Would you trust your trip of a lifetime to a company of people who aren’t at least as passionate about adventure as you are, if not more? Of course you wouldn't! Our elite staff of seasoned, worldy-wise travel professionals has been to every one of the seven continents, scaled some of the world’s highest peaks, rafted some of Earth’s most challenging rivers, and everything in between. Many were born and raised or have lived and worked abroad as well. They are your key to unlocking the wonders of adventure travel.
Alan Taylor, Sales Manager
Alan was born in Flagstaff, Arizona and is descended from some of the earliest European explorers of the American West. Alan got the adventure bug at age 10, when his family moved to Nome, Alaska, and he has been looking for new adventures ever since. Alan worked his way through college at the North Rim Lodge of the Grand Canyon. After college he spent time exploring every corner of the United States by plane, train, automobile, bus—even a bit of hitchhiking. He started working in the travel industry in Portland, Oregon, where he worked for a travel company that specialized in tour packages for travelers coming from Asia. He then worked for several years with a large national travel agency on both the leisure and corporate side. He has been a Sales Manager and trainer in call centers for the past several years and was excited to be given the opportunity to work with MTS. On most weekends you can find Alan exploring all the great things Northern California has to offer, from hiking or skiing in the Sierras to biking through wine country.
Alicia Zablocki, Director of Latin America Progams
Alicia was born in México City and began exploring the countries of Latin America as a teenager. On her first trip to South America, she fell in love with the wildlife and mysterious ruins of early civilizations. Alicia joined MTS in 1990, enticed by the company's reputation as the first tour operator to bring adventure groups to Peru and Patagonia. In the intervening years she has wandered every corner of her native continent in search of new and exciting adventures to share at MTS—from trekking in the cloud forests of Colombia to tracking wild jaguars in Brazil.
Allie Roqueta, Marketing Manager
Born and raised in the coastal town of San Clemente, California, Allie has always been a beach baby. Her love for travel sparked when she did her first foreign exchange at thirteen, living with a local family in the rural village of Vijia in Costa Rica. Since then she's lived in Italy and Spain and backpacked throughout Europe. Allie studied Anthroplogy at Cornell University, where her interest in learning about different cultures inspired her to pursue a career in the travel industry. At MTS she wants to help inspire others to travel and gain a new perspective on life. If she's not planning her next adventure, Allie's either catching a wave at the nearest surf break, or snapping away at her camera!
Anne Wood, Director of Europe Programs
Anne is a 3rd generation Italian and German American who has traveled throughout Europe—often in hiking boots—regularly for decades. Having explored over 30 countries in Western and Eastern Europe so far, Anne often jokes that she has seen more of Europe than most Europeans have. Anne has been working for MTS since 2001, and spends several weeks out of each year personally scouting and fine-tuning our European adventures. "Off duty" you'll find Anne consulting for USAID, speaking on behalf of the Breast Cancer Fund, or in the outdoors hiking, running, and mountain biking.
Chris Bettencourt, Art Director
Chris has been the "artsy" side of MTS since 1999, when he was lured out of a freelance graphic design and photography career by the promise of working for a company he "never imagined I'd have a chance to work with." He learned of MTS while running the photography gallery of a highly respected mountaineer and adventure photographer who had worked with MTS on numerous occasions, and was awestruck by the amazing world he saw in the pages of the MTS catalog! Working for MTS has given him the opportunity to travel most of the places on the "must go someday" list he compiled as a boy while reading through his father's steamer trunk full of National Geographic magazines. Chris has carted bags of film (and now memory cards!) to numerous countries on 6 of the 7 continents ("Australia, here I come!"), been to the top of Kilimanjaro and the bottom of the globe, and recently had the great fortune to marry his wife Denise in a very traditional Maasai wedding ceremony between Arusha, Tanzania and the Ngorongoro Crater. He recommends the experience highly!
Corinne Edwards, Adventure Coordinator for Asia
Corinne is a born and raised Californian with a major case of wanderlust for the entire world. Before joining the team at MTS, Corinne was a travel agent for four years after completing a two-year Travel Careers Trade School in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been to many countries, mostly as a solo traveler, with outdoor adventure always in mind. An outdoor enthusiast with interests in foreign cultures and geography, some of her favorite experiences are from remote villages in Panama, the jungles of Borneo, the mountains of Peru, and on the Kalalau trail in Kauai.
