Business Development Manager, Expedition Team, Expedition Support, Adventure Canada
Martin was born on the east coast of Canada in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After a year in London, England, Martin moved with his family to North Vancouver at age nine. He was a very active teenager, playing virtually every sport at school. After completing a double-major in Kinesiology and Psychology at the University in Victoria, Martin became an active rehabilitation specialist for hip and knee replacement patients in Vancouver.
Martin has travelled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Central and South America, and has visited over forty countries and counting. His passion for adventure and experiencing new things, keeps him constantly exploring and learning. He has a keen eye for photography and a passion for physical fitness. He placed third in the Vancouver Bay Challenge, a ten-kilometer open-water ocean swim race. Martin also played water polo at the national level and was the head coach for the University of Victoria team.
Martin is the Business Development Manager for Adventure Canada and travels all over the world to present on Adventure Canada’s expeditions. When aboard the Ocean Endeavour, he is a Zodiac driver and a member of the expedition team.
In his spare time, Martin can be found practicing yoga or working in the garden. He lives with his wife Brittany in Guelph, Ontario.
Tetty DS Ariyanto
Indonesian Acceleration Team for the Development of Cultural and Heritage Tourism at the Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia
Tetty DS Ariyanto, Indonesian Acceleration Team for the Development of Cultural and Heritage Tourism at the Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia
Tetty is one of the well-known tourism activists in Indonesia. She started her career as a tourist guide for the Inbound market to Indonesia as well as an Outbound tour leader for several destinations around the world. At the end of 90’s, she became a lecturer in Trisakti Tourism Institute. Aside from being a lecturer, she has also become a licensed assessor for the tourism industry and founder of Yess! Travel and Tourism College in Jakarta for Tour and Travel profession.
She is appointed as the President of the Indonesian Tour Leader Association (ITLA), and Board member for Asosiasi Asesor Kompetensi Indonesia (AAI). In 2017, she was appointed as Indonesian Acceleration Team for the Development of Cultural and Heritage Tourism by Minister of Tourism of Indonesia. Cooperating with UNWTO, Tetty and her team work on study of Srivijaya kingdom to promote Palembang tourism potential commonly known as Silk Road.
Host, PBS’s Samantha Brown’s Places to Love
Travel expert and television host Samantha Brown has been hosting TV travel programs for 18 years. During her time at Travel Channel she created 10 original international and domestic travel series generating over 170 hours of television. In 2017 Samantha moved from the Travel Channel to PBS and Season 1 of her new series Samantha Brown’s Places to Love premiered in January, 2018. In Places to Love, Samantha features the destinations, experiences and most importantly the people that make us the traveler feel like we belong to a place. Season 2 will begin airing on PBS in January 2019 and features destinations like Switzerland, Hong Kong, Lafayette, Louisiana, Baltimore and New Zealand.
Samantha is known for getting to the emotional heart of travel by focusing on the people, their culture, and the privilege of spending time in their everyday lives. Viewers passionately follow Samantha and her expert advice not only because of her experience and knowledge, but also because of her warmth, genuineness and love for travel.
Samantha grew up in New Hampshire and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and 6 year old twins Ellis and Elizabeth.
World Traveler, Travel Expert, Writer, AngelsTravelLounge.com
Angel Castellanos, (www.AngelsTravelLounge.com) is a passionate world traveler, travel writer, influencer, multi-media personality and nationally recognized speaker dedicated to helping people travel smart, well and often. Traveling to over 75 countries on 5 continents (and counting), Angel travels 12-14 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. He bridges the gap between the practical, common sense advice he’s learned by traveling the world and the new savvy tips and experiences that have helped his generation revolutionize travel. Angel has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Fox News, Univision, Frommers Radio, USA Today & Travel & Adventure Show as “America’s Newest Travel Expert”.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Karen L. Christensen became the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs in August 2017. Previously she had served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Overseas Citizens Services since August 2014.
Ms. Christensen’s previous experience includes serving as the Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin where she coordinated consular operations at several posts in Germany. Prior to that, she was Consul General in Manila. She has also served in Washington within the Bureau of Consular Affairs in the Visa Office and the Office of the Executive Director. Overseas, she has served as a consular officer in London, Bucharest, Warsaw, and Seoul. Other Washington tours include serving as an instructor in the Consular Training Division and a Career Development Officer in the Bureau of Human Resources.
Customer Experience Director, CaminoWays.com and Greenlife Tours Ltd.
