Resources > Experts Bureau
The Travelers’ Philanthropy Experts Bureau is composed of tourism industry experts and professionals all with extensive experience in responsible travel, as well as particular expertise on one or more of the following areas: philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, marketing, donor solicitation and cultivation, internet-based giving, monitoring and evaluation, community development, micro-enterprises, social empowerment, and environmental conservation. CREST has created the Experts Bureau as a resource (along with the Travelers' Philanthropy film and a forthcoming handbook of best practices) to help expand and professionalize initiatives by tourism companies to provide funds, material resources, and expertise to community and conservation projects. Experts Bureau consultants are available to work with travel companies and other clients (community organizations, NGOs, aid agencies) in developing new travelers’ philanthropy programs, or evaluating and enhancing existing programs. They are also available to carry out field projects, research, give talks or offer seminars on travelers philanthropy and responsible tourism. For a listing of consultants and their specialties, please see below. Project inquiries or general inquiries to Experts Bureau members may be sent via CREST's Travelers’ Philanthropy program, by contacting Samantha Hogenson. Also contact Samantha if you are interested in joining the Experts Bureau, or would like to suggest others who might be included.
CREST Program Associate
T: (202) 347-9203 (ex. 414)
Experts Bureau Consultants
- Dominique Callimanopulos, Founder and President of Elevate Destinations
- Laura Driscoll, West Coast Coordinator, Center for Responsible Travel
- William Durham, Bing Professor in Human Biology and Anthropological Sciences at Stanford University, and Director, Center for Responsible Travel
- Judy Kepher-Gona, Chief Executive Officer, Basecamp Foundation
- Sam H. Ham, Professor of Communication Psychology, University of Idaho
- Martha Honey, Director, Washington, DC, Center for Responsible Travel (CREST)
- David Krantz, DC Coordinator, Center for Responsible Travel
- Karen Lewis, Founder-owner, Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Costa Rica
- Priscilla Macy, Managing Director, Global Sojourns
- Peter John Massyn, CEO, African Safari Lodge Foundation, Tourism & Concessions Specialist
- Fred Nelson, Executive Director, Maliasili Initiatives
- Marina Novelli, Lecturer in Tourism Development and Management, University of Brighton, UK
- Daniela Papi,
Founder/CEO, PEPY Tours and Executive Director, The PEPY Ride
- Michael Seltzer, Senior consultant, Rabin Strategic Partners
- Erick Vargas, President, Sustainable By Nature / Sostenible Por Naturaleza
- Mary Jo K. Viederman, Communications Specialist, Corporate Social Responsibility Consultant
Founder and President of Elevate Destinations
Dominique Callimanopulos is the Founder of Elevate Destinations, a philanthropic travel company working worldwide to give back to destination countries. As Founder and CEO of Elevate Destinations, Dominique collaborates with a deep network of travel and non-profit partners. Her company addresses universal issues impacting communities worldwide-- climate change, water scarcity, environmental degradation, at-risk communities--and is connected to innovative and visionary groups working to improve life across nations and peoples. She is experienced in the complexities of international philanthropy, and the challenges of effective social change.
William H. Durham
Bing Professor in Human Biology and Anthropological Sciences
William Durham is a co-founder of CREST and serves as the Bing Professor in Human Biology in the Department of Anthropological Sciences, and the Yang and Yamazaki University Fellow. Co-editor of The Social Causes of Environmental Destruction in Latin America (Michigan, 1995), Bill has particular interest in ecotourism as a means to address conservation and development issues in Central America, the Amazon Rain Forest, and Galapagos.
Chief Executive Officer
Judy Kepher-Gona has worked in ecotourism and tourism driven community development for ten years, organizing communities (making them ready) to do and benefit from tourism and supporting tourism businesses to embrace sustainable tourism through investment in people and planet. Judy participated in the first travelers philanthropy conference where the concept was modeled and the principles defined. In 2008, Judy co-designed and facilitated the first Travelers Philanthropy short course that was delivered at the second Travelers Philanthropy conference in Arusha in December 2008. She continues to work in this field through Basecamp Fundation.
