director of Google Travel and previously served as Vice President, Strategic Accounts at Expedia. He also serves on the Executive Board at HSMAI and USTA. Rob brings 20+ years of strategic experience with strong new business development skills and a deep understanding of the global digital marketplace and advertising community. At Google, he… more

    Rob Torres is Managing Director of Google Travel and previously served as Vice President, Strategic Accounts at Expedia. He also serves on the Executive Board at HSMAI and USTA. Rob brings 20+ years of strategic experience with strong new business development skills and a deep understanding of the global digital marketplace and advertising community. At Google, he is responsible for executing revenue strategies, account planning and business processes for global travel accounts, resulting in $600M of global marketing revenue. He also leads efforts to define the next generation of media platforms and products needed for the travel industry.

     

  • Luis Vargas's portrait

    Luis Vargas, General Manager, Adventures at The Clymb

    Luis Vargas is a savvy global executive who consistently jumpstarts world-class results for international product innovators including market leading brands like Disney, Athletes Performance, Cloudbreak and Backroad’s. Luis exhibits a keen global insight, delivering international business development leadership across 6 continents and possessing native Spanish and conversational Italian language skills. In roles including Vice President,… more

    Luis Vargas is a savvy global executive who consistently jumpstarts world-class results for international product innovators including market leading brands like Disney, Athletes Performance, Cloudbreak and Backroad’s.

    Luis exhibits a keen global insight, delivering international business development leadership across 6 continents and possessing native Spanish and conversational Italian language skills. In roles including Vice President, Director and General Manager, Luis elevates service and quality for premium products to industry benchmark levels. In addition, Luis seamlessly expands global product bases and perceptively identifies complex market trends.

    Luis continually surpasses corporate goals with award-winning results, drastically increasing Disney’s global travel offerings by 1000% while achieving the #1 guest satisfaction rating across the entire Disney Park and Resorts portfolio. Luis is known as an experential travel, guest experience, and brand building expert and has earned Certified Sommelier and Certified Wine Specialist certifications, further illustrating his expertise across lifestyle products and experiences. Luis has built a reputation as a exceptional leader, high impact consultant, noteworthy communicator, dynamic spokesperson, and seasoned travel and hospitality executive. Luis has a passion for sharing the world, and enabling others to engage with the planet and its people in meaningful, fun and active ways.

  • Richard Weiss's portrait

    Richard Weiss, Former Vice President of Operations The Walt Disney Company, Adventures by Disney

    Richard Weiss is an active/adventure travel industry veteran with over 30 years experience in the field. Originally a New Yorker with an undergraduate degree from Stanford, he moved to Canada in the late 1960s after a disagreement with the US government over his role in foreign policy, particularly in Southeast Asia. He stayed in Toronto… more

    Richard Weiss is an active/adventure travel industry veteran with over 30 years experience in the field. Originally a New Yorker with an undergraduate degree from Stanford, he moved to Canada in the late 1960s after a disagreement with the US government over his role in foreign policy, particularly in Southeast Asia. He stayed in Toronto for twenty years where he received an MA from the University of Toronto in Classical Chinese Poetry. Richard began his career in the adventure travel business leading wilderness trips for the Sierra Club in the late 1960s canoeing and backpacking throughout Canada and Europe. After a couple of failed but interesting careers (college academic, professional chef, et al.), he quickly got more comfortable and better fed by leading bike trips for Toronto-based Butterfield & Robinson in France and Italy, becoming their Director of European Operations in the mid-1980s. He returned to the US in 1988 to head the international division of Vermont Country Cyclers.

    Richard’s shift back to more adventurous travel started when he became CEO of Mountain Travel Sobek in 1995. Since then he has held senior executive positions with Backroads and Grand Expeditions, where he had responsibility for five GrandEx companies from Vermont to Boca Raton as President of the Eco/Adventure platform. Most recently Richard spent two years setting up Adventures by Disney, The Walt Disney Company’s™ entry in the (so-called) active travel space. Richard supports a variety of non-profit ventures by sitting on a number of boards of directors over the years. These include: The International Ecotourism Society, Environmental Traveling Companions (offering rafting and seakayaking to disabled children), Sustainable Travel International, Global Service Corps, Travelers’™ Philanthropy Fund and others. He currently heads Strategic Travel Consulting, an Oakland-based consulting firm, where he offers all levels of travel-related consulting, and manages his executive and life coaching practices.