Claire Dunne heads the Customer Experience department at CaminoWays.com and Greenlife Tours Ltd. Claire comes from Athlone in the center of Ireland, but she has also lived several years in France and speaks fluent French. She has walked and cycled many great routes including the Camino Ingles, Camino del Norte, Portuguese Coastal Camino from Porto and the Via Francigena in Tuscany.
Travel Channel TV Host: Mysterious Islands
Kellee Edwards is a travel expert and television host by land, air and sea. She is a licensed pilot, advanced open water scuba diver, explorer and journalist. A pioneer in her approach to adventure travel made her brand Kellee Set Go! become recognized by some of the biggest brands in travel, including that of the biggest TV network in this realm, The Travel Channel. Kellee is the host of Mysterious Islands, a series that explores some of the most remote islands of the 100,000 in the world, that viewers more likely have never heard of. She is also the co-host of The Trip 2018 on the network.
Exploring over 40 countries thus far, including parts of North and West Africa, Asia, South and Central America, Europe and the UAE, her extensive travels have taken her a long way from where she spent her early childhood – on Chicago’s South Side – and where she was raised in San Bernardino, CA.
Additionally, her passion for travel has allowed Kellee to become an On-Air contributor for FOX 5 San Diego’s “Live for Travel” segment for over three years, and served as a writer and editor for Pilot Getaways magazine. An advocate for women in adventure travel, Kellee has been featured in Forbes, ELLE, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Essence and named “The Most Interesting Woman in The World” by Outside Magazine.
Kellee’s goal through personal demonstration, is to encourage everyone to step outside of their comfort zone, derived from her mantra, a Helen Keller quote, “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.”
Travel Expert & Video Journalist
Kelley Ferro is an award-winning travel journalist whom has dedicated her life to sharing the ultimate in luxury, food, adventure and local experience. She’s a vetted industry expert for over 10 years and runs the largest travel community group in LA. Due to her recent arrival of her daughter, she is also navigating the world of family travel.
You will see Kelley as the host & producer of several travel shows airing on DirecTV as well as her YouTube channel. She also writes and produces content campaigns, and has partnered with over 200 destinations, hotels, tours and travel brands. She’s been the face of video campaigns for CNN, USA Today, Expedia, USTOA and many destinations. When not traveling, you will find her at the beach with her daughter and husband!
Learn more about Kelley’s travels here at: kelleyferro.com
Editorial Director of the Frommer’s Guides and Publisher of Frommers.com
Pauline Frommer is co-President of Frommer Media, LLC, with her father, travel legend Arthur Frommer. Together, they publish America’s most popular series of travel guidebooks, the Frommer guides, as well as Frommers.com, a website that welcomes more than 3 million unique users per month. She is also a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, and she pens an internationally syndicated newspaper column on travel for King Features. You may recognize her face as Pauline created weekly travel segments for CNN’s Headline News for 3 years. She’s also appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, NPR’s Marketplace and Talk of the Nation, CNN, FOX, MSNBC and every local news station you can name. She was the founding editor of Frommers.com and edited MSNBC.com’s travel section for two years. Pauline is the proud mother of two well-traveled daughters and wife to Columbia University professor Mahlon Stewart.
Host, Executive Producer of Discovery Channel’s Expedition Unknown
Josh Gates is an avid explorer whose unique brand of humor and deep-rooted passion for adventure propels him to the farthest corners of the world. Discovery Channel’s hit-series Expedition Unknown chronicles Gates as he sets out on a global quest to find the truth behind iconic legends and thrilling archaeological mysteries.
This season is Josh’s most ambitious yet, as he undertakes a search for a long-lost ghost ship in the Great Lakes, uncovers new revelations about the birth of Jesus, and searches for a sunken civilization rumored to be the Atlantis of the Andes. From a fabled pirate treasure in the jungles of Panama to the truth behind the controversial legend of the crystal skull, Josh is spinning the globe and heading off-the-map in search of answers.
In the four-part global event Expedition Unknown: Search for the Afterlife, Gates tackles mankind’s ultimate mystery as he investigates ancient rituals, paranormal claims, and cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs on the nature of death and consciousness. Josh will also be helming a two-part special in Israel and Jordan working alongside archaeologists attempting to decipher the Dead Sea Scrolls and to uncover new fragments in remote desert caves.
