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About Us - Our Team

Having spent many years working in travel related industries, Brian Mullis had a clear vision of the significant, high profile contribution travelers and travel companies could make toward environmental protection and sustainable development. Together, with the support of Peter D. Krahenbuhl, he founded Sustainable Travel International (STI) in 2002 during the International Year of Ecotourism.

Today, STI is operated by a team of talented professionals who are supported by the STI Executive Board, our Special Advisors, and a revolving group of dedicated volunteers to devise programs that will catalyze a fundamental transformation in the travel and tourism arena.

Louise Twining-Ward

Louise Twining-Ward, Chief Technical Officer

Dr. Twining-Ward is a sustainable tourism planning and development specialist. She has a Ph.D. in sustainable tourism from the University of Surrey in the UK. After 18 years of international consulting in the South Pacific, Sub Saharan Africa, and the Caribbean, Louise joined STI's world-class team in November, 2011. Prior to joining STI, Dr. Twining-Ward was technical advisor for the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label, tourism consultant for The World Bank Africa Region Tourism Strategy, and Senior Associate at Tourism Resource Consultants, in New Zealand.

Dr. Twining-Ward is a certified member of the ACP Consultants' Network, a Visiting Fellow at the University of Surrey, UK, and editorial board member of the Journal of Sustainable Tourism. She is co-author of the book Monitoring for a Sustainable Tourism Transition: the Challenge of Developing and Using Indicators and has published widely in peer-reviewed academic journals.

Dr. Twining-Ward lived in Samoa in the South Pacific for eight years, in Spain for two years, in Denmark for one year, and is now settled in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and their four teenage children. She is a long-distance open water swimmer, a windsurfer, and an AYSO soccer coach.

Seleni Matus

Seleni Matus, Senior Advisor, Destinations

Seleni Matus has more than 12 years of professional experience in designing and directing large-scale and multi-stakeholder initiatives that have mainstreamed sustainable tourism principles into key sectors of the tourism industry. She has worked in close collaboration with private sector and governments in tourism destinations throughout northern Mesoamerica to develop and implement destination-level sustainable management plans and programs, in particular for the cruise sector, that have enhanced the quality of tourism products offered and helped to ensure the long-term health of natural ecosystems.

In addition, Seleni has significant experience in developing a wide range of sustainable tourism planning and business-to-business tools. Examples of these tools include industry-level criteria and indicators for sustainable marine tours for the cruise industry, and practical tourism planning guides such as Linking Communities, Tourism & Conservation: A Tourism Assessment Process that communities can use to help determine the viability of a proposed ecotourism business concept.

Seleni's professional experience is deeply grounded in Belize where she developed the country's national-level tour guide training and certification program, and also managed Programme for Belize's ecotourism tour operation and lodges. She recently served as Belize's Director of Tourism overseeing an unprecedented organizational change process in which the Belize Tourism Board's strategic programs were recalibrated and resources reallocated to more effectively meet the demands of a fiercely competitive global marketplace.

Seleni was instrumental in the establishment of the Mesoamerican Ecotourism Alliance serving as a founding member and its first President. More recently she also served on the Global Sustainable Tourism Council's Board of Directors.

Anna Williams

Jon-Paul Bowles, V.P. of Destination Management and Advisory Services for Sustainable Travel International

Jon-Paul lived and worked in Honduras for two years, where he gained an appreciation for the importance of grass roots engagement and participatory planning in community development projects. Before joining the sustainable travel movement he spent several years in Washington, D.C. working in strategy and program modeling to reform the aid industry’s traditionally top heavy approach to international development. He advocates a partnership-based approach to community development in which NGOs and outside companies act as a facilitator of a locally owned development process, rather than fulfilling their historic role as planners and direct implementers.

He has led projects across the globe, most recently in Ecuador where he worked with local organizations to develop a partnering methodology that involves local stakeholders in civil society, the private sector and government in end to end development processes starting with problem identification and root cause analysis all the way through participatory planning and locally owned project implementation. Before joining Sustainable Travel International, Jon-Paul worked for the United Nations Foundation’s World Heritage Alliance. He also worked for World Vision International and has consulted with the World Bank, USAID and the UNDP.

