Nominations

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All the candidates have been selected by the WYSE Travel Confederation Nominations Committee and approved by the Management Board. The candidates are presented here for your information.

The Nominations Committee was made up of the following members:

  • John Cedergardh – STS, Committee Chairman
  • Robyn Walker – CEO, Cenet
  • David Chapman – Director General, WYSE Travel Confederation
  • Bettina Weidman – Executive Director, Experiment Germany
  • Nicola Foley – Managing Director, Celtic Group Hostels
  • Rebecca O’Connor – Partnerships Manager, Hostelling International

Each slate of Candidates will be approved at each Industry Panel meeting, and for the Management Board, the slate will be ratified during the AGM.

Any member wishing to contest the Candidates nominated by the Nominations Committee can do so by following the procedure laid out in Rules and Regulations 4.1/e/vi

Management Board candidates

 
Russell Hedge
CEO
Hostelling International USA
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Details:

 
Russell Hedge
CEO
Hostelling International USA
 
 
How many years has your organisation been a member?
20+
 
Please indicate how many years of relevant experience you have for this role:
35+ years
 
Please indicate any relevant qualifications you have for this role:
I have previously served as both board member and chair positions in other organizations. I am the CEO of an organization that operates hostels and cultural exchange programs, with facilities that are geographically dispersed. My leadership philosophy prioritizes transparency, communication, collaboration, commitment and good process.
 

Please give a full outline of your professional and personal experience and skills that are relevant to your application:

Youth and Student Travel

  • Over 35 years in hostels and cultural exchange career at Hostelling International USA, including almost 20 years as CEO
  • Over 20 years HI USA has been a WYSE member
  • Over 10 years HI USA has been a Student Youth and Travel Association (SYTA) member

Governance

 

  • Three years currently as a WYSE Board member, including Chair since March 2019
  • Served on boards and as board chair of various nonprofit and governmental organizations during my career (including the Alliance for International Exchange, the UNWTO Affiliate Board of Directors and the US Travel Association)
  • As CEO, have staffed the Hostelling International USA Board of Directors and supported the implementation of a range of
    governance best practices
 
In no more than 25 words please state why you are perfect for this position:
I believe in WYSE’s mission. If re-elected chair, I will focus on building progressive, well-functioning governance that encourages transparency, member engagement and fiscal responsibility.
 
David Dahl
President
Wise Foundation
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Details:

 
David Dahl
President
Wise Foundation
 
 
How many years has your organisation been a member?
19
 
Please indicate how many years of relevant experience you have for this role:
30
 
Please indicate any relevant qualifications you have for this role:
I was a teacher, University instructor, manager of a medium size educational foundation involved in international education.
 

Please give a full outline of your professional and personal experience and skills that are relevant to your application:
I started out working with internationals sending them sports exchanges for the US Olympic committee for the sport of wrestling. My job was to give the athletes a cultural understanding of the country they were traveling in through food, language and customs. I spent 12 years at the university as an instructor as wrestling coach and academic advising.

The last 30 years has been spent at Wise managing a program of that consists of language cultural exchange and work experience programs. I have been on the present Management Board for 3 years and served as Finance Chair.

 
In no more than 25 words please state why you are perfect for this position:
I have a passion for both the Confederation and its work. I believe that our organization helps to provide information and services which allow people around the world to connect with each other through our member organizations.
 
Victoria Cunningham
Group Director, Work Abroad
STA Travel
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Details:

Victoria Cunningham
Group Director, Work Abroad
STA Travel
 
 
How many years has your organisation been a member?
13
 
Please indicate how many years of relevant experience you have for this role:
11
 
Please indicate any relevant qualifications you have for this role:
2:1 BA Geography, University of Wales
No other formal qualification’s just a lot of experience!
 

Please give a full outline of your professional and personal experience and skills that are relevant to your application:
Over 16 years’ experience working within the student and youth sector; the last 11 years specifically within the cultural exchange and work abroad sector.

2003 – 2008: I spent 5 years working in events marketing focused on the graduate recruitment portfolio, giving me a solid understanding of the student & youth demographic.

