Youngest American to Visit Every Country in the World, Entrepreneur, TV Personality & Contributing Editor for Men’s Fitness
Lee Abbamonte is the youngest American to visit every country in the world. He’s visited 319 total countries plus both geographic poles and is one of the world’s most-traveled people. Lee is a successful entrepreneur, travel television personality, speaker, travel writer and global adventurer. Lee appears regularly on air on several National TV channels as a travel expert. Lee is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Travelers Century Club. He’s also a sports fanatic and loves the New York Yankees. Lee lives in New York City when he’s not traveling the world!
Australia and New Zealand Specialist, Director of Sales, Down Under Answers – Africa Answers – Asia Answers
Jeff Adam is our resident Australia and New Zealand specialist, hailing from Adelaide Australia, Jeff moved to the USA prior to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games to promote travel to Australia and New Zealand, and stayed on to bring attention to the America’s Cup in Auckland. He has been instrumental in creating the travel industry’s most comprehensive training program for Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, Cook Islands, Papua and New Guinea titled the South Pacific Travel Symposium and went on to assist the Travel Institute (then called ICTA) in updating their Destination Specialist South Pacific program with pertinent travel information. His presentation style is both educational and entertaining, leaving all who attend excited at the prospect of traveling Down Under!
Vanda and Cathy Asapahu
Chef and Owner – Ayara Thai Cuisine
Vanda and Cathy Asapahu are sisters, and second-generation owners and chefs of Ayara Thai in Los Angeles. Vanda worked with non-profit organizations and the United Nations in Thailand. Living in Thailand allowed Vanda to revive old family recipes and travel through the different regions to discover new tastes and inspirations. Cathy trained under world-renowned and Michelin chefs in New York City. There she learned the intricacies of French cuisine and fine-dining. Both sisters bring their individual experiences back to their family restaurant to push the boundaries of Thai cuisine — by adopting their parents’ recipes, creating new flavors inspired by their experience as first-generation Thai-Americans, and sourcing environmentally-conscious ingredients. Vanda and Cathy are committed to infusing contemporary values with the Thai culinary heritage that they have inherited from their parents.
Co-Founder, and Managing Director Expedition2India.com
Vineet Badhwar is our resident India specialist, hailing from Bombay, India. He moved to the USA in 1998. He is an ex Commercial Pilot. Vineet is an avid and passionate traveler with over 30 years of experience in travel business. He comes with an insatiable appetite for discovering amazing places and knows the best places India has to offer for Tourism. Vineet is the Chapter Director, CCRA Los Angeles West, which has 67 successful chapters in America. Vineet is someone who loves and lives travel and believes there is no greater joy than travel. His presentation style is both educational and entertaining, leaving all who attend excited at the prospect of traveling to India!
Travel Video Journalist + TV Personality, TravelingJules
Juliana Broste, “TravelingJules,” is an Emmy award-winning Travel Video Journalist, a producer, shooter, writer, editor and host. Whether you spot her in front of the camera or behind the lens, you’ll recognize this fierce female filmmaker sporting pink lipstick and an armful of camera gear! Jules creates engaging travel video content for travel brands, media outlets, and her travel vlog. Her adventures have taken her around the globe, from ski slopes in Colorado to volcanos in Hawaii to street food stalls in South Korea. Her work has been featured on CNN, Travel Channel, Lonely Planet, USA TODAY, Viator and more! Jules’s mission is to share amazing “things to do” around the world and inspire travelers to discover new experiences and document them, too. Come along for the adventure with TravelingJules on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Travel Channel Host
Samantha Brown has spent more than a decade at Travel Channel. Living in airports, hotels and out of a suitcase, she’s taken viewers on intimate, off-the-beaten-path journeys discovering exotic destinations – whether around the world or in their own backyard.
Brown has hosted a number of shows on the network including “Passport to Europe,” “Passport to Latin America” and “Passport to Great Weekends.” She served as co-host of “The Trip: 2014,” and will also co-host “The Trip: 2015,” which premieres on January 26 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Travel Channel.
An inspirational resource for prospective travelers, Brown has truly enjoyed showing the Travel Channel audience how extraordinary it is to be a part of everyday life in another part of the world. Brown’s travel goal is to prove that if she can do it, you can do it. Viewers passionately follow Brown and her advice not only because of her experience and knowledge, but because of her warmth, genuineness and love for travel.
