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.
Multi Day Guide Manager, Arizona Outback Adventures (AOA)
Chris Anderson lives in Phoenix and was born and raised in Arizona. He began exploring the backcountry of the Southwest before he was forming memories, and he’s been exploring it every year since. For the past 15 years, he’s done so professionally, as a guide. One of his greatest joys as a guide is taking visitors into the desert and teaching them to love it the same way he does. Chris began his career in the outdoors teaching primitive-living skills, and he’s an expert at outdoor survival.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services, U.S. Department of State
Rachel M. Arndt serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services. As DAS, she oversees and directs the network of passport agencies and centers that are responsible for the acceptance, adjudication, and issuance of U.S. passports, the passport and vital records filing and retrieval systems, and the Department’s authentication function.
Ms. Arndt has previously served as the Comptroller in the Bureau of Consular Affairs; Director of Planning and Program Support in Passport Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs; and Senior Management and Program Analyst in the Office of Management Policy, Rightsizing and Innovation. She has also served as financial plan manager for the State Operations budget, as a budget analyst in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration as well as the Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science, and as a management consultant in the Department’s Information Technology Capital Planning office.
Ms. Arndt has an MA from George Mason University and a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is married and has three children.
Author of Moon Death Valley National Park, Moon Travel Guides
Jenna Blough developed a love for the outdoors after road tripping across the country with her parents and sister at a young age. Now, as an adult, she is drawn to the beauty of the California desert. As the author of Moon Death Valley National Park, Jenna shares her love of walking the twisting canyons, searching for waterfalls, and listening to the wild landscape. She invites travelers to explore the sculpted sand dunes and polished marble canyons of this unique national park.
Moon Travel Guides on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram: @moonguides
The first time Ann Marie Brown visited Yosemite, she was immediately inspired by the valley’s sheer granite walls, shimmering waterfalls, and unbelievable vistas. Now she hikes, camps, and bikes more than 150 days each year, spending many of those doing research for Moon Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon. In addition to sharing her expert insight on this stunning park, she’s also the author of Moon 101 Great Hikes San Francisco Bay Area, an essential guide for regional hiking.
Moon Travel Guides on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram: @moonguides
District Manager Western USA, Switzerland Tourism
Mirko Capodanno has a wide experience in Marketing and Sales in North America and internationally. As a Director for the Western USA for Switzerland Tourism, based in San Francisco, Mirko Capodanno, was born in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland and grew up close to Zurich. Speaking 5 languages fluently, he studied Business Administration in the Airline sector in Zurich, Switzerland.
Mirko Capodanno worked for SWISSAIR and various commercial and private airlines in Switzerland and Dubai, UAE, including Continental Airlines, before starting his career with Switzerland Tourism as Director for Canada and Manager Trade Midwest, in Toronto, Canada.
In 2014, Mirko moved to Los Angeles as the Manager Western USA for Switzerland Tourism and 2016 was charge of opening the new office of Switzerland Tourism at the Consulate General of Switzerland Tourism in San Francisco as Vice-Consul.
Switzerland Tourism is the national destination marketing organization, which promotes Switzerland as a travel, vacation and convention destination. Under his management and working closely with Travel Advisors and Tour Operators, Switzerland Tourism in North America has been awarded “Tourism Board of the Year 2018” award of the leading luxury travel agency network Virtuoso.
Mirko Capodanno is married and has an eight month old son. He loves the outdoors, surfing California waves or hiking the Swiss Alps, especially with his family.
President, Your Own Italy
Carmen Carbonell is founder and President of Your Own Italy. Carmen was born in the United States, where she obtained a degree in Architecture. Following college, she married an Italian and moved to Rome, where she raised 4 sons. She also developed a passionate love for Italy – its art, its architecture, its cities, its countryside, its culture and cuisines, and its people.
Now, after nearly 30 years living in Italy, Carmen wants to share her love for Italy with American travelers who want more than a standard tour…travelers who want to experience the real Italy, with the heart and soul of the nature and its people. She founded Your Own Italy as a boutique tour company that will provide private tours that take travelers deep into Italy’s heart and soul, with vacation packages that will be memorable for life, and shore excursions that will give tour ship guests a unique day in Rome, Florence, Venice or the Amalfi Coast. –
The team works with boutique hotels, tested and proven restaurants, historic sites, museums, basilicas, plus individuals and tours that meet Your Own Italy’s standards – standards virtually guaranteed to ensure that Your Own Italy vacation or shore excursion will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will remember forever. And long to repeat with your new friends in Italy, Your Own Italy.
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”.
