Steve Barker, wild places
Steve and his wife, Nona founded Eagle Creek in 1975. In 2010 Steve sold Eagle Creek and founded Wild Places, a consulting practice focused on entrepreneur mentoring, strategic planning and saving wild places. With over 40 years in the outdoor industry, Steve is active on many boards and committees including the Adventure Travel Trade Association, the Alaska Wilderness League and the Recreation Advisory Committee for the Outdoor Industry Association.
Cynthia Dunbar, REI adventures
Cynthia Dunbar is the general manager of REI Adventures. In her current capacity, she oversees a nearly 40-person division, with teams dedicated to trip design and trip operations, program management, customer service and sales, marketing, business systems and digital. In Cynthia's 23 years with the co-op, she’s held management roles with increasing responsibility and was instrumental in growing the active travel business ten-fold in the past 20 years. She’s scouted many of REI’s classic itineraries that continue to be proven winners year after year and is credited for introducing REI Adventures annual Sustainable Tourism and REI (STAR) Grant.
Richard Edwards, Uncruise adventures
A college exchange program took Richard to the midst of ecotourism and sustainable development in Costa Rica in its early years in the 80's. Living there in several stints ever since, he's been immersed in the crossroads of adventure and sustainability. A wide-ranging career in the adventure industry through the 90's has Richard in various leadership roles with a number of luminary adventure organizations including: Trusted Adventures consortium, Tartan Group, GreenSpot.Travel and G Adventures. He is currently VP of a small ship leader UnCruise Adventures in Seattle.
NEIL ROGERS, DULABAB TRAVEL
Neil started in the travel trade in the 80’s with Journey Latin America in London, enjoyed an extended stay in Belize in the 90’s working with The Lodge at Chaa Creek and Coppola Resorts before moving to the US as Director of Latin America Development at International Expeditions, Inc. He’s served as Chair of the Destinations Working group at the GSTC and as a judge for the WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. As a consultant he’s worked on UNDP and EU Interreg projects, for conservation NGOs in Belize and for Nordic DMOs such as Kiruna in Swedish Lapland, Destination Røros, Visit Sápmi, Visit Norrbotten Region Västerbotten and for NCE Tourism Fjord Norway.
NICKY FITZGERALD, ANGAMA MARA
Nicky and her husband Steve opened their first hotel in 1982 at the foot of the African continent. Thirty-five years on and they are still in the industry running their own lodge, Angama Mara, in Kenya. Nicky’s journey in hospitality has taken her from South Africa’s Western Cape through all the major wilderness high spots of Africa, and later India, where she was part of a team that built, opened, ran and marketed over 50 safari lodges for &aBeyond. Nicky also spent two years exploring ecotourism possibilities in Latin America. Now she is back at the front door of her lodge – a place she loves best of all.
NORIE QUINTOS, COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST
Norie Quintos is a consultant for the travel industry on communications strategy, media relations, custom content, and messaging. She helps emerging destinations and like-minded travel companies find and tell their stories, through communications audits, seminars and training, coaching, and print and pixel projects. She is also an Editor at Large for the Washington, D.C.-based National Geographic Travel, contributing content and representing the award-winning brand. She is an AdventureEDU educator, leading seminars, offering training, and developing online courses for adventure travel operators. She is the former executive editor of National Geographic Traveler and was an editor at U.S. News and World Report and Caribbean Travel and Life. She has lived abroad, speaks several languages, and is involved in a couple of travel startups and nonprofits. She bikes, hikes, and tweets.
MANDIP SINGH SOIN, IBEX EXPEDITIONS
Mandip Singh Soin is an Mountaineer-Explorer, Adventure Traveler and Eco pacifist who is the Founder & MD of Ibex Expeditions Pvt Ltd , India's pioneering and award winning Adventure, Cultural & Luxury Travel company based in New Delhi. He has received several National and International accolades for his work in Adventure & Ecotoursim and is also the Founder President of the Ecotourism Society of India.He was awarded the highest civilian National award in Adventure called the Tenzing Norgay Lifetime achievement award for Adventure. He was also awarded the Citation of Merit from the Explorers Club of USA.
Praveen Moman, volcanoes safaris
Praveen founded Volcanoes Safaris in 1997, which has been at the forefront of reviving tourism in Uganda and Rwanda. Under Praveen's guiding vision, Volcanoes has designed and built four unique lodges near the great ape parks. In 2000, Volcanoes Safaris became the first international safari company to take clients to Rwanda and in 2004 built the now renowned Virunga Lodge. It helped kick-start gorilla tourism after the genocide through the Volcanoes BLCF Partnership Project.
Josie norris, conservation alliance
Josie spent ten years working for environmentally responsible brands in the Outdoor Industry. She left Patagonia in 2006 and moved to Portland to help launch Nau, a sustainable outdoor apparel company. She transitioned to The Conservation Alliance in 2014 where she currently works with 200 outdoor industry companies committed to protecting wild places. She manages communications and a $1.6M annual grant program, and helps member-companies engage in conservation policy and advocacy. People often call her a “connector” because she is passionate about bringing people together- whether it’s to rally them around a cause or to create connections within a community.
Roger Spatz, eagle creek
Roger M. Spatz, is President of Eagle Creek, an adventure travel gear and accessories company that is part of VF Corporation’s (NYSE:VFC) group of brands. For over 12 years, he has held various senior leadership roles within VF as President of Eagle Creek, and as CFO of Reef and VF Outlet. Prior to joining VF, Mr. Spatz spent 10 years with Cambridge-Lee Industries, a multi-national manufacturer and distributor of copper products, and last served as Executive Vice President and C.O.O. His community service currently includes Outdoor Outreach, and SDSI (San Diego Sports Initiative), and has served as chairman of The Children’s Home of Reading and Berks TalkLine, with additional service on the boards of United Way and the Manufacturer’s Association.
Shannon stowell, ATTA
Shannon Stowell is president of the ATTA, the largest professional organization for adventure travel companies, destinations and organizations worldwide with over 1000 members from 90+ countries. He spent 8 years with an environmental testing firm, performing projects around the pacific rim. He co-founded Altrec, an outdoor gear retailer, directing business development, affiliate marketing and nonprofit relations for six years. In 2004, Shannon re-started the ATTA which has held 12 Adventure Travel World Summits in Europe, Africa and the Americas and is a global hub for adventure travel professionals. Shannon served on the board of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council for 3 years.
chunnie wright, law office of chun T. Wright
Chunnie is the owner of the Law Office of Chun T. Wright, a DC-based law firm. Chunnie serves the legal needs of adventure travel companies to help them build, grow, sustain and protect their businesses. Chunnie’s clients include award-winning tour operators, travel agents, outdoor recreation companies, travel-related publishers, and companies that provide technological solutions for the travel and outdoor recreation industry. Chunnie advises her adventure travel clients on a wide-range of legal issues, including contracts, risk management, international business, corporate formation, dispute resolution, regulatory compliance, worldwide intellectual property protection, Internet and e-commerce, and more. Chunnie is a frequent speaker on important legal issues that affect adventure travel companies. A lifelong traveler, Chunnie spent over six years of her childhood in Asia and Italy and has visited over 50 countries.