Travel Ambassador, AngelsTravelLounge.com
Angel Castellanos, Travel Ambassador (www.AngelsTravelLounge.com) is a passionate world traveler, travel writer, influencer and nationally recognized speaker dedicated to help people travel smart, well and often. He has over 15 years of experience in the travel industry as a tour guide, retailer, buyer, travel consultant and brand agent. Traveling to over 49 countries on 5 continents (and counting), Angel travels 6-8 weeks internationally each year and draws on his experience and frequent travels to teach “Smart Travel” and equip travelers with the skills they need to make travel easy and enjoyable. Angel has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Fox News, Univision, Frommers Radio, USA Today & Travel & Adventure Show as “America’s Newest Travel Expert”.
Audrey De Monte
Travels with Audrey
Born in New York City, but raised in Senegal, I consider myself fortunate to have studied, lived and worked on three continents (Africa, Europe and North America), and to have traveled extensively throughout the world. Together with my Italian husband we speak 6 languages and I consider Western Europe to be my backyard, in particular Spain, France, Netherlands, Germany, and of course, Italy, where I have spent a lifetime visiting family, friends, studying and working. I possess over 30 years of experience in the travel and aviation industry, leading tours for over 11 years in Canada, the United States and Europe for the following companies, including: Collette Travel, Sunquest Vacations, Gray Line, Canadian Tours International, Hapag Lloyd, Story Land and Sea. I obtained certification in International Tour Management, and as a Tico Travel Agent, and in 2012, I founded my own company, first as a home-based travel agent, and later as Travels with Audrey, a National Tour Association registered tour operator, specializing in unique small group tours to France and Italy. Being a small company, it gives me the opportunity to nurture my relationships with guests and in-country associates, focus on the details and create unique itineraries in places I know well and lead each tour personally.
Travel TV Personality
Julia Dimon is an on-camera travel TV personality, travel expert and hard core travel journalist who has been around the world to over 80 countries, all seven continents. She’s the co-host of Word Travels, a 40-episode TV series about the real lives of travel writers, broadcast worldwide on National Geographic Adventure, Travel Channel UK in over 100 countries and 21 languages. She has hosted online and network TV travel shows for Outside Television and MSNBC. Julia has been featured as a regular travel expert by such media outlets as CNN, ABC Nightline, New York Times, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel & Leisure, Forbes Traveler, MSNBC, E! News, Outside Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Budget Travel, etc. Julia is the author of a book called “Travel Junkie: A Badass Guide to Solo Female Travel,” featuring tried-and-true travel tips and advice for the next generation of adventurers. From the depths of the Great Barrier Reef to the top of Machu Picchu, she’s hiked with silverback gorillas in Uganda, snorkeled with whale sharks in Mozambique, climbed The Great Wall of China, dog-sledded in Greenland, camel trekked in Jordan, slept with lions in the Serengeti, snacked on local delicacies such as silk worm, goat brain, six-inch scorpions, snake blood and severed human toe. Check out her blog www.traveljunkiejulia.com
Social Media Links:
Website: Travel Junkie Julia
Chef Eliza H. S. Gavin
Chef/Owner 221 South Oak Bistro
Eliza prepares fresh ingredients simply and serves them in an intimate atmosphere. She defines her cooking as Bistro Cuisine. It is bright flavors prepared with French Classic techniques. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Caribbean, New Zealand, Australia and Southern United States. Eliza has enjoyed the great seafood of Seattle, Boston, Nantucket and the Chesapeake Bay. She has devoured the Southern Cuisine of Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee. On her 21st birthday she ate a camel burger for lunch, EMU pâté for tea and kangaroo steak for dinner. She has cooked with great chefs and learned from one-hundred-year-old recipes. All of these influences comprise Eliza’s Cuisine. It is melange of seafood, game and poultry with accompaniments that range from Deep South to Calypso to Classical French to Californian Cuisine to Creole. It could be New American or Modern Bistro but at 221 we call it Eliza’s cooking.
It all began at University of the South, at a small café in the mountains of Tennessee. Then after graduating with a B. A. in psychology in 1996, Eliza moved to New Orleans to learn about Cajun and Creole cuisine.