An avid scuba diver and photographer, Gates has participated in sub-sea archaeological excavations in the Mediterranean, and his wanderlust has taken him to over 100 counties – from sweltering African deserts to the icy shores of Antarctica. In addition, he has scaled “the roof of Africa” on Mt. Kilimanjaro and climbed Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the Americas. A mysterious “Yeti” footprint recovered by Josh in the Himalayas is now on display at the “Expedition Everest” attraction at Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.
In 2016, Gates won ‘Best Host’ in the CableFax Program Awards for Expedition Unknown, and the series also took home the ‘Best Educational/Instructional Show’ award and in 2018, a Cynopsis TV Award for ‘Best Reality Series – Travel.’ He holds a degree from Tufts University in Archaeology and is a member of The Explorers Club – a prestigious organization dedicated to the advancement of exploration and field research. Josh also serves as a trustee on the governing board of the Archaeological Institute of America.
Josh is also the host of Legendary Locations on Travel Channel where he shares the epic tales and secrets of the most storied places on earth, showcasing the ancient legends and folklore that made them famous. Travel Channel also airs episodes of Gates’ popular series, Josh Gates’ Destination Truth.
He has appeared on the TODAY Show, CNN and a variety of other national television and radio programs. Gates’ adventures are chronicled in his bestselling book, Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter (Simon & Schuster, 2011).
Gates currently resides with his wife and children in Los Angeles, California and on airport floors around the world.
Ultra-Economical Travel Expert, Break the Travel Barrier
Once feeling unable to afford to travel, Russell Hannon uses lean principles to travel at a fraction of the going rate. He has been on CNBC, FOX, CBS, America Tonight, the Huffington Post, Around the World Travel TV and nationally broadcast lifestyle and personal finance shows. Russell has worked as a CBC Budget Travel Columnist, is the founder of breakthetravelbarrier.com and is the author of ‘Stop Dreaming Start Traveling: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling More and Spending Less.’
Director North America Switzerland Tourism
Alex Herrmann is an experienced marketing and communications professional with 25 years of professional and leadership experience in the travel industry, information technology and IT services.
Responsible for Switzerland Tourism in the U.S. and Canada and based in New York as Director North America since 2007, he took on the additional responsibility for establishing and overseeing operations in Brazil in 2011 as Director Americas.
Switzerland Tourism is the national destination marketing organization, which promotes Switzerland as a travel, vacation and convention destination. Under his leadership, Switzerland Tourism in North America helped grow the number of U.S. travelers to Switzerland by 50%, increased its marketing budget from Swiss tourism marketing organizations by over 30%, and won numerous awards, including the coveted “Tourism Board of the Year” award of the leading luxury travel agency network Virtuoso for three of the last five years.
In his role, Alex is a member of the Extended Executive Board of Switzerland Tourism. He is also a board member of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, New York Chapter in New York.
Prior to joining Switzerland Tourism, Alex spent more than eight years with International Business Machines IBM, where he had a number of leadership positions in Corporate Communications and Marketing, both in Switzerland and the U.S. He started his professional career in one of the leading Public Relations agencies in Switzerland.
Alex has a B.A. and M.A. in Business Administration and Economics of the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland, and he is certified by the Swiss Public Relations Institute. In his spare time, he likes to ride his bicycle in New York and hike in the Swiss Alps.
Lonely Planet Editor, Digital Product
Alexander Howard is the editor of digital product at Lonely Planet. He previously served as managing editor of Lonely Planet’s US magazine and destination editor covering Canada and the Western US. He regularly contributes to lonelyplanet.com and comments on travel news, trends and advice with outlets as diverse as Today.com, US News & World Report, Time.com and Men’s Fitness.
Haydee Galindo Hyde
Director of Bahia Tours, Inc.
Haydee Galindo Hyde is the Director of Bahia Tours, Inc. the booking office for Anthony’s Key Resort, who has managed the business for the last 20 years. She is a graduate of Florida International University with a bachelor’s in hospitality management.
Haydee was born and raised in the Roatan, Bay Islands of Honduras. The hotel industry is in her blood; where her family has owned Anthony’s Key Resort (AKR) for the past 50 years. Before managing Bahia Tours, Inc. Haydee spent her summers working as a young teen at AKR in various scopes from thawing fish to feeding the dolphins, to housekeeping, accounting, inventory and helping in the kitchen. Haydee experienced it all firsthand. Her experience at the resort helped her gain responsibility and work ethics from a very young age.
