Our Global Team


Global Directors

Chris Stakich

Chris Stakich

Chief Executive Officer

An expert on travel and service-based education, Chris leads Rustic Pathways with an eye for inno­vation and excellence. Since graduating from Harvard in 2001, Chris worked in virtually all areas of our organization, from running programs in Costa Rica to managing our global team. Chris now lives in San Francisco with his wife and two young sons, and is committed to developing future leaders who embody compassion and global understanding.

Ginger Bartholomew

Ginger Bartholomew

Finance and Administration Director

Ginger embodies the hard work ethic and benevolent spirit of Rustic Pathways. As director of the administrative arm of Rustic Pathways, Ginger oversees all office activities and staff members with a permanent smile. Ginger has visited many of our countries of operation, and possesses an unparalleled understanding of our programs and global logistics. Organized and indispensable, kind and caring, Ginger truly is a cornerstone of the Rustic Pathways family.

Kevin Porter

Kevin Porter

Country Operations Director

Kevin enters his fourth year directing programs in Ghana, where he began programs for Rustic Pathways in 2011. Prior to joining us, Kevin worked with development organizations in East Africa and completed research for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in South Korea. While attending Harvard University, Kevin oversaw the First-Year Outdoor Program – managing outdoor experi­ential education programs for incoming students.

Brent Watkins

Brent Watkins

Programming Director

Brent holds a Masters in Education from the Johns Hopkins University where he is also an adjunct faculty member. Prior to joining us, Brent worked for Teach For America where he managed a team that trained and prepared new classroom teachers. Brent brings his experience in learning development and teacher training to Rustic Pathways where he is in charge of program curriculum around the globe. Brent has also also hiked all 2,180 miles of the Appalachian Trail!

Ann Fuller

Ann Fuller

Community Service Director

Ann has a master’s in urban planning from NYU, where her studies culminated in a project with the United Nations in Nicaragua. She has man­aged volunteer programs in New York City, studied in Bolivia, and earned a bachelor’s degree in anthro­pology from Bates College. Ann now over­sees all Rustic Pathways service projects. She applies her expertise to ensure that our initiatives meet rigorous standards and achieve meaningful results.

Dave Dennis

Dave Dennis

Safety and Risk Management Director

Dave has a master’s degree in risk management and has worked in adventure and student travel since 1996 spanning the ranks from tour guide to Vice President of Operations. Prior to joining Rustic, Dave owned a consulting firm specialized in implementing risk management and emergency response programs for tour operators. He now supports Rustic Pathways by ensuring the quality and consistency of all our programs worldwide. Dave lives in Colorado with his family.

Evan Morgan

Evan Morgan

Sales Director

Evan graduated with a bachelor’s in international relations and a master’s in economic sociology from Stanford. As a captain of the soccer team, he earned Academic First Team for the Pac-10. His professional career includes fields as diverse as media, finance, community engagement, and zeppelin operations. Evan has been hard at work improving Rustic Pathways’ recruitment initiatives and becoming a student favorite leading trips in Southeast Asia.

Anna Lugosch-Ecker

Anna Lugosch-Ecker

Group Travel Director

Anna is an alumna of School Year Abroad and has a dual degree in geoscience and Mandarin from Dartmouth. Anna’s passion for experiential education and travel was sparked in high school and furthered in college. She now applies this passion at Rustic Pathways, providing opportunities for teachers and students to immerse themselves in new surroundings and engage powerfully with other cultures. Anna was previously director of our China operations.

Tim Porter-DeVriese

Tim Porter-DeVriese

Gap Year Director

After working extensively throughout Asia as a trip leader and program manager, Tim now manages our rapidly growing Gap Year division. With a deep understanding of our organizational ethos and host communities, he develops powerful, transformative experiences for Gap Year students from all over the world. An honors graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art, Tim speaks fluent Thai and splits his time between New England and Southeast Asia.

Molly Johnston

Molly Johnston

Human Resources Director

After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Molly kicked off a fifteen-year career bringing strategic human resources skills and processes to a variety of organizations throughout Colorado. She now brings her diverse talents to Rustic Pathways as our Human Resources Director. As a passionate Human Resources professional, Molly believes that HR works best when it builds and fosters an environment rich in creativity, empowering individual employees and the organization as a whole.

Ryan Gibbons

Ryan Gibbons

Marketing Director

With a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Missouri, Ryan brings his brilliant talents in design, photography, and marketing to Rustic, where he oversees marketing and creative initiatives. A professional photographer himself, Ryan helps coordinate photography competitions for college students and professionals. Prior to joining Rustic, Ryan worked in Washington D.C. for NPR. During his free time, he enjoys scuba diving around the world.

Scott Mathews

Scott Mathews

Strategy and Implementation Director

A Seattle native, Scott earned a BA in development economics and international relations from Tufts University. He started his career building brands for global investment groups before taking his analytical skills to Monitor Group, where he worked as a consultant advising the U.S. government on strategic outlooks. Analytical and creative, Scott brings his passion for experiential education and travel to help develop our global operations and brand.

Program Operations

Sam Murray

Sam Murray

Australia Country Director

A native Australian, Sam worked as an outdoor education teacher and camp manager before joining Rustic in 2008. His extensive travels abroad have fostered his passion for creating life-changing experiential education programs for students. Outside of work, you’ll find Sam surfing, diving, fishing, and spending time with his wife and two young daughters.

Emily Harney

Emily Harney

Australia Country Manager

Emily earned a master’s degree in higher education and has led our community service and animal conservation programs in Thailand, Fiji, and Australia since 2007. She is passionate about discovering other cultures and sharing the priceless experiences of travel with the students on her programs. Emily brings tons of energy and enthusiasm to our programs.

Chris Tuohy

Chris Tuohy

Australia Program Manager

Chris joined Rustic Pathways in 2013 after graduating from Griffith University in Australia. With majors in wildlife biology and ecotourism, Chris is a true Outback expert with a love for the Australian wilderness. Chris manages our remote progams in the Kimberley region where you can usually find him playing his guitar by a campfire or sleeping in a swag under the stars.

Elizabeth Linder

Elizabeth Linder

Australia Program Manager

Liz is an adventurous Kiwi who previously worked for Rustic Pathways in Costa Rica, and now manages our Aussie Surf and Service program. Liz is an outdoor guide who previously owned her own sea kayaking company in New Zealand and guided expeditions in Alaska. Her sense of adventure brings energy to our programs, and students love having Liz as their leader.

Navarone Salerno

Navarone Salerno

Australia Program Leader

A true Australian cowboy from the Kimberley region, Nav never ceases to astonish students with his stories of adventure in the Australian Outback. Nav is a legendary fisherman with a passion for sharing his country, and he is one of Rustic's all-star leaders on Outback programs. When not leading programs, Nav is out herding cattle on his million-acre ranch in Western Australia.