Nick Piedmonte

Nick Piedmonte, Vice President of Operations and Finance, and Director of Carbon Management

Nick has a thirst for social entrepreneurship and socially responsible business development. In 2007, he incubated a socially-purposed start-up which advocated for disadvantaged property tax payers in Cook County Illinois. Tax Recovery Solutions identified millions in unclaimed property tax exemptions and assisted homeowners in recovering their funds. Before TRS, Nick utilized well lubricated credit markets to direct funds through the Community Reinvestment Act, to disadvantaged neighborhoods in Chicago, reinvigorating them through homeownership. Rounding out his social finance focus, Nick directed investments to underserved farming communities through the USDA Rural Development Program.

In 2008, Nick discovered the Bachelor’s of Science in Sustainable Business Program at Aquinas College. As an advocate of for-profit enterprise as a vehicle for social change, Nick enrolled as a continuing education student and dove into his studies. With its biomimicry focused curriculum, he found the program to be a transformational experience, and discovered new depths of opportunity available in the burgeoning sustainable business movement, not only as a vehicle for building social value, but value for the environment as well. Nick brings his business sense and passion for sustainable business models to bear on his work with STI’s internal operations as well as his development of our Carbon Management program.

Nick is a proud husband of 5 years and father of 3 beautiful children. He enjoys reading and music in his free time as well as sharing his passion for nature with his family.

Brian Herlihy

Brian Herlihy, Vice President, Business Development & Sales

An avid traveler and outdoor enthusiast, Brian's professional interest in sustainable travel began at the University of Utah, where he earned his degree in Commercial Recreation and Tourism and specialized in eco-tourism. He spent a number of years as a whitewater river guide and international traveler before moving on to explore other opportunities in the high tech industry. After 10 years driving innovation in software development, Brian returned to his roots in the travel industry by joining STI. He and his wife love the amazing quality of life in the Columbia River Gorge and Brian regularly takes advantage of his proximity to some of the best windsurfing in the world.

Bobby Chappell

Robert Chappell, Director of Eco-certification and Standards Development

In his role as Director of Standards Development, Bobby Chappell oversees multiple standards, eco-certification programs, and experiential training modules that have been adopted by destinations and businesses across travel and tourism. His work places him at the forefront of the sustainability movement, as a visionary and change agent for the tourism industry. Bobby is the architect of the STEP Sustainability Management Framework, a single resource for assessment, benchmarks, reporting, and an educational gateway to eco-certification. Bobby has worked with numerous travel and tourism businesses throughout the world, helping them implement the STEP Framework and, with an uncompromising dedication to education, impact, and tangible results, has revolutionized the certification industry.

Bobby's professional career has evolved, working as a public land manager prior to his work as an environmental consultant conducting endangered species surveys, watershed assessments, and visitor use impact studies. He has worked in the accommodations sector as a hotel manager and has extensive experience in tour guiding, service-learning, and study aboard having coordinated and guided programs in Central America, the Caribbean, South Africa, and the South Pacific. Bobby has a Bachelors of Wildlife Science in recreation ecology and a Masters of Natural Resources in sustainable community development. His research includes stakeholder engagement, community mapping, and resource assessments and his thesis helped to connect the dots between community service, sustainable development, and agriculture on the island of St. Croix, USVI.

Jeremy Sampson

Jeremy Sampson, Director of Marketing

Jeremy Sampson is the Director of Marketing for Sustainable Travel International, a global NGO focused on strengthening the positive impacts of tourism worldwide. In his role, he oversees marketing and communication efforts for the organization, and leads projects for destination and corporate clients which link sustainability initiatives to strategic marketing and branding efforts. Prior to his work at STI, Jeremy spent a decade directing sales and marketing efforts for two of the top for-profit supplemental education service brands in the San Francisco Bay Area. He spent 4 years as Director of Marketing at Galileo Learning, and 6 years in multiple roles at SCORE! Educational Centers, including a stint as the Northern California Marketing Manager. His marketing career began at San Francisco-based travel agency Ambassador Tours, where he partnered with cruise lines and tour operators on cooperative marketing and sales efforts. An avid traveler, Jeremy spent a year in Rio de Janeiro teaching English to multinational corporate executives after graduating from UC Berkeley with a BA in Mass Communications.

Marilyn Larden

Marilyn Larden, Director UK Operations

Marilyn was born and continues to live in the suburbs of London. With a long career in the computer industry in senior consulting, sales and management roles; she is well equipped to understand corporate thinking and priorities. Importantly this career facilitated her passion for travel, be it for business or importantly for pleasure.

