Presenters

ETC's Annual Conference | Renaissance Montgomery Hotel | Montgomery, Alabama | January 28-31, 2019

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    Sue Hershkowitz-Coore


    Session Title:  Take Your Customer Service to the Next Level: Creating happy travelers and brand advocates

     

    Session Description: How good are you? Do your clients do business with you despite unintentional obstacles? What do they really think about your service? Keep your travelers engaged before and after their trip to create raving fans

    and brand advocates. From your customer facing employees to your email and brochure marketing, understand modern, practical communications techniques to improve customer service and drive revenue.  Count on being fully engaged as you hear fresh perspectives to elevate messaging and sky rocket success.

     

    Self Described:  Global Leader in Sales & Communication Training

     

    Biography:  Sue Hershkowitz-Coore is an internationally recognized communications specialist. She helps audiences increase their profitability, professionalism and productivity through improved communication.

    Her customized sessions engage, educate and entertain to ensure authentic communications and amazingly successful client relationships. Her clients include The Ritz-Carlton; The Savoy, London; Mandarin Oriental, Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton Hotels. Hershkowitz-Coore has authored two books, Power Sales Writing (McGraw-Hill) and How to Say It to Sell It! (Prentice Hall/Penguin). She is a past officer and board member of the National Speakers Association, a founding member of Meeting Professionals International’s Women’s Leadership Initiative, has been designated an MPI
    “Platinum” speaker for 9 consecutive years and named “Best in Class” by the Professional Convention Management Association. Hershkowitz-Coore received her BA from the University of Bridgeport, MC from Arizona State University and a Fellowship from UC Berkeley. Hershkowitz-Coore was a speaker at ETC 2014, 2015 & 2018 

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    Peggy Wallace Kennedy


    Session Title:  Seeking Higher Ground: Who we as travelers can become

     

    Session Description: Through our lives and travels near and far, let us see others, feel others and celebrate others, respecting them for who they are and who they can become. In so doing, we will recognize the nobility that lies in the heart of the every man, including ourselves.

     

    Self Described:  Civil Rights Activist

     

    Biography:  Peggy Wallace Kennedy is a Montgomery-based civil rights activist who is recognized as one of America’s most important voices for peace and reconciliation.  Born into one of the most powerful political families

    in the history of the American South with her father (George Wallace) and mother (Lurleen Wallace) both serving as Governors of Alabama, Peggy Wallace Kennedy now stands apart from her past. Her life’s story demonstrates the notion that while none of us can be held responsible for the circumstances of our birth, each of us will be held responsible for who we can become. With the creation of a new and different legacy for her and her two sons, Mrs. Kennedy challenges us to believe in ourselves so that we too can walk to higher ground. As a national speaker, Mrs. Kennedy has participated in programs at the National Archives,  Congressional Forums with Congressman John Lewis and on the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March,  joined Reverend Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol as a living testament to the power of change and reconciliation. Mrs. Kennedy’s own personal journey to redemption and her call for justice through reconciliation will one day be viewed as the most important and lasting public service of the Wallace/Kennedys of Alabama.

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    Britt Basel, Praveen Moman & Gerry Ellis


    Session Title: The Power of Local Knowledge: Communities at the top of the tourism paradigm

     

    Session Description: Baba Dioum said “In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we

    are taught”. Every day you are creating experiences for clients that have the power to transform their lives, their understanding of the world, and their role within it. You not only create experiences for your clients, you’re also impacting the places they visit. Is that impact a positive one? You are in the unique position to change peoples’ lives and literally make the world a better place with increased understanding, awareness, inspiration to be global citizens, and by benefiting the communities you work with – if you do it the right way. Are you?

     

    Self Described:  Philanthropists and Environmentalists

     

    Biography: Britt Basel is the Director of Ecothropic. Her work bridges socio-environmental science, educational travel, and change-making media.  Her fieldwork spans working with the United Nations Development Program and

    the Nature Conservancy to direct engagement with small-scale farmers and local resources managers in indigenous and rural communities around the world. She uses community-driven processes incorporating capacity building, ecosystem-based solutions, sustainable livelihoods, social cohesion, and appropriate technology that empower communities to address the challenges they face. Building on 12 years of experience with educational travel for National Geographic and others, Basel designs and runs accredited-programs bringing small groups to the front-lines of climate change to engage with the scientists and community members who are defining socio-ecological solutions. Building on her experience as a visual storyteller (publications include National Geographic Traveller India, the Washington Post, The Outdoor Journal and others) and as a photography and multi-media instructor for National Geographic Student Expeditions and Putney Student Travel, Basel is currently using film to nurture and embolden communities and youth to solve their own social, environmental, and natural resource problems. While she has experience in 42 countries, her work is currently focused in Melanesia, Cuba, and Mexico. Her not-so-secret passion is dancing – especially to afro-Cuban rhythms. Basel has a BA in Anthropology (Colorado University), an MSc in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources (Colorado State University), and an MSc in Conservation Leadership (El Colegio de la Frontera Sur).  

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    Biography: Praveen Moman is the founder and CEO of Volcanoes Safaris.  He founded Volcanoes Safaris in 1997 to create a unique eco-tourism model, centered around the threatened gorilla and chimpanzee populations

    of the western rift valley.  In 2009, he established the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT), a non-profit organization that aims to create long-term, self-sustaining projects that enrich the livelihoods of local communities and promote the conservation of the great apes. Praveen grew up in the wilds of Uganda, where the family was part of the pioneering Asian community that was central to opening up East Africa. He then moved to the UK as the family became refugees with the Amin expulsion. This was followed by a career as a political and policy adviser in the European Union and British Government.  He has been involved in and serves on many boards, including: Seva Mandir a respected Indian charity; the Imbabazi Foundation in Rwanda, which supports genocide orphans; the Advisory Boards of the Adventure Travel Trade Association in the USA and The Bodhi Tree Foundation; the Campaign for Arundells; Women Matter and an Executive Member of the Eastern Africa Association.  Praveen was educated in Uganda and at London and Cambridge University in the UK. He is a Robert Schuman Scholar of the European Parliament. 

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    Biography: Gerry Ellis is an award-winning environmental photographer/film-maker—including the prestigious Visa pour L’Image for his work on orphaned baby African elephants, Wild Orphans. He has documented the lives of endangered species, indigenous cultures

    and threatened ecosystems across every continent.  Gerry is currently working around the world on a multi-year education and public awareness project called Apes Like Us to heighten concern for survival of great apes. He is the creator and host of the YouTube channel Apes Like Us.  His work has encompassed numerous long-term projects for National Audubon, World Wildlife Fund, Chevron PNG, and the Australian government.  Gerry’s work has appeared in magazine publications including the Paris Match, Ranger Rick, New York Times, GEO and National Geographic, as well as multiple book projects, including The Outdoor Traveler’s Guide to Australia, and several titles in the highly acclaimed National Geographic Kids Book series. Gerry is founder and President of the education nonprofit GLOBIO.

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    Kathy Edersheim & J. Mara DelliPriscoli


    Session Title: Disruptors for Affinity Travel: Trends that are changing your business

     

    Session Description: Coming soon!

     

    Self-Described: Community Builder and Connector

     

    Biography: Kathy Edersheim is the President of Impactrics, a social enterprise that provides consulting to educational institutions to strengthen education through enhanced alumni engagement. Impactrics focuses on alumni engagement and community building

    to benefit the institution, the students, and the alumni with measurable impact. Prior to forming Impactrics, she was Senior Director of International Alumni Relations and Travel at the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA). Her responsibilities included managing Yale Educational Travel, which offers about 45 faculty-led trips a year. Her broader international responsibilities incorporated the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange (YaleGALE) which, since 2008, has taken alumni delegations to many countries in Europe, Africa and Asia to share best practices in alumni relations with universities, and the Yale Alumni Service Corps, which takes Yale alumni, family, and friends to work in underserved communities providing supplementary education programs, public health education, micro-business consulting, and light construction to support and inspire the communities. She writes and speaks extensively about alumni relations for institutions throughout the world. Prior to joining AYA, she worked as a Financial Advisor and marketing professional. She has an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a B.A. from Yale University.

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    Biography:  J. Mara DelliPriscoli, ETC Founder and President of Travel Learning Connections, Inc., convened the first ETC conference in 1987. Her vision was to facilitate the growth of a vibrant community of like-minded colleagues to

    annually—a travel think tank of sorts—to deal with current challenges and future opportunities in educational travel. Once technology had sufficiently advanced, 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.

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    Fred Ackerman

    Fred Ackerman is the Chief Shepherding Officer for Black Sheep Adventures, the adventure travel business he founded in 2002. Ackerman is actively involved in every aspect of his business and still personally guides a select number of tours each year. Prior to starting BSA, he worked as a Trip Specialist for Backroads designing

    and leading bicycling and multisport trips around the US and Europe. Ackerman was formerly a strategy management consultant with Mars & Co. working mostly in Australia. After graduation, he worked for Schlumberger, a multinational oilfield services company, where he spent nine months on an offshore oil rig training to become an oil rig manager. His entrance into the travel industry was the result of a “quarter–life crisis” when he happily left the relative security of the corporate world to focus on travel. Ackerman holds a BS degree in mechanical engineering from MIT. Ackerman served three years on the ETC Executive Advisory Council and is now an active member of the Emeritus Council.

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    Rekha Athreya

    Rekha Athreya is the Manager of Alumni Marketing and Communications at Arizona State University and has many years of experience in working with nonprofits, government and schools. In her current role, she takes the lead in creating a strategic approach to marketing programs, initiatives and events at the ASU Alumni Association.

    Her expertise is in the areas of marketing, social media, campaign development, strategic messaging, analytics (channel effectiveness), development and evaluation. Her core strength is her ability to design or redefine organizational processes to improve efficiency. She specializes in analyzing data through the use of CRM systems, social media listening, Google analytics and e-mail analytics to aid in data driven decision making. In her career, Ms. Athreya has worked with numerous nonprofits including volunteer centers, nature preserves, housing organizations and charter schools. She holds an MBA from Charles Darwin University in Darwin, Australia with an emphasis in Marketing and Market Research. She recently graduated from Arizona State University’s College of Public Service and Community Solutions with a Masters in Public Administration (MPA). She is a writer at heart and a keen storyteller and gives voice to her creative interest by writing blogs on various topics.

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    Emily Casperson

    Emily Casperson is Senior Manager, Faculty Relations & Program Operations for Stanford University’s Travel/Study Program – a program that provides Stanford alumni with exceptional educational journeys around the world. Emily joined Travel/Study in 2000 and specializes in cultivating faculty leader relationships

    and managing complex program operations. In this capacity, she oversees the recruitment and stewardship of faculty leaders to ensure the highest level of educational engagement on Stanford tours. Additionally, Emily focuses on new program development and future trip strategy. With nearly two decades of tour leading and adventuring, Emily has guided Stanford travelers on over 60 educational programs across the globe to all seven continents – working closely with faculty leaders, tour operators and local guides. One of her most memorable trip moments was in the Kingdom of Tonga, where she led alumni on an exploration of the island nation which included the opportunity to snorkel with humpback whales. Prior to joining Stanford, Emily was a Director of Programs & Travel at a cultural global exchange program. Emily received a B.A. in Russian Language and Russian Area Studies from Saint Olaf College. Her home base is San Francisco where in her free time she enjoys hiking and improv acting.

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    J. Mara DelliPriscoli

    J. Mara DelliPriscoli, President, Travel Learning Connections, Inc., is the Founder and architect of the Educational Travel Consortium (formerly Nonprofits in Travel Conference). With this conference 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 35 years of experience in the tourism industry, DelliPriscoli has worked directly within most sectors of the travel industry including marketing, sales, tour and hotel operations, and transportation, trade and government research firms. DelliPriscoli lectures, writes and works with cultural, community and conservation tourism development projects in the United States and abroad. She consults in the field of educational, community and special-interest tourism development for a variety of U.S. and international organizations. DelliPriscoli has a passion for exploration, blue-water sailing, language, ethnic music, dance and photography. DelliPriscoli holds an M.Ed. in Tourism Development from the George Washington University and a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University.

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    Todd Duncan

    Todd Duncan  is the Director of Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness for the Sierra Club where he manages operational risk and crisis response.  Prior to this role, he served two years as the Director of Safety and Student Life for the School for Field Studies (SFS), a university international semester abroad provider which offers

    hands-on environmental learning to students. He has also served with the Wildlife Conservation Society as manager for Glover’s Reef Marine Research Station in Belize.  Todd has guided and  directed adventure, research, and education programs on six continents.  He is a native of Montana and graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder. 

