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About Us - Our Team

STI is proud to have the support of the following individuals who make up our team of Special Advisors:


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Frances Figart Frances Figart, Green Travel Consulting

Formerly the editor of Courier, the monthly travel magazine for the National Tour Association, Frances Figart is the director of marketing and communications for Seascape Kayak Tours, which offers sustainable, small-group interpretive sea kayaking excursions in Canada and Costa Rica. In 2008 she launched the company's rebranding initiative, developing its current logo, tag line and web site, writes and edits all Seascape-related copy, directs social media, and is working on a number of initiatives to promote Seascape's work in Canada, Costa Rica, and other countries. Frances has written and spoken about ecotourism marketing and branding at travel industry conferences in the U.S., Canada and Europe, and has shared her communications skills as a speaker and through committee work with The International Ecotourism Society and as a volunteer and sponsor for the Adventure Travel Trade Association. Her other current clients include Terra Incognita Ecotours and Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, for which she directs social marketing for Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Arenas del Mar Beach and Nature Resort, Latitude 10 Resort and Harmony Hotel in Costa Rica, and the new Jicaro Island Ecolodge in Nicaragua.


Bernard Lane Bernard Lane, Associate, Red Kite Environment

Bernard Lane is a consultant, writer and lecturer specializing in sustainable tourism, heritage conservation and rural development. He is an Associate of Red Kite Environment (www.redkite-environment.co.uk), a consultancy working on the sustainable management of heritage sites, protected areas, and rural regions. He is founder, and editor, of the Journal of Sustainable Tourism, an SSCI Journal ranked 4th out of the140 peer reviewed tourism journal in the world rankings. (www.informaworld.com/JOST). He is a visiting research fellow at the Universities of Bristol, Sheffield Hallam and University of Lincoln (New Zealand), is on the editorial boards of Current Issues in Tourism, Journal of Ecotourism and the USA based Journal of Interpretation Research, on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Centre for Geotourism and Sustainable Development at the Western Norway Research Institute, and is a Senior Fellow of the American Leisure Academy.

Trained as a geographer at the University of Liverpool, he worked at the University of Liverpool, University of Glasgow and University College Dublin before spending over 30 years teaching rural development, architectural conservation, sustainable tourism and heritage management at the University of Bristol. Over the last 20 years he has worked with the private sector, non-profits, communities and the public sector on all continents (except Antarctica) to spread, and implement, the concept of sustainable tourism. His 140 publications include 6 books, with work translated into Chinese, Finnish, German, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Romanian and Spanish.

He works with Red Kite Environment on a range of consultancy issues, including heritage site/region and protected area management, local, company, regional and national sustainable tourism strategy development, partnership creation and management, interpretation projects, marketing strategies and audience development work. He has carried out 69 consultancies in 16 countries.


Arthur Weissman Dr. Nancy Harkrider, Managing Partner, Explore Asia

Nancy has a lifelong commitment to environmental issues, experienced as a child in East Texas where her farming grandparents instilled a respect and reverence for the earth.

She was a founder of the first community recycling center in Oregon. As public affairs director for an Oregon television station, she spearheaded award winning environmental campaigns.

In the 10 years she lived in Asia, Nancy immersed herself in learning about the fragile nature of Southeast Asia's indigenous people and the eco systems that support them.

When she returned to the US, she and her partner Allan Friedman discovered a way to channel their environmental commitment through STI. Nancy is collaborating with Brian Mullis of STI and STI board member Jessica Hall-Upchurch to develop online courses for travel agents who want to market sustainable travel.

With 25 years' experience as a facilitator/coach and as executive producer of over 40 media-based learning initiatives in the US and Asia, Nancy now utilizes her diverse communication and training skills in the travel industry. A graduate of Texas A&M with degrees in mass communication, sociology and linguistics, Nancy was the first American to complete a PhD in online learning at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Explore Asia specializes in customized tours to Southeast Asia and China based on traveler passions. A core value of the company is the delivery of immersive experiences that empower travelers to recognize and act on responsible tourism.