2008: A 6-month career break spent travelling all over SE Asia & New Zealand ignited my passion for travel!

2008-present: BUNAC, IEP & STA Travel
My career in the work abroad sector started with BUNAC as their Head of Marketing. Since then I’ve held a series of commercial roles including GM of BUNAC, Commercial Director for BUNAC & IEP and am currently Group Director, Work Abroad for the STA Travel group.

I’ve worked with hundreds of suppliers and partners over the last 11 years, giving me an excellent grasp of the issues and opportunities faced by businesses operating in this sector, as well as an understanding of the immigration & market variations in a wide variety of countries.

As well as being very commercially focused I’m committed to a broader vision of enhance understanding and foster peace globally through work abroad and cultural exchange opportunities for young people.

The breadth of my roles means I’ve worked on many different work, internship and volunteering programmes in destinations globally and I believe diversification in our product offering is crucial for our sector. I’ve project managed dozens of new product launches and product development initiatives.

I have extensive experience working with tourist boards, senior stakeholders, government departments and industry organisations and have been an active member of WYSE speaking at numerous panel sessions and conducting workshops.

Professionally I am passionate about people management, innovation and flexible working, as well as understanding the shifting trends within millennial and gen z audiences.

After my family, my two passions are travel and food – ideally at the same time! I return home after every trip with fresh ideas for new products or routes to market for purposeful travel.

Core skills
Product: trading, new product launches, product innovation & development
Commercial: day to day business operations mgt, P&L responsibility, sales management, yield mgt, generating new revenue streams
People: Direct management, leadership, team engagement, talent retention
Partnerships & relationships: Tourist boards, suppliers, B2B clients, government departments

 
In no more than 25 words please state why you are perfect for this position:
To use my experience and passion for cultural exchange to help other members grow, diversify and overcome obstacles; and ensure they receive real value from their WYSE membership.

Accommodation Panel candidates

 
Pieter van der Zeeuw
Managing Director
Hans Brinker
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Details:

Pieter van der Zeeuw
Managing Director
Hans Brinker
 
How many years has your organisation been a member?
15
 
Please indicate how many years of relevant experience you have for this role:
20
 
Please indicate any relevant qualifications you have for this role:
Bachelor degree in Marketing
 
Please give a full outline of your professional and personal experience and skills that are relevant to your application:
  • Leader with an indelible reputation for delivering inventive business strategies and customer focused solutions that improve profit
  • Recognized for operations, Sales and Marketing management food and non-food expertise
  • Customer centric
  • Passionate in people management
  • Results oriented
  • Intercultural and team spirit skills
In no more than 25 words please state why you are perfect for this position:
As a member of the accommodation panel I will represent all different accommodation providers equally. I bring to the panel a large network of people working in and outside the youth travel industry.  My strong belief is that we as a panel can support our great confederation with our knowledge and network.
 
Louise Garner
Commercial Director
Clink Hostels
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Details:

 
Louise Garner
Commercial Director
Clink Hostels
 
 
How many years has your organisation been a member?
10+
 
Please indicate how many years of relevant experience you have for this role:
25
 
Please indicate any relevant qualifications you have for this role:
BsC (Hons) Hotel and Restaurant Management, Oxford Brookes University, 1st Class.
 

Please give a full outline of your professional and personal experience and skills that are relevant to your application:

  • I am currently the Commercial Director at Clink Hostels, overseeing the commercial performance of our brand and the Sales, Marketing, Revenue and Customer Service teams
  • Prior to this role I ran my own hospitality consultancy for 18 months
  • I worked for Hilton Hotels and Resorts as the Commercial Head of their London properties for nearly 5 years
  • The bulk of my career was spent in San Francisco in the Upscale and Luxury Hostel industry, I started in operational roles, front desk, housekeeping, banquets etc. but soon found a passion for reservations, yielding and then revenue management
  • In time my roles grew from single hotel to multi hotel and then Corporate roles over the years for a mix of branded and independent hotels
  • I am a career hotelier (now a hostelier!), I have a passion for excellent customer service at all levels of our industry for both our internal customers, i.e. our team members and our external customers, i.e. our guests
In no more than 25 words please state why you are perfect for this position:
I believe our industry is THE global platform for young people to start on a fantastic career journey and I am passionate in helping them achieve their goals as our guests or our employees.
 