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    Kathy Edersheim

    Kathy Edersheim is the President of Impactrics, an international alumni relations consulting company. Prior to forming Impactrics, she was Senior Director of International Alumni Relations and Travel at the Yale Alumni Association. Her responsibilities included managing Yale Educational Travel, which offers about 45 faculty-led

    trips a year. Her broader international responsibilities incorporated the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange (YaleGALE) which, since 2008, has taken alumni delegations to many countries in Europe, Africa and Asia to share best practices in alumni relations with universities, and the Yale Alumni Service Corps, which takes Yale alumni, family, and friends to work in underserved communities providing supplementary education programs, public health education, micro-business consulting, and light construction to support and inspire the communities. Prior to joining Yale, Ms. Edersheim served as President of the Yale Club of New York City, worked as a Financial Consultant and as a marketing professional. She has an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a B.A. from Yale University.

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    Shannon Fuller

    Shannon Fuller is the Assistant Director of Conservation Travel at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois. She oversees the development and implementation of the Shedd Adventures Travel Program working collaboratively with internal partners in Development, Marketing, PR, Conservation,  as well as external travel operators

    to create and market mission-driven trips to the Shedd’s current and prospective donor audiences. She also manages the aquarium’s citizen science travel opportunities aboard their research vessel located in the Bahamas. Shannon started at Shedd six years ago and prior to her role in the Conservation department, worked in Marketing as Brand Manager. Shannon’s passion for aquatic life and experience as a SCUBA instructor led her to Shedd. She is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago.

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    Rob Fure

    Rob Fure is Director of Lifelong Learning at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. While teaching American literature and modern poetry at Washington and Lee, Fure taught in the University’s Institute for Executives, a humanities program for corporate executives. Inspired by such opportunities for lifelong learning, Fure proposed

    a new department for the creation and management of continuing education programs for adults and pre-college youths. The office was reorganized as the Office of Lifelong Learning in 2018. He is irrepressibly enthusiastic on the subject of educational programming for adult learners. In 1982, he established the Washington and Lee Alumni College, which features educational programming for alumni and friends both on campus and abroad. Fure received his secondary and collegiate education in Illinois and Michigan, and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in English at the University of California, Berkeley. He served as President of the Association of Collegiate Conference and Events Directors’ International. He also served on the ETC Executive Advisory Council. He is now a member of the ETC Emeritus Council and has frequently spoken at the annual conference. 

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    Andrea Holbrook

    Andrea Holbrook is President of Holbrook Travel, Inc. Her start in the travel industry began at a young age, accompanying her parents on expeditions such as hiking the Inca Trail and butterfly-collecting with lepidopterists in rainforests around the world. After graduating from Columbia University with a major in English literature

    in 1991, she spent almost two years working in Costa Rica at Selva Verde Lodge and Private Reserve—a nature sanctuary in the Sarapiqui region, founded by her family in 1985. Andrea stewards Holbrook and Selva Verde Lodge and is President of the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center, an organization that strives to connect communities and sustainable development through educational programs and rural tourism in Costa Rica. She also serves on the Board of Climb for Cancer and recently joined the Board of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), an organization dedicated to increasing the positive global impact of responsible tourism. Andrea feels fortunate to play an active role in connecting cultures, supporting knowledge and appreciation for biodiversity, and finding innovative ways to foster responsible travel. She lives in Gainesville, Florida with her husband and high-school-aged daughter.

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    Mary Ann Hunt

    Mary Ann Hunt is the Director of the Travel-Learn program at Tufts University. Prior to her arrival at Tufts in September, 2017, she worked at Dartmouth College in the Alumni Travel program for ten years. She also worked at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College from 2000-2007, where she managed public events

    and oversaw exhibition logistics. She has a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in Art History, with specializations in ancient art, archeology, and classical civilizations, and she is currently working on a Master’s degree in Creative Writing with a concentration on travel and memoir writing. 

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    Christine Kessler

    Christine Kessler is a Trip Manager with The Nature Conservancy’s Donor Engagement Team and is currently based out of Portland, Oregon, where she designs and manages customized, programmatic trips for Nature Conservancy supporters and prospects. Christine began her career at The Conservancy eleven years ago.  Prior to

    joining TNC, she spent five years at National Geographic Television in Washington, DC. She spends her free time training for overnight relay races, making sculptures out of aluminum foil, and staying inside to read. Her wine club turned into a book club, not vice versa!  Christine volunteers for Columbia Land Trust’s Emerging Leaders Council (ELC), a group of young professionals charged with growing the next generation of conservationists.  She graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology. 

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    Emilie LaRosa

    Emilie C. K. LaRosa is the Assistant Director for Penn Alumni Travel and Education at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) where she is responsible for all alumni tour marketing, development, customer service, and operations. Since she began at Penn in 2012, the program has expanded to serve more than 400 travelers

    on 25 trips annually with robust educational offerings. Penn Alumni Travel is committed to collaborative and engaging tours and works closely with the University’s 12 schools and centers, including the Wharton Business School and the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Prior to her work at Penn, LaRosa was a development officer at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and a museum educator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Phillips Collection in Washington, D. C., and the Cloisters in New York City. In addition to her travel expertise, LaRosa has interests in: art and architecture, medieval history, photography, and the perfect latte. LaRosa earned both her B.A. and M.A. in Art History from the University of Notre Dame and the George Washington University, respectively.

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    Rumit Mehta

    Rumit Mehta is the founder of Immersion Journeys. An avid thrill seeker, Rumit plays a pivotal role in developing custom itineraries for luxury and affinity travel clients leveraging a wealth of knowledge and professional networks in both Africa and South Asia to design complex itineraries. With his deep knowledge of the hospitality industry,

    he is frequently invited as a guest speaker at business and academic forums. Rumit is a founding member and former board member and advisor of the Safari Professionals of the Americas (Safari Pros) and past-Vice President of the Association of the Promotion of Tourism in Africa (APTA)– Northeast Chapter.  Born in Kenya of Indian descent & raised in Tanzania, Rumit has a love for Africa & South Asia that is unmatched. Rumit grew up leading safaris for friends and colleagues.  Originally trained as an architect, Rumit worked in the design and construction industry for 13 years while at the same time dabbling in travel planning for select clients. Very soon, the travel bug caught on and after much deliberation he decided to do it on a full time basis.  Rumit has an M.Arch from the Savannah College of Art & Design and an MBA from Pace University.  

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    Janet Moore

    Janet Moore founded Distant Horizons in 1985 to combine her passion for travel with her love of learning. Since its first program for the Denver Art Museum in 1986 to China, Distant Horizons has operated hundreds of customized programs for institutions including Harvard University, Johns Hopkins and the Nature Conservancy.

    Many of Distant Horizons’ programs are aimed at donor groups providing a high level of access and curated experiences. Prior to starting Distant Horizons, Janet obtained a Master’s in Public Policy at the University of Michigan. During her undergraduate and graduate studies, she worked as a tour manager for the American Council for International Studies, organizing High School programs for students and teachers in Europe. In 1983 she moved to Los Angeles to open their California office. For the last several years she has been voted as part of the “A-LIST Travel Operators” by Travel and Leisure Magazine. She has contributed to NPR’s “The World” and is frequently interviewed by prominent national newspapers on travel issues. Janet lives by the ocean in Long Beach, CA and is married to physician David Larson and has four children. Janet has held numerous board positions including the Downtown Long Beach Alliance and the Intellectual Virtues Academy.

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    Kelly Morgante

    Kelly Morgante is the Assistant Director of Alumni Travel for the Penn State Alumni Association. She started with this organization in 2006 and joined the alumni travel division in 2007. In her current position, she holds a key role in the development, marketing,

    and delivery of the 30+ annual trips Penn State crafts for Alumni seeking new experiences and adventure. Her work with the Engagement Unit under the umbrella of Development allows her to observe the multi-faceted effects travel has on the organization, university, and its’ constituents. Prior to this, Kelly’s career in the travel industry entailed time working in leisure travel, offering independent travel as well as group trips, as a cruise specialist, arranging military travel under official government orders, and private business clients.

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    Kristina Nemeth

    Kristina Nemeth is the Travel Director for the Commonwealth Club of California, the nation’s oldest public affairs forum, based in San Francisco. Since 2008 she has grown the travel program to increase member participation, revenue and donor cultivation, while focusing on implementing

    the Club’s mission into every trip. Prior to working for The Commonwealth Club, Nemeth was an Assistant Director/Program Coordinator for Stanford Travel Study for four years. She also worked on the operational side of the business as the Educational Program Manager for World Explorer Cruises, where she created onboard programming and field seminars for passengers traveling in Alaska and Central America. Before working in the travel industry, she was a producer of educational and interactive websites and CDs. While always an avid traveler, in 2000 she embarked on a 4-month solo-backpacking trip across Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. Upon her return she decided to make travel her next career. She loves photography, live music, camping, hiking and apparently those harder to get to destinations like Siberia, North Korea, Guyana and Iran. One day she hopes to get to Maine or Hawaii. She is a graduate of Northwestern University.

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    Shelley Norton

    Shelley Norton is the Director of Travel for Texas Exes – the alumni association of The University of Texas. Prior to her current role, Shelley worked for multiple travel companies as a Cruise Director, Tour Director, and Director of Sales. She has worked in the travel industry since 1996, and her travels have taken her to over 85 countries

    and all 7 continents. Some of her favorite destinations are Southeast Asia, France, and Egypt. She enjoys home renovation projects, running, and drinking wine with friends. Shelley is a graduate of the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University. 

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    Susan Ortiz

    Susan Ortiz, Administrator for Princeton Journeys, is responsible for passenger services, marketing, sales, and administrative processes for Princeton’s alumni travel program. Prior to joining Princeton Journeys in 2016, Susan taught at a charter school in Washington, DC, at a private school in an Ecuadorian coastal town, and at two high

    schools in Tokushima City, Japan, through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. Susan enjoys foreign languages, great movies, and spending time with her one-year-old son. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Miami and a master’s in global, international and comparative history from Georgetown University.

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    Pauline Ranieri

    Pauline Ranieri has been in the travel industry for more than 35 years. She began her career as a Travel Director with Contiki Holidays–a leader in the 18- to 35-year-old travel market–leading tours around the United States and Europe. She then moved into the position of Operations Manager for the U.S. market. Ranieri joined UW Alumni Tours

    in 1991 and tripled the size of the program by the end of the 90s. It is now a leading alumni travel program offering a variety of affinity tours supported by more than 1000 travelers. She holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Montana. Ranieri served on the ETC Executive Advisory Council representing the interests of the State University Alumni Travel Program constituents and is currently an ETC Emeritus Council Member. Her interests include photography, hiking and beadwork.

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    Tony Rango

    Tony Rango has been a staff member of the Sierra Club since 1992 and currently serves as the Director of National Outings and Program Safety. The National Outings program offers more than 300 domestic and international trips annually, led exclusively by volunteers. In 2000, Tony created and developed the Sierra Club’s

    national training program for outing leaders. Since then, the program has trained and fielded thousands of leaders and volunteers. He initially got involved with the Sierra Club because of his job, but he soon began leading for the program and training future leaders. He has led numerous Sierra Club trips including backpacking, rafting, biking, kayaking and trekking trips. Tony currently serves on the ETC Executive Advisory Council representing national non-profit organizations and advising on the Risk Management sessions.  

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    Beth Ray-Schroeder

    Beth Ray-Schroeder is Director of Duke Alumni Travels in the Office of Alumni Affairs at Duke University. At Duke since 2005, Ray-Schroeder has also directed alumni education initiatives and priorities of the alumni travel program. She now organizes more than 40 educational travel programs annually, which comprise vendor

    itineraries and in-house customized programs showcasing unique Duke entities and are led by Duke faculty. Prior to coming to Duke, Ray-Schroeder lived and worked in Spain and Germany for 17 years. She held positions as a software developer in Madrid, as international systems project manager at Deutsche Lufthansa AG in Frankfurt am Main, and as an organizational consultant in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and the equivalent degree in Psychology from Duke University, and a M.S. in Organizational Psychology from Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. Ray-Schroeder is currently serving on the ETC Executive Advisory Council representing the interests of alumni association travel planners in the southeastern United States. 