In New Orleans, Eliza cooked at such famous restaurants as Galatoire’s and Mr. B’s. There she learned about high volume establishments and how to survive on po-boys and live music.
She then left New Orleans to attend the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley. Greystone is a great school for trained chefs and offers week-long classes. Eliza completed 3 of their courses and taught a class to the community representing CIA.
Eliza so enjoyed Napa Valley, that she decided to move there and work at Brix, a Pan-Asian Restaurant. After learning about Napa Valley wines and food pairings, Eliza moved to Paris to attend Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. In the winter of 1998, she successfully completed their Course de Cuisine and their Intermediate Course de Patisserie. While in Paris Eliza learned about French wine, food and Jazz.
Eliza returned to the United States to live in Vail, Colorado. Here she learned to snowboard and wrote her first cookbook. It is ninety-seven recipes of hors d’oeuvres. Each recipe contains at least one ingredient known to stimulate the appetite. Instead of overwhelming your guests, you prepare them for the next course and it is titled Foreplay: A Book of Appeteasers.
In the fall of 1999, Eliza moved to Telluride, Colorado and fell in love with this enchanting box canyon. She began work at 221 South Oak Bistro and bought it a year later. Eliza has been the owner and executive chef of 221 South Oak Bistro since 2000. Her work there represents the culmination of her various culinary experiences. Her second book, Recipes from 221 South Oak Bistro, presents the recipes served at 221.
In August of 2010, Chef Eliza won the Telluride Top Chef Competition. She beat 3 of Telluride’s premier chefs in 30 minute cook offs.
In 2012, Eliza was lucky enough to compete on Top Chef Season 10 in Seattle. She enjoyed the experience and all the doors it has opened. She has been blessed with short stages at Ink in LA, Arzak in San Sebastian, Mountain Standard in Vail, Hinoki and The Bird in LA, Menton in Boston, Soba Ra in Honjo, Japan and Frasca in Boulder to name a few.
Eliza works in kitchens around the world, caters, private Chefs and is the Executive Chef and Owner of 221 South Oak Restaurant. She has a 7 year old boy and an abundance of energy to juggle all of her ventures.
Emmy Award-Winning Investigative Reporter and Producer and CBS News Travel Editor
A multiple Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and producer, Peter Greenberg is Americaʼs most recognized, honored and respected front-line travel news journalist. Known in the industry as “The Travel Detective,” he is the travel editor for CBS News, appearing on CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, and Sunday Morning, among other broadcast platforms.
The consummate insider on reporting the travel business as news, Greenberg hosts the television show, “The Travel Detective with Peter Greenberg,” airing on Public Television. The series offers 42 half-hour episodes with cutting-edge travel information and insider tips you need to know before you ever leave home, plus in-depth reports on the good, bad, and yes, even ugly aspects of travel.
Greenberg also produces and co-hosts an ongoing series of acclaimed public television specials, “The Royal Tour,” featuring personal, one-on-one journeys through countries with their heads of state. Along with such figures as the King of Jordan, Prime Minister of New Zealand and presidents of Mexico and Peru, Greenbergʼs newest special features the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Among other television projects, Greenberg is creator, co-executive producer and host of CNBCʼs specials “Inside American Airlines: A Week in the Life” and “Cruise Inc: Big Money on the High Seas,” and is co-executive producer of “Baggage Battles,” airing on the Travel Channel, and The History Channelʼs two-hour special “Lost Magic.” On radio he hosts the nationally syndicated show “Peter Greenberg Worldwide,” broadcast each week from a different remote location worldwide, and is heard on hundreds of radio stations across the U.S.
Greenberg is also author of The New York Times best-selling Travel Detective series. His most recent book, The Best Places for Everything, comes in the wake of such titles as Donʼt Go There! and The Complete Travel Detective Bible. Currently editor at large of Global Business Travelmagazine and a contributing writer to Watch, he has also been a featured guest on CNN, “The OʼReilly Factor,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” and “The View.”