Sam H. Ham
Professor of Communication Psychology
University of Idaho
Dr. Sam Ham is Director of the Center for International Training and Outreach and Professor of environmental communication and international conservation in the University of Idaho's Department of Conservation Social Sciences. He also serves as Deputy Director of the Tourism Research Unit at Monash University, Australia. Dr. Ham’s work has focused on applying communication theory to designing travelers’ philanthropy programs. His projects have included the successful Galapagos Conservation Fund campaign developed for Lindblad Expeditions, a fund which now generates more than US $400,000 for conservation and local community development. His redesign of the campaign increased donations by Lindblad guests some 277% in the first year of operation. He is also the author of Environmental Interpretation, the world’s leading text on applied interpretation, as well as 300 other publications. Dr. Ham’s training in applied communication has reached more than 39,000 people worldwide.
Executive Director, Center for Responsible Travel (CREST)
Martha Honey has written and lectured widely on ecotourism and certification issues. Her books include Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise? (Island Press, 1999) and Ecotourism and Certification: Setting Standards in Practice (Island Press, 2002). She worked for 20 years as a journalist based in East Africa and Central America and holds a Ph.D. in African history. She was the Executive Director of TIES from 2003 to 2006.
Program Coordinator, Center for Responsible Travel
David Krantz is CREST's Program Coordinator and is facilitating a variety of the center's projects. David’s background includes work as an international trade paralegal, in hospitality management at a DC hotel, and over two years of experience in adventure and ecotourism in the developing world as he backpacked through South America, Eastern Europe, and Southern Africa. Prior to joining CREST, David coordinated environmental conservation initiatives in the tourism industry with Conservation International’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business. He holds a Masters of Tourism Administration from the George Washington University.
Founder-owner, Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Costa Rica
Karen Lewis has been the co-founder and owner of the Lapa Rios Ecolodge since 1991. The ecolodge is located in a private nature reserve spread over 1,000 acres of Central America's last remaining lowland tropical rainforest. As an exemplary model for community-based ecotourism, Lapa Rios has won worldwide awards for social and environmental excellence and is a featured sustainable tourism pioneer in many international publications and research projects. Ms. Lewis employs only community members at the ecolodge, and manages operations according to Costa Rica’s highest sustainable tourism certification (CST) standards. In 1992-1993, she helped construct the Carbonera School which provides philanthropic opportunities for the guests of Lapa Rios. As a collective effort, the ecolodge owners and guests help maintain and supply Carbonera and other rural schools throughout the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica.
As managing director of Global Sojourns, Priscilla Macy provides customized travel experiences that help clients understand the places they visit and the people who live there. She instills her strong commitment for responsible travel in the company’s approach and operations. With ten years of experience living, studying, and working outside of the U.S., her international work encompasses international development, sustainable and responsible travel. As a result of her diverse background and expertise, Ms. Macy maintains a strong passion for providing Americans with opportunities to experience Sub-Saharan Africa on a deeper level.
Peter John Massyn
CEO, African Safari Lodge Foundation, and Tourism & Concessions Specialist
Peter John Massyn is currently the CEO of the ASL Foundation and a private consultant to, amongst others, the World Bank and International Finance Corporation. He has extensive experience in tourism as a form of rural development, including the structuring and funding of community ownership using philanthropic sources. He has taught at various universities and has been active in the private sector as a tourism entrepreneur and consultant. Mr. Massyn maintains expertise in the fields of tourism, conservation, rural development and land reform. He has worked for more than a decade in numerous African countries and is fluent in several languages (English, French, Dutch and Afrikaans, and can also converse in German and Portuguese).
Executive Director, Maliasili Initiatives
Fred Nelson has worked on ecotourism, conservation policy, and community-based natural resource management in eastern Africa since 1998. From 2000-2005 he served as the first Tanzania programme director for the Sand County Foundation Community Based Conservation Network. During this period, he worked with a number of pastoralist communities in northern Tanzania and helped to establish the Tanzania Natural Resource Forum. Mr. Nelson has worked with numerous communities across northern Tanzania to develop community-based tourism enterprises and establish community conservation practices. He is a member of the IUCN Southern Africa Sustainable Use Specialist Group and IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic, and Social Policy.