Etienne Matichard
Director of Sales and Distribution
JO&JOE (Accor)
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Details:

Etienne Matichard
Director of Sales and Distribution
JO&JOE (Accor)

How many years has your organisation been a member?
1

Please indicate how many years of relevant experience you have for this role:
9

Please indicate any relevant qualifications you have for this role:

  • I hold a BA in international trade from the ESCE business school and a MA in international business and trade from the Sorbonne University.
  • I have over 6 years experience in the Hostel industry and nine in the tourism industry.
  • I Manage the relationship between our brand and the different private or institutional third party organizations such as the convention bureaus or the tourism boards.

Please give a full outline of your professional and personal experience and skills that are relevant to your application:

  • I am currently the Director of Sales and Distribution for the new hospitality concept: JO&JOE, a chain that belongs to the Lifestyle division of Accor.
  • I have studied and worked for different fields of the tourism industry in five different countries in Europe (France, Finland and Spain) and America (USA, Mexico, Costa Rica).
  • I mainly worked in sales for the hospitality sector which gave insights from both parties: the buyers and the accommodation provider.
  • After 6 years of experience in the Hostel industry, I became an expert of this sector and met with the majority of its most important members.
In no more than 25 words please state why you are perfect for this position:
I believe that youth travel is shaping the future of tourism and that the hospitality industry should follow its path. My professional experiences with both a Hostel full player (Generator) and a traditional hotel chain (Accor) give me a full view of the youth accommodation market.
 
Kevin McCormick
Head of Commercial Operations
University of Bath
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Details:

 
Kevin McCormick
Head of Commercial Operations
University of Bath
 
 
How many years has your organisation been a member?
2
 
Please indicate how many years of relevant experience you have for this role:
36
 

Please indicate any relevant qualifications you have for this role:
I completed an in house Hotel Management Trainee Manager course with Stakis Hotels between 1985 and 1987.

Please give a full outline of your professional and personal experience and skills that are relevant to your application:
I am currently the Head of Commercial Operations at the University of Bath. I manage 2,500 beds, Conference facilities for up to 2,000 delegates (during the Summer vacation), and 11 Hospitality units all year round. I have worked at the University for 18 years in a commercial capacity. Prior to joining the university I was Hotel Manager for Hilton Hotels in Bath and had worked in 9 hotels in various management roles over 17 years.

In my time at the University I attended a Hostelworld Conference which opened my eyes to an area of business I knew nothing about. Through this conference and more importantly WYSE, I have developed a strong understanding of this inspirational business stream and the value it brings to the Tourism sector. With 2,500 beds to sell I need to understand all potential income streams and this is supported heavily by my involvement in WYSE.

 
In no more than 25 words please state why you are perfect for this position:
I am experienced in the accommodation sector. I value the importance of WYSE for it’s members, I want to contribute and support the membership.

Cultural Exchange Panel candidates

 
Carye Duffin
Vice President, External Relations
Council on International Educational Exchange – CIEE
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Details:

 
Carye Duffin
Vice President, External Relations
Council on International Educational Exchange – CIEE
 
 
How many years has your organisation been a member?
A very long time 🙂
 
Please indicate how many years of relevant experience you have for this role:
20
 

Please indicate any relevant qualifications you have for this role:
Given my past experiences as a Board Member, I feel I am well qualified to take on this role. I very much enjoyed sitting on the WYSE Work Abroad Association Executive Board since 2010, as well as being the Chair from 2014-2016. I then again ran in 2017 to be the Chairperson of the newly created WYSE Cultural Exchange Advisory Panel and was thrilled to be elected once again. Knowing I have one last opportunity to run for election before I need to step down, I would be delighted to sit for one last 3-year term to pass on the knowledge I have gained to newer members of the Cultural Exchange panel and/or Management Board.

