Eric Bergstrom is the President and Founder of Bergstrom Capital Advisors, Inc. (BCA), located in Irvine, California. Eric formed BCA in 2001, after 13 years as a CPA and founder of Ernst & Young/Kenneth Leventhal & Co.'s Real Estate Capital Markets Group (EYKL), where he led all real estate capital market assignments in the western United States, including the largest equity placement in the history of the firm.
During his 25-year career in the real estate capital markets, Eric has advised hundreds of real estate owners and developers throughout North America in strategic planning, entity and project-level acquisition due diligence/dispositions, land planning/design, market and financial feasibility analyses, and capital market advisory assignments, including workouts/restructures, mergers and acquisitions, entity formations and financial statement audits for REIT IPOs, High-Yield Debt Offerings, and Investment Fund Entities. BCA is a discrete, privately-held real estate capital market and strategic advisory firm that provides professional and highly responsive capital market execution for owners and developers of all product types in commercial and residential real estate by utilizing Eric's technical expertise, twenty five years of real estate experience, and direct, long-standing relationships with capital sources and real estate professionals throughout the world.
Melissa Biggs Bradley has been in love with travel all her life. A childhood of amazing journeys taught her the transformational power of travel and the gift of continual discovery: she went to Australia at age ten, set out on her first African safari at twelve and spent a year in France as a teenager. Her commitment to adventure and her belief in bridge-building across places and cultures have taken her to over 100 countries on six continents and counting. She is the expert’s expert in the travel world.
Melissa launched Indagare in 2007, after long-term stints as travel editor of Town & Country magazine and founding editor of Town & Country Travel. She imagined Indagare’s site as a 比特币交易平台home base for a community of passionate travelers—and it’s become the go-to resource for voyagers of all kinds seeking one-of-a-kind travel. In the decade since its founding, Indagare has grown rapidly, and has been named to Inc.’s Fastest Growing Companies in the US and to Crain’s 50 fastest growing companies in New York.
At Indagare, Melissa shares her unsurpassed travel know-how, her expertise in trip planning and her insider understanding of fascinating places the world over with community members who love the growth that comes with new experiences. Melissa and her team of equally committed travel experts provide clients with personalized advice, exhilarating itineraries and unparalleled access to special places for far-away adventures. Melissa travels constantly — more than 100 days per year! — to keep her first-hand knowledge fresh and build her amazing network of local experts and partners. When she’s not adding new pages to her passport, Melissa is based in New York City, where she lives with her husband and children.
Jessica Blotter is CEO & Co-Founder of Kind Traveler, an internationally recognized speaker, and a journalist. The moment she discovered the love of travel can’t be separated from the state of the world after witnessing devastating poverty on a trip to Belize, she wondered how the $7-trillion travel industry could be harnessed to benefit local communities, the environment, and animals. This experience led her and her co-founder to harness their entrepreneurial backgrounds to launch Kind Traveler, the first socially-conscious Give + Get hotel booking and sustainable travel media platform empowering travelers to positively impact the destinations they visit.
Blotter has been featured in more than 300 news outlets including The New York Times, Forbes, CNN, Conde Nast Traveler, and Travel + Leisure for her accomplishments with Kind Traveler. As a speaker, Blotter delivered a TEDx salon talk The Future of Travel: Purpose is King, was a finalist at both the 2019 UNWTO Travel Tech Adventure Pitch Competition in Chile and the 2019 Lufthansa Innovation Hub Changemaker Challenge in Germany and was the Keynote speaker at the 2019 Tahoe Chamber Summit on Responsible Tourism. She’s also been a speaker on the stages of Sonoma County Tourism's 2019 Annual Summit, Travel & Adventure Show, UCLA Marshall School of Business, CREST (Center for Responsible Travel) Annual Forum, Women’s Travel Summit, Impact Travel Alliance Summit, Lodging Magazine's Green Lodging Summit, Boutique Lodging & Lifestyle Leadership Summit, BLLA’s TIEWN (Travel Industry Executive Women’s Network), Enlightened Entrepreneur Summit, Travel and Tourism Marketing Association, Female Founder University by LAUNCH, and more. She’s also a regular guest lecturer on social entrepreneurship and sustainable tourism at both UCLA and USC.
