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.
Martha Honey is Co-Founder and Director Emeritus of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). Martha led CREST as Executive Director for 16 years before transitioning to her project-based role of Director Emeritus in 2019.
Over the last two decades, Martha has written and lectured widely on ecotourism, impact tourism, cruise and resort tourism, coastal and marine tourism, climate change, and certification issues. Her books include Coastal Tourism, Sustainability, and Climate Change in the Caribbean, Vol. 1 & 2, and Marine Tourism, Climate Change, and Resilience in the Caribbean, Vol. 1 & 2 (Business Expert Press, 2017), Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise? (Island Press, 1999 and 2008), and Ecotourism and Certification: Setting Standards in Practice (Island Press, 2002).
She is Executive Producer of CREST’s film, Caribbean ‘Green’ Travel: Your Choices Make a Difference, released in May 2016. Most recently, she has been an editor and of a new study on cruise tourism, published in Spanish as Por el Mar de las Antillas: 50 Años de Turismo de Cruceros en el Caribe and in English as Cruise Tourism in the Caribbean: Selling Sunshine. Previously, Martha worked for 20 years as a journalist based in East Africa and Central America. She holds a Ph.D. in African history from the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
Samantha Hogenson Bray is the Managing Director of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) and has been with the organization since 2013. Samantha provides administrative management, project management, and consulting expertise for CREST's global sustainable tourism projects. She is a strong advocate for sustaining and enhancing our world’s cultures and environments through travel and using tourism as a mechanism for community empowerment. Samantha's key areas of expertise are impact tourism, overtourism, and holistic destination management and stewardship.
Samantha's work has ranged from developing community-based tourism efforts in rural Michigan, to contributing to cultural-heritage tourism development in Ethiopia, to conducting climate change and tourism trainings and conferences in the Caribbean, to editing several of CREST's books. Samantha was fortunate to spend her first several years at CREST working directly with Co-Founder Dr. Martha Honey, and continues to build on the base Martha built advocating for academic rigor and practical application in the study of tourism. Samantha is a leader in the newly formed global Future of Tourism Coalition, an advisor for the DC-based Destination Stewardship Center, and a trained Climate Reality Leader.
Samantha was one of the first students of geotourism through her undergraduate program at Missouri State University and holds a Master of Tourism Administration with a concentration in Sustainable Destination Management from The George Washington University.
Since 2010, Alix has committed herself to community and economic development, both in the US and abroad, working alongside and learning from communities in the southeastern US as well as South Africa, Thailand, and India. Her passion for tourism as a means for economic development stems from her experience living with an elephant-keeping community in northern Thailand, where she lived with a host family and saw firsthand how tourism could have a positive impact not only on a small, rural community but its surrounding environment and wildlife.
That experience, and her subsequent experience with international volunteer tourism, inspired her to build on her commitments to public service and her previous education from Boston University, where she obtained a BA in history and political Science, by earning an MPA in economic development and policy analysis from Indiana University, where she focused much of her research on responsible tourism.
Alix is also a wilderness search and rescue volunteer, freelance writer, and an amateur documentary and portrait photographer focused on telling unique, individual stories.
Kelsey Frenkiel is a Program Manager at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), where she provides support for a wide range of research and consulting projects, manages CREST’s internship program, and oversees CREST’s Academic Affiliates program. Her particular areas of focus include circular economies and food waste; biodiversity conservation; and national parks and protected areas, with emphasis on research and analysis in the US and Caribbean. Examples of Kelsey’s recent work include partnering with a community in Michigan to enhance economic opportunities and quality of life through responsible community-based tourism and managing a project with World Wildlife Fund to understand challenges, opportunities, and the policy landscape of food waste management in the Caribbean tourism sector. Kelsey is also a co-editor for the book Overtourism: Lessons for a Better Future (2021), which tracks the causes and impacts of overtourism, while also assessing experiments underway to mitigate it.
Kelsey holds a Masters of Science degree from Oxford Brookes University in Primate Conservation and graduated from the College of William & Mary with a B.A. in Anthropology. She is also a freelance travel writer and researcher, having supported publications for National Geographic, Washingtonian, and other outlets. Kelsey is passionate about the sustainable tourism industry and its intersection with cultural and natural heritage, local livelihoods, and biodiversity conservation.
Gabriela Cicenia is a PhD candidate in International Economics and Tourism at the University of Valencia (Spain). As part of her program, she is doing a fellowship at The George Washington University during the summer of 2017. While in Washington, she is also interning at the Center for Responsible Travel.
Many years ago, she decided to travel to Spain to study tourism and realized through her studies that her birth country (Ecuador) had a lot to offer to the world. At only 16 years old, she thought Sustainable Tourism could be a way for a developing country to improve societal needs and at the same time create jobs for local people.
After she finished her undergraduate degree, she returned to Ecuador to search for her next steps. After working in the country for a while, she decided to continue her studies in Spain in order to be more prepared. While she was studying her Master’s she learned about Planning of Tourism, and she began to understand subjects like Governance, Sustainable Tourism, Statistics, and Tourism Policy.