Travel Weekly named him one of the most influential people in travel, along with Bill Marriott and Richard Branson. In 2012, he was inducted into the U.S. Travel Associationʼs Hall of Leaders for his contributions to the travel industry. Among his other honors, Greenberg received a News & Documentary Emmy Award as part of the “Dateline” team for outstanding coverage of a breaking news story, “Miracle on the Hudson.”
He began his career in journalism as West Coast correspondent for Newsweek in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He won a national Emmy Award (Best Investigative Reporting) for his ABC “20/20” special on the final orphan flight out of Vietnam, “What Happened to the Children?” He also is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin, and an Excellence in Broadcasting Award from the Aviation Space Writers Association of America.
Greenberg is a sought-after expert speaker and moderator. He is a keynote speaker at annual summits for the World Travel and Tourism Council, the Global Business Travel Association and Virtuoso. He is also one of the chief moderators at the World Economic Forum and the Global Tourism Economic Forum. Along with a recent TED talk, he is a guest speaker at events which have been hosted by Visa, Bloomberg, AARP and numerous other B2B and B2C organizations.
His website, PeterGreenberg.com, is one of the leading travel news resources for consumers and industry insiders alike. When he is not traveling the globe, Greenberg also serves as an active volunteer firefighter in New York.
Tourism Sales Manager, Visit Anchorage
Born in Branson, Missouri and raised in 13 different states, to say Jara was groomed for a career in the travel industry is an understatement. For the past 4 years Jara Haas has worked as a tourism development and sales manager for Visit Anchorage. Her focuses are adventure travel, student/youth travel, family travel, and the Russia and Latin America markets. In her spare time Jara enjoys hiking, biking and pack rafting her way through the wilderness of Alaska with her two children in tow. Jara loves sharing Alaska with the world and considers herself lucky to call the land of the Midnight Sun home.
Executive Chef, STK Denver
Chef Joe Heskin brings more than 15 years of restaurant experience to STK Denver.
Born and raised on Long Island in New York, Heskin could be found helping his parents in the kitchen before he could even see over the stove. Heskin began his culinary career working in the front of the house, but set his sights on becoming a chef as he realized his true passion was in the kitchen. He made his transition to the back of the house a reality when he enlisted as a Student Cook for L’Ecole in New York, NY.
Further pursuing his desire to turn his passion for cooking into a career, Heskin attended The French Culinary Institute in SoHo, NYC. After graduating in 2009, Heskin immediately served as a Sous Chef working under Chef Daniel Angerer at Klee Brasserie. There, Heskin planned creative daily specials as well as seasonal and prix fixe menus. After his tenure at Klee Brasserie, Heskin worked at the Michelin-starred Rouge Tomate on the Upper East Side in New York, NY.
In 2013, Chef Heskin joined The ONE Group, starting out at the STK Midtown location in NYC where he quickly developed a flair for the modern steakhouse cuisine. Chef Heskin’s diverse background and training enables him to bring a unique perspective to the menu, which is useful in a setting that’s based on the traditional but is embraced for a contemporary twist. Having later set his sails for the Nation’s Capital, Heskin served as Executive Chef for STK D.C. and is now bringing his innovative sensibilities to the table at STK Denver.
Johnny Jet travels around 175,000 miles and visits over 20 countries each year. He and his website JohnnyJet.com have been featured over 3,000 times in major publications, including USA Today, Time, Fortune and The New York Times, and he has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, NBC, PBS and recently hosted “Hot Spots 2012” on the Travel Channel. JohnnyJet.com has been named “one of the top best money-saving web sites for travel” by Budget Travel Magazine, while the L.A. Times calls it “one of the top 10 essential travel resources on the internet.” Sign up today for Johnny Jet’s free weekly travel newsletter at JohnnyJet.com and follow him live on Twitter.
Trade and Promotions Manager, Tahiti Tourisme
Tekura Kelley, Trade & Promotions Coordinator, oversees the Tahiti Tiare Program®, the official destination specialist program for the Islands of Tahiti. She is Tahiti Tourisme North America’s primary liaison with Travel Advisors, and engages with the agent community through promotional events, tradeshows, familiarization trips, network/consortia events, and special events sponsored by Tahiti Tourisme North America, Partners and Travel Advisors.