Having worked very closely with David, the Management Board, and the WYSE Work Abroad Association (now the Cultural Exchange Panel) to manage the restructure of the WYSE Confederation, I am very well versed on all matters related to the Confederation and feel I am well qualified to further contribute to its success. I am seeing such a positive momentum, as well as wonderful, tangible results that have come out of the restructured WYSE Confederation; therefore, I would love to continue to actively contribute and be a part of the positive changes taking place, as well as continue to provide input and ideas and do whatever I can to ensure the overall success of the WYSE Confederation.

I would either welcome continuing to be the Chairperson of the Cultural Exchange Panel or be elected as a member at large on the Management Board. I feel that I could contribute positively in either role given my experience sitting collectively on the WYSE Work Abroad Association/Management Board/Cultural Panel for the last 9 years. I sat on the Management Board (due to being the Chair of the WYSE Work Abroad Association) at our toughest time and was very deeply involved in the challenging process of getting ourselves out of this determinantal situation given the past mismanagement of the Confederation.

I feel that there is still a lot of work to be done and I am not done yet contributing to the success of WYSE and would be honored to sit for another 3-year term be it as the Chair of the Cultural Exchange Panel or as a member at large on the Management Board. Some of the areas of where I feel I can contribute to most given my background are member engagement/retention, increasing membership, as well as providing thought leadership/industry expertise given I have been working in the cultural exchange industry for close to 20 years.

Please give a full outline of your professional and personal experience and skills that are relevant to your application:
I began my career in international educational exchange in 1999, joining the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). Now in my 20th year with CIEE, I consider myself fortunate to still be doing what I love best – managing relationships with clients around the world and working to promote a shared cultural understanding.

Over the past 20 years, I have held various management positions at CIEE as we moved from New York to Boston to our current US headquarters in Portland, Maine. My professional background at CIEE includes crisis management, operations, human resources, sales and marketing. These various roles have given me a great foundation for my current role, Vice President of External Relations, a position that I have held since 2019.

Prior to joining CIEE, I earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Masters in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. My experiences also include working in the field of counseling, as well as teaching and working abroad in both the UK and Germany.

As the Vice President of our International Sales division for Exchange Programs, I oversee our global agent network of over 250 agents in more than 120 countries. Specifically, I oversee all of the relationships with our international representatives, sales/marketing initiatives, as well as embassy relations for the J1 High School, Summer Work Travel, Internship/Trainee, and Camp Counselor programs.

Lastly, per my detailed response to the above question regarding relevant qualifications, I have been sitting collectively on the WYSE Work Abroad Association/Management Board/Cultural Panel for the last 9 years; therefore, I have a lot of personal and relevant experience related to being on the Cultural Exchange Panel Chairperson or member at large on the WYSE Confederation Management Board.

In no more than 25 words please state why you are perfect for this position:
I have 9 years of very hands-on experience being the WYSE Work Abroad Association/Cultural Exchange Panel’s Chair, as well as a Management Board Member.

 
Mark Overmann
Vice President of External Affairs
InterExchange
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Details:

 
Mark Overmann
Vice President of External Affairs
InterExchange
 
 
How many years has your organisation been a member?
InterExchange has been a WYSE member since the beginning. One of our founders, Paul Christianson, was on the Board of FIYTO when FIYTO and ISTC merged to form the WYSE Travel Confederation.
 
Please indicate how many years of relevant experience you have for this role:
14 years of professional experience in the international exchange and education field.
 

Please indicate any relevant qualifications you have for this role:
Over my career, I have developed an in-depth knowledge of international exchange and travel programs and an extensive network within the U.S. and international cultural exchange communities. My positions have provided me with experience across a wide cross-section of the industry, and I will use that breadth and depth of knowledge to help forward the mission and impact of WYSE.

My most relevant skills to a leadership role within WYSE governance include:

  • Strategic communications
  • Government relations and advocacy
  • Association management
  • Strategic partnership building

My government relations and advocacy experience can help WYSE achieve its own advocacy goals, including the updated Youth Travel Charter. In particular, I would like to help ensure the new charter provides not only an inspirational message, but also practical ways for the youth travel community to be involved in advocacy activities with impact.