In 2014 she started her PhD in Valencia. Now, as an International Economics and Tourism Ph.D. student, she is extremely interested in gaining experience in the field of Sustainable and Responsible Travel. An internship at CREST is providing her the opportunity to apply this knowledge in an international organization, as well as develop the communication, organization, and research skills she has acquired through her work experience.
Daza Garcia is a Program & Research Intern at CREST. She graduated with First-class honours from the University of Murcia (Spain) with a Degree in Tourism and with Distinction from the University of Brighton (England) with a MSc in Tourism and International Development. She also holds a PGCert in Planning and Management of Destinations awarded by the Open University of Catalonia (Spain).
Daza was born in Venezuela but she has been living in Spain for more than a decade. She has working experience in travel agencies, hotels, fundraising and tourist information points. Recently, she has collaborated as a consultant and researcher with sustainable tourism projects in England, The Gambia and Costa Rica. Likewise, she currently collaborates with Travindy Spain which is an independent responsible tourism media that collects stories of sustainable tourism around the world.
During these years, Daza has had the opportunity to travel to different countries in Europe, America, Africa and Asia. From her working experience and her travels, she has learned more about the local impacts of the tourism industry and that is why she decided to focus her path to foster a more sustainable approach to tourism development which considers not only the economic benefits but also local's well-being and nature’s conservation.
Tatiana Villa-Holmes is a Program & Research Intern at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a degree in Cultural Anthropology, and currently attends the University of South Florida. She is in the process of completing her Master’s degree in Global Sustainability, and hopes to graduate in December 2020. Tatiana’s passion and interests lie in sustainable tourism and climate change, both of which form her current concentration.
Tatiana was born and raised in Medellin, Colombia, but has been living in the United States for more than a decade. In 2014, she joined the Massachusetts Air National Guard. During this time, she took a few military trips overseas, and her love of traveling was born. She became interested in traveling around the world, wanting to experience local customs and cultures. To date, she has visited over 20 countries. During her travels she began noticing the effects that tourism was having on local economies, and how climate change was impacting natural resources and the environment. In 2018, Tatiana decided to move to Tampa, FL to pursue her Master’s degree. She currently works for the Florida Air National Guard as a Human Resources and Program Manager for the 290th Joint Communications Support Squadron (JCSS).
Inspired by her trips and fueled by her interests in reducing climate change and creating sustainable tourism, she decided to focus her research in these areas. To date, she has explored topics such as agritourism, gastronomic tourism, slum tourism, food waste, and the preservation of natural and cultural heritage sites. Living in Florida, which is one of the most visited states in America, Tatiana has seen the first-hand impact of overtourism. This combined with coastal erosion, and other environmental issues such as red tide, plastic pollution, and rising sea levels provided the impetus for her to undertake further research in these areas. Ultimately, she hopes to help create and deliver solutions for sustainability that complement and benefit the tourism industry.
Maddy Mitchell is a Program and Research Intern at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). She currently attends Penn State University and is pursuing a degree in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management with minors in Spanish, Sustainability Leadership, and Meeting and Event Management. She will be graduating in May 2021. Before attending Penn State, Maddy took a gap year with Carpe Diem Education where she traveled around Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, and Chile. This experience was where Maddy began to see the need to develop tourism in a sustainable way, to benefit community members, tourists, and the environment. A visit to a small mining community in Ecuador is what helped to shape her beliefs on how tourism can be a force for positive change for global education and awareness and community development. She believes that tourism can be the solution to many issues if facilitated responsibly.
For the past few years at Penn State, Maddy has been the Student Sustainability Coordinator at the Penn State Sustainability Institute where she has had the opportunity to organize weekly events to educate students, faculty/staff, and community members about the broad range of sustainability topics. She has brought in speakers like congressmen, youth activists, climate scientists, and artists, in order to diversify the conversation surrounding the future of our planet. She has also been the Director of the Council of Sustainable Leaders, a group of student leaders that convenes to develop zero-waste protocols for large events and provides sustainability-focused member education for organizations.
Gabriela Cicenia is a Program & Research Intern at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), and has been collaborating with CREST since 2017. A sustainable tourism management technician with varied background experience in the academic and professional tourism sector in different countries, she holds the position that sustainable tourism can help countries to improve societal needs for the local people.
After she finished her master´s degree in tourism planning at the University of Valencia, she gained experience working in different countries such as Mexico, USA, Brazil, Ecuador, and Spain. She also completed a fellowship at the George Washington University’s tourism program as part of her degree.
Most recently she worked in the Valencian Capital with the Federation of Musical Societies, a non-profit organization that works to find strategies to attract tourists through orchestra and band music for local communities around the Mediterranean.
Rashi Tolani is a Program & Research Intern at CREST. She is currently a senior at The University of Maryland – College Park pursuing a double degree in international relations and economics with a minor in Arabic. She is an international student and moved here from Dubai, UAE four years ago to continue her higher education. It was in Dubai where she first developed an appreciation for tourism and its benefits.
During her junior and sophomore year, she worked for a research organization at the university, The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and the Responses to Terrorism, studying risk communication and resilience. Her research studies mainly focused on risk zones in the Middle East, thereby adding to her growing interest in the political and economic conditions of the region. She is interested in continuing her research work on the Middle East and focusing on the economic and environmental impacts of its growing tourism industry.