Amy Thomson

Amy Thomson

Australia Program Leader

Originally from Queensland, Amy now lives in the Outback and leads programs throughout Australia. With a degree in wildlife science, Amy has previously worked as a tour guide on Fraser Island on the Sunshine Coast, and at El Questro Station in the Eastern Kimberley. Her bubbly personality makes her a favorite with students and staff alike.

Alejandro Romero

Alejandro Romero

Australia Program Leader

Hailing from Colombia and living in Australia, Alejo has been an integral part of the Australian team since 2012. He has managed our Aussie Surf & Service and Seven Wonders programs, as well as group and gap programs throughout the South Pacific. With a unique Spanish twist to his new-found Aussie accent, Alejo brings an exciting blend of cultures to our programs.

Mathew Millard

Mathew Millard

Australia Program Leader

Mat is an Aussie outdoor education leader from South Australia. When he’s not driving the tractor on his family’s farm, Mat leads programs through Australia and Fiji for Rustic Pathways. Mat has extensive knowledge of Australia’s Outback and has worked with students in a range of capacities, including leading camp programs throughout the U.S. and Australia.

Brent Watkins

Brent Watkins

Burma Country Director

Brent holds a Masters in Education from the Johns Hopkins University and has managed our Ricefields Base for six years. After traveling extensively in South­east Asia, he now joins Rustic full-time as our Burma Country Director. Brent brings his experience in education, program development and emergency medical treatment to our operations in Burma.

Chit Oo

Chit Oo

Burma Country Manager

Hailing from Kengtung in eastern Shan State, Chit Oo joined Rustic Pathways in 2009. He has a degree in geography from Kengtung University and enjoys sharing his Shan culture and stories of colorful hill tribe people with our students. Chit Oo’s family always welcomes our students with a delicious homemade Burmese dinner when we visit his home in Kengtung.

Myint Zaw

Myint Zaw

Burma Country Manager

Myint Zaw comes from a small village near U Bein Bridge in Amarapura. After years of working with foreign tourists, he now speaks both English and French fluently in addition to his native Burmese. Myint Zaw’s extensive knowledge of the Amarapura region, his warm smile, and clever sense of humor make him a valued and indispensable part of our Burma team.

Alexis Simchak

Alexis Simchak

Cambodia Country Director

As country director for Cambodia, Alexis has extensive experience in Southeast Asia. After studying abroad in South Africa, her desire for international travel and service learning blossomed. A graduate of Penn State with a degree in visual journalism, Lexi is a skillful photographer with a real heart for service. She has also led photo programs in Burma, Laos, and Thailand.

Pannha En

Pannha En

Cambodia Country Manager

Pannha is a graduate of the National University of Management in Phnom Penh. Known for his gentle- hearted nature, he hails from humble roots in rural Cambodia and his work ethic is truly inspiring. When he is not working tirelessly behind the scenes, you can find him on the volleyball court! Pannha has proven to be a tremendous asset to our diverse operations.

Mary Yuan

Mary Yuan

China Country Director

Mary is from Chengdu, the home of our Giant Panda Project. Now in her fifth year with Rustic Pathways, Mary has stepped into the role of China country director. Mary loves traveling and has been to almost every province in China, and to the U.S. She dreams of finishing her China checklist and then moving on to see other destinations around the world!

Connor Stowe

Connor Stowe

China Program Manager

Connor graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a triple major in journalism, art history, and cinema studies. He has worked at NBC and Radio Disney, as well as on various film productions in New York. He joined Rustic Pathways in 2010 and has led programs in India, Australia, and China. Connor lives by his motto, “Make it an adventure!”

Ricardo Romero

Ricardo Romero

Costa Rica Country Director

Ricardo joined us eight years ago after working in Costa Rica’s rafting industry for a decade. With a degree in business from the University of Costa Rica, Ricardo is now completing his MBA. An avid outdoorsman with extensive experience as a river guide, his commitment to safety in the tourism sector makes him the ideal director of our Costa Rica operations.

Wainer Ocampo

Wainer Ocampo

Costa Rica Country Manager

During his many years with Rustic Pathways, Wainer’s patience and constant smile have won him a special place in the hearts of our students. A Costa Rica native, Wainer has also spent time in the U.S., where he completed a cultural exchange at Hiram College in Ohio. Always the first person on the dance floor, he can often be found teaching salsa to our students.

Alex Sevilla

Alex Sevilla

Costa Rica Program Manager

Born and raised in beautiful Turrialba, Alex spent ten years working as a whitewater rafting guide and represented Costa Rica as a member of the national team in two world rafting championships. He has a degree in industrial engineering from the Universidad Central. Alex has spent the last five years managing our exhilarating adventure and Gap Year programs.

Nilson Oviedo

Nilson Oviedo

Costa Rica Program Manager

Our resident Rustic Pathways musician, Nilson divides his time between playing bass in his successful ska band and working for our Costa Rica administrative team. For the past four years, Nilson has been a key player on our Costa Rica operations team. He is completing his degree in sociology from the University of Costa Rica, and helps with our community service initiatives.

Mauricio Carazo

Mauricio Carazo

Costa Rica Program Manager

A former river guide and photographer who hails from the hills of Turrialba, Mauricio is a great asset to our Costa Rica team. With a degree in business management and tourism and a fervent passion for mountain biking and kayaking, he provides invaluable insight into the logistics and safety of our adventure programs. Mau manages our adventure programs in Costa Rica.

Melanie Forbes

Melanie Forbes

Costa Rica Program Manager

Melanie first came to Costa Rica as a Rustic Pathways student, where she fell in love with the country, wildlife, and culture. Her positive experience encouraged her to pursue degrees in environmental science and Spanish and return to Rustic Pathways to inspire other young travelers. Melanie now lives in Costa Rica where she manages our Volcano and Rainforest Base.

Andres Zuniga

Andres Zuniga

Costa Rica Program Manager

Andres puts his master’s degree in environmental management and eco-tourism to use managing the Nicoya Turtle Expedition. The Turrialba native also runs soccer and service programs, where he combines his passion for soccer and helping others. Andres enjoyed a successful soccer career at the University of Costa Rica and is always looking for a friendly match!

Emily Sanders

Emily Sanders

Costa Rica Program Manager

Emily first encountered Rustic Pathways as a student, traveling to Asia and South America during high school and college. She is now entering her third year leading programs in Costa Rica. Emily is a graduate of Florida State University with a degree in anthropology. Her mastery of ice-breaker games, talented singing voice, love of sloths, and positive attitude make her a favorite in Costa Rica.

Casey Atchley

Casey Atchley

Costa Rica Program Manager

Casey received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University Indianapolis in Spanish culture and Philosophy. With exceptional bilingual communication and leadership skills, Casey is an integral member of our Costa Rica team where he manages our Summer Camp Leadership programs. He has worked as a professional photographer and has also volunteered and worked extensively throughout Nicaragua as both a guide and English teacher.