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    Steve Ridgway

    Steve Ridgway is Owner and President of Criterion Travel, a tour operator specializing in educational travel. He has been a professional tour operator for over 40 years, focusing for the past 30 years on affinity travel. He held a variety of management positions during twelve years with Maupintour, a wholesale tour operator

    that for Ridgway’s last ten years was honored in the annual Travel/Holiday magazine reader poll as the best international tour operator in the U.S. At the AARP/NRTA Travel Service he was responsible for a staff of 120 providing travel programs for 40,000 travelers annually. Prior to becoming owner of Criterion Travel, for 17 years Ridgway helped lead High Country Passage, another tour operator specializing in high-quality educational travel programs for prestigious nonprofit organizations. He currently shuttles between Criterion’s administrative office in Palo Alto, California and his home in Beaverton, Oregon where he keeps an eye on his three young grandchildren. Ridgway is a graduate of the University of Kansas and a proud Jayhawk. He joined the ETC Executive Advisory Council in 2014 and represents the ETC U.S. Tour Operators constituents. 

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    Timothy Ryan

    Timothy Ryan is the Director of Product Development for TCS World Travel and is responsible for designing and developing innovative multi-stop “around-the-world themed” luxury jet expeditions on seven continents. Prior to his current role, he spent

    nine years as an Expedition Leader and Field Staff for TCS and National Geographic Expeditions by private jet. In addition to luxury travel management, Ryan has more than 25 years of travel operations experience in more than 100 countries managing a diverse portfolio of clients and leading on-the-ground operations teams in the execution of corporate meetings, sports and sponsorship hospitality management events, and incentive travel programs. Previously, he has served as the Director of Operations for Balboa Meetings and Events in San Diego, the owner of On Site Santa Fe Destination Management in Santa Fe, NM and Director of Event Ticketing for Maritz and Octagon sports marketing agencies in Greece, Italy and Brazil. He was editor of an award winning travel blog and winner of a Society of Professional Journalism Award for photography and writing. Ryan is a graduate of Oklahoma State University.

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    Bridget St. Clair

    Bridget St. Clair is the Executive Manager Princeton Journeys, Princeton University. Bridget brought her extensive background in both international experiential learning and higher education program administration to the Princeton Journeys team in 2015. Previously, she served as a senior program officer for the Foreign Fulbright

    Program at the Institute of International Education in New York, where she was responsible for all aspects of program operations. Prior to her tenure at IIE, she worked at Travel Weekly magazine in Sydney, Australia. An intrepid explorer, enthusiastic runner, amateur yogi and self-professed ‘old soul,’ Bridget is an alumna of the University of Miami and holds a Master’s in International Studies from the University of Limerick in Ireland. 

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    Carl Shephard

    Carl Shephard, Founder of Insider Expeditions, began his service in enrichment travel in South America with a local tour operator, leading cultural exchanges, service projects, and innovative travel itineraries throughout the region. Shephard then moved to Japan and worked for Peace Boat, eventually serving as their Director

    of Program Development for international educational voyages. His field programs at Peace Boat focused on meaningful interactions and cultural exchanges with local communities, service efforts, and unique educational and enrichment opportunities for passengers while in country. From these efforts, Shephard was recruited to design the in-country academic field programs across 14 countries for The Scholar Ship, a semester abroad program that brought students from around the world to live and study together on a seafaring voyage. As a political appointee and United States diplomat, Shephard also had the opportunity to organize and lead trade missions and business delegations for membership organizations to more than 30 countries. Shephard graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University and earned a Masters in International Relations while serving as a World Peace Fellow in Tokyo. He speaks Spanish and Japanese. 

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    Joseph Small

    Joseph Small is President of AHI Travel located in Chicago, IL. AHI specializes in educational travel for university, college and other nonprofit organizations. Small has worked for AHI for more than 35 years and served in a variety of capacities, including Travel Director,

    Operations, Promotion, Marketing and Sales. Small served as Founding President of the popular Alumni Campus Abroad division. He is a graduate of Columbia College and received an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois. Small served on the ETC Executive Advisory Council and currently a member of the ETC Emeritus Council.

  • Photo of Frances Stanfield

    Frances Stanfield

    Frances Stanfield joined Emory University in 2003 and is the Senior Business Manager for the Office of Alumni and Engagement managing operational budgets and logistics.  In 2011 Stanfield acquired the Emory travel program on an interim basis and permanently by 2012. She was tasked with quickly coming up-to-speed with the travel industry;

    working with existing travel partners each with their own business practices; supporting Emory travelers; and providing continual customer service and record keeping needed to move forward a robust program already performing and thriving since the 1980s. In 2016 oversight of the Miller-Ward alumni house was added to her portfolio rounding out her fiscal responsibilities to the association. She enjoys spending time with her new grandson; staying physically fit; and enjoying the empty nest life with her husband Reginald. Stanfield is a graduate of Shorter University with a BS in Business Management.

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    Dan Stypa

    Dan Stypa is the Associate Director of Alumni Programs at Rice University (Houston, TX).  Stypa is responsible for managing the Rice Alumni Traveling Owls program, as well as all other lifelong learning and international engagement initiatives.  In his time at Rice, the Traveling Owls has doubled the number of trips offered

    and program participation has grown over 100%.  He has led groups to places such as Tanzania, China, Cuba, Italy, the Baltic Sea, and more.  Additionally, he manages affinity groups to help engage alumni in meaningful programs and activities that connect alumni and friends back to Rice University.  Prior to his current role, Stypa worked at the University of South Florida and coordinated faculty engagement programming for on-campus residential students.  Stypa has presented at regional and statewide CASE Conferences and serves on the Greater Houston Partnership Commission.  He is passionate about dogs; he has two of his own – Frieda and Knightro – and is an active volunteer with K-9 Rescue Angels – a nonprofit dog rescue committed to rescuing and rehoming dogs in the greater Houston area.  Stypa is originally from Ohio and has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Bowling Green State University (OH) and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from the University of Tennessee. Stypa became a member of the Executive Advisory Council in 2016 and he represents Southern region private schools. 

  • Photo of Lauren Summers

    Lauren Summer

    Lauren Summers is the Senior Director of Lifelong Learning and Travel at the Yale Alumni Association. Prior to that she was the Director of Marketing for Visit Wales in North America, the official government sponsored tourism board for Wales. She has more than 18 years of experience

    including marketing, public relations, event planning and business management. At Visit Wales, she manages trade sales and marketing, as well as PR and consumer campaigns for the United States and Canada. Prior to this position, Summers was the general manager of a small hotel in Cambridge, Mass., where she worked while completing her master’s at Harvard Divinity School. At Harvard, she studied the healing traditions of indigenous world religions while playing host to the scholars, researchers, academics and activists from around the world who stayed in her hotel. As a result, she discovered her passion for the tourism and hospitality industries. Summers had previously founded and run her own communications agency based in New York City. Her clients included entertainment, corporate and nonprofit organizations such as Levi’s, Disney and the international Acapulco Film Festival, along with a number of Grammy Award winning artists, Oscar winning performers, bestselling authors and other celebrities. In addition to her M.A., Summers holds an undergraduate degree in Public Relations and Marketing from Hampton University. Summers currently serves on the ETC Executive Advisory Council representing the interests of the Travel Planner constituents.

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    MJ Swan

    Matthew James (MJ) Swan is the Director of Business Development for Adventure Canada where he is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and marketing strategies. With over sixty expeditions all over the world—and seventeen years of field experience—under his belt, MJ is highly experienced in all aspects of expedition cruising.

    MJ travels widely to understand diverse cultures, connect with people, and nurture his love for the natural world. Safety and guest experience are his two primary concerns, and he brings his passion for all things wild to bear on trips. His favourite places to travel are the polar regions, and has led dozens of trips to the Arctic and Antarctic. Born and raised in southern Ontario, MJ was immediately introduced to an adventurous lifestyle by a family of avid explorers. He loves the outdoors and has been infatuated with all things wild from a young age. He first travelled to the Arctic at the age of two—an experience that ignited his love for the North.  MJ is a graduate of Humber College in Toronto, Canada. 

  • Photo of Katie Jo Walter

    Katie Jo Walter

    Katie Jo Walter is Director of International Alumni Academic Engagement at the University of Oregon where she is responsible for planning and promotion of customized educational tours for UO alumni. Prior to her current role, Walter spent several years developing and facilitating experiential learning programming

    in India. From 2015 – 2017, Walter helped diversify and expand experiential program offerings at IndoGenius, a New Delhi-based educational company with partners including the U.S. Department of State, the British Council, Macquarie University, and University of Kansas. From 2013 to 2015, Walter innovated curricular, extracurricular and experiential programming for a direct enrollment program at Manipal University, India. In 2012, Walter was Resident Director for the U.S. State Department’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth in Pune, India, and in 2011 she co-led the Lewis & Clark College India semester abroad program. She has been awarded a Fulbright Nehru research grant and a Kathryn Wasserman Davis 100 Project for Peace Grant.  She enjoys yoga and meditation, frequent visits to the beach with her husband Bob and her dog Kali, and participating in a variety of volunteer activities supporting social service organizations. Walter is a graduate of Lewis & Clark College (B.A.) and SIT Graduate Institute (M.A.).

  • Photo of Debbie Vargo

    Debbie Vargo

    Debbie Vargo has been the Director of Alumni Tours for The Ohio State University Alumni Association since 2008 after beginning as the manager in 2001. She and her two colleagues manage approximately 30 trips per year performing all aspects of the registration and communications processes with alumni travelers to maximize affinity-building and

    working with numerous tour operators in on-the-ground execution.  Prior to Alumni Tours, she spent the first 14 years of her career working on behalf of college students, including six years as director of student recruitment for the Alumni Association. During her tenure with Alumni Tours, she has been to numerous, amazing countries with experiences ranging from cheering on the Iditarod in Alaska, to appreciating cherry blossom season in Japan, to shopping for stackable dolls in Russia, to eating haggis in Scotland, to drinking Chianti in Italy, and so much more! Debbie lives in Columbus with her husband Bill, dog Piper, and enjoys gardening, traveling, reading, and a good laugh. Her life is greatly enriched by her family and friends. Debbie graduated from both Ohio University and The Ohio State University.

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    Britt Basel

    Britt Basel is the Director of Ecothropic. Her work bridges socio-environmental science, educational travel, and change-making media.  Her fieldwork spans working with the United Nations Development Program and the Nature Conservancy to direct engagement with small-scale farmers and local resources managers in indigenous

    and rural communities around the world. She uses community-driven processes incorporating capacity building, ecosystem-based solutions, sustainable livelihoods, social cohesion, and appropriate technology that empower communities to address the challenges they face. Building on 12 years of experience with educational travel for National Geographic and others, Basel designs and runs accredited-programs bringing small groups to the front-lines of climate change to engage with the scientists and community members who are defining socio-ecological solutions. Building on her experience as a visual storyteller (publications include National Geographic Traveller India, the Washington Post, The Outdoor Journal and others) and as a photography and multi-media instructor for National Geographic Student Expeditions and Putney Student Travel, Basel is currently using film to nurture and embolden communities and youth to solve their own social, environmental, and natural resource problems. While she has experience in 42 countries, her work is currently focused in Melanesia, Cuba, and Mexico. Her not-so-secret passion is dancing – especially to afro-Cuban rhythms. Basel has a BA in Anthropology (Colorado University), an MSc in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources (Colorado State University), and an MSc in Conservation Leadership (El Colegio de la Frontera Sur). 

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    Susan Borke

    Susan Borke is the Principal of BorkeWorks where she lives her passion by helping people and companies develop as effective negotiators. Susan spent almost three decades in business and legal affairs at the National Geographic Society, where she first taught negotiation skills.  One of her primary internal clients was Travel Tours and she

    worked on the launch of the National Geographic Lodges program. Susan believes “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” She first used this simple principle as a financially-strapped college student who needed to find a way to get course credit for an unpaid internship, without paying tuition. It was one of her first successful negotiations and helped to spark her interest in teaching effective negotiating techniques to business people. Susan loves to travel and is proud of having set foot on all seven continents. Susan volunteers as an ESL teacher for the Washington English Center. Her certified Therapy Dog is a big hit with his tricks during bi-weekly visits to a local assisted living facility. Susan graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University Beasley School of Law. 