Dr. Edward Sanders

Steve Noakes, Executive Chairman of Pacific Asia Tourism, Director of Ecolodges Indonesia, and Founding Partner of the Oceania Sustainable Tourism Alliance

Steve has a 30 year background in the travel and tourism industry on all continents. He has been instrumental in a number of global and Asia Pacific initiatives developing and applying sustainable tourism to address the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Steve is a founding partner of the Oceania Sustainable Tourism Alliance, a new partnership with the Fiji based Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific International, a Director of Ecolodges Indonesia, committed to wildlife conservation through ecotourism in the vast Indonesian archipelago and the Asia Pacific Focal Point for SAVE Travel Alliance — connecting responsible travellers willing to provide scientific, academic, volunteer or educational services or resources with visitor destinations.

He currently serves on the UNWTO World Committee on Tourism Ethics and remains a long serving member on the Board of the Bangkok based Pacific Asia Travel Association as well as having tourism business interests in Australia, Indonesia & Melanesia. He is an Adjunct Professor in Tourism at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia .


Dr. Edward Sanders Christina Heyniger
Founder of Xola Consulting

Christina Heyniger founded Xola Consulting, in 2004 to work with enterprising businesses in the adventure travel industry - tour operators, blended adventure-voluntourism organizations, industry associations, and travel companies promoting sustainable development. Through Xola she's provided consulting and research services to sustainable tourism operators around the world from the Caribbean to India, Morocco, Cambodia, Bhutan, and China.

Prior to founding Xola, Christina worked for eight years as management consultant in a range of industries—aerospace, communications, higher education, federal government—and supported large enterprises on projects at a various levels within the organization—from strategic planning at the executive level to operations procedures within individual divisions.

Christina speaks regularly at industry events on topics ranging from small business management to humanitarian aid and international development through responsible tourism. In 2005 Xola created Off the Radar, a newsletter to support responsible entrepreneurial adventure travel operators around the world.

She holds a BA in Communication from Cornell University, an MA in Communication, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University, and an MBA with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from American University.


Dr. Edward Sanders

Dr. Edward Sanders, Eco Tourism International

Dr. Ed Sanders has a broad background in sustainable development planning, environmental finance, ecotourism project development, and international public policy issues. He co-founded Eco Tourism International, an ecotourism consulting firm specializing in market assessments, feasibility studies and project planning. He is a former Vice-Chairman of the Board of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) and currently serves on a part-time basis as Director of Special Projects at the Center for Sustainable Tourism in the Business School at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He co-authored The Business of Ecolodges: The Economics and Financing of Ecolodges (TIES, 2001) and authored a comprehensive study of the U.S. outbound ecotourism market for the World Tourism Organization, The U.S. Ecotourism Market (WTO, 2002). He is a partner in a 13,000-acre ecotourism and conservation project in southern Belize.

Dr. Sanders had previously co-founded an international environmental consulting firm (Sanders International, Inc.) and an international business consulting firm (IPAC, Inc.). Prior to that he served as Staff Director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee following a career as a civil servant in the President's Office of Management and Budget where he rose through the ranks from Budget Examiner to Associate Director. Ed has a BA in economics from Pomona College, a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University, and attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.


Arthur Weissman Arthur Weissman, Ph.D., President and CEO, Green Seal, Inc.

Dr. Weissman has over 25 years of experience in environmental policy, standards, and enforcement. He joined Green Seal in 1993 as Vice President of Standards and Certification, becoming President and CEO in late 1996, and he served as Chair of the Global Ecolabelling Network from 1994 to 1997. Prior to joining Green Seal, he was responsible for developing national policy and guidance for the Superfund program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He also served as a Congressional Science Fellow and worked for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. He holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in physical geography and environmental science, a masters in natural resource management from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a bachelors degree from Harvard University.