Danilo Bonilla, Director of North America, Galápagos, Costa Rica and Rivers Programs
As former captain of the Costa Rica National Rafting Team, Danilo has barrelled down over 25 of the world's most famous whitewater rafting rivers including the Zambezi in Africa, Chile's Futaleufú, and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. Born and raised in Costa Rica, he discovered rafting while working as a guide after high school. Ever since then, he has been designing and running kayaking and rafting trips around the world. Danilo began guiding for MTS in 1995.
Frank Nguyen, Director of Online Marketing
Frank is a San Francisco native whose love for nature began with exploring local parks and beaches. As a self-proclaimed naturalist, his philosophy has been that adventure can be found everywhere if you keep your eyes open. Frank’s deep fascination with natural history leads him to museums and aquariums in every city he visits. He enjoys hiking, camping, and can often be found at Ocean Beach on the weekends. Frank joins MTS with a decade of online marketing experience. He has driven a multitude of advertising and online sales programs for diverse clients ranging from finance and telecommunications to global brands such as Hello Kitty.
Gayle Price, Documents Specialist
Gisele Camozzi, Controller
Jim Kennick, Chief Financial Officer
John Baston, Special Operations for Alaska and North America
A naturalist, former National Park ranger, and veteran Alaska guide, John brings an incredible wealth of hands-on experience and perspective to his job. The wilderness is where he feels most at home, having worked for the National Park Service in Yosemite, Glacier Bay, Mount Rainier, Kenai Fjords, Point Reyes and the Golden Gate.In addition to being a world-class guide, John is also an avid photographer and herpetologist, so if you're on a trip with John and see a snake or lizard you want to know more about, John is your man!
Julia Hendershot, Adventure Coordinator
Julia is one of Mountain Travel Sobek’s Adventure Coordinators for Europe. Her career in active travel truly began years ago as a guide in the U.S and Canada. She has lived in Brittany and Provence, France, and has traveled throughout Spain, Portugal, and Germany. Her husband is from London and she visits the British Isles annually both to visit family and explore the outdoors.
Julie McCormack, Director of Asia Programs
Julie is an avid traveler and lover of all things Asia, she jumped in with both feet and christened her new position by launching two exciting new trips in the Chinese frontier—Exploring Xinjiang's Ancient Cities and Camels, Mountains and Villages—drawing on her love of China gained during a year of living there! Julie likes to say that with each passing year, the list of places she does NOT want to visit grows smaller and smaller!
Justin Huff, Travel Designer Specialist & Director of Polar Programs
Justin comes to us from his native state of Florida where he worked for a major US tour operator focusing on custom, private travel to destinations all over the world. He has a natural ability to gauge clients’ interests and passions and create the perfect trip of a lifetime. Currently, he manages all of MTS’ private departures in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and he oversees MTS’ Polar Voyages in both the Arctic and Antarctica. Before entering the travel industry, Justin graduated from the University of South Carolina majoring in International Business and Marketing and then obtained his MBA from Florida Atlantic University – he also had a stint working for an investor relations firm and the American Chamber of Commerce in Moscow, Russia (he speaks fluent Russian!). His favorite travel experiences include gorilla tracking in Uganda, viewing narwhal and polar bears from the floe edge of Baffin Island, walking safaris in Zambia’s South Luangwa, and game viewing in classic safari destinations like Botswana’s Okavango Delta and Kenya’s Masai Mara. Whether it’s chartering Learjets, preparing special audiences with Ashanti royalty, or building a private safari camp in the Canadian Arctic from scratch, no task is impossible or too tall of an order for Justin!
Kevin Callaghan, President & CEO
Kevin joined the Mountain Travel Sobek family in 2001, after 15 years as CEO of growth companies in online information services, direct marketing, health & wellness, branded lifestyle, and web-based businesses. Companies included Royal Robbins, international outdoor apparel; Krups USA, a healthy living and wellness search fund; and HotLinks, a precursor to today’s social media companies. He got his start in venture capital and mergers and acquisitions. In addition to manning the helm at MTS, Kevin is also active in the Young President's and World President's Organizations, and served as Northern California Chapter Education Chair in 2010-2011 as well as Chapter Chairman in 2011-2012.