Haydee lives in Florida. She is passionate in helping others from her childhood community of Roatan. She has been a team leader and has become a vital part of the Roatan Alive Mission for the past 8 years. She enjoys helping others, giving to the less fortunate. She also enjoys preparing meals for women’s bible study group at her local church and loves serving the Lord. Haydee enjoys time with her husband David and three children, as well as planning the next family adventure with her entire family or friends. Spending time with family is her number one priority and forming new relationship with others.
Johnny Jet has traveled over 100,000 miles a year since starting his newsletter in 1995 and has visited close to 100 countries. On his website, he writes about how to maximize your credit card points, how to find travel deals, cheap flights, and how to benefit from insightful travel tips. He has hosted a television special on The Travel Channel and was named one of Forbes’ Top 10 Travel Influencers. He writes for numerous publications including Forbes, Inc and Alaska Airlines in-flight magazine and appears every Saturday on Leo Laporte’s The Tech Guy Show talking about travel and technology. He travels the world with his wife Natalie DiScala and their son Jack. Be sure to sign up for his free newsletter.
CEO/Founder Thrifty Traveler
Jared Kamrowski is the founder of Thrifty Traveler, the leading source for flight deals, cheap travel tips, and maximizing travel rewards. Jared honed his travel skills by traveling over 100 nights a year as a CPA. He left his job in 2017 and now runs Thrifty Traveler full time flying over 100,000 miles per year. You can catch him flying the fanciest first class cabins as well as budget airlines, paying only pennies on the dollar. He resides with his wife Erica in Minneapolis, MN.
Tourism Development and Sales Manager, Visit Anchorage
Juno Kim – Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Juno set off for the wider world to pursue her passion for travel and storytelling in 2010. After leaving her engineering job, she traveled the world as an award-winning travel blogger and photographer, witnessing the everyday life of different cultures. During her seven years as a digital nomad, Juno first visited Alaska in 2013 and instantly fell in love with the people and vast wilderness. While traveling the world, she couldn’t shake her love for Alaska and when asked, she would label herself the “unofficial brand ambassador” of the Last Frontier. In 2017, Juno and her husband decided to permanently relocate to Anchorage, her first real “home” since leaving South Korea. Juno now officially promotes the beauty of Anchorage and Alaska as part of the Tourism Development & Sales team at Visit Anchorage. Her goal is to spread her love of Anchorage to the world, introducing hidden stories of her new home.
Director Sales and Industry Partners, Nevada Division of Tourism
Teri Laursen has over twenty-five years of experience in the tourism hospitality industry. Six years ago, she joined the Nevada Division of Tourism representing Southern Nevada to tourism industry professionals. Two years ago, she was promoted to the position of Director of Sales and Industry Partners for TravelNevada overseeing sales efforts for eight international offices and the U.S. promoting the entire state as a visitor destination.
She spent the previous eight years as regional tourism director for Fashion Outlets handling tourism marketing for Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas, Chicago, Santa Fe and Niagara Falls, NY before assuming her position with TravelNevada.
Additionally, she was responsible for the marketing and community relations efforts for Ocean Spray’s visitor center; tourism sales for the City of Henderson; and town-wide events for Laughlin.
Her experience in the tourism industry resulted in a position on the Advisory Committee of the TravelNevada and Chair of the Las Vegas Territory, a position she held for fifteen years. She was appointed by the Governor to the board of NBPAB and is an active member of LV Territory, BVA, AMA and the Las Vegas Hospitality Association. In 2004, she was honored with a statewide award by TravelNevada for her contributions to the tourism industry. In 2006, Mayor Oscar Goodman also recognized Teri by naming August 23rd as “Teri Laursen Day”.
Teri Laursen holds a master’s degree in organizational management and a certification as a business coach and instructor. She serves on the Advisory Board for the College of Southern Nevada School of Hospitality and the Advisory Board for the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism at Valley High School.
Senior Vice President of Marketing, MSC Cruises USA
Since 2014, Bonnie Levengood has led MSC Cruises’ marketing efforts as the Senior Vice President of Marketing for MSC Cruises USA and serves on the executive management team. She works actively with MSC Cruises headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland to build brand awareness in North America. She is on the CLIA trade relations and Strategic Communications board committee.
Bonnie Levengood is a direct marketing expert with 20 years of marketing and financial experience. She has a proven record of writing and creating multichannel campaigns that include TV commercials, direct mail, email and online that have led to millions in sales and net profit.
