EAC at Llangoed Hall Final (1 of 1)_Small

One of the things I enjoyed the most while serving on the council were the friendships with other travel colleagues.  I got to know Travel Vendors, Destination Company Representatives and other Planners much better.  At the end of the day we all have very similar goals and challenges.

Christel Pailet Aragon, Director, UCLA Alumni Travel

Members of the current EAC as well as Emeritus Council (colleagues that have served as former Council members) are available to share behind-the-scenes insights on what is involved with conference planning, session choices and events, venue choices, and ETC’s evolving community engagement.

Jennifer Bohac has been Director of Travel for The Association of Former Students at Texas A&M University since May 2001. Prior to that, Bohac

worked as an Academic Counselor in the Texas A&M Ag Economics Department from 1990 to 1994, then as Director and Developer of the Athletic Career Services Program in charge of student- athletes’ summer employment, jobs upon graduation and NCAA employment compliance. Bohac spent two years at the University of Minnesota as the Director of Student-Athlete Development. She was in charge of 700 student-athletes’ community service, career development, leadership programming and personal development. She authored a textbook with Prentice Hall publishers in 2000 entitled “Career Game Plan for Student- Athletes.” She has also taught numerous classes at Minnesota and Texas A&M. Bohac graduated from Texas A&M University in 1987 with a B.S. in animal science. She also received a B.A. in agricultural economics in 1988. While working full-time on campus, Bohac completed her master’s degree at A&M in Higher Education Administration in 1994, earning a Ph.D. in the same field in 1998. Bohac joined the Executive Advisory Council in 2013 and represents Southern State Schools.

Jean Bouffard left Tourisme Québec after 35 years of service, and three years ago he joined Adventure Canada, a Toronto based tour operator

specializing in adventure travel, namely quality  group experiences and small ship expedition cruises in the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Northern Quebec, Labrador, Newfoundland and the Gulf of Saint-Lawrence. Active in the industry since college, he covered most aspects of tourism sales and promotion. Starting as a tour director in Western Europe, he spent several years in New York City as director of tourism for the Government of Quebec. He also taught at the Management School of Université du Québec à Montréal and at LaSalle College. Lately at Tourisme Quebec, he acted as their senior advisor for market strategy for the US and Canadian markets, and coordinated the operations of their field offices in both countries. Bouffard was recognized by the Educational Travel Consortium for his contribution to the advancement of learning and enrichment travel within the US travel trade and the Canadian tourism industry. Last August, he was the meeting chairman for the National Tour Association yearly operators meeting in Quebec City, NTA Contact 2016. 


Heidi Durflinger is the President of Go Ahead Tours, the adult travel division of EF Education First whose mission is Opening the World through Education

and providing culturally immersive educational travel programs. Durflinger has over 12 years of experience in the tourism industry, in both the direct to consumer and group affinity educational travel segments. Her extensive background in the travel sector includes strategy and leadership in sales, service, marketing, product development, and quality control. She has a passion for cultural exchange and travel, stemming from a childhood growing up with international students from across the globe hosted by her family in Kansas. Her first trip abroad was to Italy at the age of 16, the first in her family to get a passport, and she hasn’t stopped traveling since. When she is not traveling, Durflinger is a long distance runner and foodie. Her favorite way to explore a new destination is on a sunrise run and indulging in the local flavors and meal time traditions of that culture. Durflinger is a graduate of Kansas State University with a degree in Marketing and International Business, a minor in Spanish and a certificate of International Studies for the University of Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain.


Melissa Gresh is the Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Alumni Travel Program. She has been on staff at MIT and has worked for the

Travel Program for over 25 years. During her time at MIT, Gresh has helped expand the Travel Program, including engagement of faculty as enrichment lecturers, working with local alumni for social gatherings or for behind-the-scenes tours on trips, and offering custom-built trips each year which focus on science and technology.  In 2013 under her leadership, the MIT Alumni Travel Program received MIT’s prestigious “Leading the Way” award. Prior to working at MIT, Gresh worked at World Class Incentives, an incentive travel firm, where she helped to create programming and handled customer relations.  Gresh has two children and enjoys spending time with family, hiking in the White Mountains, and cooking.  She received a BS in geography from Salem State University and spent part of her senior year studying abroad in Caen, France. She has been attending the Educational Travel Conference for 23 years.  Gresh serves on the ETC Executive Advisory Council representing private institutions and the ETC Northeast coast region. 

Kris Jameyson

Kris Jameyson is Senior Director of the Cal Discoveries Travel program. She oversees the Cal Alumni Association program serving approximately 1,200

alumni and friends of Cal each year. Cal Discoveries enjoys 60-percent repeat travelers each year. In addition to offering 60 plus trips per year partnering with tour operators, Cal Discoveries Travel trip offerings include up to ten trips operated in-house. Jameyson has worked at CAA for 18 years and has been in the travel program for the past 14 years. Since 2007, Cal Discoveries Travel has been offering in-house trips, and Jameyson oversees the planning of these trips, including setting pricing, net income targets and making recommendations about canceling trips when necessary to minimize losses. She also has worked closely with others on the Cal Discoveries Travel team to determine marketing strategies for the trips. Jameyson has a B.A. in Economics from the University of New Mexico. Prior to working in the travel industry, she spent years working for the grassroots advocacy organization RESULTS and also spent many years in the wholesale floral industry.