  • Peter Krahenbuhl's portrait

    Peter Krahenbuhl, Co-founder Emeritus

    Peter D. Krahenbuhl is a recognized sustainable tourism development expert. As co-founder and former President of Sustainable Travel International, he helped develop and grow a start-up organization into a global industry leader. While supporting organization, program and business development, he managed the organization’s standards and certification program, headed up its carbon mitigation and offset program,… more

    Peter D. Krahenbuhl is a recognized sustainable tourism development expert. As co-founder and former President of Sustainable Travel International, he helped develop and grow a start-up organization into a global industry leader. While supporting organization, program and business development, he managed the organization’s standards and certification program, headed up its carbon mitigation and offset program, and initiated European operations. He developed several multi-industry firsts, including assessing and developing sector specific to destination level sustainable tourism standards, as well as consumer and corporate carbon footprint measurement, management and offset solutions.

    As a consultant Mr. Krahenbuhl continues to implement and advise on sustainable development solutions for small travel providers to multi-national companies, as well as communities, governments and destinations. His work with business includes strategic sustainability positioning, reporting and communications, as well as operational integration and supply chain management. He has led or advised multiple global sustainability councils and executive level business networks. At the destination level, Peter has assessed or helped develop national sustainable tourism policy and planning activities, as well as regional standards and capacity-building programs globally.

    Mr. Krahenbuhl’s expertise also includes eco, adventure and culture based tourism development, including tour packaging and product development, local community capacity building, budgeting, operations, trip leadership and training, as well as communications and sales, overseas market access and corporate social responsibility. He has worked on international community development and conservation projects, and is a published author and recognized industry and public speaker. Peter is based out of Westport, Ireland.

  • Dr. Don Hawkins's portrait

    Dr. Don Hawkins, Chairman Emeritus

    Dr. Hawkins is engaged in tourism and hospitality management education and conducts policy-related research. He was appointed as the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Tourism Policy (an endowed chair) in 1994. He serves as Chairman of Solimar International-an international tourism development firm with offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America. In… more

    Dr. Hawkins is engaged in tourism and hospitality management education and conducts policy-related research. He was appointed as the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Tourism Policy (an endowed chair) in 1994. He serves as Chairman of Solimar International-an international tourism development firm with offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America.

    In 2003, he received the first United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Ulysses Prize for individual accomplishments in the creation and dissemination of knowledge in the area of tourism policy and strategic management. He coordinated the UNWTO Tourism Policy Forum focused on using tourism as a development assistance strategy, conducted at GW, October 18-20, 2004. He received the UNWTO Themis Foundation Science Fellow Award, in April, 2005 in Andorra.

    He is chairman of the SAVE Travel Alliance. In 2003, the George Washington University formed the SAVE Travel Alliance (SAVE) as a not for profit entity consisting of the National Geographic Society, Counterpart International and Institute for Honduras Tourism. SAVE is an acronym for Scientific, Academic, Volunteer and Education Travel. In 2009, SAVE became of member of the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) which was founded in 2004 as a vehicle to allow the USAID Economic Growth Officers to reach out to organizations providing technical experts in private, public and NGO sector development.

    He is currently actively engaged in sustainable tourism activities, including policy development, strategic planning and technical assistance in the Dominican Republic, Jordan, Sri Lanka, Bulgaria, Portugal, Spain, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Canada and the United States.

    He and his wife, Luz, have 6 children and 11 grandchildren.

  • Dr. Jan Hamrin's portrait

    Dr. Jan Hamrin, Chairman Emeritus

    Dr. Jan Hamrin is CEO of HMW International, a consulting firm specializing in the implementation of sustainable energy policies. Jan recently retired as President of the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) she founded and headed for eleven years. While at CRS she designed and implemented the Green-e program, an independent third party program that certifies… more

    Dr. Jan Hamrin is CEO of HMW International, a consulting firm specializing in the implementation of sustainable energy policies. Jan recently retired as President of the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) she founded and headed for eleven years. While at CRS she designed and implemented the Green-e program, an independent third party program that certifies and verifies renewable energy, REC and greenhouse gas reduction benefits from renewable energy purchased by individual households, business and industry. She also led various sustainable energy projects including one in Chiapas, Mexico that contained an assessment of small eco-tourist facilities.

    Her work has provided policy and technical support for the implementation of renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate programs throughout North America and globally. Jan led the China Sustainable Energy Program Renewable Energy Team as well as working in Europe, Canada, India, Mexico, Thailand, Brazil and several other countries. She has been involved in projects with the World Bank and has participated in the US State Department’s Distinguished Speaker Program in South Korea and Indonesia. Jan recently completed a project for Agency for International Development (USAID) that provided training materials on renewables for developing country decision-makers. Dr. Hamrin founded and served nine years as Executive Director of the Independent Energy Producers’ Association (IEP) in California and played a key role in the implementation of the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) in California and elsewhere.

    Dr. Hamrin received her Ph.D. in Ecology, with emphasis on public policy evaluation of environmental and energy programs, from the University of California, Davis. She also holds Masters Degrees in Public Administration and Consumer Science from U.C. Davis as well as a B.S. from the University of New Mexico.

Log In