My communications experience and professional network can be put to use bringing increased attention to the benefits of being a part of WYSE, as well as to the importance of youth travel and exchange in general.

My association management and partnership building skills can help WYSE to create deeper and more active connections between the various sectors of the WYSE membership. I can also work to help WYSE connect and create relationships with outside groups, as needed.

Please give a full outline of your professional and personal experience and skills that are relevant to your application:

My relevant professional and personal experiences include:

  • 3 years as Vice President of External Affairs at InterExchange (NYC)
  • 7 years as Deputy Director at the Alliance for International Exchange (Washington, DC)
  • 2 years as Director of College Communications at Georgetown University (Washington, DC)
  • 2 years as Program Associate for Communications at Global Ties U.S. (Washington, DC)
  • Master’s degree in International Communication (American University in Washington, DC)
  • Co-author (with Sherry Lee Mueller), Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development
  • Georgetown University Press (2008, 2014)
  • Recipient of Wendy Kopp Leadership Award, Seth Godin altMBA Organizational Management Course
  • Career Coach and Mentor, The Posse Foundation
  • English teacher in Yanji, China
  • Study abroad student in Angers, France
  • Language studies: French and Chinese

My areas of expertise include:

 

  • Strategic communications
  • Brand building
  • Government relations/advocacy
  • Association/board of directors management
  • Public representation
  • Strategic partnership creation
  • U.S. Department of State international exchange program portfolio
  • J-1 Exchange Visitor Program regulations
  • Career development/mentoring
 
In no more than 25 words please state why you are perfect for this position:
Vision, collaboration, and forward movement are hallmarks of successful associations. My skills will help WYSE build on its success and move confidently into the future.
 
Bastian Weinberger
CEO
Smaller Earth
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Details:

Bastian Weinberger
CEO
Smaller Earth
 
 
How many years has your organisation been a member?
10
 
Please indicate how many years of relevant experience you have for this role:
12
 
Please indicate any relevant qualifications you have for this role:
Business Degree
 

Please give a full outline of your professional and personal experience and skills that are relevant to your application:
Personal:
Like many of us, I am a product of our industry and in particular of the cultural exchange sector – after a three months cultural exchange experience straight after school my personal and professional life changed significantly, I ended up studying abroad, participating in many more cultural exchange programs and ultimately living in a new country altogether. I am a passionate advocate of the positive impact of cultural exchange as well as all the personal cultural exchange experiences provided to me with the skills to work well in a diverse sector panel and to represent an organisation such as WYSE.

Professionally:
I have worked in the cultural exchange industry for over 15 years and for the past six years I have been in the role of CEO of Smaller Earth, a cultural exchange organisation with a global footprint (currently 14 offices across the globe) and a purpose to inspire people to go further.

As part of my role I am working closely with many WYSE members and am very aware of industry trends and industry politics. Since our approach is very much focused on building strong relationships with our partners and to have a positive impact on our participants and the community at large, it comes naturally to me to adopt an inclusive approach and to support initiatives which have a positive long-term impact on our industry.

 
In no more than 25 words please state why you are perfect for this position:
I am passionate, determined and committed to increasing the positive impact this industry can have on society at large.

Study Abroad Panel candidates

 
Barry Rawlings
Director
EDU Africa
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Details:

 
Barry Rawlings
Director
EDU Africa
 
 
How many years has your organisation been a member?
6ish
 
Please indicate how many years of relevant experience you have for this role:
15
 

Please indicate any relevant qualifications you have for this role:
Social Science Degree (UCT)
Diploma in Global Learning and Development Education (UCL)

Please give a full outline of your professional and personal experience and skills that are relevant to your application:

  • I have an historical academic background in social science and international finance. After working in those fields for a period I became a co-founder of EDU Africa in 2005.
  • I am the managing director and we facilitate faculty-led and individual study abroad programs in Southern and East Africa – currently serving in excess of 120 academic institutions and thousands of students each year.
  • I oversee teams responsible for curriculum development, assessment, operations, sales, marketing and finance.
  • In order to further improve my academic qualifications in the education field specifically I have done a diploma in global learning and development education through University College London, it will become a masters once I complete my current research work.
 