Karen Kuttner-Dimitry is Vice President of Affinity and Charter Sales at Lindblad Expeditions. Kuttner-Dimitry has been in the adventure travel/luxury cruise

industry for nearly 30 years. She launched her career in the travel industry in 1987, where she spent five years on board cruise ships as a Social Director. In 1993, she became the Director of Sales, Mid-Atlantic States for Lindblad Expeditions.  After three years of rapid growth in regional sales revenue, she focused on the development of affinity and travel agency accounts nationwide. Seeking new challenges, Kuttner-Dimitry left for Natural Habitat Adventures in Boulder, Colo., in 1997, to direct all sales, and marketing for affinity and incentive markets. In 2003, she became the Director of Sales at Grand Expeditions responsible for all affinity sales and marketing. She returned to Lindblad Expeditions in 2004 to expand the affinity and charter business nationwide. Kuttner-Dimitry holds a M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology and a M.A. in Personnel Administration, both from Columbia University. She lives with her husband and three children in New Jersey. A third year member on the Executive Advisory Council, Kuttner-Dimitry represents the affinity cruise market. 

Andrew Lockwood is President and CEO of Pacific Islands Institute (PII), a specialty-tour operator based in Honolulu, Hawaii. He has been working

with educational travel groups in Hawaii and the islands of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia for almost 25 years.  Recognized by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, and the Hawaii Ecotourism Association with awards for quality cultural, eco- and educational tours, Lockwood believes strongly in PII’s mission of providing positive cultural interactions, protecting and sustaining indigenous cultures and environments, and giving back to local communities. From Papua New Guinea to Hawaii, Palau to Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Lockwood has traveled the Pacific extensively. He enjoys sharing this region of the world with other travelers as these exchanges, when done properly, allow for a better understanding of the cultures and human nature. A graduate of Amherst College with an M.B.A. from Chapman University, Andrew also is a Certified Meeting Professional and recipient of Meeting Professionals International’s Aloha Chapter 2012 Supplier of the Year and 2013 President’s Awards. Having grown up in Hawaii, he appreciates the differences in all cultures – together with his wife, Karen, they are passing their love for educational travel to their three children.

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 first 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.

Beth Ray-Schroeder, Director, Duke Alumni Travels, Duke Alumni Affairs

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 50 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. 

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.

Ben Sander works with Black Sheep Adventures designing small group biking and hiking adventure trips. He previously was the Travel Program Manager

for National Parks Conservation Association, offering the best in educational travel to the National Parks. Sander has experienced and worked in ecotourism ventures in Costa Rica, Kenya, Tanzania, Peru and Pohnpei, Micronesia which have guided his vision for the travel program. He holds a masters degree in natural resources and sustainable development and conducted his master’s research in Costa Rica at one of the first eco-lodges in the world, Rara Avis, which has since been published and Sander has spoken at a number of ecotourism focused conferences on his research. His passion for ecotourism also led him to be a tour guide in Washington DC offering bike tours of the national memorials as well as being a nature guide in Costa Rica. He is a bike advocate and has participated in the Climate Ride the last four years riding over 300 miles on each ride to help raise awareness around climate change, bike advocacy, and national park protection.

Dan Stypa Photo

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.

Lauren Summers

Lauren Summers is the Director of Marketing for Visit Wales in North America, the official government sponsored tourism board for Wales

where she has worked for the past seven years. She has over 20 years of experience including marketing, public relations, event planning and business management.  At Visit Wales, she manages trade sales public relations and marketing as well as consumer campaigns for the U.S. and Canada. Prior to this position, Summers was the general manager of a small hotel in Cambridge, MA where she worked while completing her masters 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 non-profit organizations such as Levi’s, Disney, and the international Acapulco Film Festival, along with number of Grammy award winning artists, Oscar winning performers, bestselling authors and other celebrities. In addition to her master’s degree, 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 International Destination constituents with European regional focus-well established for the ETC market. 

Education Travel Consortium
South Wales

Enrique Velasco, Jr. is COLTUR Peru´s Director of Sales for North America. COLTUR is a third generation family-owned-and-run-since-inception

inboundTour Company based in Peru. He devoted the first fifteen years of his professional life to the financial industry. Because of the nature of his work, he did extensive traveling both domestic and abroad. Enrique has worked with his family’s company, COLTUR, for the past twelve years and absolutely loves traveling, meeting new people, developing relationships with clients (many of which turn into long lasting friendships) and being able to show his country to fellow travelers.  Velasco is a new member to the Executive Advisory Council joining in 2017.  He will represent the interests of foreign based In-Country Tour Operators.