From 2005 to 2012, Bonnie was the Director of Marketing for 1-800-PetMeds, America’s Largest Pet Pharmacy where she led the company’s sales to over $239 million by creating new direct marketing programs including a web site redesign, comprehensive email marketing campaigns, and a direct mail & catalog program. As such, she headed up marketing and sales for one of the world’s largest multichannel direct marketing companies, which won several awards including a Forbes Best Small Company winner for four years and Business Week Hot Growth Company. She helped 1-800-Petmeds grow to become a Top 100 Online Retailer in the nation by revenue.
In 2009, she accepted the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award on behalf of her company. She has created 39 award winning private label products from concept to design to multi-million-dollar brands. In 2010, one of the products that she created won the prestigious Private Label Manufacturers “Salute to Excellence” Award beating out the world’s largest private label brands.
Bonnie’s expansive marketing experience also includes managing marketing for American Express Financial and serving as an Investment Market Manager, Personalized Market Manager and Editor for First Marketing, a Taylor Company. With extensive marketing of financial products, she earned her Series 7 license and LHAV licenses giving her expertise knowledge of securities, insurance, and financial products. She also is SEO (search engine optimization) certified to create high-ranking index results in Google. Bonnie began her career at The Miami Herald.
As for community work, she served as the Fund Development Chair on the Executive Board for the Children’s Home Society of Florida Intercoastal Division. For 9 years, she has helped raise hundreds and thousands of dollars for less fortunate children in Broward County through the Children’s Home Society. Levengood was also the President of the West Broward Auxiliary.
Bonnie is a Florida native who speaks English and Spanish and resides in Boca Raton, Fl. She graduated Cum Laude from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising and Psychology and holds the prestigious International Baccalaureate Degree.
Director of Marketing, Rush Creek Lodge and Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite
Teri Marshall has been a part of the Yosemite landscape for well over a decade, including four years living and working in Yosemite Valley, handling marketing and communications for the park’s concessionaire in good times and bad.
Teri has hiked extensively throughout Yosemite’s 1,200 square miles of wilderness, skied Badger Pass, white water rafted the Merced River, toured on the Green Dragon, and attended Vintner’s Holidays, Chef Holidays, and the Bracebridge Dinner at The Ahwahnee. Despite a fear of heights, she learned to rock climb on an amateur level, and has the scars to prove it!
As a native Californian, a natural love of people and the outdoors is part of her DNA. Teri believes in the power of nature, especially Yosemite, to changes people’s lives for the better. Everyone deserves their Yosemite moment, and Teri is part of solutions that are making it happen in ways that are sustainable and socially and environmentally responsible.
CEO, My Medical Destination
Frank has been working in Medical Tourism for the last 8 years. His company puts forth the necessary effort in finding the most qualified specialists for your needs. He focuses on our closest neighbor, Mexico. Living in the U. S. and Mexico his entire life helps Frank understand both cultures. And, this makes him the best candidate. He has a degree in Psychology and worked for many years as an engineer for Qualcomm. He specializes in many branches of medical tourism but the most popular are: Cosmetic Dentistry, Plastic Surgery, Weight Loss and many more.
Owner & WWII Interpretive Guide of Normandy American Heroes
Specialist of the WWII American European Campaign, my passion for history was sparked by my father’s passion since I can remember, having among others, visited at the age of 8, the infamous concentration camp of Auschwitz. After a successful international career with Halliburton, I decided to put my business experience to work toward something that truly inspired me: pay homage to those who fought, suffered and sacrificed their lives in WWII for our freedom. Why? One may only taste freedom when others around us are free….“Simone de Beauvoir“
The Best of Southern Peru
Renato is an experienced travel agent operating and conducting tours in Peru with more than 10 years of experience in the travel industry. He is also a Spanish teacher at College of the Canyons who enjoys sharing his experience and knowledge of his country and culture. He created MyPeruGuide.com to share this knowledge with travelers who are interested in visiting Peru.
Wild Frontiers U.S. Director
With British parents, Andrea Ross grew up in England listening to stories of colonial Africa and the Far East. At the age of 8 she took her first solo trip to Australia to visit her aunt and she hasn’t stopped traveling since.
In 2003 Andrea moved to Cambodia, where she started Journeys Within Tour Company in Siem Reap (just outside the famous Angkor Wat temple complex). In 2017, Journeys Within was acquired by Wild Frontiers – an award-winning adventure travel company based in the United Kingdom.
Andrea has been recognized as a top travel specialist for Southeast Asia by media outlets such as Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and Wendy Perrin. In 2017, Andrea was named an “Outstanding Mentor in Travel and Tourism” by the trade organization Women in Travel and Tourism International (WITTI), and Journeys Within has been included in Travel + Leisure’s “Top Tour Operators in the World” list for the past 2 years.