Tourism Development and Sales Manager, Visit Anchorage
As a lifelong Alaskan, Tia Froehle knows her home like the back of her hand. Her love for the outdoors and adventure has allowed her to explore this amazing state of Alaska, from hiking in the Chugach Mountains, to fly fishing some of our amazing rivers. Tia has worked in sales and marketing in the Alaska tourism industry for over 18 years with companies such as Gray Line of Alaska/Holland America Line and The Hotel Alyeska, Alaska’s premier year-round Resort. Her knowledge is vast and expansive. Now she wants YOU to come explore Southcentral Alaska and check it off your bucket list!
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 Israel, Prime Minister of New Zealand and presidents of Mexico and Peru, Greenberg’s newest special features the president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame.
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 Travel magazine 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.
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.’
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.
Winner of CBS’ Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X
Adam Klein is the youngest winner of the EMMY Award winning television show SURVIVOR, winning the Millennials vs. Gen X season in 2016. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University in 2013, and then went on to become a senior manager for a large homeless shelter nonprofit.
He has dedicated his career to public service, and since SURVIVOR, has become a leading advocate for lung cancer research in memory of his mom Susie, who passed away just days after Adam retuned from filming the show. With a passion to experience new cultures and an insatiable wanderlust, Adam travels the world and captures these life moments for social media and the various brands and partners he works with.
Since winning SURVIVOR, Adam has been a sought-after keynote speaker with varying topics, and audiences – including reversing the stigma of lung cancer and the need for funded research, to living a life around public service, success through relationships, authenticity and more.
Adam motivates audiences with a dynamic blend of humor, energy, and an emotionally powerful story. His dynamic presentation challenges audiences to pursue their passions and dreams, find resilience in the face of adversity, and recognize how genuine connections and relationships lead to success in SURVIVOR, business and life. Through the story of his mom, Susie, his time competing on SURVIVOR, his family’s commitment to turning pain into power and positivity, and his thirst to see the world, Adam leaves people feeling inspired to reach their greatest potential and #LiveLikeSusie.
Adam uses his platform to support the efforts of different charities, including Stand Up to Cancer, the American Lung Association and Camp Kesem.
Adam has also turned his attention to television hosting, making his debut on the travel show, Taiwan: Off the Grid. He currently hosts the poker, travel, and lifestyle streaming channel, the Thirst Lounge.
Adam recently moved to the Virgin Islands, and has previously lived in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
To keep up with Adam, follow him on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook!
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.
Author of Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 59 Parks, Moon Travel Guides
Expert outdoorswoman and nature journalist Becky Lomax has a personal bond to the National Parks that stretches back generations. Author of Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 59 Parks, Becky will share her knowledge of all things national parks, and chat with fellow outdoor experts on trips that include, scenic drives, hikes, and backpacking.
Moon Travel Guides on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram: @moonguides
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.
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 over 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 though she is rarely there.
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.
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir “Wild”
Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir WILD, the New York Times bestsellers TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS and BRAVE ENOUGH, and the novel TORCH. Her books have been translated into forty languages around the world. WILD was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her first selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. The Oscar-nominated movie adaptation of WILD stars Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl and Laura Dern as Cheryl’s mother, Bobbi. The film was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, with a screenplay by Nick Hornby. Strayed’s essays have been published in The Best American Essays, the New York Times, the Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Salon, The Sun, Tin House, and elsewhere. Strayed is the co-host, along with Steve Almond, of the WBUR podcast Dear Sugar Radio, which originated with her popular Dear Sugar advice column on The Rumpus. Strayed holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
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.
Managing Director. Poseidon Expeditions USA
A 30-year veteran of the expedition cruise industry, Steve has actively been involved in polar expedition cruising since 1997. This includes five years as Executive Director of IAATO, the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. In that capacity, he represented the Antarctica tourism industry, helping to ensure best practices and environmental stewardship by all Antarctic tour operators. He also served as vice president of marketing & sales at both Elegant Cruises and Clipper Cruise Line. A resident of Providence, Rhode Island since 2005, Steve currently manages the North American office of Poseidon Expeditions, which he opened in 2014.
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.
CEO, Mongolia Quest
Badral Yondon is a CEO of Mongolia Quest, a premier tour operator in Mongolia. His career in tourism began while he was a university student working as a porter at a hotel in Ulaanbaatar during the democratic revolution in 1990. Since then, Badral has emerged as a leader in the tourism industry of Mongolia and is committed to supporting the culture and heritage of his country while also protecting the bio-diversity of its fragile ecosystems. He graduated from the Foreign Language Institute in Ulaanbaatar and the Klessheim Tourism and Hotel Management School in Saltzburg, Austria. As one of the founding members of Mongolia Quest, Badral has explored much of Mongolia’s vast countryside, sharing his knowledge of Mongolia’s unique culture and biodiversity with many hundred visitors over last 30 years. He serves as a Chairperson of the Ulaanbaatar Tourism Association and a board member of the Arts Council of Mongolia. Badral is a Certified Interpretive Guide & Trainer by the National Association for Interpretation, USA.