An insatiable traveler and adventurer, he is happiest when he is in the field. Kevin has been to 38 countries (including North Korea in 2012). He has trekked in Patagonia and the Himalaya, gone on wildlife safaris in East and Southern Africa, climbed Mount McKinley, run the Grand Canyon in a dory, and completed an Outward Bound educator’s program. He is also an avid sailor, and once worked on a charter yacht in French Polynesia as well as crewed on the winning sailboat in the Southern Ocean Racing Conference's Pineapple Cup.
Kevin is married to Diann (also an inveterate traveler), has two sons, both in the film industry and also avid travelers, and he has a B.A. and M.B.A. from Stanford.
Laura Parent, Regional Specialist
Salt water runs deep in Laura’s veins! Growing up in sunny South Florida, she was influenced by her father's career as a ship's officer and harbor pilot, and at 17 took her first job on the water, quickly realizing that working on boats would be her ticket to see the world. Achieving her captain's license at a young age, she has since logged over 20,000 nautical miles in offshore passages as crew or watch officer on boats ranging from traditional sailing schooners & racing yachts, to expedition ships, to pulling boats with no engines.
Laura eventually dropped anchor in the SF Bay Area, where she is very happy heading up sales for MTS’s Alaska & North America, Galapagos, and Polar programs. An avid photographer & surfer, she has a degree in Ecology & Evolution and a penchant for marine mammals.
Lauren de Remer, Adventure Coordinator
Lauren has traveled independently to over 20 countries and has a passion for the environment, low-impact outdoor recreation and responsible adventure travel. Prior to joining our team, she worked in land conservation at Conservación Patagónica, the Foundation for Deep Ecology and the Conservation Land Trust to protect wild places throughout Chile & Argentina. Lauren studied abroad in England and Australia, volunteered in east Africa prior to relocating back to the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently manages client services for our Galapagos, Costa Rica, North America & Alaska trips including international river programs. When not in the office, she can typically be found on her 1970 Cal 2-30 sailboat alongside a border collie (coincidentally) named Buoy.
Monte Andreasen, Information Systems Manager
Paul Vesper, Equipment Manager
Tanya Rinaldi, Director of Africa, Middle East, and Pacific Programs
A native of Australia, Tanya has been designing and running adventure programs in the Pacific and Africa for over a decade. She is a true global explorer, with more than 54 countries under her belt and a commercial pilot's license to boot! She has also climbed Kilimanjaro 9 times, rafted multiple times down the Zambezi river, rode a camel across the Sahara, explored the ancient land of Nubian kingdoms, danced with Zulu Warriors and trekked through the 'Impenetrable' forest to see mountain gorillas. Her local expertise shines through in the breadth of unique adventures she has brought to the MTS line up.
Tara Starr-Keddle, Regional Specialist
Tara has 14 years of travel industry experience in positions ranging from tour guide to volunteer in Ghana, Africa. She has traveled to over 45 countries—17 of which are in Europe—and has lived in both England and Spain. Her personal passions include hiking, camping, backpacking, running, kayaking, and traveling. Tara has been working for MTS in the Europe region since 2005, and travels every year on one of our trips so that she can give you accurate, detailed information to help you select the right adventure.
Raine Fryberger, Adventure Coordinator
Raine is one of Mountain Travel Sobek’s Adventure Coordinators for Europe. Raine hails from Colorado and has been living in California since late 2014. She was first bit by the travel bug while participating in a study abroad program that had her circumnavigate the world on a floating university and exposed her to parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Since then she hasn’t stopped scheming how to keep the travels coming. She spent 5 years guiding long haul camping road trips across the Lower 48, Canada, and Alaska with a long term stint in Kenai Fjords National Park. An avid backpacker her personal travels have taken her all across Europe, through Patagonia, and led her to live for 3 months on a sail boat in the eastern Caribbean.