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J. Mara DelliPriscoli

J. Mara DelliPriscoli, ETC Founder and President of Travel Learning Connections, Inc., convened the first ETC conference in 1987. Her vision from inception over 30 years ago was to facilitate the growth of a vibrant community

of like-minded colleagues to converge at an annual “happening”—a travel think tank of sorts—to deal with current challenges and future opportunities in educational travel. Once technology had sufficiently advanced in 1999, she started to expand this community slowly online. Within this conference and online platform she has facilitated the growth of strategic business partnerships and business-to-business networking of those in the field of alumni, museum, conservation and affinity group travel. With over 38 years of experience in the tourism industry, Mara has worked directly within most sectors of the travel industry in her career, including marketing, sales, tour development and management, hotel operations, transportation, trade and government research and consulting firms. Mara lectures, writes and works with cultural, community and conservation tourism development projects in the US and abroad. She consults in the field of educational, community and special interest tourism development for a variety of US and international organizations. She continues to pursue professional photography and her passion for exploration, blue water sailing, language, ethnic music and dance. Mara holds an M. Ed in Tourism Development with a minor in marketing from the George Washington University, and a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University with a major in European history and a minor in three languages. Her freshman year was spent at the College Year in Athens, Greece. A native New Englander, having spent a great deal of her professional life in the Washington, D.C. area, then sailing thousands of nautical miles at sea for three years, Mara has been based in the beautiful Mission Valley, St. Ignatius, MT on the Flathead Reservation for 22-plus years. She still travels extensively globally. Read an article about Mara and the founding of the Educational Travel Community and Conference.

Carole Erickson

Carole Erickson, Conference Director & Partners’ Liaison, has served the ETC Community since 2005. She has enjoyed a 40-year career as a meeting planner, healthcare administrator, customer service consultant, and professional

marketing/development director in Missoula, Montana, and Los Angeles, California. Since 1995, Carole has been responsible for developing and implementing all aspects of domestic and international symposiums. Carole developed the International Heart Institute of Montana Foundation, which is a joint venture between The University of Montana and St. Patrick Hospital. She was instrumental in developing international cardiac symposiums and is well respected by cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and anesthesiologists around the globe. After retiring from full-time administration management in 2003, she now has her own consulting business providing customer service training and on-site meetings management. Under a Governor’s appointment, she serves as a public member of the Montana Board of Medical Examiners. Carole is a fifth-generation Montana native from Livingston, now based in Missoula, Montana.

Lisa Douma

Lisa Douma, Leading Member Service & Finances, has served as the ETC Community since 2003. If you have attended the ETC conference you have met and talked with Lisa as she handles all the registration correspondence and payment

questions pre/on site and post conference. At ETC 2013 the community paid tribute to Lisa’s ten-year run as the Registrar par excellence! She is also a mother of four who take up the rest of her time. Once in a while Lisa does find time for hiking in the beautiful Mission Mountains with trailheads literally outside the back twenty of the TLC main offices. In the photo, Lisa is holding TLC’s mascot – a Maine Coon cat respectably titled Sir Grizzly.  A native Montanan, Lisa lives in the beautiful Mission Valley Charlo, MT on the Flathead Reservation.

Bob Chambers

Bob Chambers, Leading Online Strategy & Development, began his travel career during graduate school at the University of Michigan, when he worked in both the leisure and commercial departments of Ann Arbor’s largest

travel agency. Bob subsequently moved to Washington, DC, where he eventually managed the Ann Arbor company’s branch office there. He founded Devon Walker Travel Associates, an upscale leisure travel agency, in 1982 and ran this company with his wife Elspeth for ten years before becoming involved in non-profit educational travel as Director of the Study Tour Program for the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C. During his tenure there, he attended the ETC conference each year and served on ETC’s Executive Advisory Council in 1996-1997. A native of Michigan, he is a graduate of Williams College with a B.A. in music and a master’s degree in music theory from the University of Michigan. Bob has enthusiastically returned from retirement to help ETC with its comprehensive and informative website. In 2001 Bob and his family moved to Whitefish, Montana, where they continue to reside today.