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    Samantha Bray

    Samantha Bray is the Managing Director for the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), providing administrative, research, and consulting support for a wide-range of global sustainable tourism projects. She is a strong advocate for sustaining and enhancing our world’s cultures and environments through travel and using tourism as a mechanism

    for community empowerment. Prior to her current role, Samantha spent a number of years in theater management, which cultivated her interest in sharing cultural, historical, and art offerings through tourism. After a time working as a vacation planner at Walt Disney World Resorts, she moved into the world of responsible travel, serving as a consultant for the American Society of Travel Agent’s (ASTA) Green Program and National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations. Samantha resides in Charleston, South Carolina, and is an advisor for the DC-based Destination Stewardship Center and Bodhi Surf + Yoga in Costa Rica. She is also a trained Climate Reality Leader. Samantha was one of the first students of geotourism through her undergraduate program at Missouri State University and holds a Master of Tourism Administration with a concentration in Sustainable Destination Management from The George Washington University. 

  • Photo of Diana Lee Crew

    Diana Lee Crew

    Diana Lee Crew is currently a consultant to nonprofits and for profit educational organizations focusing on developing strategic relationships and consulting in a variety of capacities. Some of her more recent work includes sales consulting and product implementation training with StudySync, an innovative reading and writing Educational Technology company

    ; photography and video work, including recent ETC conferences. From September 2005 to January 2010 she served as Director of Strategic Partnerships with Immersion Learning in Mystic, CT, which was founded by oceanographer and explorer Dr. Robert Ballard as a state-of-the-art communications and robotics technology program bringing yearly ocean-going research expeditions live to school kids, museums, science centers, aquariums, and participating Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Previously, she worked at the JASON Foundation of Education, where she spent over nine years as its Director of Sales for a leading science distance learning program. Prior to JASON, she was with the Denver Museum of Natural History for 18 years, where she developed and directed its museum travel and youth education programs, managed an active travel program, and was an institutional co-founding sponsor of the Nonprofits in Travel Conference, now evolved to ETC, and co-designer of the early Nonprofits in Travel Conference agendas. She also served as President of the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association. She holds an M.A. in Public Information and Communication from the University of Denver and a B.A. from Scripps College in Claremont, CA.

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    Janet Fergueson

    Dr. Janet Ferguson is the Executive Director of the Lifelong Learning Centre, Bermuda College. Prior to her current role, Dr. Ferguson designed and facilitated workshops and learning events for a wide cross-section of private and public sector clients in the United Kingdom and Bermuda. In addition to her current work in curriculum development

    and administration for late-life learning, she is interested in the exploration of the distinctive nature of the learning and developmental experiences of mature adults. Dr. Ferguson has taught extensively in multiple jurisdictions and holds graduate qualifications in Commonwealth Area Studies, Marketing and Teaching and Course Design for Higher Education. Her doctoral degree is in the area of Continuing Education (Warwick, 1998). 

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    John Francis

    John Francis recently retired as Vice President for Research, Conservation and Exploration at National Geographic Society. A marine biologist and National Geographic grantee, John began his career studying behavioral ecology of seals and sea lions on remote islands in North and South America. A film on his work led to his role as a producer

    of wildlife films, covering everything from chimps and tigers to whales and sharks. From that he took on the grant making side of National Geographic supporting explorers around the world and pushing their stories through diverse NG media. Outside of his National Geographic Society responsibilities, Francis served on boards and committees for the US National Park System, the Commission for Education and Communications of the IUCN, and the US National Commission for UNESCO. He now serves on Sustainable Travel International and the Congo Basin Institute boards and advises the NG/Lindblad Fund supporting marine projects visited by shipboard travelers. John has a deep commitment to communication of the potent ties between humans and the rest of the natural world and is currently focused on citizen science and sustainable tourism as two key engines for change. John holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Behavioral Ecology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. 

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    Rodney Gould

    Rodney E. Gould is a partner at the law firm of Smith Duggan Buell & Rufo in Lincoln, MA. Mr. Gould has practiced in the travel law arena for over 40 years.  He represents tour operators and other travel professionals located in many countries, as well as trade associations, in all aspects of travel-related law.  He has taught at various

    Massachusetts area law schools as an adjunct professor.  He has written and lectured extensively on travel-related issues before numerous groups and associations.  He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, several United States Courts of Appeals, many United States District Courts, and the courts of Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and California, and he has litigated travel-related cases in numerous states as well as serving as an expert witness in many travel litigations throughout the country.  Mr. Gould graduated from Columbia Law School magna cum laude, was an editor of the Law Review and a James Kent Scholar. He graduated from Colby College, cum laude, after being elected to Phi Beta Kappa. 

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    Catherine Hanson-Stamp

    Catherine Hansen-Stamp is an attorney in private practice in Golden, Colorado. She advises recreation, adventure, sport and/or experiential program providers and related organizations on law, liability and risk management issues. Hansen-Stamp speaks and writes frequently on these issues, both regionally and nationally. She has presented at

    the Annual Wilderness Risk Manager’s Conference since its inception in 1994, and is currently on the Steering Committee. She co-authors articles regularly (with Charles ‘Reb’ Gregg) for American Camp Association’s CampLine. She has authored a variety of other publications as well. Her clients have included camps, schools, outfitters and guides, dude ranches, ropes and challenge course builders and facilitators, tripping programs, resort owners, science and environmental programs, competitive event sponsors and others. Hansen-Stamp graduated from The Colorado College in 1981 and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Wyoming in 1985. She is a member of both the Wyoming and Colorado Bar Associations and currently serves on the University of Wyoming College of Law Advisory Board. 

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    Jake Haupert

    Jake Haupert is the Co-Founder of The Transformational Travel Council where he is leading a global shift in travel, illuminating how traveling inside-out revitalizes travel as a force for good.  Jake has a deep appreciation for the power of travel and its ability to incite change by breaking down the walls within and between us.

    As an inspirational agent of change, Jake calls on the TTC’s Modern Art of Ancient Travel to raise consciousness and foster global citizenry, communication, understanding, stewardship, unity, and real human connection.   Jake also co-founded Explorer X, where he applies the TTC’s research and guiding practices into crafting journeys into the unknown, inspiring more meaning, purpose, and intention in travel. Previously, Jake founded Evergreen Escapes, an award-winning adventure travel company renowned for deeply connecting travelers to nature on guided adventures throughout the Pacific Northwest. Haupert is based out of the Adventure Hub & Winery in Seattle and is proud to be a Puget Sound Business Journal 40 under 40 alumni, and a graduate of Southern Oregon University. 

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    Sue Hershkowitz-Coore

    Sue Hershkowitz-Coore is an internationally recognized communications specialist. She helps audiences increase their profitability, professionalism and productivity through improved communication. Her customized sessions engage, educate and entertain to ensure authentic communications and amazingly successful client relationships. Her clients

    include The Ritz-Carlton; The Savoy, London; Mandarin Oriental, Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton Hotels. Hershkowitz-Coore has authored two books, Power Sales Writing (McGraw-Hill) and How to Say It to Sell It! (Prentice Hall/Penguin). She is a past officer and board member of the National Speakers Association, a founding member of Meeting Professionals International’s Women’s Leadership Initiative, has been designated an MPI “Platinum” speaker for 9 consecutive years and named “Best in Class” by the Professional Convention Management Association. Hershkowitz-Coore received her BA from the University of Bridgeport, MC from Arizona State University and a Fellowship from UC Berkeley. Hershkowitz-Coore was a speaker at ETC 2014, 2015 & 2018.

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    Peggy Wallace Kennedy

    Peggy Wallace Kennedy is a Montgomery-based civil rights activist who is recognized as one of America’s most important voices for peace and reconciliation.  Born into one of the most powerful political families in the history of the American South with her father (George Wallace) and mother (Lurleen Wallace) both serving as Governors

    of Alabama, Peggy Wallace Kennedy now stands apart from her past. Her life’s story demonstrates the notion that while none of us can be held responsible for the circumstances of our birth, each of us will be held responsible for who we can become. With the creation of a new and different legacy for her and her two sons, Mrs. Kennedy challenges us to believe in ourselves so that we too can walk to higher ground. As a national speaker, Mrs. Kennedy has participated in programs at the National Archives,  Congressional Forums with Congressman John Lewis and on the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March,  joined Reverend Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol as a living testament to the power of change and reconciliation. Mrs. Kennedy’s own personal journey to redemption and her call for justice through reconciliation will one day be viewed as the most important and lasting public service of the Wallace/Kennedys of Alabama.

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    Praveen Moman

    Praveen Moman is the founder and CEO of Volcanoes Safaris.  He founded Volcanoes Safaris in 1997 to create a unique eco-tourism model, centered around the threatened gorilla and chimpanzee populations of the western rift valley.  In 2009, he established the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT), a non-profit organization that aims

    to create long-term, self-sustaining projects that enrich the livelihoods of local communities and promote the conservation of the great apes. Praveen grew up in the wilds of Uganda, where the family was part of the pioneering Asian community that was central to opening up East Africa. He then moved to the UK as the family became refugees with the Amin expulsion. This was followed by a career as a political and policy adviser in the European Union and British Government.  He has been involved in and serves on many boards, including: Seva Mandir a respected Indian charity; the Imbabazi Foundation in Rwanda, which supports genocide orphans; the Advisory Boards of the Adventure Travel Trade Association in the USA and The Bodhi Tree Foundation; the Campaign for Arundells; Women Matter and an Executive Member of the Eastern Africa Association.  Praveen was educated in Uganda and at London and Cambridge University in the UK. He is a Robert Schuman Scholar of the European Parliament.

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    Dawn Rodney

    Dawn Rodney is Vice President Innovation and Chief Marketing Officer for the National Wildlife Federation.  She is responsible for leading innovation, amplifying brand awareness, creating new revenue streams, developing content, and transforming the organization’s current catalog and licensing divisions. Prior to joining the National Wildlife

    Federation, Dawn was Senior Vice President of Marketing and Brand for the National Geographic Society.  Dawn was responsible for leading the global brand, engaging digital natives across the world on all platforms, launching new digital products, and driving awareness of National Geographic’s science, education, and storytelling priorities.  While at National Geographic, Dawn also led strategic marketing and creative for the National Geographic Channels.  She was integral to building and launching NGC, Nat Geo WILD, and Nat Geo Mundo – transforming them from start-up networks to global, world premiere brands.  Dawn also had various supervising producing positions at Animal Planet and Discovery Health.  She started her career as a producer at local television stations.  Dawn has won many industry awards for her work including an Emmy Award for National Geographic’s “Next Generation of Explorers” campaign and Webby Award for Best Homepage.  Dawn is a graduate of Duquesne University. 

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    Aziz Abu Sarah

    Aziz Abu Sarah is a cultural educator, peace building entrepreneur, author and international speaker.  A Palestinian raised in Jerusalem, his work has earned him the titles of National Geographic Explorer and TED Fellow. Former Executive Director at the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution,

    George Mason University, Aziz has spoken at numerous international organizations, corporations and universities, including The United Nations, Nexus, European Parliament, Georgetown, Yale and Harvard. He has published articles in The New York Times, National Geographic, Haaretz, and The Jerusalem Post.  He regularly does analysis for CNN, Fox, and Al Jazeera. Aziz is the recipient of the Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East from the Institute of International Education, the European Parliament’s Silver Rose Award, the Eisenhower Medallion, and the Eliav-Sartawi Award for his Middle Eastern Journalism. He was named one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Strategic Centre in Jordan. He won the Intercultural innovation award from the UN Alliance of Civilizations and the BMW Group. He was also recognized by former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for his work in peace building. His journey from combatant seeking revenge to peacemaker seeking tolerance led to an innovative business method of peacemaking in conflict zones via the startup of Mejdi Tours. Aziz holds a BA in Tourism and Business Management from Latvia College.   

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    Donna Schoeller Sprague

    Donna Schoeller Sprague is a strategic market research executive with three decades of insights experience in media, travel, education, consumer goods and services, and the non-profit arena. Prior to founding her independent consultancy, Ms. Sprague served as Vice President, Consumer Insights for the National Geographic Society. There

    she managed research for all of the Society’s product and program divisions, consumer experience and digital usability research, strategic organizational studies, and studies for public release. She has led teams of research professionals producing and mining a wide variety of customer-centric data to deliver objective, strategic and tactical insights and recommendations to help businesses acquire, maintain, and engage customers; identify growth opportunities; increase revenues; communicate more effectively with consumers and other constituencies; increase the effectiveness of product/program development and marketing efforts; and measure organizational impact. Ms. Sprague is particularly interested in strategic research and branding work, new product development research, and projects related to children and families, education, and the environment. When not assisting clients with strategic research, she is collaborating with her two business partners at Old House Loves, a small garden and interior design company that she founded.