Raised on the island of Moorea, Tekura is passionate about promoting tourism for her beloved home. Tekura graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in International Business, specialization in Spanish and a minor in French. She has worked for Loews hotels in San Diego and most recently in the San Diego office of a logistics company, based in Guadalajara, Mexico. Tekura is fluent in English, French and Spanish.
Kay Milliner Kitchens
Director of Sales of the North American Sales Team for the U. S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
Kay Milliner Kitchens is the Director of Sales of the North American Sales Team for the U. S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism. She has held that position for the past 6 years. Prior to becoming Director of Sales, she held the position of Regional Manager, Midwest for the U. S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism. With these two positions, Mrs. Milliner Kitchens has over 13 years’ experience.
Senior Director of Training and Strategic Partnerships, Cruise Planners
Cathy Kusuma is Senior Director of Training and Strategic Partnerships at Cruise Planners where she manages the new franchisee training class held six times a year, boot camps and regional meetings as well as spearheads the company’s annual Convention – the largest training and development event of the year. Kusuma also oversees the continual development of Cruise Planners University, and secures value-add and training partnerships for Cruise Planners agents. Kusuma was the recipient of the 2013 Rising Star Award by Vacation Agent Magazine.
Founder and Proprietor, Panama Travel Consultants
As President and Chief Travel Specialist of Panama Travel Consultants, Scott is an expert at creating the perfect tailor-made travel journey to Panama, Costa Rica and all of Latin America. He has been conducting business in; and traveling to Panama and Costa Rica for 23 years, so he has acquired extensive travel and destination information about each country that he enjoys sharing with his clients, friends and family. Having traveled to more than 30 countries around the world, Scott is passionate about travel and is an avid adventurer.
Born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently living in the Tampa Bay Area, Scott feels most comfortable exploring off-the-beaten-path locations throughout Panama and Costa Rica. He received a B.A. in International Business and earned his M.A. in International Commerce and Policy. Scott is also fluent in Spanish with knowledge of Japanese and Portuguese. He lived and studied in Mexico, taught English in Japan while exploring the country, and has explored five continents through his personal travels. Scott prides himself on exceeding client expectations by leveraging his love for travel and his expertise in cross-cultural relations to design the perfect custom-made travel vacation packages for his clients.
Owner, McKay Photography Academy
David is co–founder of McKay Photography Academy and McKay Photography Inc. along with his wife Ally. He has been a professional photographer for 30 years starting his first photography studio at the age of 17. David has received some of the highest photographic awards in the world including the prestigious Master of Photography, Photographic Craftsmen and Certified Professional Photographer degrees from Professional Photographers of America- the LEADING professional photography organization in the world. He has had several images awarded from PPA including “Loan Collection” images that are considered to be the best of the best in the professional photography industry.
Having taught on some of the largest stages in the industry, to thousands of people, both professional photographers and amateurs alike, he has a passion for photography and teaching. He believes just being a great photographer does not make you a great teacher and that the ingredients of both emotion and skill must be shared and taught. David shares his love and enthusiasm wherever he goes and many of you can attest to this.
You may also know David from his #1 International Best Selling photography book series, “Photography Demystified”. Each of his 3 books in the series has shot to #1 including “Your Guide to the World of Travel Photography”.
Currently, David is preparing for his 4th book, aimed at helping kids and their parents enjoy photography together, to be released late this year. Facebook and Twitter links: https://www.facebook.com/mckayphotographyacademy/ Instagram: mckaylive
Associate Editor and Co-Author, Atlas Obscura
Ella Morton is an Australian-raised, New York-based non fiction writer specializing in the strange and wondrous. She has written for Slate and CNET. As the host of travel show Rocketboom NYC, she uncovered New York’s underground oddities and interviewed Cookie Monster and Elmo on the set of Sesame Street. Visit Ella online at @ellamorton.
Executive Chef at Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel
Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Tom Muromoto, executive chef at Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel, has developed a unique perspective that has served him well throughout his career as an award-winning chef.
Taking cues from the Islands’ unparalleled ethnic diversity, he combines his influence from Hawaiian culture and the distinctive Native Hawaiian diet with boundless culinary curiosity to create a style of Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine that is truly his own. “When creating dishes, I think back to the traditional Hawaiians. The food was simple and natural. It’s not necessary to overdo it,” says Muromoto.