As a journalist, she’s contributed to Fast Company, Hotel Executive Magazine, Hospitality Design, One Green Planet, CBS Los Angeles, Spa Insider, and the Boutique Lodging & Lifestyle Association (BLLA), and more.
When it comes to awards, she received a ‘2020 Travel + Leisure Global Vision Award,’ was a finalist for a BESSIE Award as a ‘2019 Startup of the Year’ by Women in Travel Summit and received the ‘2017 Rising Star in Travel & Tourism Award’ by WITTI (Women in Travel & Tourism International), amongst others.
She started her career as an earth science educator teaching 130 underserved students each day at UCSD’s Preuss School and later spent 10 years working with travel and lifestyle media startups as an associate publisher where she played a key role in the growth and expansion of multiple media companies. She holds a M.A. in Education from Ottawa University and a B.S. in Biology from Arizona State University. She currently resides in Manhattan Beach, California. Find inspiration to do more than travel on KindTraveler.com.
Learn more about Jessica on her LinkedIn profile.
Mary-Elizabeth Gifford has worked as a strategist for some of the world’s most recognized brands. A trusted voice for health justice, Mary-Elizabeth has presented at the Global Wellness Summit, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., at the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) Forum in Boulder, Colo., at Cornell University, and elsewhere.
Until March of 2019, when she joined the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, she was a strategic partner in a San Francisco-based firm that specializes in advising venture capital and private equity firms and their partner companies. A longtime leader in the Biodynamic farming community, for 10 years she was on the Board of Directors of Demeter-USA, the U.S.D.A-recognized certifier, considered “beyond organic.” Mary-Elizabeth currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Responsible Travel, a D.C. nonprofit that works to forge links between the hospitality industry and global poverty eradication.
The democratization of wellness is a longstanding passion, and at the invitation of the Global Wellness Institute, she sits on a Global Wellness Initiative.
Mary-Elizabeth’s background as an award-winning multimedia journalist includes work in broadcast news as a producer and as a print reporter. Her photography and reportage have been published in Vanity Fair, the Los Angeles Times, the Santa Barbara-News Press. the New York Daily News, the New York Post, The East Hampton Star, New York magazine, and elsewhere.
A native of New York City, she was graduated from Brown University and had a year of post-graduate study at Harvard as an Affiliate of Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism, where she studied with Professor Anne Harrington, founder of Harvard’s Mind, Brain, Behavior Initiative and of the germinal work, The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine. A Mary-Elizabeth lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, a journalist at NPR, and their family.
Alice Marshall, President of Alice Marshall Public Relations, has been promoting luxurious travel properties and destinations since the 1980s, beginning with her in-house role at Cunard Line publicizing the QE2, The Ritz, and Cunard's other properties. In 1991, Mrs. Marshall launched her own company.
Today, Alice Marshall Public Relations represents some of the world's greatest hotels and resorts, the top luxury cruise line, a renowned spa company, and an organic bed linen company. Her company has extensive experience in the global travel and spa market, having worked with luxury brands across the world since its inception. The company has collaborated with leading hotel groups (Park Hyatt, COMO Hotels and Resorts, Island Outpost, Nantucket Island Resorts, Victoria-Jungfrau Collection), top luxury cruise lines (Crystal Cruises), independent hotels and resorts (Crillon le Brave and Royal Mansour Marrakech), and luxury products (ESPA International, Guinot, Blackwell Rum and Gayle Warwick Fine Linen).
Mrs. Marshall's forte has always been to quickly grasp any occasion and propose positive actions that complement her clients' desired image. To this end, she has developed personal relationships with literally hundreds of journalists who cover business and leisure travel, wellness, food, design, fashion, and lifestyle concerns. Her company employs 12 very talented publicists in New York and California. While sustainable tourism does not immediately come to mind when one thinks of luxury hotels, the company's clients are recognizing their responsibility for implementing policies that nurture sustainability, and a few have been recognized by Conde Nast Traveler's World Savers for their efforts. It has been Alice's focus to not only provide a face and window for her clients, but also to gently guide them toward a wholesome relationship that minimizes their carbon footprint. Each of the company's clients is an educator in this respect.