BOLD Presenters
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    Sue Hershkowitz-Coore


    Session Title:  Take Your Customer Service to the Next Level: Creating happy travelers and brand advocates

     

    Session Description: How good are you? Do your clients do business with you despite unintentional obstacles? What do they really think about your service? Keep your travelers engaged before and after their trip to create raving fans

    and brand advocates. From your customer facing employees to your email and brochure marketing, understand modern, practical communications techniques to improve customer service and drive revenue.  Count on being fully engaged as you hear fresh perspectives to elevate messaging and sky rocket success.

     

    Self Described:  Global Leader in Sales & Communication Training

     

    Biography:  Sue Hershkowitz-Coore is an internationally recognized communications specialist. She helps audiences increase their profitability, professionalism and productivity through improved communication.

    Her customized sessions engage, educate and entertain to ensure authentic communications and amazingly successful client relationships. Her clients include The Ritz-Carlton; The Savoy, London; Mandarin Oriental, Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton Hotels. Hershkowitz-Coore has authored two books, Power Sales Writing (McGraw-Hill) and How to Say It to Sell It! (Prentice Hall/Penguin). She is a past officer and board member of the National Speakers Association, a founding member of Meeting Professionals International’s Women’s Leadership Initiative, has been designated an MPI
    “Platinum” speaker for 9 consecutive years and named “Best in Class” by the Professional Convention Management Association. Hershkowitz-Coore received her BA from the University of Bridgeport, MC from Arizona State University and a Fellowship from UC Berkeley. Hershkowitz-Coore was a speaker at ETC 2014, 2015 & 2018 

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    Peggy Wallace Kennedy


    Session Title:  Seeking Higher Ground: Who we as travelers can become

     

    Session Description: Through our lives and travels near and far, let us see others, feel others and celebrate others, respecting them for who they are and who they can become. In so doing, we will recognize the nobility that lies in the heart of the every man, including ourselves.

     

    Self Described:  Civil Rights Activist

     

    Biography:  Peggy Wallace Kennedy is a Montgomery-based civil rights activist who is recognized as one of America’s most important voices for peace and reconciliation.  Born into one of the most powerful political families

    in the history of the American South with her father (George Wallace) and mother (Lurleen Wallace) both serving as Governors of Alabama, Peggy Wallace Kennedy now stands apart from her past. Her life’s story demonstrates the notion that while none of us can be held responsible for the circumstances of our birth, each of us will be held responsible for who we can become. With the creation of a new and different legacy for her and her two sons, Mrs. Kennedy challenges us to believe in ourselves so that we too can walk to higher ground. As a national speaker, Mrs. Kennedy has participated in programs at the National Archives,  Congressional Forums with Congressman John Lewis and on the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March,  joined Reverend Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol as a living testament to the power of change and reconciliation. Mrs. Kennedy’s own personal journey to redemption and her call for justice through reconciliation will one day be viewed as the most important and lasting public service of the Wallace/Kennedys of Alabama.

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    Britt Basel, Praveen Moman & Gerry Ellis


    Session Title: The Power of Local Knowledge: Communities at the top of the tourism paradigm

     

    Session Description: Baba Dioum said “In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we

    are taught”. Every day you are creating experiences for clients that have the power to transform their lives, their understanding of the world, and their role within it. You not only create experiences for your clients, you’re also impacting the places they visit. Is that impact a positive one? You are in the unique position to change peoples’ lives and literally make the world a better place with increased understanding, awareness, inspiration to be global citizens, and by benefiting the communities you work with – if you do it the right way. Are you?

     

    Self Described:  Philanthropists and Environmentalists

     

    Biography: Britt Basel is the Director of Ecothropic. Her work bridges socio-environmental science, educational travel, and change-making media.  Her fieldwork spans working with the United Nations Development Program and

    the Nature Conservancy to direct engagement with small-scale farmers and local resources managers in indigenous and rural communities around the world. She uses community-driven processes incorporating capacity building, ecosystem-based solutions, sustainable livelihoods, social cohesion, and appropriate technology that empower communities to address the challenges they face. Building on 12 years of experience with educational travel for National Geographic and others, Basel designs and runs accredited-programs bringing small groups to the front-lines of climate change to engage with the scientists and community members who are defining socio-ecological solutions. Building on her experience as a visual storyteller (publications include National Geographic Traveller India, the Washington Post, The Outdoor Journal and others) and as a photography and multi-media instructor for National Geographic Student Expeditions and Putney Student Travel, Basel is currently using film to nurture and embolden communities and youth to solve their own social, environmental, and natural resource problems. While she has experience in 42 countries, her work is currently focused in Melanesia, Cuba, and Mexico. Her not-so-secret passion is dancing – especially to afro-Cuban rhythms. Basel has a BA in Anthropology (Colorado University), an MSc in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources (Colorado State University), and an MSc in Conservation Leadership (El Colegio de la Frontera Sur).  

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    Biography: Praveen Moman is the founder and CEO of Volcanoes Safaris.  He founded Volcanoes Safaris in 1997 to create a unique eco-tourism model, centered around the threatened gorilla and chimpanzee populations

    of the western rift valley.  In 2009, he established the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT), a non-profit organization that aims to create long-term, self-sustaining projects that enrich the livelihoods of local communities and promote the conservation of the great apes. Praveen grew up in the wilds of Uganda, where the family was part of the pioneering Asian community that was central to opening up East Africa. He then moved to the UK as the family became refugees with the Amin expulsion. This was followed by a career as a political and policy adviser in the European Union and British Government.  He has been involved in and serves on many boards, including: Seva Mandir a respected Indian charity; the Imbabazi Foundation in Rwanda, which supports genocide orphans; the Advisory Boards of the Adventure Travel Trade Association in the USA and The Bodhi Tree Foundation; the Campaign for Arundells; Women Matter and an Executive Member of the Eastern Africa Association.  Praveen was educated in Uganda and at London and Cambridge University in the UK. He is a Robert Schuman Scholar of the European Parliament. 

  • Photo of Gerry Ellis

    Biography: Gerry Ellis is an award-winning environmental photographer/film-maker—including the prestigious Visa pour L’Image for his work on orphaned baby African elephants, Wild Orphans. He has documented the lives of endangered species, indigenous cultures

    and threatened ecosystems across every continent.  Gerry is currently working around the world on a multi-year education and public awareness project called Apes Like Us to heighten concern for survival of great apes. He is the creator and host of the YouTube channel Apes Like Us.  His work has encompassed numerous long-term projects for National Audubon, World Wildlife Fund, Chevron PNG, and the Australian government.  Gerry’s work has appeared in magazine publications including the Paris Match, Ranger Rick, New York Times, GEO and National Geographic, as well as multiple book projects, including The Outdoor Traveler’s Guide to Australia, and several titles in the highly acclaimed National Geographic Kids Book series. Gerry is founder and President of the education nonprofit GLOBIO.

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    Kathy Edersheim & J. Mara DelliPriscoli


    Session Title: Disruptors for Affinity Travel: Trends that are changing your business

     

    Session Description: Coming soon!

     

    Self-Described: Community Builder and Connector

     

    Biography: Kathy Edersheim is the President of Impactrics, a social enterprise that provides consulting to educational institutions to strengthen education through enhanced alumni engagement. Impactrics focuses on alumni engagement and community building

    to benefit the institution, the students, and the alumni with measurable impact. Prior to forming Impactrics, she was Senior Director of International Alumni Relations and Travel at the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA). Her responsibilities included managing Yale Educational Travel, which offers about 45 faculty-led trips a year. Her broader international responsibilities incorporated the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange (YaleGALE) which, since 2008, has taken alumni delegations to many countries in Europe, Africa and Asia to share best practices in alumni relations with universities, and the Yale Alumni Service Corps, which takes Yale alumni, family, and friends to work in underserved communities providing supplementary education programs, public health education, micro-business consulting, and light construction to support and inspire the communities. She writes and speaks extensively about alumni relations for institutions throughout the world. Prior to joining AYA, she worked as a Financial Advisor and marketing professional. She has an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a B.A. from Yale University.

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    Biography:  J. Mara DelliPriscoli, ETC Founder and President of Travel Learning Connections, Inc., convened the first ETC conference in 1987. Her vision was to facilitate the growth of a vibrant community of like-minded colleagues to

    annually—a travel think tank of sorts—to deal with current challenges and future opportunities in educational travel. Once technology had sufficiently advanced, 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.

Member Presenters
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    Fred Ackerman

    Fred Ackerman is the Chief Shepherding Officer for Black Sheep Adventures, the adventure travel business he founded in 2002. Ackerman is actively involved in every aspect of his business and still personally guides a select number of tours each year. Prior to starting BSA, he worked as a Trip Specialist for Backroads designing

    and leading bicycling and multisport trips around the US and Europe. Ackerman was formerly a strategy management consultant with Mars & Co. working mostly in Australia. After graduation, he worked for Schlumberger, a multinational oilfield services company, where he spent nine months on an offshore oil rig training to become an oil rig manager. His entrance into the travel industry was the result of a “quarter–life crisis” when he happily left the relative security of the corporate world to focus on travel. Ackerman holds a BS degree in mechanical engineering from MIT. Ackerman served three years on the ETC Executive Advisory Council and is now an active member of the Emeritus Council.

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    Rekha Athreya

    Rekha Athreya is the Manager of Alumni Marketing and Communications at Arizona State University and has many years of experience in working with nonprofits, government and schools. In her current role, she takes the lead in creating a strategic approach to marketing programs, initiatives and events at the ASU Alumni Association.

    Her expertise is in the areas of marketing, social media, campaign development, strategic messaging, analytics (channel effectiveness), development and evaluation. Her core strength is her ability to design or redefine organizational processes to improve efficiency. She specializes in analyzing data through the use of CRM systems, social media listening, Google analytics and e-mail analytics to aid in data driven decision making. In her career, Ms. Athreya has worked with numerous nonprofits including volunteer centers, nature preserves, housing organizations and charter schools. She holds an MBA from Charles Darwin University in Darwin, Australia with an emphasis in Marketing and Market Research. She recently graduated from Arizona State University’s College of Public Service and Community Solutions with a Masters in Public Administration (MPA). She is a writer at heart and a keen storyteller and gives voice to her creative interest by writing blogs on various topics.

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    Emily Casperson

    Emily Casperson is Senior Manager, Faculty Relations & Program Operations for Stanford University’s Travel/Study Program – a program that provides Stanford alumni with exceptional educational journeys around the world. Emily joined Travel/Study in 2000 and specializes in cultivating faculty leader relationships

    and managing complex program operations. In this capacity, she oversees the recruitment and stewardship of faculty leaders to ensure the highest level of educational engagement on Stanford tours. Additionally, Emily focuses on new program development and future trip strategy. With nearly two decades of tour leading and adventuring, Emily has guided Stanford travelers on over 60 educational programs across the globe to all seven continents – working closely with faculty leaders, tour operators and local guides. One of her most memorable trip moments was in the Kingdom of Tonga, where she led alumni on an exploration of the island nation which included the opportunity to snorkel with humpback whales. Prior to joining Stanford, Emily was a Director of Programs & Travel at a cultural global exchange program. Emily received a B.A. in Russian Language and Russian Area Studies from Saint Olaf College. Her home base is San Francisco where in her free time she enjoys hiking and improv acting.

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    J. Mara DelliPriscoli

    J. Mara DelliPriscoli, President, Travel Learning Connections, Inc., is the Founder and architect of the Educational Travel Consortium (formerly Nonprofits in Travel Conference). With this conference 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 35 years of experience in the tourism industry, DelliPriscoli has worked directly within most sectors of the travel industry including marketing, sales, tour and hotel operations, and transportation, trade and government research firms. DelliPriscoli lectures, writes and works with cultural, community and conservation tourism development projects in the United States and abroad. She consults in the field of educational, community and special-interest tourism development for a variety of U.S. and international organizations. DelliPriscoli has a passion for exploration, blue-water sailing, language, ethnic music, dance and photography. DelliPriscoli holds an M.Ed. in Tourism Development from the George Washington University and a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University.

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    Todd Duncan

    Todd Duncan  is the Director of Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness for the Sierra Club where he manages operational risk and crisis response.  Prior to this role, he served two years as the Director of Safety and Student Life for the School for Field Studies (SFS), a university international semester abroad provider which offers

    hands-on environmental learning to students. He has also served with the Wildlife Conservation Society as manager for Glover’s Reef Marine Research Station in Belize.  Todd has guided and  directed adventure, research, and education programs on six continents.  He is a native of Montana and graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder. 