A former professional surfer, Muromoto’s earliest inspiration came from the ocean. “I’ve spent my life in and around the ocean – surfing, diving for lobster, spear fishing. I can’t imagine living and working anywhere else for just that reason – proximity to the ocean. It gives you a specific viewpoint on the bounty we have in Hawai‘i.”
District Sales Manager, CTC, Disney Destinations Sales, The Walt Disney Company
Linda Netherda has worked in the Travel & Hospitality Industry for the past 37 years, and holds a BA Degree in Communications Studies from The University of California at Santa Barbara. She’s worked as a travel agent and managed a travel agency in Southern California; held the title of Group Sales Manager for a Mexico/Hawaii wholesaler in Newport Beach, CA; worked for Delta Airlines in L.A.; and worked aboard the Hotel Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. Linda has been with The Walt Disney Company, for the past 30 years, where she’s held positions in the Food & Beverage Department at the Disneyland Hotel; helped initiate & execute travel agent Familiarization Programs at the Disneyland Resort; and worked in the Disneyland Hotel’s Group Sales Department. Linda has held her current role with Disney as District Sales Manager for Disney Destinations Sales for the past 22 years, currently overseeing the CO, IA, NE, ND, and SD markets, working with travel agents. Linda’s life’s passions are her role as wife of 24 yrs. to Randy and proud Mom to son Nicholas (22 years) who will graduate with his BA in Architectural Engineering Design this spring from Montana State University in Bozeman, MT and encouraging families to visit Disney Destinations to make their own family vacation memories that will last a lifetime!
Author, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die
Patricia Schultz has a dream job: traveling the globe and writing about it. She is the author of the international #1 bestsellers, 1,000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE (with over 3.5 million copies in print and translated into 25 languages) and 1,000 PLACES TO SEE IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA BEFORE YOU DIE. With these works, she has reinvented the idea of travel book as both wish list and practical guide. She was chosen by Forbes as one of the 25 most influential women in travel, and was executive producer of the Travel Channel’s TV show based on her first 1,000 PLACES book.
The second edition of 1,000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE came out in 2011, with 200 entirely new destinations, 28 new countries, full-color photographs, and more than 50 percent new material woven into the revised and expanded entries. It was completely updated in 2015.
Patricia’s own wanderlust began on the beach at Atlantic City, when she set off from the family beach blanket seeking adventure and was returned to an apoplectic mother several hours later. “I had heard the siren call of the great, global beyond,” she recalls, “and I had answered. I was hooked. I was four years old.” Fast forward many decades, and Patricia embarked upon her first 1,000 PLACES book, spending eight years compiling experiences and anecdotes. How did she winnow it all down? “The common denominator I chose was a simple one: that each place impress upon the visitor some sense of the earth’s magic, integrity, wonder, and legacy. And sometimes places that were just plain fun.”
Patricia Schultz has written about travel for publications including The Wall Street Journal, Everyday with Rachael Ray, for guides such as Frommer’s and Berlitz and is a contributing editor for Travel Weekly. She is a popular speaker in both the U.S. and abroad. In more than 25 years of travel writing, she has never lost her curiosity or passion. “Some people can speed from New York to L. A. without registering a thing,” she writes. “I can walk around my mid-Manhattan block and come home with a carton of milk and stories to tell. The inherent beauty of the world and the discovery it promises are all around us.”
Chef Ryan Spicknell
Head Chef – Earls Kitchen + Bar Tysons Corner
Ryan, who is currently based in Virginia, started his career over a decade ago in Vancouver Canada. Ryan worked his way up from dishwasher to Head Chef and loves the teaching and development aspects of his current position. When Ryan is not at work he enjoys CrossFit and attending local sporting events. Earls offers a made-from-scratch globally inspired menu using local ingredients with irresistible flavors, craft cocktails and wine in a stylish, design forward setting.
Chef Gevin Utrillo
“Growing up in Hawaii has flavored my cooking style, which is influenced by the ethnicities found all over the Islands. The Japengo menu is ‘Pacific-Rim’ influenced, which means that we utilize the ‘big’ and ‘unique’ flavors reflective in the ethnic groups of Japan, Korea, China, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, and it definitely does not stop there. We take the flavors from these cuisines and prepare these bounties in a modern interpretation, without compromising their authentic focus. Our goal is to create a pleasurable and memorable Japengo dining experience by providing authentic ingredients and preparations.”