Lecturer in Tourism Development and Management, University of Brighton, UK
Marina Novelli has a background in economics and rural geography and an interest in development studies applied to tourism. Her most recent research and consultancy are in the field of tourism and sustainable development, international tourism planning, rural diversification, community based development, niche tourism and capacity building in Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and South East Asia.
In 2005 she published the volume Niche tourism: contemporary issues, trends and cases (Oxford: Elsevier), which became a best seller not only within the academic community, but also amongst practitioners and travel literature readers.
Marina is currently writing about tourism and the UN Millennium Development Goals, travelers’ philanthropy, capacity building and sustainable development in various Sub-Saharan locations.
Founder/CEO, PEPY Tours
Executive Director, The PEPY Ride
As the founder of PEPY and PEPY Tours, Daniela Papi’s work provides both educational development programs in rural Cambodia as well as volunteer and adventure tours in the area. With seven years of working experience in Asia, Daniela has gained experience in many facets of the development world: as a teacher, working in NGOs, and in voluntourism. Having
experienced many problems with her own work in combining travel and tourism, Daniela is keen to share the lessons she has learned to prevent others from facing the same issues. She believes strongly that education is the key to change for both travelers and those working in developing areas and is passionate about sharing her experiences in these fields with others. She currently manages PEPY from her Cambodia office in Siem Reap.
Rabin Strategic Partners
Michael Seltzer is currently a senior consultant at Rabin Strategic Partners. In the past, he was the founder and director of Business Enterprises for Sustainable Travel (BEST), where he conceived of the notion of 'travelers philanthropy’. Previously, although the practice existed, there had been no overarching frame of reference or recognized field to describe how individual travelers could contribute financially to the well-being and livelihoods of the people in destination communities while also serving as respectful stewards of their cultural and natural assets. His own understanding emanated from his personal experience as a participant in Operation Crossroads Africa, building a school in Bafoussam, Cameroon in 1966, and serving as a Volunteer In Service To America in Honolulu (VISTA), Hawai’i from 1968 to 1969.
As Michael states, "Travelers philanthropy enriches what has been dubbed as ‘voluntourism’ since it encompasses gifts of ‘time, talent and treasure’." At BEST, he highlighted and sought to advance the practice through a variety of strategies. The strategies he was involved in at BEST included; data collection on actual programs, publication of case studies and articles, speaking engagements at select tourism gatherings, and sharing of lessons learned from frontline practitioners. Michael continues to seek out ways to create a global movement and promote new ethos within the travel and tourism industry and among travelers themselves.
President, Sustainable By Nature / Sostenible Por Naturaleza
Santa Ana, Costa Rica
Erick Vargas studied at Louisiana State University and at Latin American University for Science and Technology. From 1997-2005 he worked at Costa Rica’s National Biodiversity Institute INBio as Training Coordinator. With a mission to share knowledge and information so as to empower other people, he organized courses, workshops and fieldtrips in subjects related to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. He is now president of Sustainable by Nature, an environmental consultancy working on sustainable development and ecotourism. SN supports businesses and destinations in finding profitable, practical solutions to sustainable tourism challenges, to position themselves for success and to maximize the economic benefits without jeopardizing environmental, cultural and social integrity.
Mary Jo K. Viederman
Communications Specialist and Consultant on Corporate Social Responsibility
Mary Jo Viederman is an independent communications executive with more than 15 years work experience on issues of social and environmental change for nonprofits, academic institutions and consumer brands. As the former VP of Communications and CSR for Lindblad Expeditions, Ms. Viederman was vital to the company’s partnership with the National Geographic Society, as well as their successful travel philanthropy programs.
Within the tourism industry, her expertise comprises development, creation and execution of marketing/branding/communications platforms. The outcome of her work is brand creation and an increase in consumer loyalty around social and environmental issues. Her additional strengths include; developing successful strategic partnerships between companies and non-profits, designing cutting edge programs and philanthropic platforms, and securing national media coverage and building the programs into brand identity. Ms. Viederman’s range of expertise includes cross-cultural awareness, diversity, climate change, eco-tourism, responsible travel and travel philanthropy.