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    Kathy Edersheim

    Kathy Edersheim is the President of Impactrics, an international alumni relations consulting company. Prior to forming Impactrics, she was Senior Director of International Alumni Relations and Travel at the Yale Alumni Association. Her responsibilities included managing Yale Educational Travel, which offers about 45 faculty-led

    trips a year. Her broader international responsibilities incorporated the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange (YaleGALE) which, since 2008, has taken alumni delegations to many countries in Europe, Africa and Asia to share best practices in alumni relations with universities, and the Yale Alumni Service Corps, which takes Yale alumni, family, and friends to work in underserved communities providing supplementary education programs, public health education, micro-business consulting, and light construction to support and inspire the communities. Prior to joining Yale, Ms. Edersheim served as President of the Yale Club of New York City, worked as a Financial Consultant and as a marketing professional. She has an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a B.A. from Yale University.

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    Shannon Fuller

    Shannon Fuller is the Assistant Director of Conservation Travel at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois. She oversees the development and implementation of the Shedd Adventures Travel Program working collaboratively with internal partners in Development, Marketing, PR, Conservation,  as well as external travel operators

    to create and market mission-driven trips to the Shedd’s current and prospective donor audiences. She also manages the aquarium’s citizen science travel opportunities aboard their research vessel located in the Bahamas. Shannon started at Shedd six years ago and prior to her role in the Conservation department, worked in Marketing as Brand Manager. Shannon’s passion for aquatic life and experience as a SCUBA instructor led her to Shedd. She is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago.

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    Rob Fure

    Rob Fure is Director of Lifelong Learning at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. While teaching American literature and modern poetry at Washington and Lee, Fure taught in the University’s Institute for Executives, a humanities program for corporate executives. Inspired by such opportunities for lifelong learning, Fure proposed

    a new department for the creation and management of continuing education programs for adults and pre-college youths. The office was reorganized as the Office of Lifelong Learning in 2018. He is irrepressibly enthusiastic on the subject of educational programming for adult learners. In 1982, he established the Washington and Lee Alumni College, which features educational programming for alumni and friends both on campus and abroad. Fure received his secondary and collegiate education in Illinois and Michigan, and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in English at the University of California, Berkeley. He served as President of the Association of Collegiate Conference and Events Directors’ International. He also served on the ETC Executive Advisory Council. He is now a member of the ETC Emeritus Council and has frequently spoken at the annual conference. 

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    Andrea Holbrook

    Andrea Holbrook is President of Holbrook Travel, Inc. Her start in the travel industry began at a young age, accompanying her parents on expeditions such as hiking the Inca Trail and butterfly-collecting with lepidopterists in rainforests around the world. After graduating from Columbia University with a major in English literature

    in 1991, she spent almost two years working in Costa Rica at Selva Verde Lodge and Private Reserve—a nature sanctuary in the Sarapiqui region, founded by her family in 1985. Andrea stewards Holbrook and Selva Verde Lodge and is President of the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center, an organization that strives to connect communities and sustainable development through educational programs and rural tourism in Costa Rica. She also serves on the Board of Climb for Cancer and recently joined the Board of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), an organization dedicated to increasing the positive global impact of responsible tourism. Andrea feels fortunate to play an active role in connecting cultures, supporting knowledge and appreciation for biodiversity, and finding innovative ways to foster responsible travel. She lives in Gainesville, Florida with her husband and high-school-aged daughter.

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    Mary Ann Hunt

    Mary Ann Hunt is the Director of the Travel-Learn program at Tufts University. Prior to her arrival at Tufts in September, 2017, she worked at Dartmouth College in the Alumni Travel program for ten years. She also worked at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College from 2000-2007, where she managed public events

    and oversaw exhibition logistics. She has a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in Art History, with specializations in ancient art, archeology, and classical civilizations, and she is currently working on a Master’s degree in Creative Writing with a concentration on travel and memoir writing. 

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    Christine Kessler

    Christine Kessler is a Trip Manager with The Nature Conservancy’s Donor Engagement Team and is currently based out of Portland, Oregon, where she designs and manages customized, programmatic trips for Nature Conservancy supporters and prospects. Christine began her career at The Conservancy eleven years ago.  Prior to

    joining TNC, she spent five years at National Geographic Television in Washington, DC. She spends her free time training for overnight relay races, making sculptures out of aluminum foil, and staying inside to read. Her wine club turned into a book club, not vice versa!  Christine volunteers for Columbia Land Trust’s Emerging Leaders Council (ELC), a group of young professionals charged with growing the next generation of conservationists.  She graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology. 

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    Emilie LaRosa

    Emilie C. K. LaRosa is the Assistant Director for Penn Alumni Travel and Education at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) where she is responsible for all alumni tour marketing, development, customer service, and operations. Since she began at Penn in 2012, the program has expanded to serve more than 400 travelers

    on 25 trips annually with robust educational offerings. Penn Alumni Travel is committed to collaborative and engaging tours and works closely with the University’s 12 schools and centers, including the Wharton Business School and the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Prior to her work at Penn, LaRosa was a development officer at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and a museum educator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Phillips Collection in Washington, D. C., and the Cloisters in New York City. In addition to her travel expertise, LaRosa has interests in: art and architecture, medieval history, photography, and the perfect latte. LaRosa earned both her B.A. and M.A. in Art History from the University of Notre Dame and the George Washington University, respectively.

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    Rumit Mehta

    Rumit Mehta is the founder of Immersion Journeys. An avid thrill seeker, Rumit plays a pivotal role in developing custom itineraries for luxury and affinity travel clients leveraging a wealth of knowledge and professional networks in both Africa and South Asia to design complex itineraries. With his deep knowledge of the hospitality industry,

    he is frequently invited as a guest speaker at business and academic forums. Rumit is a founding member and former board member and advisor of the Safari Professionals of the Americas (Safari Pros) and past-Vice President of the Association of the Promotion of Tourism in Africa (APTA)– Northeast Chapter.  Born in Kenya of Indian descent & raised in Tanzania, Rumit has a love for Africa & South Asia that is unmatched. Rumit grew up leading safaris for friends and colleagues.  Originally trained as an architect, Rumit worked in the design and construction industry for 13 years while at the same time dabbling in travel planning for select clients. Very soon, the travel bug caught on and after much deliberation he decided to do it on a full time basis.  Rumit has an M.Arch from the Savannah College of Art & Design and an MBA from Pace University.  

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    Janet Moore

    Janet Moore founded Distant Horizons in 1985 to combine her passion for travel with her love of learning. Since its first program for the Denver Art Museum in 1986 to China, Distant Horizons has operated hundreds of customized programs for institutions including Harvard University, Johns Hopkins and the Nature Conservancy.

    Many of Distant Horizons’ programs are aimed at donor groups providing a high level of access and curated experiences. Prior to starting Distant Horizons, Janet obtained a Master’s in Public Policy at the University of Michigan. During her undergraduate and graduate studies, she worked as a tour manager for the American Council for International Studies, organizing High School programs for students and teachers in Europe. In 1983 she moved to Los Angeles to open their California office. For the last several years she has been voted as part of the “A-LIST Travel Operators” by Travel and Leisure Magazine. She has contributed to NPR’s “The World” and is frequently interviewed by prominent national newspapers on travel issues. Janet lives by the ocean in Long Beach, CA and is married to physician David Larson and has four children. Janet has held numerous board positions including the Downtown Long Beach Alliance and the Intellectual Virtues Academy.

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    Kelly Morgante

    Kelly Morgante is the Assistant Director of Alumni Travel for the Penn State Alumni Association. She started with this organization in 2006 and joined the alumni travel division in 2007. In her current position, she holds a key role in the development, marketing,

    and delivery of the 30+ annual trips Penn State crafts for Alumni seeking new experiences and adventure. Her work with the Engagement Unit under the umbrella of Development allows her to observe the multi-faceted effects travel has on the organization, university, and its’ constituents. Prior to this, Kelly’s career in the travel industry entailed time working in leisure travel, offering independent travel as well as group trips, as a cruise specialist, arranging military travel under official government orders, and private business clients.

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    Kristina Nemeth

    Kristina Nemeth is the Travel Director for the Commonwealth Club of California, the nation’s oldest public affairs forum, based in San Francisco. Since 2008 she has grown the travel program to increase member participation, revenue and donor cultivation, while focusing on implementing

    the Club’s mission into every trip. Prior to working for The Commonwealth Club, Nemeth was an Assistant Director/Program Coordinator for Stanford Travel Study for four years. She also worked on the operational side of the business as the Educational Program Manager for World Explorer Cruises, where she created onboard programming and field seminars for passengers traveling in Alaska and Central America. Before working in the travel industry, she was a producer of educational and interactive websites and CDs. While always an avid traveler, in 2000 she embarked on a 4-month solo-backpacking trip across Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. Upon her return she decided to make travel her next career. She loves photography, live music, camping, hiking and apparently those harder to get to destinations like Siberia, North Korea, Guyana and Iran. One day she hopes to get to Maine or Hawaii. She is a graduate of Northwestern University.

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    Shelley Norton

    Shelley Norton is the Director of Travel for Texas Exes – the alumni association of The University of Texas. Prior to her current role, Shelley worked for multiple travel companies as a Cruise Director, Tour Director, and Director of Sales. She has worked in the travel industry since 1996, and her travels have taken her to over 85 countries

    and all 7 continents. Some of her favorite destinations are Southeast Asia, France, and Egypt. She enjoys home renovation projects, running, and drinking wine with friends. Shelley is a graduate of the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University. 

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    Susan Ortiz

    Susan Ortiz, Administrator for Princeton Journeys, is responsible for passenger services, marketing, sales, and administrative processes for Princeton’s alumni travel program. Prior to joining Princeton Journeys in 2016, Susan taught at a charter school in Washington, DC, at a private school in an Ecuadorian coastal town, and at two high

    schools in Tokushima City, Japan, through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. Susan enjoys foreign languages, great movies, and spending time with her one-year-old son. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Miami and a master’s in global, international and comparative history from Georgetown University.

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    Pauline Ranieri

    Pauline Ranieri has been in the travel industry for more than 35 years. She began her career as a Travel Director with Contiki Holidays–a leader in the 18- to 35-year-old travel market–leading tours around the United States and Europe. She then moved into the position of Operations Manager for the U.S. market. Ranieri joined UW Alumni Tours

    in 1991 and tripled the size of the program by the end of the 90s. It is now a leading alumni travel program offering a variety of affinity tours supported by more than 1000 travelers. She holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Montana. Ranieri served on the ETC Executive Advisory Council representing the interests of the State University Alumni Travel Program constituents and is currently an ETC Emeritus Council Member. Her interests include photography, hiking and beadwork.

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    Tony Rango

    Tony Rango has been a staff member of the Sierra Club since 1992 and currently serves as the Director of National Outings and Program Safety. The National Outings program offers more than 300 domestic and international trips annually, led exclusively by volunteers. In 2000, Tony created and developed the Sierra Club’s

    national training program for outing leaders. Since then, the program has trained and fielded thousands of leaders and volunteers. He initially got involved with the Sierra Club because of his job, but he soon began leading for the program and training future leaders. He has led numerous Sierra Club trips including backpacking, rafting, biking, kayaking and trekking trips. Tony currently serves on the ETC Executive Advisory Council representing national non-profit organizations and advising on the Risk Management sessions.  

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    Beth Ray-Schroeder

    Beth Ray-Schroeder is Director of Duke Alumni Travels in the Office of Alumni Affairs at Duke University. At Duke since 2005, Ray-Schroeder has also directed alumni education initiatives and priorities of the alumni travel program. She now organizes more than 40 educational travel programs annually, which comprise vendor

    itineraries and in-house customized programs showcasing unique Duke entities and are led by Duke faculty. Prior to coming to Duke, Ray-Schroeder lived and worked in Spain and Germany for 17 years. She held positions as a software developer in Madrid, as international systems project manager at Deutsche Lufthansa AG in Frankfurt am Main, and as an organizational consultant in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and the equivalent degree in Psychology from Duke University, and a M.S. in Organizational Psychology from Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. Ray-Schroeder is currently serving on the ETC Executive Advisory Council representing the interests of alumni association travel planners in the southeastern United States. 