Alice graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in Art History as well as an M.B.A. from New York University.
As the owner of JustaTAAD, LLC, Denaye Curates Conversations through the lens of sustainability and service for the tourism industry and delivers resilient and sustainable solutions for hotels and events. With an extensive background in sustainable auditing and training, international standards and systems, tourism development and planning at the destination level and sustainable tourism operations her goal is to ensure a resilient tourism industry one country at a time.
Social Responsibility: Giving back to support economic resilience, Denaye serves on the Board for the Center for Responsible Travel, has served as the Chairwoman for the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism and is active in the US Green Building Council.
Experience: Prior to becoming a business owner, Denaye was the Director of Sustainability and Corporate Development for OBM International, a global Architecture & Master Planning firm focused on designing luxury resorts and high-end residential properties across the globe. She managed the company's Green Matters Design Studio to develop sustainable tourism plans and implement environmentally responsible designs and operations for projects worldwide.
Initiatives: Believing in company resilience, her role while serving as Corporate Development Director led her to initiate and roll out company Succession Planning, Innovation & Culture, Thought Leadership and Client Segmentation platforms throughout seven company offices to increase capacity building, align strategy development, build company visibility and enhance business development and client retention.
Andrea Holbrook is president of Holbrook Travel, Inc., which is based in Gainesville, Florida. Since 1998, she has led the company, which specializes in natural history, educational programs, and the promotion of sustainable travel. She is also part of a family operation that owns and oversees Selva Verde Lodge and Private Reserve in the lowland rainforests of Costa Rica. Andrea helped establish, and is currently president of the board of, the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center (SCLC), a community-driven outreach initiative located on the grounds of Selva Verde Lodge. The center’s mission is to empower local communities through learning, providing access to knowledge and promoting sustainable development.
At Holbrook Travel, Andrea directs a team that works with diverse clients, from nature and conservation organizations to high schools and universities to individual specialists. Her company offers programs that support and help carry out their missions in more than 30 countries, mostly in Latin America and East Africa. Through Holbrook, Andrea has also supported three industry associations focused on sustainable development in specific regions: the International Galápagos Tour Operators Association; Friends of the Serengeti; and RESPECT in Cuba. She graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and enjoys spending time, and exploring the world, with her husband, Robert, and teenage daughter, Aggie.
Andrea Pinabell, LEED AP, joined Southface as the organization’s president in January 2017. A dynamic, purpose-driven, and experienced leader, Pinabell has demonstrated consistent success in developing and leading multi-level and international organizations in both for-profit and nonprofit environments. Most recently, she was vice president for sustainability and global citizenship with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
Previously, Pinabell was with The 比特币交易平台home Depot Foundation as director of the Sustainable Cities Institute and Sustainable Community Development Program manager. A chemical engineer by education, she brings wide-ranging expertise to Southface, from water to energy to sustainable business, communities, and development. In addition, Pinabell has won several awards, including SmartCEO Magazine’s award (2015) honoring visionary leadership in the commercial real estate industry.
Often called the father of modern adventure travel, Richard Bangs has spent decades as an explorer and communicator, pioneering “virtual expeditions” on the internet and leading first descents of 35 rivers around the world, including the Yangtze in China and the Zambezi in Southern Africa. He also founded Sobek Expeditions, the first multinational river-running company, and the pioneering outfitter for active wilderness travel.
Bangs has published 19 books and more than 1,000 magazine articles. He’s also produced a score of documentaries and all manner of digital media. He has lectured at the Smithsonian, the National Geographic Society, the Explorers Club, and other notable venues. He writes a semi-regular feature for HuffingtonPost.com, freelances for other print and online publications, and produces and hosts Richard Bangs’ Adventures with Purpose, as seen on National Public Television.
In the early 1990s, Sobek merged with Mountain Travel to become Mountain Travel-Sobek, a leader in international adventure and eco-travel. Bangs also began TerraQuest, one of the first online travel projects, and was part of the founding executive team of Expedia.com. He also served as president of Outward Bound; created the “Well Traveled” series for Slate.com; and was founding editor and executive producer of MSNBC’s “Great Escapes.” He lives in Venice, California, with his family.