Harry Alvarez

Harry Alvarez

Dominican Republic Country Director

Born in New York and raised in the Dominican Republic. Harry graduated from SUNY New Paltz with degrees in psychology and Spanish. Having managed programs in Costa Rica and Panama, Harry now manages our operations in the Dominican Republic. In addition to his passion for indigenous cultures and Latin dance, Harry enjoys cooking at his new home in New Orleans.

Isabel Rosario

Isabel Rosario

Dominican Republic Country Manager

Isabel is a native of the mountain town of Jarabacoa, and has a degree in environmental studies. Her constant energy, love of nature, and indispensable local knowledge make her the perfect person to manage our operations in the DR. In her spare time you can find her drinking a “cafecito” or gardening with her two young daughters.

Ben Welbourn

Ben Welbourn

Dominican Republic Program Manager

Ben earned his degree in international relations from the College of Wooster in Ohio. After working with youth in various capacities he decided that his passion lies in experiential education. Ben is fluent in Spanish and has a deep love for the cultures of the Dominican Republic. His infectious enthusiasm, and boundless energy make him a welcome addition to our team.

Kate Lubina

Kate Lubina

Dominican Republic Program Manager

A native of Southern California, Kate is at home near the ocean with her feet in the water. Kate graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and a master’s in global medicine. She brings this background to our Life in the Bateyes program where she works to create quality service projects with our partner communities.

Halle Jackson

Halle Jackson

Dominican Republic Program Manager

A native of the fishing town of Sabana de la Mar in the Dominican Republic, Jackson is an integral part of our team. As a naturalist guide he has led conservation efforts in Los Haitises National park for many years and is one of the founding members of the local Green Brigade group. His constant smile, big heart, and local knowledge have made him a student favorite.

Daphney Ettiene

Daphney Ettiene

Dominican Republic Program Leader

Born In Haiti and raised in Brooklyn, Daphney brings her unique knowledge of Haitian culture to our Life in the Bateyes program. Daphney is fluent in Haitian Creole and is invaluable to the development work we are doing in these predominantly Haitian communities. Daphney offers great dedication to service and a positive attitude to our team.

R.J. Partington III

R.J. Partington III

Domincan Republic Program Leader

R.J. embodies positive energy in our programming. As the class president and resident advisor at SUNY New Paltz he led many students through leadership and team building training. This experience, combined with his kind nature, friendliness, and positivity, make him an extemely capable leader. R.J. lives in New York, but you are more likely to find him traveling the world.

Laura Penn

Laura Penn

Dominican Republic Program Leader

From Costa Rica to Australia, and finally in the Domini­can Republic, Laura has brightened up the days of many local children, students, and co-workers. She brings this charisma back home as a high school teacher outside of Washington D.C. Laura's sense of humor is notorious, and makes it impossible to be in a room with her without bursting into laughter.

Desmond Bolia

Desmond Bolia

Dominican Republic Program Leader

A California native, Desmond brings his calm demeanor and leadership skills to our programs in the Dominican Republic. Never lacking in enthusiasm and always willing to play one more game, Desmond quickly immerged as a favorite among our students. During his spare time you can catch him camping at Big Bend or rolling through the streets of SoCal on his skateboard.

Evan Wells

Evan Wells

Fiji Country Director

Born in New Zealand and living between Australia and Fiji, Evan has spent more than two decades helping to shape Rustic Pathways. With a degree in business, a love of the outdoors, and a deep commitment to serving Fijian communities, Evan proudly manages our South Pacific operations. Evan spends his spare time with his wife Lisa and their two boys, Henry and Sam.

Maggie Lentz

Maggie Lentz

Fiji Eco-Lodge Program Manager

Having spent time teaching students in the U.S., China, Ghana, and Fiji, Maggie brings a wealth of experience to her role as manager of our Eco-Lodge programs. A South Carolina native and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Maggie has a passion for community service and experiential education. She is a natural leader with a huge smile and warm personality.

Julie Arendt

Julie Arendt

Fiji Program Manager

An Ohio native and graduate of Cleveland State University, Julie has always loved making new friends and memories during adrenaline-pumping activities. She shared her passion for adventure with others during her time as a ski instructor and whitewater rafting guide before joining the Rustic Pathways team. Julie has led programs in New Zealand and Fiji.

Ana Dugulele

Ana Dugulele

Fiji General Manager

Ana has been a member of our Fiji team for more than seven years overseeing operations throughout the country. With exceptional local knowledge and an amazing ability to juggle many tasks, Ana plays a critical role in the success of our programs. She, her husband, and her two daughters, Joy and Kimberly, truly make the South Pacific Eco- Lodge a home away from home.

Shalini Narayan

Shalini Narayan

Eco-Lodge Base Manager

Born and raised steps away from our Eco-Lodge Base, Shalini oversees general operations of the Eco-Lodge. She welcomes every visitor with a warm and open heart, sharing cups of chai tea and lots of motherly love, while taking on a multitude of tasks to ensure the efficient operation of this base. Shalini also leads our Home Cooked Meals service initiative.

Aimee Gunn

Aimee Gunn

Fiji Program Manager

Aimee’s appreciation of nature and passion for the outdoors led her to the University of Florida where she studied natural resource conservation. She grew up with sand between her toes on the beaches of southern Florida and finds solace in the sunshine and ocean. Aimee has extensive experience working with young adults in a school setting.

Jone Nagodrolevu

Jone Nagodrolevu

Highlands Base Manager

Jone brings a smile, depth, and kindness to the programs on the island. Born in the village of Nasivikoso in the remote mountain district of Magodro, Jone is a graduate of Navosa Central College. As a key member of the Fiji team, Jone’s strong knowledge of Fijian traditions, life in the remote highlands region, and years of involvement with us make him a natural leader.

Waisele ‘Whise’ Naivaluvou

Waisele ‘Whise’ Naivaluvou

Islands Base Manager

Known as ‘Whise’ in Somosomo, this Rustic Pathways leader is a vital personality that keeps the day positive and programs running smoothly at the Islands Base. This jack-of-all-trades, who is affectionately considered “the manta ray whisperer,” is known for being able to pull in a big fish on command and throw down a spike for the final point in an afternoon volleyball game.

Ritesh Narayan

Ritesh Narayan

Fiji Program Leader

Ritesh is responsible for looking after many of the service projects that operate around Momi Bay. Born and raised just a stone’s throw away from our Eco-Lodge Base, his sense of humour and construction skills are always in demand. Ritesh learned his skills from his father, who also played an integral role in the development of Rustic Pathways bases in Fiji.

Kevin Porter

Kevin Porter

Ghana Country Director

Now in his fourth year in Ghana, Kevin’s love of dancing and storytelling has vibed well with the joyful West African culture. Previously, Kevin worked with development organizations in East Africa and completed research for the United Nations. While attending Harvard, Kevin oversaw the First-Year Outdoor Program for incoming students.