Shifting career in order to make a difference, and reaffirmed by a month long volunteer trip to South America, Marilyn began working for NGO’s. She developed the national awareness-raising Taste for Life exhibition at the Fairtrade Foundation, and whilst at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, was a national judge for the Calor Village of the Year.

Marilyn is a MBA and has a MSc in Environmental Sustainability, with experience that spans studying eco-tourism in Wales, to standards auditing and the carbon offset market. She profoundly believes that good for business and good for the planet do not have to be at odds. When she is not trying to persuade companies they can meet both their business and environmental goals Marilyn likes to walk, cycle and ski in mountains, and spend time with her family.

Luis Felipe

Luis Felipe, Director of Brazil Operations

Luis Felipe grew up in the country side of Brazil, in the city of Campinas. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Catholic University of Campinas. His passion for hospitality and tourism started during his internship at the Millennium Hotels in New York, as a marketing management assistant. To continue pursuing his passion for tourism, Luis moved to Europe to attend to the post-graduate program in hospitality management and tourism at the Swiss Hotel Management School (Montreux / Switzerland). Upon graduating, Luis returned to the US for a hotel management program in Vermont, where his interest in tourism deepened with a new appreciation for sustainable tourism, ecotourism development and community based tourism. After 3 years in Stowe VT, he returned to his home country to create a hospitality and tourism consulting company to develop sustainable tourism. He now also holds a MBA in Economy of Tourism from the State University of São Paulo. Luis’ love for ecotourism has allowed many trips around the world and also in the northern region of Brazil, where he has developed a sustainable tourism project in the Amazon. Luis’ dream is to help Brazil along the path to sustainable tourism development.

Mezwyn D’Junus

Mezwyn D’Junus, Director of Malaysia Operations

Mezwyn D’Junus was born in Malaysia and spent most of her early childhood amongst her country’s multicultural environment of food, cultural traditions, and the outdoors. Her travels started at a very young age when she was sent to Melbourne, Australia to further her education. Mezwyn now holds a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University, Australia. Her broad education and ongoing relationship with both countries has helped her gain a profound understanding of globalization. She is passionate about global sustainability and continuously acts as a bridge between the developed and developing countries. She recognized that not only the adults but also the young needed strategies to deal with globalization, climate change and responsible travel. Frustrated by the greenwashing of ecotourism, she decided to combine her knowledge and founded Ecoearth Adventure, to help promote awareness in sustainable tourism and raise a sense of responsibility to protect the culture and environment while traveling around Malaysia. She enjoys every moment with her children Hannah and Harris, be it raising them, rollerblading, reading, just being silly and laughing out loud. She also likes to spend time with her family and friends, which takes her to different parts of the world, in particular a small island called Pulau Sibu in Johor.

Sam Huang

Sam Huang, Director of Taiwan Operations

Samantha Huang is currently a PhD Candidate in Behavioral Neuroscience at Boston University School of Medicine. She also holds a BSc degree in Chemistry from National Taiwan University, as well as a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Oxford. Prior to pursuing her academic career, she worked in the information and communication industry, specializing in marketing and international cooperation for over 15 years. She has traveled extensively around the world and witnessed numerous natural disasters caused by climate change, as well as human damage caused by overdevelopment and unsustainable growth strategies widely adopted in Asia. She founded Lohas Traveler in 2007 together with her partners in Taiwan, in the hope to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable travel, especially in the greater China region.

Monique Chen

Monique Chen, Assistant Director of Taiwan Operations

Monique Chen first realized her passion for traveling when she joined a mountaineering club while attending her university and went kayaking with friends around Taiwan. Without a doubt, she was always the one behind, but that allowed her time to delve deeply into aborigine heritage and further appreciate the explorative hiking tour. Monique appreciated her encounters with the people she met there, and those experiences helped her realize her passion for travelling. After graduating, Monique was engaged in cultural and environmental restoration work for five years in Taiwan. Her latest job was the Chief of Operations & Promotion in the Taipei County Gold Ecological Park, in a gold mining village where she was able to explore the mining history with mineworkers, local residents and explore sustainable ways to balance local economics and environmental conservation. Monique hopes that through the spreading of knowledge about sustainable travel, Taiwan can arouse these issues in Taiwan and other Chinese communities.

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