Michael Robbins has over 30 years of experience as a tourism consultant and has worked throughout Canada, the US, New Zealand/Australia, Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean. With a background in environmental planning, Michael focused his professional career on planning and developing more sustainable tourism models that consider the triple bottom line: economic, social and environmental. He founded his own boutique management consulting firm in 1994 and quickly became a recognized expert in strategic planning and marketing, feasibility assessments for new tourism ventures, business planning, and master planning for tourism resorts and attractions.
He has a particular interest in tourism as a form of economic empowerment for indigenous peoples and has worked on a wide range of assignments with First Nation, Inuit, and Maori entrepreneurs. Since 2009, Michael has been assisting the Inuit community of Arviat in Nunavut, Canada to develop a community-based tourism program. The Arviat Community Ecotourism initiative was a finalist in the Canadian Tourism Awards for 2012 in the cultural tourism category, and was selected as one of the Top 10 Canadian Social Change Innovators for 2012 by TIDES Canada. Through TIDES Canada, Michael has a donor directed fund (7th Generation Fund) providing assistance to various Aboriginal tourism and environmental conservation initiatives across Canada.
Michael has served on a number of public and private boards, as well as charities, and currently serves as a Trustee with the Pete Crompton Foundation. He has been involved philanthropically and professionally in a number of landmark Canadian conservation initiatives, including the Great Bear Rainforest and the Taku River Tlingit traditional territory land use management plan.
Over the past 23 years, Ella Messerli has been an innovator in the hospitality and service industry. She currently heads All Baja Solutions, offering guidance to tourism companies on sustainable and best practices for limited waste emission, corporate responsiblity, and how to leverage these efforts in their marketing and sales. Previously, she held the position of Managing Director/General Manager at Hotel El Ganzo in Los Cabos, Mexico. Before her position at Hotel El Ganzo, Ms. Messerli held the position of General Manager at Marquis Los Cabos, where she led the staff to receive honors and recognitions from Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure.
Experience in the hospitality industry has given Ms. Messerli the ability to seamlessly open hotels while stimulating her team members to perform beyond expectations. Ms. Messerli also strongly supports sustainable efforts that can benefit tourism and local residents in addition to improving practices at hotels both economically and successfully. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). Ms. Messerli additionally has vast expertise in sales and marketing, food & beverage and property management.
Ms. Messerli graduated from the Academie Met de Penninghen in Paris, France.
Gregory Miller is the Executive Director of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). Gregory is a responsible tourism advocate and trained environmental scientist who believes in working globally, acting locally, and protecting our precious natural and cultural resources. He joined CREST in 2019, bringing to the organization a global track record of results in sustainable travel and recreation, biodiversity conservation, and policy development.
Prior to CREST, Gregory worked as a global consultant, providing expertise and leadership on projects focused on biodiversity conservation, climate change, corporate social responsibility, and ecotourism. Before that, he was President & CEO of NatureServe and previously served for 12 years as the President of American Hiking Society. He also led a distinguished 16-year executive career as Vice President for the Andes/Southern Cone Region at The Nature Conservancy, where he developed the Conservancy’s biodiversity project portfolio for South America, oversaw global ecotourism programs, and co-managed the Latin America and Caribbean Parks in Peril program.
A native of California, Gregory is fluent in Spanish and English. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Connecticut; was awarded a Science, Engineering, and Diplomacy post-doctoral fellowship with the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Botany. In addition to his executive experience, Gregory worked for several years as a naturalist in South America, served as an environmental advisor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, and has held a lifelong commitment to environmental stewardship and exploring the outdoors responsibly.
Weishi Li is a partner with Covington & Burling LLP in the firm's Shanghai office. Her practice covers a wide range of technology-related transactions across multiple sectors, including the life sciences and hi-tech industries. She has extensive experience assisting multinational companies and Chinese companies in structuring and negotiating cross-border transactions with a significant intellectual property element, such as technology joint ventures and strategic alliances.
Ms. Li has particular expertise in the life sciences sector, having assisted many western and Chinese life sciences companies in structuring and negotiating commercial, corporate and partnering transactions in China, including strategic collaborations, joint ventures, licensing, acquisitions, co-promotion and distribution arrangements. Her work with CREST is pro bono.