Moses Alhassan

Moses Alhassan

Ghana Program Manager

Moses is entering his third year working with Rustic Pathways. He first developed a passion for introducing foreigners to Ghana as a young boy growing up in Mole National Park, where his father is the longest serving guide in the park. Moses studied tourism operations in school and has deftly managed in-country logistics since joining the Rustic Pathways team in Ghana.

Nana Nyamekye

Nana Nyamekye

Ghana Program Manager

Nana is entering his third year leading programs for Rustic Pathways. Originally hailing from Mole National Park, Nana is passionate about showing off his vibrant country to new visitors. Nana is a talented soccer player and is one of the creators of Rustic Pathways Tomato Baseball. He ensures that fun is a core component of every trip he leads.

Kai Johnson

Kai Johnson

India Country Director

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Geography, Kai has been living and working in the Himalayan region for the last six years. He is fluent in both written and spoken Hindi and is passionate about experiential education. Kai brings expert knowledge of India to our operations, giving him the ability to create powerful experiences for our students.

Sudarshan Singh Deora

Sudarshan Singh Deora

India Country Manager

Sunny comes to us with a background in the Indian tourism industry and a degree in tourism management. A constant source of energy and excitement for Rustic Pathways students in India, Sunny is always ready to teach people about his native state of Rajasthan. He’s a fan of Indian folk music and a star cricket player. If you’re lucky, he’ll teach you how to swing for sixes!

Divya S. Parameshwaran

Divya S. Parameshwaran

India Country Manager

A native of Kerala and an invaluable member of our India team, Divya’s cheerful demeanor makes her extremely popular among Rustic Pathways students. She earned her MBA with a focus on international tourism and has worked extensively in the Kerala backwaters tourism industry. A phenomenal cook, she lives with her husband Eldhose in New Delhi.

Simone Villalobos

Simone Villalobos

India Program Manager

After traveling with Rustic Pathways as a student, Simone has come full circle to join our team. After graduating from the University of Portland with degrees in Spanish and sociology, Simone managed programs in Costa Rica for two years. She is now in her fifth year of running our popular community service programs in India and Southeast Asia.

Brad Smith

Brad Smith

India Program Manager

Brad graduated from the University of Colorado – Boulder, with a degree in environmental studies. Having led the Service in the Clouds program in India for two years, Brad has developed a deep passion for India and the Himalayas. He has traveled in Asia and Europe as a Residential Life Coordinator for a glo­bal school, and worked as an outdoor educator.

Tara McCarney

Tara McCarney

Laos Country Director

After studying psychology at Dartmouth College, Tara earned her masters at Harvard in language and literacy. Her interest in international development and education brought her to Thailand, where she spent a year teaching ESL students. After leading programs ranging from Ricefields to Come With Nothing, Tara now fills the role of Laos Country Director.

Khamla Sibounheuang

Khamla Sibounheuang

Laos Country Manager

Originally from the heart of exotic Xayaboury province, Khamla has calmly managed our Laos operations for five years. He received his degree in economics in Luang Prabang, where he now lives with his wife and young daughter. In addition to managing our year-round programs, Khamla has been instrumental in the development of our Rustic Pathways Base in Laos.

Paradon Simphouvanh

Paradon Simphouvanh

Laos Country Manager

Born in the village of Nam Ma in northern Laos, Paradon studied business and law at Manivanh College in Luang Prabang, where he learned excellent English-speaking skills that have made him a great program leader and favorite with our students. Paradon is WFR-certified and best known for his vibrant smile, adventurous spirit, and exceptional talent on the soccer field.

Gaia Bonini

Gaia Bonini

Mongolia Country Director

After graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in journalism, Gaia followed her passion for animals and community service to Rustic Pathways. She has led programs throughout Asia, Morocco, and Ghana. Prior to becoming the Mongolia Country Director, she managed our elephant conservation programs in Thailand and Laos. Her gentle demeanor and positive attitude make her a favorite with students.

Dalkhaa ‘Buyanaa’ Buyankhishig

Dalkhaa ‘Buyanaa’ Buyankhishig

Mongolia Program Manager

Hailing from the mining town of Erdenet in northern Mongolia, Buyanaa began helping us provide students with a truly “rustic” experience on some of our earliest programs in Mongolia. She spends most of her year working for an international humanitarian organization, and her passion for service informs everything she does. Buyanaa also speaks English and Russian.

John McGinnis

John McGinnis

Morocco Country Director

John earned a degree in peace and global security from the University of Dayton, studied at the American Universities of Cairo and Dubai, and completed his mastery of Arabic in Fez, Morocco. John’s fluency in four Arabic dialects in addition to Spanish, Italian, and English make him a natural fit for the position of country director in Morocco.

Chaima Ait Al Mekki

Chaima Ait Al Mekki

Morocco Country Manager

Born and raised in Marrakesh, Chaima has been with Rustic since our first summer in Morocco. Fluent in Arabic, French, English, and Spanish, she is an invaluable resource and guide. Chaima has a degree in actuarial finance and hopes to combine her knowledge of business, languages, and culture to enjoy a long career with Rustic Pathways in Morocco.

Kelly Moynihan

Kelly Moynihan

Peru Country Director

Kelly’s fluency in Spanish and commitment to community service make her a natural to direct our Peru operations. Before joining Rustic, she earned a degree in journalism from American University in Washington, D.C., where she also interned at CNN. With 21 countries and five continents under her belt, Kelly enjoys world cuisine and the thrills of global travel.

Alex Ball

Alex Ball

Peru Country Manager

A graduate of Brandeis University with a degree in international relations, Alex has led programs for eight years in Costa Rica and Peru. He is a veteran guide with a love of Peruvian culture and global humanitarian work. Alex is the founder of a nonprofit educational dormitory that aims to provide school access for Peruvian girls from indigenous communities.

Juan Mayorga

Juan Mayorga

Peru Program Manager

Juan was born in Peru and raised there until he moved to the United States when he was 10. He obtained a bachelor’s degree and earned dual graduate degrees in both tourism and park management and education from the University of Colorado. Juan resides in Peru year round, speaks fluent Spanish, and enjoys listening to music, reading, photography, and snowboarding.

Aaron Alvarez

Aaron Alvarez

Peru Country Manager

Our resident cusqueño, Aaron graduated from San An­to­nio Abad University with a degree in tourism. After traveling extensively through Peru and South America, Aaron began working with Rustic in 2012 and brings his strong work ethic and willingness to help to the team. After a long day in the office, you can find Aaron at a live music show or at a futból match with friends.

Kelci Pike

Kelci Pike

Peru Program Manager

A guide for Rustic since 2009, Kelci is an outdoor enthusiast who is passionate about sustainable ser­vice projects and travel. She is a graduate of Brandeis University with a double major in sociology and international/global studies. When Kelci is not working for Rustic, she works as a social worker and snowboarding instructor in Taos, New Mexico.

