Responsible Travel and Adventure Travel consulting utilizing extensive destination experience spanning 87 countries on 7 continents.
25-year career in international tour development, operations, sales, marketing, operator partnerships, trip leading, guide training and human resources.
Particular focus on linkages between sustainable tourism and women’s empowerment, health, education, poverty alleviation, social justice, overtourism and international development.
EXPERTISE IN TRAVEL and TOURISM
Founder, Meaningful Trip Tour Company – present
Innovative Responsible Travel Tour Operator. Tours offer the best in sights, activity, culture and comfort; And support issues of women’s empowerment, poverty, health, education and hunger. Meaningful Trip was one of the first USA tour operators to sign the Code of Conduct to help fight trafficking and exploitation of children.
Program Manager, AdventureSmith Explorations, Tahoe, CA 2005 – 2008.
- Assisted start-up company with strategic planning including product mix, pricing and marketing that resulted in 40% product and sales growth.
- Produced competitive market analysis, risk assessment, and crisis management plan. Streamlined office procedures. Added new regions and affinity accounts. Coordinated vendor partnerships, insurance suppliers, branding and web-marketing.
Sales and Operations Manager, REI Adventures, Seattle, WA 1993 – 2002.
- Developed product for 85 international and domestic tours. Adjusted portfolio based on analysis of profitability, market trends, competition, and customer surveys. Identified niche market opportunities such as family travel, women-only travel, small ship adventure cruising and ‘Trips That Make A Difference’.
- Developed all aspects of trip operations including budgets, accounting, long-range planning, sales staff training, vendor partnerships, contracts, quality assurance, and risk management. Created itineraries, pre-departure materials, guide training protocols and operations manual.
- Anchored sales team that achieved $5 million in land sales, $500,000 profit margin and 15-20% growth for 9 consecutive years. Implemented marketing strategy including advertising, annual print catalog, brochures, website, slide presentations, trade shows and outdoor-retail promotions.
Travel Sales and HR Manager, Millennium Hotel, New York, NY 1990 – 1991
- Hired and trained 400+ hospitality associates during hotel pre-opening.
INTERNATIONAL and DOMESTIC TOURISM CONSULTANCIES
Hacienda Venecia, Colombia
Suggested improvements in marketing, web materials, tour product, lodging, safety, risk management and guide training.
Aventouras, Colorado, USA
Provided comprehensive review of entire operations, product, marketing and business strategies and made recommendations accordingly.
Uganda Community Tourism Association, Uganda
Conducted multi-site CBT (community-based-tourism) assessment. Advised on lodging, food, staffing, activities, crafts, marketing improvements, safety standards, sustainability matters and relationship building.
Toubkal Lodge, Morocco
Guide and customer service training. Facilitated introduction to Virtuoso network.
Andaman Discoveries, Thailand
Collaboratively redefined mission statement. Analyzed CBT products and recommended improvements in business management practices.
2013 – ESTC, Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference, Nairobi, Kenya
2012 – ESTC, Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism conference, USA
2011 – ICRT, International Center for Responsible tourism, Edmonton, Canada
2010 – CREST, Travelers Philanthropy Conference, Costa Rica
TOUR LEADER / TOUR GUIDE / ESCORT
Over the last 25 years, have served as Tour Leader, Tour Guide/Escort on hike, bicycle, trekking, , kayak, multi-sport, community-based and small-ship adventure cruises worldwide.
Photography spanning the globe with emphasis on adventure travel, responsible travel, ecotourism, world cultures, street photography, development and social justice issues. Photographic works published in Frommer’s Big Book of Adventure Travel, Women’s Sport & Fitness, Shape, REI (Recreation Equipment Inc), REI Adventures, and more.
PHOTOGRAPHY TEACHING and CLASSROOM EXPERIENCE
For several years I taught photography, digital story-telling and cross-cultural understanding, in Seattle, Africa, and Latin America through the Bridges to Understanding program. For over a decade I delivered presentations to K – 9 schools on ‘People & Places’ around the world.
WORK with YOUTH and UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES
- Volunteering w Syrian Refugees, May/June 2018
Spent 1 month in Lebanon volunteering with a nonprofit assisting Syrian refugees and other marginalized populations with aid, education, health, food matter
- Volunteer Expedition Leader, Sierra Club ICO (Inner City Outings) 2010 – present
Now called ‘Inspiring Connections Outdoors’, ICO partners with select schools and nonprofit agencies and serves inner-city youth, providing them with opportunities to go hiking, camping, snowshoeing and more, fostering an understanding and
relationship to our natural world.
- Youth Counselor, YouthCare Nonprofit, Seattle 2014 – present
YouthCare provides homeless and at-risk youth with shelter, housing, education, and employment training, all to prepare youth for life after homelessness.
- Volunteer, Operation Nightwatch, Seattle 2010 – present
Food Program Volunteers prepare and serve meals to 200+ homeless at one particular shelter. I do this once a month, but volunteers do this every night of the year in over 100 shelters in Seattle alone. On any given night in USA, 550,000+ are homeless. In America, 18 million households are food insecure. 1-in-6 Americans face hunger.
- Volunteer, IRC, International Rescue Committee, 5+ years
Assisted with settlement of Burmese refugee family for over 5 years
- Camp Counselor, Camp Erin, 3 seasons
Camp Erin is a grief camp for children and teens who have lost a parent or sibling.
- Sustainable Tourism Development Certification, University of Vermont, 2010.
- Tour and travel Management Certificate, New York University, 1991.
- Bachelor’s of Business Administration, Baruch College, 1985.
VOLUNTEER and COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Volunteered with Youth in Focus and Global Washington. Have helped in fundraising with non-profits such as Prosthetics Outreach Foundation and Alliance for Education.
International Volunteer Accomplishments:
- Spent 1 month in Lebanon volunteering with Syrian refugees.
- Advised the Boomu Women’s Group, and helped w school refurbishment, Uganda
- Taught digital story-telling to township youth, South Africa
- Volunteered at Les Amis du Handicap, Morocco
- Delivered first-ever reading books to children via Big Brother Mouse, Laos
- Taught English and volunteered w Burmese refugees, Mae Sot, Thailand
- CPR / First Ad Certified
- First Aid Arts (healing trauma through arts)
- Mental Health First Aid
- Red Cross Training in: Disaster Services, Sheltering Fundamentals, Bulk Distribution, Food Safety, Deployment Fundamentals, Psychological First Aid