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    Steve Ridgway

    Steve Ridgway is Owner and President of Criterion Travel, a tour operator specializing in educational travel. He has been a professional tour operator for over 40 years, focusing for the past 30 years on affinity travel. He held a variety of management positions during twelve years with Maupintour, a wholesale tour operator

    that for Ridgway’s last ten years was honored in the annual Travel/Holiday magazine reader poll as the best international tour operator in the U.S. At the AARP/NRTA Travel Service he was responsible for a staff of 120 providing travel programs for 40,000 travelers annually. Prior to becoming owner of Criterion Travel, for 17 years Ridgway helped lead High Country Passage, another tour operator specializing in high-quality educational travel programs for prestigious nonprofit organizations. He currently shuttles between Criterion’s administrative office in Palo Alto, California and his home in Beaverton, Oregon where he keeps an eye on his three young grandchildren. Ridgway is a graduate of the University of Kansas and a proud Jayhawk. He joined the ETC Executive Advisory Council in 2014 and represents the ETC U.S. Tour Operators constituents. 

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    Timothy Ryan

    Timothy Ryan is the Director of Product Development for TCS World Travel and is responsible for designing and developing innovative multi-stop “around-the-world themed” luxury jet expeditions on seven continents. Prior to his current role, he spent

    nine years as an Expedition Leader and Field Staff for TCS and National Geographic Expeditions by private jet. In addition to luxury travel management, Ryan has more than 25 years of travel operations experience in more than 100 countries managing a diverse portfolio of clients and leading on-the-ground operations teams in the execution of corporate meetings, sports and sponsorship hospitality management events, and incentive travel programs. Previously, he has served as the Director of Operations for Balboa Meetings and Events in San Diego, the owner of On Site Santa Fe Destination Management in Santa Fe, NM and Director of Event Ticketing for Maritz and Octagon sports marketing agencies in Greece, Italy and Brazil. He was editor of an award winning travel blog and winner of a Society of Professional Journalism Award for photography and writing. Ryan is a graduate of Oklahoma State University.

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    Bridget St. Clair

    Bridget St. Clair is the Executive Manager Princeton Journeys, Princeton University. Bridget brought her extensive background in both international experiential learning and higher education program administration to the Princeton Journeys team in 2015. Previously, she served as a senior program officer for the Foreign Fulbright

    Program at the Institute of International Education in New York, where she was responsible for all aspects of program operations. Prior to her tenure at IIE, she worked at Travel Weekly magazine in Sydney, Australia. An intrepid explorer, enthusiastic runner, amateur yogi and self-professed ‘old soul,’ Bridget is an alumna of the University of Miami and holds a Master’s in International Studies from the University of Limerick in Ireland. 

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    Carl Shephard

    Carl Shephard, Founder of Insider Expeditions, began his service in enrichment travel in South America with a local tour operator, leading cultural exchanges, service projects, and innovative travel itineraries throughout the region. Shephard then moved to Japan and worked for Peace Boat, eventually serving as their Director

    of Program Development for international educational voyages. His field programs at Peace Boat focused on meaningful interactions and cultural exchanges with local communities, service efforts, and unique educational and enrichment opportunities for passengers while in country. From these efforts, Shephard was recruited to design the in-country academic field programs across 14 countries for The Scholar Ship, a semester abroad program that brought students from around the world to live and study together on a seafaring voyage. As a political appointee and United States diplomat, Shephard also had the opportunity to organize and lead trade missions and business delegations for membership organizations to more than 30 countries. Shephard graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University and earned a Masters in International Relations while serving as a World Peace Fellow in Tokyo. He speaks Spanish and Japanese. 

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    Joseph Small

    Joseph Small is President of AHI Travel located in Chicago, IL. AHI specializes in educational travel for university, college and other nonprofit organizations. Small has worked for AHI for more than 35 years and served in a variety of capacities, including Travel Director,

    Operations, Promotion, Marketing and Sales. Small served as Founding President of the popular Alumni Campus Abroad division. He is a graduate of Columbia College and received an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois. Small served on the ETC Executive Advisory Council and currently a member of the ETC Emeritus Council.

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    Frances Stanfield

    Frances Stanfield joined Emory University in 2003 and is the Senior Business Manager for the Office of Alumni and Engagement managing operational budgets and logistics.  In 2011 Stanfield acquired the Emory travel program on an interim basis and permanently by 2012. She was tasked with quickly coming up-to-speed with the travel industry;

    working with existing travel partners each with their own business practices; supporting Emory travelers; and providing continual customer service and record keeping needed to move forward a robust program already performing and thriving since the 1980s. In 2016 oversight of the Miller-Ward alumni house was added to her portfolio rounding out her fiscal responsibilities to the association. She enjoys spending time with her new grandson; staying physically fit; and enjoying the empty nest life with her husband Reginald. Stanfield is a graduate of Shorter University with a BS in Business Management.

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    Dan Stypa

    Dan Stypa is the Associate Director of Alumni Programs at Rice University (Houston, TX).  Stypa is responsible for managing the Rice Alumni Traveling Owls program, as well as all other lifelong learning and international engagement initiatives.  In his time at Rice, the Traveling Owls has doubled the number of trips offered

    and program participation has grown over 100%.  He has led groups to places such as Tanzania, China, Cuba, Italy, the Baltic Sea, and more.  Additionally, he manages affinity groups to help engage alumni in meaningful programs and activities that connect alumni and friends back to Rice University.  Prior to his current role, Stypa worked at the University of South Florida and coordinated faculty engagement programming for on-campus residential students.  Stypa has presented at regional and statewide CASE Conferences and serves on the Greater Houston Partnership Commission.  He is passionate about dogs; he has two of his own – Frieda and Knightro – and is an active volunteer with K-9 Rescue Angels – a nonprofit dog rescue committed to rescuing and rehoming dogs in the greater Houston area.  Stypa is originally from Ohio and has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Bowling Green State University (OH) and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from the University of Tennessee. Stypa became a member of the Executive Advisory Council in 2016 and he represents Southern region private schools. 

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    Lauren Summer

    Lauren Summers is the Senior Director of Lifelong Learning and Travel at the Yale Alumni Association. Prior to that she was the Director of Marketing for Visit Wales in North America, the official government sponsored tourism board for Wales. She has more than 18 years of experience

    including marketing, public relations, event planning and business management. At Visit Wales, she manages trade sales and marketing, as well as PR and consumer campaigns for the United States and Canada. Prior to this position, Summers was the general manager of a small hotel in Cambridge, Mass., where she worked while completing her master’s at Harvard Divinity School. At Harvard, she studied the healing traditions of indigenous world religions while playing host to the scholars, researchers, academics and activists from around the world who stayed in her hotel. As a result, she discovered her passion for the tourism and hospitality industries. Summers had previously founded and run her own communications agency based in New York City. Her clients included entertainment, corporate and nonprofit organizations such as Levi’s, Disney and the international Acapulco Film Festival, along with a number of Grammy Award winning artists, Oscar winning performers, bestselling authors and other celebrities. In addition to her M.A., Summers holds an undergraduate degree in Public Relations and Marketing from Hampton University. Summers currently serves on the ETC Executive Advisory Council representing the interests of the Travel Planner constituents.

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    MJ Swan

    Matthew James (MJ) Swan is the Director of Business Development for Adventure Canada where he is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and marketing strategies. With over sixty expeditions all over the world—and seventeen years of field experience—under his belt, MJ is highly experienced in all aspects of expedition cruising.

    MJ travels widely to understand diverse cultures, connect with people, and nurture his love for the natural world. Safety and guest experience are his two primary concerns, and he brings his passion for all things wild to bear on trips. His favourite places to travel are the polar regions, and has led dozens of trips to the Arctic and Antarctic. Born and raised in southern Ontario, MJ was immediately introduced to an adventurous lifestyle by a family of avid explorers. He loves the outdoors and has been infatuated with all things wild from a young age. He first travelled to the Arctic at the age of two—an experience that ignited his love for the North.  MJ is a graduate of Humber College in Toronto, Canada. 

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    Katie Jo Walter

    Katie Jo Walter is Director of International Alumni Academic Engagement at the University of Oregon where she is responsible for planning and promotion of customized educational tours for UO alumni. Prior to her current role, Walter spent several years developing and facilitating experiential learning programming

    in India. From 2015 – 2017, Walter helped diversify and expand experiential program offerings at IndoGenius, a New Delhi-based educational company with partners including the U.S. Department of State, the British Council, Macquarie University, and University of Kansas. From 2013 to 2015, Walter innovated curricular, extracurricular and experiential programming for a direct enrollment program at Manipal University, India. In 2012, Walter was Resident Director for the U.S. State Department’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth in Pune, India, and in 2011 she co-led the Lewis & Clark College India semester abroad program. She has been awarded a Fulbright Nehru research grant and a Kathryn Wasserman Davis 100 Project for Peace Grant.  She enjoys yoga and meditation, frequent visits to the beach with her husband Bob and her dog Kali, and participating in a variety of volunteer activities supporting social service organizations. Walter is a graduate of Lewis & Clark College (B.A.) and SIT Graduate Institute (M.A.).

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    Debbie Vargo

    Debbie Vargo has been the Director of Alumni Tours for The Ohio State University Alumni Association since 2008 after beginning as the manager in 2001. She and her two colleagues manage approximately 30 trips per year performing all aspects of the registration and communications processes with alumni travelers to maximize affinity-building and

    working with numerous tour operators in on-the-ground execution.  Prior to Alumni Tours, she spent the first 14 years of her career working on behalf of college students, including six years as director of student recruitment for the Alumni Association. During her tenure with Alumni Tours, she has been to numerous, amazing countries with experiences ranging from cheering on the Iditarod in Alaska, to appreciating cherry blossom season in Japan, to shopping for stackable dolls in Russia, to eating haggis in Scotland, to drinking Chianti in Italy, and so much more! Debbie lives in Columbus with her husband Bill, dog Piper, and enjoys gardening, traveling, reading, and a good laugh. Her life is greatly enriched by her family and friends. Debbie graduated from both Ohio University and The Ohio State University.

Guest Presenters
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    Britt Basel

    Britt Basel is the Director of Ecothropic. Her work bridges socio-environmental science, educational travel, and change-making media.  Her fieldwork spans working with the United Nations Development Program and the Nature Conservancy to direct engagement with small-scale farmers and local resources managers in indigenous

    and rural communities around the world. She uses community-driven processes incorporating capacity building, ecosystem-based solutions, sustainable livelihoods, social cohesion, and appropriate technology that empower communities to address the challenges they face. Building on 12 years of experience with educational travel for National Geographic and others, Basel designs and runs accredited-programs bringing small groups to the front-lines of climate change to engage with the scientists and community members who are defining socio-ecological solutions. Building on her experience as a visual storyteller (publications include National Geographic Traveller India, the Washington Post, The Outdoor Journal and others) and as a photography and multi-media instructor for National Geographic Student Expeditions and Putney Student Travel, Basel is currently using film to nurture and embolden communities and youth to solve their own social, environmental, and natural resource problems. While she has experience in 42 countries, her work is currently focused in Melanesia, Cuba, and Mexico. Her not-so-secret passion is dancing – especially to afro-Cuban rhythms. Basel has a BA in Anthropology (Colorado University), an MSc in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources (Colorado State University), and an MSc in Conservation Leadership (El Colegio de la Frontera Sur). 

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    Susan Borke

    Susan Borke is the Principal of BorkeWorks where she lives her passion by helping people and companies develop as effective negotiators. Susan spent almost three decades in business and legal affairs at the National Geographic Society, where she first taught negotiation skills.  One of her primary internal clients was Travel Tours and she

    worked on the launch of the National Geographic Lodges program. Susan believes “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” She first used this simple principle as a financially-strapped college student who needed to find a way to get course credit for an unpaid internship, without paying tuition. It was one of her first successful negotiations and helped to spark her interest in teaching effective negotiating techniques to business people. Susan loves to travel and is proud of having set foot on all seven continents. Susan volunteers as an ESL teacher for the Washington English Center. Her certified Therapy Dog is a big hit with his tricks during bi-weekly visits to a local assisted living facility. Susan graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University Beasley School of Law. 