Alberto Gonzalez

Alberto Gonzalez

Peru Program Manager

Originally from Honduras but raised in south Florida, Beto graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in economics in 2005, and since then has worked as a teacher in various settings. Eager to learn about different cultures, Beto brings his love of adventure to our programs. When not guiding, you can find Beto scoring goals on the soccer field.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

Spain Country Director

With years of trip leading experience and Spanish expertise, Sarah is a natural for the position of Spain country director. She graduated from Montana State University with degrees in language and business before moving to Spain to teach English as a second language. Sarah loves the outdoors and is always eager to share her impressive foreign language skills.

Ana Astudillo

Ana Astudillo

Spain Program Leader

A Barcelona native, Ana loves sharing her country with travelers and friends. Ana was once a practicing attorney, but now spends her time hiking in the Pyrenees and exploring Europe. Students love Ana for her abundant energy and the smiles that she is always sharing with those around her. Her favorite view of the world is from the top of a mountain.

Jenni Wiener

Jenni Wiener

Spain Program Leader

Jenni is a Spanish and journalism teacher in Houston. She graduated from Miami University, where she ma­jored in journalism and international studies and minored in Spanish. Her passion for adventure travel led her to study abroad in Granada, Spain, and later work as a trip leader for Rustic Pathways. Jenni believes that travel opens doors of opportunity.

Patrick Ziemnik

Patrick Ziemnik

Tanzania Country Director

Patrick began his career in experiential education managing Harvard’s First-Year Outdoor Program while a student. After receiving high honors from the Harvard University Social Studies Department, Patrick continued his passion for social enterprise as an AmeriCorps volunteer. He now brings his strong leadership skills, love of the outdoors, hearty laugh, and two years of experience as Mongolia Country Director to our operations in Tanzania.

Kristin Dimberg

Kristin Dimberg

Tanzania Program Manager

Kristin recently completed her master’s in social work and has a strong interest in human rights and global issues. Her love of exploration and adventure attracted her to Rustic Pathways, and she has led trips in both Southeast Asia and Tanzania. Her fondness for East African culture and people have drawn her back to Tanzania to help with our operations there.

Andrew Scott

Andrew Scott

Tanzania Program Manager

Andy is a sixth-grade math teacher and an avid Ultimate Frisbee player, currently living in Denver. After falling in love with Tanzania on a chance visit in 2009, he returned, volunteering throughout the country for a year. Andy is thrilled to combine his love of Tanzania, passion for volunteer work, and dedication to teaching with the students and staff of Rustic Pathways.

Pat Taedaengpetch

Pat Taedaengpetch

Southeast Asia Regional Director

For 15 years, Pat has brought his professionalism, knowledge of Buddhism, zany sense of humor, cheerful nature, and love of adventure to our team. An experienced computer engineer, a talented photographer, a former Buddhist monk, and a fully licensed tour guide, Pat is a true Rustic Pathways all- star and one of our most beloved global directors.

Bryan Haggerty

Bryan Haggerty

Thailand Country Director

Bryan studied philosophy at Saint Michael’s College before moving to Southeast Asia where he has lived and worked for the last decade. Prior to joining Rustic, he spent three years teaching at Chiang Mai University and volunteering for an NGO that advocates for ethnic minority groups in the region. Bryan speaks fluent Thai, and has managed our Thailand operations since 2008.

Kadum Sanboon

Kadum Sanboon

Ricefields Service Base Director

A devout Buddhist, Kadum spent six years as a monk before joining Rustic Pathways where he has lovingly managed our Ricefields Base for more than 10 years. With extensive travel throughout 14 countries, fluency in three languages, and an intimate knowledge of our global operations, Kadum is one of the most experienced and respected members of our team.

Panuwat ‘Maha’ Noikamkong

Panuwat ‘Maha’ Noikamkong

Ricefields Service Base Manager

Maha joined Rustic Pathways in 2004 after spending 12 years as a Buddhist monk. He has an advanced degree in Buddhist philosophy, speaks four Asian languages, is fluent in English, and has managed the Ricefields Base for several years. One of the expert leaders of the Buddhist Life Project, Maha has deep community service experience in Thailand and Laos.

Yutthana Sangtiengnan

Yutthana Sangtiengnan

Rustic Pathways Children’s Home Director

Born in Mae Sariang, Yutthana has been part of the Rustic family for more than a decade. A native Karen speaker with a kind-hearted nature, Yutthana manages day-to-day operations at RPCH, one of our largest initiatives in the region. He also takes time to mentor each of the children who live at the Home and loves sharing this place with people from around the world.

Timothy Gillespie

Timothy Gillespie

Remote Thailand Operations Manager

Tim graduated from Frostburg State University’s Parks and Recreation Management program, and spent much of his young life in America’s backcountry. Having led wilderness and leadership trips in the Appalachians, the Rockies, and throughout Asia, he now manages our Come With Nothing program and spends the rest of the year teaching at the RPCH.

Keegan Kennedy

Keegan Kennedy

Southeast Asia Groups & Gap Year Manager

Keegan has been teaching, studying, and researching in Thailand for the last eight years. Originally from northern California, he recently completed his master’s thesis on the effects of forest fires on floral and fungal communities. Keegan is fluent in both written and spoken Thai and Lao, and brings his deep knowledge of local ecosystems to Rustic programs year-round.

Tommy Ryan

Tommy Ryan

Thailand Program Manager

Tommy is an accomplished soccer player with a warm heart and a dedication to service. During his tenure as captain of Stanford University’s varsity soccer team, he coordinated service efforts with the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto. Tommy joined Rustic after graduating from Stanford with a degree in business and a focus in digital media studies.

Braden Betts

Braden Betts

Ricefields Service Base Program Manager

Having grown up in South America, the Middle East, and Asia, Braden is truly a global citizen. After graduating from the University of Oregon in 2010, his passion for travel and working with kids led him to be a counselor in Switzerland and an English teacher in Thailand. Using his fluent Thai language skills, Braden now leads programs throughout Thailand.

Erin Murphy

Erin Murphy

Thailand Program Manager

Erin has spent three years in Thailand teaching business English at Khon Kaen University through a Princeton in Asia Fellowship. With a bachelor’s degree in sociology and economics from Notre Dame and a master’s in education from Harvard, Erin adds great knowledge to our Thailand team. Erin has traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia and studied abroad in South Africa. When not working, you can find Erin scuba diving.

Kinga Laczko

Kinga Laczko

Southeast Asia Program Manager

Originally from Hungary, Kinga graduated from the University of Szeged with a double major in Hungarian and English. After years of traveling and teaching ESL in Europe, Kinga joined our Southeast Asia team and has become one of our highest acclaimed trip leaders. Her warm smile and endless energy have graced numerous summer and group programs over the years.

Sai ‘Bee’ Sein

Sai ‘Bee’ Sein

Thailand and Burma Program Manager

Bee is known in the Rustic family for his warm smile, steady nature, and motorcycle-repair skills. From a small Shan village on the Thai-Burmese border, Bee has risen from a life of poverty to become a solid member of our Rustic Pathways team over the past six years. Based in Burma near the Golden Triangle, Bee runs programs in both Thailand and Burma each summer.