Born and raised in Lahaina Maui, Chef Gevin was always fascinated as a kid watching his family cooking for parties and get together. “We always had the freshest fish, meats and vegetables available.” It was his dad that inspired him to become a chef, as dad was the cook of the family. “My dad would work a full day in the sugar cane fields of Lahaina and still was able to have a wonderful meal for dinner.”
Chef Gevin started his Hyatt career at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki in 1994 before leaving the islands for culinary school in 1999. He is a graduate of the The Art Institute School of Culinary Arts in Seattle, Washington earning his degree in 2001. In Seattle, he worked in the kitchens of the Hyatt Regency Bellevue and left to help open up a restaurant in Ballard. An opportunity in 2001 led Chef Gevin to Northern California to open as Sous Chef for Ono-Maze, a Pan-Asian restaurant in the upscale bay area neighborhood of Walnut Creek.
With the birth of his daughter in 2004, Chef Gevin moved his family back to his hometown of Lahaina. “Not only did I want to raise my family on Maui but I missed the food and ingredients that the islands offered.” While back home, Chef Gevin learned sushi at Sansei Kapalua before coming back to the Hyatt in late 2004.
Here at the Hyatt Regency Maui Chef Gevin has held most of the chef positions in the resort from Garde Manger Chef, Chef Tournant, Cascades Chef de Cuisine and A.M. Chef.
Chef Gevin is now Japengo Chef.
Chef Gevin resides in Lahaina with his lovely wife Marisa, and children: Shawn, Mia, and Megan.
President, Travel Industry Marketing & Events
Jenner Wall, CTIE, CTC, serves as president of Travel Industry Marketing & Events and provides marketing tactics, trade show & event planning, seminar and presentation development and execution, and business building solutions for travel agency partners and Trade Show and Event Support for Trade Partners. She has over 31 years of travel industry experience as a travel agent, agency owner, and Business Development Manager. She has represented travel agencies, tour operators and major cruise lines. She is also the Executive Director of Carolinas Travel Society, a Member only trade association for Travel Professionals and Suppliers living in or doing business in North Carolina and South Carolina. She has extensive travel experience and has lived overseas.
Jenner graduated with a BA in International Studies from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned her CTIE and CTC designations from The Travel Institute.
In 2006, Jenner was named Voyage Business Development Manager of the year at Holland America Line.
Jenner also serves as Director of the Charlotte CROP Hunger Walk, an organization fighting hunger and poverty locally in the Charlotte, NC area and internationally. She was also the recipient of the 2015 Individual Volunteer Partner Award from Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina for her volunteer work and commitment to combat hunger.
Founder and Editor of Wanderlust and Lipstick Wander Tours
Beth Whitman is the Chief Wanderer at Wanderlust and Lipstick (http://wanderlustandlipstick.com) and WanderTours (http://wandertours.com). For nearly 30 years, she has been traveling the globe as a contemporary Wanderer: combining her love for travel with volunteer work, adventure trips, travel writing and business. Beth has completed (twice) the 25-day, 220-mile Snowman Trek in Bhutan (considered the most difficult trek in the world); ridden a motorcycle solo from Seattle to Panama; spent a year traveling through Pacific Rim countries before it was fashionable; and is the founder of the WanderWorld Foundation (http://wanderworldfoundation.org) which helps women and children around the world. Most recently, at age 50, she’s taken up running and during her 50th year completed five marathons including one ultra. This talk is sponsored by ExOfficio and LOWA Boots.
Owner, Rich Travels
Richard Woulfe has over 40 years of adventure travel experience. He has traveled to the Philippines on over 50 trips. He was certified as an Open Water Scuba Instructor when he was 20 and has logged more than 5000 dives in over 50 destinations around the world. Richard is an expert on marketing and selling adventure trips to remote land and water adventure locations. He has been traveling an average of 200 plus days a year for 35 years to over 110 countries. Rich is an avid water sports fan and fitness/wellness enthusiast. He lives on the road and spends time in Thailand, Texas, California and Chicago. Contact him at email@example.com