Dr. Edward Sanders Neel Inamdar
Senior Advisor for Ecotourism, Conservation International

Neel Inamdar has more than 20 years experience developing, financing, operating and marketing hospitality projects in East Africa and the US, including 300-bed all-inclusive resorts, 15-bed luxury safari camps and community ecolodges. He has worked closely with some of the world's largest international conservation organizations, community groups and corporations to bridge the gap between tourism and conservation in some of the poorest, yet bio-diversely rich regions of the world. At Conservation International, Neel has successfully led the restructuring of the ecotourism program, and is currently leading the program as it integrates a strategic and holistic approach to tourism and conservation in a number of international destinations. He is also a former Executive Director of the Turtle Bay Beach Resort and the African Conservation Centre in Kenya. Languages: English, Kiswahili and French.


Dr. Edward Sanders Kathy Moyer-Dragon
Eons.com, The Dragon's Path
and ActiveWomen.com

Kathy Moyer Dragon, Founder and Owner of The Dragon's Path, and ActiveWomen.com, has spent the past 18 years in the center of the active and adventure travel industry. Having researched, designed, marketed, sold and then personally escorted and facilitated the travel experiences of over 3000 guests, 2/3rds of these being women, on small group adventure and cultural trips around the globe Kathy has developed front line experience and information that few marketing experts in the world can match. These natural focus groups proved to be the ideal arena for defining the growth of the active woman's market; from how women select a trip, to why they are traveling; from what products they love (can't stand or wish for) to how different generations of women perceive themselves in an active environment. All these questions and answers have changed over the past decade as the active woman market has evolved and yes, exploded.

As a passionate entrepreneur, Kathy has been instrumental in the growth of niche companies including Vermont Country Cyclers, Country Walkers, Whole Journeys (a Whole Foods Market Company) and her own company The Dragon's Path. She has a reputation within the Adventure Travel Market as a trusted leader in all aspects of the industry. Kathy is a frequent presenter on the influence of women in the adventure travel market as well as consultant on marketing to active women.

Most recently she has presented at the first Marketing to Women conference in the United States and at the J. Walter Thompson's Mature Market Conference. The development of ActiveWomen.com, TravelDragon.com and associated aggregated Blogs (weblogs) is a natural step beyond travel, offering a trusted resource for women decision makers in travel and active lifestyle choices. Watch as this on-line and off-line community grows.


Eric Lombardi Eric Lombardi, Executive Director, Eco-Cycle

Eric Lombardi is currently the Executive Director of Eco-Cycle, Inc., and has had a long career in resource conservation, social enterprise development and non-profit (NGO) organizational management since 1980. Eco-Cycle, founded in 1976, is considered a nationwide pioneer in the recycling industry and has grown under Lombardi's tenure (starting in 1989) to become the largest community-based recycling organization in the U.S.A. with a staff of 60 and processing of nearly 50,000 tons of diverse recycled materials per year (2008). Lombardi is recognized as an authority on developing comprehensive community-based resource recovery programs and is often a keynote speaker and consultant on the social and technical aspects of creating a "Zero Waste – Or Darn Near" society.

Lombardi has experience both nationally and internationally as a project consultant, keynote speaker and workshop leader for government and private sector clients across the USA, and in New Zealand, England, France, Romania, American Samoa, Wales and Saipan (Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands). His work in these countries has been diversified, covering specific topics such as the creation of community recycling facilities, the challenges of collecting and marketing "hard to recycle" materials such as electronic scrap, the rewards of the social enterprise NGO approach, the politics of growing community recycling programs, and the strategies for long-term recycling business survival.

Lombardi also has significant facility and program design experience, including the creation of the first curbside recycling program and the building the first MRF (materials recovery facility) in North Carolina (1986). He has designed and built numerous community recycling centers in Boulder County, Colorado, worked as a facility and program consultant for the Wal Mart "Green Store" in Kansas, designed, built and operated the first "Hard-To-Recycle Center" in the USA (Boulder), was lead consultant for US AID on the creation of a for-profit paper recycling program in Romania, and led the design effort of the new MRF in Boulder County that was declared "the nicest MRF I've ever seen in the world" by George Weyerhaeuser, the V.P. of paper recycling for the global 100 corporation of the same name.