Marc Mankowski

Marc Mankowski

United States Country Director

A motivated educator, Marc tutors students in his spare time and always takes care to educate everyone on current events. He is an avid swimmer, a lover of wildlife, and has spent many summers as a lifeguard on several Atlantic beaches. Given his love for travel and his expert knowledge of the outdoors, Marc is a great person to explore the U.S. with Rustic-style!

Josh Masterson

Josh Masterson

United States Program Leader

Josh is a University of Massachusetts Amherst graduate and has since engaged in a wide array of volunteer travel-based programs both within the U.S. and in­ter­nationally. Josh has taught English in a remote region of Northern Thailand and loves to serve local communities. Josh is passionate about living and working in ways that sustain and preserve the planet.

Stefani Scarboro

Stefani Scarboro

United States Program Leader

Stefani has always loved to explore and be outdoors. She was born in northern Virginia and attended college at West Virginia University. Her love for helping others and international travel took her on sustainable development trips to Peru, Fiji, Patagonia and New Zealand. When not working, Stef enjoys scuba diving, singing, and having fun with her sorority sisters.

Heather Manley

Heather Manley

United States Program Leader

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Heather is an adventure enthusiast who spent her last summer leading the Rebuilding New Orleans program and has absolutely fallen in love with everything Rustic. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Washington State University and is passionate about traveling and immersing herself in new places.

Julie Ball

Julie Ball

United States Program Leader

Julie graduated with a degree in anthropology from the University of South Florida with an emphasis on international development and indigenous studies. Prior to leading Rustic trips in New Orleans and the Dominican Republic, Julie worked as a coordinator for a non-profit organization through AmeriCorps. Her other passions include scuba diving and playing rugby.

Global Support Team

Kelsey Brown

Kelsey Brown

Client Experience Manager

Kelsey’s great energy, bright smile, and work ethic have helped keep our Ohio office going strong for 14 years. She began her work with Rustic Pathways as an English tutor for our Thai staff. Kelsey now manages our team of personal travel advisors from our Ohio of­fice. A proud mother of two sons, Kelsey is also a dog lover and certified master trainer.

Rachel Darroch

Rachel Darroch

Personal Travel Advisor

Rachel holds a degree in religious studies from the University of Findlay where she also studied illustration. She is an avid photographer and loves to explore new locations, cultures, and food. A seasoned adventurer, you probably will never see Rachel without her cell phone, a bottle of water, and her camera, along with her perpetual warm smile.

Annemarie Cramer

Annemarie Cramer

Personal Travel Advisor

A native of Chardon, Ohio, and a key member of our personal travel advisor team, Annemarie attended both Lakeland Community College and Kent State University. A trained customer service representative who loves her job and helping others, Annemarie brings 13 years of experience, a positive outlook, and a friendly, outgoing attitude to Rustic Pathways.

Michelle Michal

Michelle Michal

Personal Travel Advisor

A true Clevelander, and a graduate of Kent State University in hospitality management, Michelle joined Rustic Pathways as a personal travel advisor after work­ing for six years as an event planner for a local winery. Her emphasis on customer service, love of travel, and desire to experience new cultures make Michelle a great fit within the Rustic family.

Paul Smylie

Paul Smylie

Personal Travel Advisor

Hailing from the shores of Lake Erie, Paul has always had an affinity for travel and mentoring students. A graduate of Bowling Green State University in Ohio with a degree in geography, Paul loves talking to others about their adventures around the world. Since joining the Rustic Pathways team, Paul has managed programs in the United States, Laos, and Cambodia.

Chrissy Schmidt

Chrissy Schmidt

Personal Travel Advisor

Chrissy has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida, and spent three years teaching middle school English near Orlando. Her passion for international development brought her to Rustic, where she guides service projects at the Ricefields Base. Chrissy designed and taught our Intensive English Language course and has also led various group trips.

Carrina Crow

Carrina Crow

Personal Travel Advisor

Carrina is a lifelong traveler who is passionate about helping others. A graduate from Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvannia, Carrina puts her degree in international business to use as a personal travel advisor since 2013. Carrina loves photography, gardening, honeybees, and the ocean, and in 2008 traveled to Australia to play for the United States World Softball team.

Sean Major

Sean Major

Personal Travel Advisor

A graduate of Kent State University, Sean brings his passion for travel and an extensive background in professional and corporate level customer service to his role as personal travel advisor for Rustic Pathways. Sean’s giving spirit and pride in his work drive his commitment to delivering caring, friendly service to everyone he meets.

Kristie Reznak

Kristie Reznak

Flight Administrator

An Ohio native, Kristie is a graduate of Kent State University with a degree in business administration. As a certified travel agent, she diligently manages airline ticketing and also lends support to many different areas of our administrative operations. Kristie thrives in the dynamic, fast-paced environment of our Ohio office and rises to meet unique administrative challenges.

Jamie Kobylinski

Jamie Kobylinski

Flight Administrator

A graduate of Cleveland State University with degrees in both nonprofit management and psychology, Jamie is a certified travel agent and the secretary-treasurer of the Rustic Pathways Foundation. Jamie has been a key member of our administrative team for seven years and helps manage flight logistics. She has extensive travel experience in Southeast Asia and the Fiji Islands.

Katie Ortman

Katie Ortman

Flight Administrator

Born and raised in the Cleveland area, and a veteran member of our Ohio office, Katie is instrumental in keeping our complex administration systems running smoothly. She is a certified travel agent, and in her spare time enjoys spending time with her friends and family. Katie is the mother of two young children and is passionate about baking and trying new recipes.

Stephanie Sadler-Drake

Stephanie Sadler-Drake

Finance Administrator

Stephanie came to our financial team with a master’s degree in international relations from Salve Regina University. After studying abroad in Spain during college, she has become an avid traveler and enjoys visiting our program locations around the world. Stephanie audits expenses for our worldwide staff and is currently completing her MBA at Franklin University.

Elizabeth Hartman

Elizabeth Hartman

Finance Administrator

Liz is an integral and enthusiastic part of Rustic Pathways’ finance team. She has an associate’s degree and is currently completing her bachelor’s degree at Cleveland State University. An active individual who likes to exercise, bike, hike, and run, Liz loves to be outside as much as possible, often accompanied by her husband Brandon who also works at Rustic.

Debbie Shimek

Debbie Shimek

Finance Administrator

Debbie manages internal accounting for Rustic. Her visits to our projects in numerous locations have provided her with the context required to complete this complex and demanding task. After sorting through receipts and documents in dozens of languages and currencies, Debbie likes to unwind by maintaining her flower gardens and playing with her dog, Bella.