In no more than 25 words please state why you are perfect for this position:
I am extremely passionate about the field with a long history of networking globally, providing innovative, responsible, academically rigorous programs for hundreds of institutions.
 
Alex Seigel
Director
The Dragon Trip
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Details:

 
Alex Seigel
Director
The Dragon Trip
 
 
How many years has your organisation been a member?
2
 
Please indicate how many years of relevant experience you have for this role:
9
 

Please indicate any relevant qualifications you have for this role:
I was a former Assistant Head at a UK secondary school. In addition to this, I have been a Director of The Dragon Trip for 5 years and have overseen our educational programmes. During this time, I have spoken with lots of schools, universities and educational organisations.

Please give a full outline of your professional and personal experience and skills that are relevant to your application:

  • As director of The Dragon Trip- I have overseen our expansion in the educational space. This year, we are taking over 5,000 students on our trips. These include trips relating to a whole range of subject areas. Our students come from the UK, USA, Asia and Australia and we have worked hard to adapt our itineraries to meet specific educational outcomes.
  • I am regularly in our Boston office and attend conferences in the U.S where I have learnt more about the sector through networking and attending seminars. Off the back of this, we have organised trips for Princeton, University of Florida and UNC.
  • Last year, we launched our educational sub-brand, The Learning Adventure, which specifically focuses on education trips. We have ensured that all our trips cater to experiential learning and are tailored around learning outcomes.
  • As a former teacher, I have a thorough understanding of the value of education and the power of school trips. I completed the prestigious Teach First programme in the UK and became Head of English and Assistant Head within 3 years. The school and my role within it was featured in the national press, in the UK.
  • As for skills, I am a highly organised and efficient person and currently am the co-director of an organisation of 60 full-time staff across 3 different offices. I have developed leadership skills in this role as well as displaying initiative to take the business in new directions.
In no more than 25 words please state why you are perfect for this position:
I am a dynamic individual with a proven record of expanding opportunities, for young people, through international education.

Travel Safety Panel candidates

 
Nick Pound
Director of Partnerships
World Nomads
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Details:

 
Nick Pound
Director of Partnerships
World Nomads
 
 
How many years has your organisation been a member?
15
 
Please indicate how many years of relevant experience you have for this role:
18
 

Please indicate any relevant qualifications you have for this role:
I’ve worked in the financial services industry since 1990, within the UK & Australia. I’ve helped build an maintain insurance products in addition to UK & Australia, in USA, Europe.

Please give a full outline of your professional and personal experience and skills that are relevant to your application:
World Nomads sets the benchmark in providing travel insurance to independent and adventurous travellers, globally. From anywhere going to anywhere. This was and has always been our core brand value since we launched in 2001.

With a host of additional travel services and tools, we’re recognised by travellers as the leading insurance supplier in the world. In addition, we partner with some of the world’s largest travel brands offering an unmatched B2B partnership suite, providing a serious revenue channel.

I’m one of the founding investors into World Nomads and have spent 18 years helping to build the brand into the platform and globally recognised brand it is today. My career has developed over my time in the financial services market and I’m responsible for all of World Nomads key strategic partnerships in the market, responsible for over $30M of B2B revenue.

 
In no more than 25 words please state why you are perfect for this position:
Having served on the Safety panel for the last two years, I bring brand strength, demonstrable skill in global networking with a refreshingly younger outlook.
 
Joël Marier
Vice President
EBI Consulting
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Details:

 
Joël Marier
Vice President
EBI Consulting
 
 
How many years has your organisation been a member?
2
 
Please indicate how many years of relevant experience you have for this role:
30+
 
Please indicate any relevant qualifications you have for this role:
As a Chartered Administrator (Adm. A) and a Certified Association Executive (CAE), Joël Marier is vice-president of EBI Consulting, an international firm based in Canada and specializing in youth tourism business development and risk management. He is also a graduate in business administration from UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal) in 1992.
 