As a recognized recycling expert, Lombardi was invited to the Clinton White House in 1998 as one of the Top 100 USA Recyclers to advise on national recycling issues. Lombardi currently serves as the Board President of the national GrassRoots Recycling Network, and is a co-founder of the global Zero Waste International Alliance, based in Wales. Lombardi served from 1997-2004 on the National Recycling Coalition's (NRC) Policy Work Group, he is a past Board member of the Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR), and was an executive Board member of the NRC from 1991-1995. In 1992, he co-founded the National Nonprofit Recyclers Council. Before recycling, Lombardi worked in the energy field, and from 1984-1988 he created statewide demonstration projects for energy efficiency as a project manager for the North Carolina Alternative Energy Cooperation, and in 1982 he co-founded of the Boulder County Energy Conservation Office.

Since 1980, Lombardi has been working at the interface of where society/technology/business come together to bring beneficial change to all the stakeholders. Lombardi can bring unique contributions to any project due to his depth of experience and web of connections, as well as his understanding that a community recycling "system" is just that, a system that requires the success of many stakeholders, including local service providers, recycling professionals, international commodity brokers and the local politicians.

Lombardi has an advanced degree in Technology and Human Affairs from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and an undergraduate degree in Human Geography from the University of Colorado, Boulder.


Sharon Pomerantz Sharon Pomerantz, Principal, The Pomerantz Group

An expert in travel and tourism publicity, Sharon's twenty years of agency and corporate experience includes supervision of successful marketing publicity programs for such clients as Virgin Atlantic Airways, Cunard Line, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Four Seasons Resorts, to name a few. Sharon is the founder of The Pomerantz Group.

Sharon has played a key role with three airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways, EL AL Israel Airlines and Scandinavian Airline Systems. In addition, since the 1980s, she has strategically managed and increased awareness and sales for cruise lines, European, Caribbean and U.S. destinations, famed hotels, family resorts, ski resorts, as well as famous consumer brands.

While at Virgin Atlantic Airways, she oversaw the proactive U.S. corporate communications department and strengthened the airlines' brand image. She worked directly with Sir Richard Branson to manage his U.S. media appearances, as well as other senior executives in North America. Notably she re-launched the Upper Class product and opened three major routes on a limited budget leveraging alliances and marketing relationships. Under her tenure she ensured Virgin Atlantic's high visibility through a variety of strategies including redesigned press kit and contents, proactive media relations, targeted press fam trips (both group and individual), and constant communication internally to produce exciting news stories. She was also responsible for revamping the entire crisis communications plan for the U.S.

Sharon has the benefit of having worked both agency and corporate side so she brings the best of both worlds to an account understanding the needs of a busy press office with limited resources. Through the years, Sharon has developed excellent contacts with key media in the travel, tourism, hospitality, aviation, business and leisure industries. Her expertise includes crisis communications, event and trade show planning, broadcast promotions, and strong relationship marketing skills.

Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. metro area, she currently resides in Fairfield, Connecticut. Sharon received her bachelor's degree from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Management School, with a dual degree in communications and marketing. Sharon graduated Cum Laude and was nominated to the school's highest honors, Eta Pi Upsilon. Currently, she is a member of NAAPRA and SATW.


Mark Campbell Mark Campbell
Founder of Solaia Consulting and Past President, TCS Expeditions

Mark Campbell has over 25 years of experience across a variety of industries, including consumer packaged goods, specialty retail and upscale travel, tourism and hospitality. He is founder and president of Solaia Consulting, his own marketing & branding practice in Seattle. Mark and three colleagues recently released a white paper on branding that can found at www.360BrandStory.com.

Solaia specializes in working with tourism and hospitality organizations to help them discover their unique brand story and then craft marketing & communications solutions to meaningfully distinguish them in the marketplace that create enduring bonds with their customers. His current and recent clients include Discover France Adventures, MIR Corp., Wildland Adventures, Austin-Lehman Adventures, Cascada Expediciones and the Adventure Travel Trade Association.

Prior to Solaia, Mark was Senior Vice President of Branding and Communications for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, the nation's leading boutique hotel operator. At Kimpton, he completed a major branding initiative in conjunction with StoryTellings Consulting and Dana Communications. Mark also headed up Kimpton's public relations and restaurant marketing functions.