Gary Holt

Gary Holt

Medical Training and Safety Manager

An instructor in wilderness first response, Gary gives emergency training to those who work in environments with little medical infrastructure. Gary has certified dozens of our staff in the 72-hour Wilderness First Responder course and leads trips in Thailand and Laos. He introduced Wilderness First Responder Certification to summer and Gap Year students in Thailand in 2013.

Kevin Chartrand, M.D.

Kevin Chartrand, M.D.

Medical Director

Kevin is a board-certified family practitioner and fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He specializes in travel medicine and occupational health. Kevin provides the company with medical advice and keeps the global directors apprised of important medical developments that could have an impact on our students and staff who travel to remote locations.

Daniel Valenti

Daniel Valenti

Sales Manager

Dan graduated cum laude from Harvard University with highest honors in his field. He majored in psychology and completed a thesis on temporal discounting that won the faculty prize for best thesis. Dan also spent a summer drafting speeches in the U.S. Senate. He opened Rustic operations in Morocco, and has led programs in five other countries.

Jessie Wachter

Jessie Wachter

Global Programs Advisor

Having run programs in New Orleans, India, Peru, Mongolia, and Tanzania, Jessie has an extensive knowledge of our programs and operations. After four years as Tanzania Country Director, Jessie now works directly with clients to help them choose the perfect program. She has traveled to more than 50 countries and still ventures out from her new home in Brooklyn to lead Rustic Pathways programs

Miles Becker

Miles Becker

Strategic Partnership Coordinator

After graduating from Columbia University with an economics degree, Miles worked as a financial analyst for a prominent consulting firm before joining Rustic Pathways. With a passion for travel, adventure, and jumping feet-first into new cultures, Miles has led service-focused programs in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Cambodia, and South Carolina.

Lauren DeAngelis Alvarez

Lauren DeAngelis Alvarez

Strategic Partnership Coordinator

With a degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, Lauren worked on literacy programs for underprivileged youth before joining us. She is an international traveler, speaks fluent Spanish, and is always looking for the next great adventure. After searching for a city that shares her love of food, art, and music, she settled in New Orleans where she coordinates strategic partnerships.

Kirkland Kraines

Kirkland Kraines

Strategic Partnership Manager

Kirkland has spent the past 10 years building cross-cultural bridges through his work in international development, social enterprise, and management consulting. At Brown University, Kirkland earned a degree in International Relations with a focus on Political and Economic Development. He has extensive experience mentoring young people and is excited to inspire the next generation of global citizens. Kirkland enjoys sailing, reading, and volunteering in his local community.

Oliver Rodriguez Pearson

Oliver Rodriguez Pearson

Agent Recruitment Coordinator

Half Spanish, half British, Oliver grew up in Madrid and attended universities in both Spain and the U.K. Oliver started spreading the word about Rustic Pathways in Spain nine years ago and is passionate about shaping the lives of future leaders. This energetic Spaniard is legendary when it come to sharing the best of Rustic with agents around the world.

Carly Caldron

Carly Caldron

Gap Year Administrator

Carly supports our growing Rustic Pathways Gap Year division as a vital administrator. While Cleveland has always been home, she has also lived in Italy and Brooklyn, New York. She knows firsthand how powerful and life-changing world travel can be and loves that her job allows her to provide that opportunity to young people on the threshold of adulthood.

Erik Schoon

Erik Schoon

Gap Programs Manager

Having visited more than 50 countries, Erik has spent several years as our global Gap Year guide, and now helps ensure that our Gap operations run smoothly. During the summer, Erik manages our Come With Nothing, Go Home Rich program. He’s an avid skydiver, scuba diver, surfer, and fisherman, and Erik is known to be a fearless connoisseur of wild foods.

Erica Schultz

Erica Schultz

Gap Programs Coordinator

Erica majored in Spanish and played basketball at Pacific University before becoming assistant coach. Her passion for international service began with a project to fund an orphanage in Uganda, continued on a medical mission in Peru, and landed her a position on our summer Costa Rica team. As Gap Year Admissions Coordinator, she helps high school graduates connect with life changing experiences all over the world.

Matija Paunovsky

Matija Paunovsky

Group Travel Sales Director

A proud Croatian, Matija is a graduate of Northeastern University and has a master’s degree from Harvard. In addition to her years of experience in international recruitment for Rustic Pathways, she is accomplished in leadership training and brings her diverse experience to helping shape our Groups division. Matija ensures that all clients return home completely satisfied.

Marc Bartholomew

Marc Bartholomew

Group Travel Administration Director

With degrees in English and counseling, Marc spent 35 years as a high school teacher and track coach before joining Rustic Pathways. With an in-depth understanding of our global operations, his educational background, and his passion for cultivating young minds, Marc works hard to design unforgettable experiences for families and groups.

Jamie Spates

Jamie Spates

Group Travel Program Coordinator

Jamie grew up living abroad and sailed around the world with Semester at Sea three times. A Hobart College graduate with a degree in literature, Jamie has spent over a decade working for Rustic Pathways in Asia before settling down in New York City. His endless energy and professional demeanor over the years have made him a Rustic Pathways legend.

Sammy Gacsi

Sammy Gacsi

Group Travel Program Coordinator

During his eight years working with Rustic Pathways, Sammy’s enthusiasm, creativity, and leadership skills, have made him a key member of our team. He has a degree in sociolinguistics from the University of Szeged in Hungary, and a great deal of firsthand educational experience. Sammy plans and facilitates programs for teachers and families for our Group Travel division.

Brandon Hartman

Brandon Hartman

Group Travel Program Coordinator

Brandon joined Rustic Pathways in January of 2013 as a personal travel advisor. He studied finance at Miami University in Ohio, and has a background in banking. Brandon takes pride in customer service and is excited to employ his skills and experience as a group travel program coordinator. He has a beautiful new wife, Liz, who also works for Rustic Pathways.

Kristen Waldron

Kristen Waldron

Group Travel Administrator

Kristen majored in English at the University of Northern Colorado, has spent time abroad, and just recently returned north to Ohio after teaching high school in Miami. Her love of connecting with other adventurous hearts, customer service, and her friendly smile make her a delightful addition to Rustic. Kristen loves to be outside, especially with her horse and two dogs.

Lauren Anderson

Lauren Anderson

Alumni Association Coordinator

Lauren holds a degree in Spanish and economics from Emory University. She spent the past six years overseeing service projects and operations in Costa Rica and now manages our Alumni Association. A lover of student travel, Lauren lends her energy to continuing student involvement. She lives in Chicago and spends her free time cooking or relaxing by the pool.

Brielle Friedman

Brielle Friedman

Public Engagement Coordinator

A Rustic Pathways alum, Brielle returned to us after earning a degree in international relations at Brown University. During college, Brielle founded microfinance initiatives that supported women in Ecuador. She has led Rustic programs in the Dominican Republic, and now serves as our public engagement coordinator. A fitness devotee, Brielle’s morning workouts are epic.