As the Wild Frontiers U.S. Director, Andrea oversees the expansion of Wild Frontiers’ presence in the States, while continuing to travel, speaking at clubs and schools, promoting philanthropic travel, and fundraising for Journeys Within Our Community and the Wild Frontiers Foundation.
Wild Frontiers TV: https://www.wildfrontiers.tv/
Bestselling Author, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and 1,000 Places to See in The USA & Canada Before You Die
Patricia Schultz is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die. A veteran travel journalist with 30 years of experience, she has written for guides such as Frommer’s and Berlitz and periodicals including The Wall Street Journal and Travel Weekly, where she is a contributing editor. She also executive-produced a Travel Channel television show based on 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Her home base is New York City.
Business Development / Sales & Marketing The Bahamas Tourist Office, Houston
Dupree Smith is an experienced sales and marketing professional having worked in the oil and gas industry for 10+ years, before entering the hospitality industry.
As the District Business Development Manager with The Bahamas Tourist Office, he is currently focused on the development of the travel trade segment as well as sales and marketing of The Islands of The Bahamas with a specific focus on the Southwest US region including Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Kansas and Nebraska.
He graduated from the historic Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and a Master of Arts in Marketing at Texas Southern University.
Travel Writer, Host of Rick Steves’ Europe and Travel with Rick Steves
Guidebook author and travel TV host Rick Steves is America’s most respected authority on European travel. He grew up in Edmonds, Washington and studied at the University of Washington where he received degrees in Business Administration and European History. But his real education was earned on the road — since 1973 he’s spent 120 days a year in Europe. Spending one third of his adult life living out of a carry-on backpack has shaped Rick’s thinking and broadened his perspectives. Today he employs nearly 100 people at the Rick Steves’ Europe headquarters where he produces dozens of best-selling guidebook titles on European travel, America’s most popular travel series on public television, a weekly hour-long national public radio show, podcasts, travel apps, and a weekly syndicated travel column. Rick Steves lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington. His office window overlooks his old junior high school.
CEO (Chief Experience Officer), PhotoEnrichment
Ralph Velasco is Founder and CEO (Chief Experience Officer) of PhotoEnrichment Adventures (PEA), as well as a travel photography instructor and international guide. For more than 10 years he’s organized and led cultural tours, with a focus on photography, in destinations around the world, including to India, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Baltics, Spain, Romania, Morocco, Iceland, Cuba, the Adriatic, Central Europe, Tuscany, Mexico and others.
Ralph is also the creator of the Tour Organizer Training free webinar and online course series where he teaches everyday people to get paid to travel. In this step-by-step course, he shows participants how to organize and lead their own special interest tours, whether around the world, or around the corner.
Gerry van der Walt
C- Founder of Wild Eye | International Tour & Expedition Leader | Public Speaker | Nature & Travel Photographer
Gerry van der Walt is an international tour and expedition leader, public speaker, nature and travel photographer and Co-founder of Wild Eye.
By combining a passion for nature photography and more than 15 years of experience as a tour leader, specialist photographic guide and 5-star lodge manager, Gerry’s goal is to not only assist people, whether through teaching them new skills or pushing them creatively, in capturing the beauty of nature but also to create an awareness of the fragile balance that exists in nature.
Through Wild Eye, his bespoke travel and photography company, Gerry has created a vehicle which merges the raw beauty of traveling in some of the world’s most spectacular wilderness areas with the ability to not only capture these moments on camera but also teaching and inspiring people along the way.
Through his podcast, vlogs and social media channels Gerry continues to share his knowledge and passion for travel, photography and bucket list adventures around the globe with his online community.
Gerry looks forward to changing the way you see the world.
Wild Eye: http://www.wild-eye.co.za
Director of Public Relations and Sales, Visit Yosemite Madera County
Therese Williams is an Australian from Sydney and very fortunate to live and work in the most beautiful part of the world where Yosemite National Park is her playground. Therese is the Director of Public Relations and Sales for Visit Yosemite Madera County which is located at the south gate entrance to Yosemite National Park and easily accessible traveling on Highway 41. When Therese is not touring with journalists in the park, Bass Lake or Madera County, because there is more than just Yosemite National Park at the south gate entrance, she is enjoying the outdoors for pleasure with her husband, Paul and dog Zoro. She is an enthusiastic hiker, runner, mountain biker, camper and thoroughly enjoys traveling locally, nationally and all over the world.