Please give a full outline of your professional and personal experience and skills that are relevant to your application:
Joël Marier has a career spanning more than thirty years as a senior executive in the youth and student travel sector, particularly those with a non-profit or charitable focus. Until 2015, he was the Executive Director of Hostelling International – Canada, a position he held for over 12 years. Based in Gatineau, Quebec, since May 2014 Joel has been co-owner of HINiagara Falls, a small, fast-growing tourism business in Niagara Falls, Ontario. In this latter role he has worked with many groups and local authorities to develop a sustainable tourism strategy in the region.
 
As well, since 2016 Joël has been working with the J.W. McConnell Foundation in its social enterprise program as a coach and trainer. Since 2018, he has also served on the Travel Safety Panel of the WYSE Travel Confederation.
 
His many volunteer positions include mentoring for the Canadian Society of Association Executives and the Ordre professionnel des administrateurs agréés du Québec. At the international level, with his fluency in English, French and Spanish, Joël serves as an industry expert for ISO on risk management and tourism, as well as consumer policies at the Canadian and international levels.
 
In no more than 25 words please state why you are perfect for this position:
With his wide-ranging experience in youth travel, Joël is presently leading the work with ISO to develop a new risk management standard on school trips.
 
Claudia Reichstein
Head of International Programs
DR-WALTER
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Details:

 
Claudia Reichstein
Head of International Programs
DR-WALTER Versicherungsmakler GmbH
 
 
How many years has your organisation been a member?
10
 
Please indicate how many years of relevant experience you have for this role:
18
 

Please indicate any relevant qualifications you have for this role:
I have longstanding experience in the field of travel safety and am exited about the opportunity to share and discuss topics with industry colleagues, bring in ideas, do research, connect people, work on guidelines, projects and best practices which benefit our member community and the young travellers.

I would like to be part of the panel as a reliable and sourceful addition to the team.

In my position at DR -WALTER it is my ambition to educate myself on the consumer behaviour of our target group – the young traveler and the coming generation.

I work with insurance companies, assistance companies, service providers, student associations, NGO’s and youth travel organisations creating solutions that help to keep travelers safe.

Please give a full outline of your professional and personal experience and skills that are relevant to your application:
I have a business degree and academic and professional background in Human Resources. In the year 2000 I started working in the youth travel sector and fell for this industry. I apply for this role bringing 18 years experience in providing insurance solutions for educational travel as well as Know-How on the program side:

  • regular participation in WYSE conferences since 2002
  • broad network of contacts in the industry
  • I worked for US J1 visa sponsor organisation for more than 4 years working with agents worldwide and recruiting for their internship program, thus I also experienced working with cultural exchange students

In my role as Head of International Programs at DR-WALTER I am actively involved in developing safety concepts for travellers and students.

I have actively participated in a panel discussion at WYSTC Montreal on emergency preparedness.

DR-WALTER was shortlisted for the Best Travel Safety Initiative twice.

 
In no more than 25 words please state why you are perfect for this position:
I have been part of the WYSE conferences for many years and am well connected with many of the members. I now strive to contribute and help with creating beneficial and useful support for the industry and the WYSE Travel Confederation.
 
Alex Thompson
Founder & Chief Operating Officer
Legaroo, Inc.
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Details:

Alex Thompson
Founder & Chief Operating Officer
Legaroo, Inc.
 
 
How many years has your organisation been a member?
2
 
Please indicate how many years of relevant experience you have for this role:
10
 
Please indicate any relevant qualifications you have for this role:
As a Lawyer directed to advice international clients, I have been part of many situations involving the complicated cultural and legal differences between jurisdictions and countries that may impact someone’s trip.
 

Please give a full outline of your professional and personal experience and skills that are relevant to your application:
Corporate Lawyer. Legaroo’s Founder and Chief Operating Officer. Geographically speaking located in the Americas, in which I can be a crucial to representing WYSE to this part of the World and seek for its expansion.

Languages: English and Spanish.

 
In no more than 25 words please state why you are perfect for this position:
My vision is that we must create a culture within our WYSE members in which safety for all our travelers should come as an obligation and not a choice.