From 2004-2007 Mark was President of TCS Expeditions, a premier private jet adventure tour operator. At TCS, he optimized the company's distribution channel resulting in significant growth of both direct and travel agency bookings. In 2007, TCS jet occupancy rates exceeded 95%, an all-time record. By securing preferred supplier status with both Virtuoso and Horchow Travel, TCS retail sales volume tripled, while marketing costs were reduced via significant improvements in the company's direct mail campaigns. In December 2006, Mark was awarded the Leader in Luxury award in the Tour Operator category at the 2006 Luxury Travel Expo, sponsored by Questex Media.

Prior to joining TCS, Mark Director of Supplier Relations & Destination Sales for Virtuoso, the world's leading consortium of upscale retail travel agencies that sell a variety of upscale and experiential travel to clients around the world. At Virtuoso, Mark managed three lines of preferred suppliers: active/adventure tour operators, tourism boards and 120+ inbound ground operators, located in dozens of countries. While at Virtuoso, he helped co-found VAST (Virtuoso Active & Specialty Travel), a collective designed to showcase the tremendous depth and variety of Virtuoso suppliers in the active & adventure sector.

Mark's career in travel began when he joined Mountain Travel Sobek as their Director of Marketing in the mid 1990's. While at MTS, he helped launch the Adventure Collection consortium. During his three years at MTS, he helped the company to set successive all-time records for bookings, revenue and profit in 1997, 1998 and 1999.

Mark is an active supporter of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, and currently serves on the ATTA advisory committee for the 2010 World Summit in Aviemore, Scotland. Mark is also a former member of the board of STI and has provided pro bono marketing services to Seattle-based non-profit Bridges to Understanding.

Mark received a BS in Journalism from the University of Oregon. He currently resides in Seattle Washington with his wife, two boys and their Bernese Mountain dog.


Dr. Edward Sanders Richard Miller, Managing Partner, TourismROI

Richard Miller is CEO & Managing Partner of TourismROI LLC, a new tourism investment promotion venture designed to be the nucleus of Travel & Tourism investment information and opportunities worldwide. The venture is being developed in partnership between Mr. Miller and MMG Worldwide with an anticipated launch in Spring 2008.

A travel industry veteran, Richard was Executive Vice President for the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and played a principle role in shaping and directing the organization, policy agenda, research program, communications and membership services for 16 years. During his tenure with WTTC, Richard traveled worldwide speaking on the topic of Travel & Tourism economics and produced more than one hundred research reports focused on the economics and policy of Travel & Tourism for regions such as the Caribbean and countries as diverse as China, Montenegro, Qatar, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, Namibia and South Africa.

Richard has a Master's degree in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Oklahoma. He is based in New York City.


Patrick Long Patrick Long
Center for Sustainable Tourism

Pat Long is Director of the Center for Sustainable Tourism and Professor of Business at East Carolina University. The Center supports research, community outreach, and education on issues of effective planning and management of tourism-dependent communities seeking long-term socio-cultural, environmental and economic benefits. He founded the first such center at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he served as Center Director and faculty member in the Leeds School of Business with a co-rostered appointment in the Environmental Studies Program. He has served as President/CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Rural Tourism Foundation authorized by Congress (Public Law 102-372) to support tourism development in rural America and was recently elected President of the America Leisure Academy.

His current research focuses on sustainable practices in tourism, tourism planning strategies, and host community adjustments to tourism development. He is fully engaged in a long-term study of the economic and social impacts of second homes in resort communities. Dr. Long serves on the editorial boards of both the Journal of Sustainable Tourism and the Interamerican Journal of Environment and Tourism as well as on the faculty of the Environmental and Ecotourism Management Graduate Program, College of the Americas. He is the recipient of the University of Colorado President's Public Service Award, Procter and Gamble Teaching Excellence Award, CU Alumni SOAR Teaching Recognition, Joseph L. Frascona Teaching Excellence Award and Susan C. Wright Communication of Research Award.

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