Barb Rempp

Barbara Rempp, Leading Faculty Coordination & Administration, is responsible for coordinating information and logistics of current speakers, research and development of speakers for future conferences, trip listings and facilitating

the Jumpstart webinars.  Rempp previously worked as an executive assistant and office manager for a Houston based corporation that represents a high net worth individual.  She has worn many hats, including horse trainer and breeder, bookkeeper and office manager for a CPA, transcription clerk for the Montana State University. Rempp also worked as a veterinary technician for 14 years.  She has a background in ranching and horseback guided trips into the Bob Marshall Wilderness and continues to manage her own expansive organic gardens.  A native Montanan, Barb and her husband live in the beautiful Mission Valley in St. Ignatius, MT located on the Flathead Reservation.

Abby Jansen Busdeker

Abby Jansen Busdeker, Leading Professional Programs & Education, joined the ETC in 2013 as Program Planner. With extensive experience in the educational travel market, she is thrilled to return to the educational

travel community. Abby formerly managed the daily operations of the Northwestern University Alumni Travel Program for six years. During her tenure, she traveled to six continents and hosted more than 250 passengers. A highlight of her time at Northwestern was serving on the ETC advisory council. Prior to working at Northwestern University, Abby worked at CDW Incorporated as a sales account manager. She received an M.A. in liberal studies from Northwestern and a B.A. in history from Miami University. A native of Ohio, Abby currently resides in Cincinnati with her husband and three children.

Heidi Tefft

Heidi Ramstad, Leading Community Development & Outreach, was formerly the Director of Sales at TCS Expeditions since 2007, working directly with its affinity partners to support their travel program goals, including

helping in the selection of trips and lecturers. For more than a decade, Heidi worked closely with TCS Expeditions Co-founder and now Director of Philanthropy, Charlie Brannon, to ensure that the company’s expeditions best served its partners’ interests and needs. Heidi has traveled throughout the years to alumni travel reunions and events at prestigious educational institutions that sponsor TCS Expeditions travel programs.  Ramstad joined the ETC Executive Advisory Council in 2013 and the EAC 2014 meeting as a co-facilitator. Heidi resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband and four children.

Bethany Morris

Bethany Morris, Leading Member Engagement & Resources, joined the team in 2014 with experience in digital marketing, association management, website content management, membership support services, and event planning. Professionally

, she has held the positions of Proposal Coordinator for a nation-wide environmental remediation company, Director of Member Services for an international non-profit organization, and Survey and Marketing Support Contractor for a state-based non-profit.  Bethany also volunteers extensively in her community and has served on the Boards of state/regional wildlife conservation organizations in the positions of Treasurer, Secretary, and Vice President. Bethany graduated from The University of Montana with a B.A. in Organizational Communication.  She lives in Missoula, MT with her husband and two children.

Nat Forcier

Nat Forcier, Leading Digital Communications & Social Media, joined ETC in 2014. She facilitates connections among Educational Travel Community members via social media and the ETC website. She is passionate about e-communications, websites

and social media.  Her nonprofit experience includes positions with Shelburne Farms, the Division for Early Childhood, and Montana Audubon. Her higher education staff experience includes positions at the University of Vermont, Dartmouth College, and the University of Montana. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and Cultural Studies from Lyndon State College with undergraduate studies at both the University of Vermont and University of Montana.

Takhmina Touraeva

Takhmina R. Touraeva, Leading Sustainable Community Development Programs, is a native of Tajikistan, with extensive travel and study abroad experiences. Based on her combined ten years of program development and implementation

and the technical expertise in environmental and natural resources management, Takhmina has built a strong record of noteworthy accomplishments in increasingly responsible posts with the United Nations agencies, such as UN FAO, UNDP, and ISDR in Tajikistan, and an international NGO, the Development Aid from People to People in Botswana and Zambia in Africa. She holds an M.A. in Natural Resources and Peace from the UN Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica, and a B.A. in International Studies and Business, specializing in Marketing and Management from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In addition to her native Tajik (Farsi) language, Ms. Touraeva speaks Russian and English fluently.  While in Omaha, she was additionally awarded the Erasmus-Mundus scholarship to study at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain and, thus, subsequently obtained a minor in Spanish language. Early in 2015 Takhmina relocated from Dushanbe, Tajikistan to the Washington, DC area and joined the ETC team in June 2015.

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