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    Samantha Bray

    Samantha Bray is the Managing Director for the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), providing administrative, research, and consulting support for a wide-range of global sustainable tourism projects. She is a strong advocate for sustaining and enhancing our world’s cultures and environments through travel and using tourism as a mechanism

    for community empowerment. Prior to her current role, Samantha spent a number of years in theater management, which cultivated her interest in sharing cultural, historical, and art offerings through tourism. After a time working as a vacation planner at Walt Disney World Resorts, she moved into the world of responsible travel, serving as a consultant for the American Society of Travel Agent’s (ASTA) Green Program and National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations. Samantha resides in Charleston, South Carolina, and is an advisor for the DC-based Destination Stewardship Center and Bodhi Surf + Yoga in Costa Rica. She is also a trained Climate Reality Leader. Samantha was one of the first students of geotourism through her undergraduate program at Missouri State University and holds a Master of Tourism Administration with a concentration in Sustainable Destination Management from The George Washington University. 

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    Diana Lee Crew

    Diana Lee Crew is currently a consultant to nonprofits and for profit educational organizations focusing on developing strategic relationships and consulting in a variety of capacities. Some of her more recent work includes sales consulting and product implementation training with StudySync, an innovative reading and writing Educational Technology company

    ; photography and video work, including recent ETC conferences. From September 2005 to January 2010 she served as Director of Strategic Partnerships with Immersion Learning in Mystic, CT, which was founded by oceanographer and explorer Dr. Robert Ballard as a state-of-the-art communications and robotics technology program bringing yearly ocean-going research expeditions live to school kids, museums, science centers, aquariums, and participating Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Previously, she worked at the JASON Foundation of Education, where she spent over nine years as its Director of Sales for a leading science distance learning program. Prior to JASON, she was with the Denver Museum of Natural History for 18 years, where she developed and directed its museum travel and youth education programs, managed an active travel program, and was an institutional co-founding sponsor of the Nonprofits in Travel Conference, now evolved to ETC, and co-designer of the early Nonprofits in Travel Conference agendas. She also served as President of the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association. She holds an M.A. in Public Information and Communication from the University of Denver and a B.A. from Scripps College in Claremont, CA.

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    Janet Fergueson

    Dr. Janet Ferguson is the Executive Director of the Lifelong Learning Centre, Bermuda College. Prior to her current role, Dr. Ferguson designed and facilitated workshops and learning events for a wide cross-section of private and public sector clients in the United Kingdom and Bermuda. In addition to her current work in curriculum development

    and administration for late-life learning, she is interested in the exploration of the distinctive nature of the learning and developmental experiences of mature adults. Dr. Ferguson has taught extensively in multiple jurisdictions and holds graduate qualifications in Commonwealth Area Studies, Marketing and Teaching and Course Design for Higher Education. Her doctoral degree is in the area of Continuing Education (Warwick, 1998). 

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    John Francis

    John Francis recently retired as Vice President for Research, Conservation and Exploration at National Geographic Society. A marine biologist and National Geographic grantee, John began his career studying behavioral ecology of seals and sea lions on remote islands in North and South America. A film on his work led to his role as a producer

    of wildlife films, covering everything from chimps and tigers to whales and sharks. From that he took on the grant making side of National Geographic supporting explorers around the world and pushing their stories through diverse NG media. Outside of his National Geographic Society responsibilities, Francis served on boards and committees for the US National Park System, the Commission for Education and Communications of the IUCN, and the US National Commission for UNESCO. He now serves on Sustainable Travel International and the Congo Basin Institute boards and advises the NG/Lindblad Fund supporting marine projects visited by shipboard travelers. John has a deep commitment to communication of the potent ties between humans and the rest of the natural world and is currently focused on citizen science and sustainable tourism as two key engines for change. John holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Behavioral Ecology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. 

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    Rodney Gould

    Rodney E. Gould is a partner at the law firm of Smith Duggan Buell & Rufo in Lincoln, MA. Mr. Gould has practiced in the travel law arena for over 40 years.  He represents tour operators and other travel professionals located in many countries, as well as trade associations, in all aspects of travel-related law.  He has taught at various

    Massachusetts area law schools as an adjunct professor.  He has written and lectured extensively on travel-related issues before numerous groups and associations.  He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, several United States Courts of Appeals, many United States District Courts, and the courts of Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and California, and he has litigated travel-related cases in numerous states as well as serving as an expert witness in many travel litigations throughout the country.  Mr. Gould graduated from Columbia Law School magna cum laude, was an editor of the Law Review and a James Kent Scholar. He graduated from Colby College, cum laude, after being elected to Phi Beta Kappa. 

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    Catherine Hanson-Stamp

    Catherine Hansen-Stamp is an attorney in private practice in Golden, Colorado. She advises recreation, adventure, sport and/or experiential program providers and related organizations on law, liability and risk management issues. Hansen-Stamp speaks and writes frequently on these issues, both regionally and nationally. She has presented at

    the Annual Wilderness Risk Manager’s Conference since its inception in 1994, and is currently on the Steering Committee. She co-authors articles regularly (with Charles ‘Reb’ Gregg) for American Camp Association’s CampLine. She has authored a variety of other publications as well. Her clients have included camps, schools, outfitters and guides, dude ranches, ropes and challenge course builders and facilitators, tripping programs, resort owners, science and environmental programs, competitive event sponsors and others. Hansen-Stamp graduated from The Colorado College in 1981 and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Wyoming in 1985. She is a member of both the Wyoming and Colorado Bar Associations and currently serves on the University of Wyoming College of Law Advisory Board. 

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    Jake Haupert

    Jake Haupert is the Co-Founder of The Transformational Travel Council where he is leading a global shift in travel, illuminating how traveling inside-out revitalizes travel as a force for good.  Jake has a deep appreciation for the power of travel and its ability to incite change by breaking down the walls within and between us.

    As an inspirational agent of change, Jake calls on the TTC’s Modern Art of Ancient Travel to raise consciousness and foster global citizenry, communication, understanding, stewardship, unity, and real human connection.   Jake also co-founded Explorer X, where he applies the TTC’s research and guiding practices into crafting journeys into the unknown, inspiring more meaning, purpose, and intention in travel. Previously, Jake founded Evergreen Escapes, an award-winning adventure travel company renowned for deeply connecting travelers to nature on guided adventures throughout the Pacific Northwest. Haupert is based out of the Adventure Hub & Winery in Seattle and is proud to be a Puget Sound Business Journal 40 under 40 alumni, and a graduate of Southern Oregon University. 

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    Sue Hershkowitz-Coore

    Sue Hershkowitz-Coore is an internationally recognized communications specialist. She helps audiences increase their profitability, professionalism and productivity through improved communication. Her customized sessions engage, educate and entertain to ensure authentic communications and amazingly successful client relationships. Her clients

    include The Ritz-Carlton; The Savoy, London; Mandarin Oriental, Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton Hotels. Hershkowitz-Coore has authored two books, Power Sales Writing (McGraw-Hill) and How to Say It to Sell It! (Prentice Hall/Penguin). She is a past officer and board member of the National Speakers Association, a founding member of Meeting Professionals International’s Women’s Leadership Initiative, has been designated an MPI “Platinum” speaker for 9 consecutive years and named “Best in Class” by the Professional Convention Management Association. Hershkowitz-Coore received her BA from the University of Bridgeport, MC from Arizona State University and a Fellowship from UC Berkeley. Hershkowitz-Coore was a speaker at ETC 2014, 2015 & 2018.

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    Peggy Wallace Kennedy

    Peggy Wallace Kennedy is a Montgomery-based civil rights activist who is recognized as one of America’s most important voices for peace and reconciliation.  Born into one of the most powerful political families in the history of the American South with her father (George Wallace) and mother (Lurleen Wallace) both serving as Governors

    of Alabama, Peggy Wallace Kennedy now stands apart from her past. Her life’s story demonstrates the notion that while none of us can be held responsible for the circumstances of our birth, each of us will be held responsible for who we can become. With the creation of a new and different legacy for her and her two sons, Mrs. Kennedy challenges us to believe in ourselves so that we too can walk to higher ground. As a national speaker, Mrs. Kennedy has participated in programs at the National Archives,  Congressional Forums with Congressman John Lewis and on the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March,  joined Reverend Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol as a living testament to the power of change and reconciliation. Mrs. Kennedy’s own personal journey to redemption and her call for justice through reconciliation will one day be viewed as the most important and lasting public service of the Wallace/Kennedys of Alabama.

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    Praveen Moman

    Praveen Moman is the founder and CEO of Volcanoes Safaris.  He founded Volcanoes Safaris in 1997 to create a unique eco-tourism model, centered around the threatened gorilla and chimpanzee populations of the western rift valley.  In 2009, he established the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT), a non-profit organization that aims

    to create long-term, self-sustaining projects that enrich the livelihoods of local communities and promote the conservation of the great apes. Praveen grew up in the wilds of Uganda, where the family was part of the pioneering Asian community that was central to opening up East Africa. He then moved to the UK as the family became refugees with the Amin expulsion. This was followed by a career as a political and policy adviser in the European Union and British Government.  He has been involved in and serves on many boards, including: Seva Mandir a respected Indian charity; the Imbabazi Foundation in Rwanda, which supports genocide orphans; the Advisory Boards of the Adventure Travel Trade Association in the USA and The Bodhi Tree Foundation; the Campaign for Arundells; Women Matter and an Executive Member of the Eastern Africa Association.  Praveen was educated in Uganda and at London and Cambridge University in the UK. He is a Robert Schuman Scholar of the European Parliament.

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    Dawn Rodney

    Dawn Rodney is Vice President Innovation and Chief Marketing Officer for the National Wildlife Federation.  She is responsible for leading innovation, amplifying brand awareness, creating new revenue streams, developing content, and transforming the organization’s current catalog and licensing divisions. Prior to joining the National Wildlife

    Federation, Dawn was Senior Vice President of Marketing and Brand for the National Geographic Society.  Dawn was responsible for leading the global brand, engaging digital natives across the world on all platforms, launching new digital products, and driving awareness of National Geographic’s science, education, and storytelling priorities.  While at National Geographic, Dawn also led strategic marketing and creative for the National Geographic Channels.  She was integral to building and launching NGC, Nat Geo WILD, and Nat Geo Mundo – transforming them from start-up networks to global, world premiere brands.  Dawn also had various supervising producing positions at Animal Planet and Discovery Health.  She started her career as a producer at local television stations.  Dawn has won many industry awards for her work including an Emmy Award for National Geographic’s “Next Generation of Explorers” campaign and Webby Award for Best Homepage.  Dawn is a graduate of Duquesne University. 

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    Aziz Abu Sarah

    Aziz Abu Sarah is a cultural educator, peace building entrepreneur, author and international speaker.  A Palestinian raised in Jerusalem, his work has earned him the titles of National Geographic Explorer and TED Fellow. Former Executive Director at the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution,

    George Mason University, Aziz has spoken at numerous international organizations, corporations and universities, including The United Nations, Nexus, European Parliament, Georgetown, Yale and Harvard. He has published articles in The New York Times, National Geographic, Haaretz, and The Jerusalem Post.  He regularly does analysis for CNN, Fox, and Al Jazeera. Aziz is the recipient of the Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East from the Institute of International Education, the European Parliament’s Silver Rose Award, the Eisenhower Medallion, and the Eliav-Sartawi Award for his Middle Eastern Journalism. He was named one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Strategic Centre in Jordan. He won the Intercultural innovation award from the UN Alliance of Civilizations and the BMW Group. He was also recognized by former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for his work in peace building. His journey from combatant seeking revenge to peacemaker seeking tolerance led to an innovative business method of peacemaking in conflict zones via the startup of Mejdi Tours. Aziz holds a BA in Tourism and Business Management from Latvia College.   

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    Donna Schoeller Sprague

    Donna Schoeller Sprague is a strategic market research executive with three decades of insights experience in media, travel, education, consumer goods and services, and the non-profit arena. Prior to founding her independent consultancy, Ms. Sprague served as Vice President, Consumer Insights for the National Geographic Society. There

    she managed research for all of the Society’s product and program divisions, consumer experience and digital usability research, strategic organizational studies, and studies for public release. She has led teams of research professionals producing and mining a wide variety of customer-centric data to deliver objective, strategic and tactical insights and recommendations to help businesses acquire, maintain, and engage customers; identify growth opportunities; increase revenues; communicate more effectively with consumers and other constituencies; increase the effectiveness of product/program development and marketing efforts; and measure organizational impact. Ms. Sprague is particularly interested in strategic research and branding work, new product development research, and projects related to children and families, education, and the environment. When not assisting clients with strategic research, she is collaborating with her two business partners at Old House Loves, a small garden and interior design company that she founded.

 

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