Katey Finnegan

Katey Finnegan

Marketing Coordinator

A graduate of the University of Southern California, Katey focused her energies on international development and social enterprise. Prior to Rustic, she completed a prize-winning research project on the sustainability of food security programs in the Nicaraguan countryside. Katey has led programs in Asia and the DR, and now brings her diverse talents to our marketing team.

Teri Hare

Teri Hare

Senior Graphic Designer

Teri brings 35 years of professional printing and publishing experience to Rustic Pathways’ marketing efforts and has designed our catalogs since 1999. Teri is actively involved in child-based service organizations such as Lions International and the National SIDS Foundation. She has also worked with Cleveland area organizations to give abused dogs a second chance.

Naomi Tao

Naomi Tao

Graphic Designer

Naomi has a bachelor's degree in fine arts and a minor in marketing from USC. Having previously worked with major retail brands across the country, Naomi brings her expertise and artistic know-how to our marketing team where she keeps the Rustic Pathways Brand fresh and up to date. A native of St. Louis, Naomi is an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and the USC Trojans.

Nopparat ‘Toy’ Boonchaliaw

Nopparat ‘Toy’ Boonchaliaw

Website Manager

Originally from Chiang Rai, Thailand, Toy’s passion for computers brought him to Chiang Mai, where he graduated from Rachamangkala University with a degree in visual communications and design. A talented designer and dedicated worker, Toy has managed our websites for many years. His unique style of design lends an eclectic flavor to our website.

Justin Kase Conder

Justin Kase Conder

International Photography Manager

Justin’s insatiable curiosity and love of people inspire every aspect of his photography. Over the past 14 years, his work as a photographer has taken him to every U.S. state except Alaska. A native of California, he has worked as a photographer for USA Today and The Associated Press. Justin has photographed and led service and adventure programs all around the world.

Carolina Vilamizar de Gacsi

Carolina Vilamizar de Gacsi

Human Resources Coordinator

With a degree in biology and ecology from Javeriana University in Bogotá, Columbia, Carolina is one of the most energetic and organized members of our team. After five years in our Costa Rica office, Carolina now works in our HR department overseeing employment applications for our operations. She also runs our regional staff training in Southeast Asia each summer.

Candice Carner

Candice Carner

Human Resources Coordinator

Candice is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace College in Ohio with a degree in business administration, and she recently earned her MBA from Lake Erie College. Candice brings her expertise, kindness, and attention to detail to our human resources department. She assists with the on-boarding of all staff and manages staff benefits and professional development.

Chris McKrill

Chris McKrill

Database and Technology Manager

Chris oversees and manages our database systems in the Rustic Ohio office. He maintains the information systems necessary to ensure the best possible student and parent experiences from start to finish. An Ohio native, he earned a business degree from Colorado Christian University in Denver. Chris has a beautiful wife and a young son, and enjoys skiing and volleyball.

Roger Ah Chang

Roger Ah Chang

Fleet, Forms, and Database Manager

Hailing from New Zealand, Roger first joined Rustic in 2006. A graduate of Victoria University with a bachelor's in sociology, Roger focuses on keeping our forms and administration systems on the cutting edge. He enjoys volunteering at his church, modifying cars, and doing home improvements. He and his wife, Megan, have two handsome young sons.

Dan Howells

Dan Howells

Shipping and Logistics Manager

Dan has led summer and Gap Year trips throughout Africa and Australia, and now works in the areas of logistics and recruitment. His positive energy, down-to-earth Midwestern personality, and his experience in international shipping logistics are great assets to our global operations. Dan completed the Cleveland Marathon in 2011 and summited Kilimanjaro in 2010.

Halee Minick

Halee Minick

Shipping Coordinator

As the youngest member of our Ohio team, Halee brings her stellar organizational skills to the shipping department. When Halee isn’t in the mailing room, she spends her free time playing with her three nephews and learning new languages so she can communicate with Rustic Pathways staff all over the world. Halee is the key to keeping our mailings prompt and precise!

Denise Minick

Denise Minick

Property Manager

A key part of the Rustic family, Denise manages the daily maintenance and upkeep of our beautiful new office in Huntsburg, Ohio. Having managed properties in Montana and Canada, Denise lovingly keeps our Ohio facilities in top shape, and the property and landscaping neat and well-manicured. She also makes all arrangements for company events held at the office.

Tracey Murray

Tracey Murray

Australia Office Administrator

Living a fit and active outdoor lifestyle in Australia, Tracey is a passionate surfer who has competed internationally in the World Qualifying Series. Tracey taught in Aussie schools for nearly a decade and is committed to providing the best possible experience for Rustic participants by managing the administration and logistics for all programs throughout Australia.

Marinela Garcia

Marinela Garcia

Costa Rica Office Administrator

A native of the small coastal town of Pérez Zeledón, Nela brings her calming presence and kindness to our administrative team. After receiving her MBA from the University of Costa Rica, Nela’s bilingual skills and sense of organization keep our Costa Rica office running smoothly. Nela has spent the last four years ensuring successful operations within our team.

Maricruz Acosta

Maricruz Acosta

Costa Rica Group Travel Coordinator

A native of San José, Maricruz has a degree in tourism and international trade from the Universidad Internacional de Las Americas. When not working on administrative and logistical tasks in our Costa Rica office, she can be found lying on the beach, reading a book, or hanging out with her family. Maricruz is never without a smile and a willingness to lend a hand.

Shailini Naidu

Shailini Naidu

Fiji Administration Manager

Shailini joined the Rustic Pathways Fiji team in 2011 and has quickly become an integral part of our operations. She graduated from Levuka Public School on her home island of Ovalau and attended the University of Queensland in Australia before settling back in Fiji. She loves to cook and can always be counted on for delicious food and good conversation.

Manitchaya ‘Jib’ Hemuthai

Manitchaya ‘Jib’ Hemuthai

Chiang Mai Office Administrator

An Udon Thani native, Jib has risen through the ranks over the years at our Thailand headquarters. Her superb organizational skills, computer proficiency, and excellent English have earned her the role of Chiang Mai operations manager. Jib is WFR certified, and is the proud mother of several animals including three cats, two dogs, and five rabbits.

Preechapong ‘Art’ Laojarerngran

Preechapong ‘Art’ Laojarerngran

Southeast Asia Logistics Manager

Entering his seventh year with Rustic, Art is a key member of our Asia logistics team. Originally from Mae Hong Son, Art earned his guide license from Chiang Mai University. Art spends his winters working closely with our Ohio office, coordinating internal ticketing for students around the world. He also runs private groups and Rustic Gap Year trips throughout the year.

Ja-Ue ‘Saa’ Janae

Ja-Ue ‘Saa’ Janae

Chiang Mai Office Assistant

A member of the Shan ethnic group, Saa originally hails from the remote, mountainous Thai-Burmese border region. With limited educational opportunities available in his hometown, he has made up for lost time since arriving in Chiang Mai, where he now resides and helps run daily operations. He speaks four languages and leads groups throughout Thailand and Burma.