Rashi grew up with the opportunity to travel internationally to countries such as India, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. These experiences traveling and studying abroad, combined with her upbringing, helped cultivate her passion for responsible tourism. She also speaks Hindi and holds an intermediate proficiency in Arabic.
Kristina Rocks is a Program & Research Intern at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). She is a graduate student currently attending the Patel College of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida. She will be graduating in the Spring of 2021 with a Master of Arts in global sustainability, with a concentration in sustainable tourism. While at USF, she has become a LEED Green Associate and a passionate supporter of responsible and ethical tourism practices.
As an undergraduate student, Kristina studied at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, recognized as the highest-ranking hospitality and tourism program in the nation. There she served as a mentor with the Peer Outreach and Mentoring Program (POMP), guiding new and at-risk students towards academic excellence while fostering an environment of cultural diversity. During her time at Rosen College, Kristina learned the value of service, professionalism, and leadership which she has consistently applied throughout her many experiences working in the hospitality and tourism industry. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, she chose to pursue a graduate degree that would allow her to make positive and meaningful changes within a dynamic global industry.
Kristina was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Tampa, Florida, 9 years ago. In 2019 she had to opportunity to travel to Athens, Greece, and experienced firsthand how tourism negatively impacts the local community. This further fueled her desire to advocate for communities that rely on tourism but are suffering because of it. As a supporter of the National Park Service her goal is to defend public lands from the damages of overtourism while simultaneously creating prosperous and equitable opportunities for the Indigenous people who have historically inhabited those lands.
Ellen Rugh is a Program Manager at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), where she conducts workshops, research, and fieldwork primarily for CREST’s Latin America and Caribbean project portfolio. Ellen currently oversees CREST’s work in Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Mexico. Her work has included critical analysis of the cruise industry’s impact on local communities and ecosystems in cruising destinations, with specific emphasis on Caribbean ports-of-call. She also spearheads the Destination Stewardship Center’s A1 Councils research, identifying and profiling exemplary cases of holistic destination management.
Since 2015, Ellen has championed responsible tourism practices as a tool for sustainable development and environmental and cultural protection. She is a LEED Green Associate and a specialist in project logistics, qualitative research analysis, capacity training, stakeholder outreach and engagement, and fundraising. She speaks English and Spanish and has completed a dual M.A. degree in International Affairs from American University in Washington, DC and in Natural Resources & Sustainable Development from the University for Peace in Costa Rica.
Grace Klopp is a Communications Intern at the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). After graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature and a minor in History, Grace moved to San Jose, Costa Rica for three years to work with the global nonprofit Young Life International. While living in Costa Rica, she not only had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Central America and the Caribbean, but she also had the chance to observe and interact with countless travelers and tourist groups. She soon noticed that while some of these groups used their travel experiences to benefit the local populations, others did irreparable damage to the local culture, community, and ecosystems. Her years abroad thus sparked a deep passion for sustainable tourism and bore within her the desire to further explore the potential role of tourism in the development of healthy communities around the world.
Grace currently lives in Florida, where she is pursuing a master's degree in International Community Development from Southeastern University and working as a writer and website editor for a boutique travel company. Through her education and experience in living and traveling abroad, Grace has developed a strong belief that responsible tourism provides individuals, businesses, and countries with the unique opportunity to be forces of positive change in the world.
Consultant, journalist, and editor, Jonathan specializes in sustainable tourism and destination stewardship. He originated the concept of geotourism, defined via National Geographic as "tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents." He founded and for nine years ran National Geographic's Center for Sustainable Destinations, which continues today as the independent Destination Stewardship Center, www.DestinationCenter.org. He instituted and ran the landmark Destination Stewardship surveys published in National Geographic Traveler, 2004-2010. He speaks frequently at international conferences and is a designated National Geographic Explorer. His consulting firm is Focus on Places LLC.
Jinal Dalal is a Program and Research Intern at CREST. She is currently a graduate student at the New York University pursuing an M.S. in Tourism Management. She was born and brought up in Mumbai, India and has an MBA in Finance. Through her financial career, she gained experience in investment banking, financial data analysis, risk, and wealth management. She also holds a certificate in Sustainable Business Strategy from Harvard Business School online.
Travel is especially close to her heart and she believes that it can positively transform our lives and the world if done in a responsible way. Due to her experience in risk management, she sees climate change as an emergency and an existential risk. To align her values and purpose to work, she decided to pursue sustainable tourism as a career. Her goal is to create a direct, positive impact on the environment and people, and mitigate climate risk through her work in travel.
At NYU, she has worked on projects such as “Responsible Travel, Sustainable Tourism” in Italy and developing sustainable business models for travel and airline companies. She also worked on a consulting project for a US restaurant chain to reduce plastic pollution and carbon emissions. She volunteers at NYU EarthMatters and Citizens Climate Lobby for environmental justice and climate action. Jinal is on the tourism committee at NYU, currently working on their summit event - Social Innovation and Environmental Sustainability.
Wes Espinosa is the Field Director for the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund based in Puerto Natales, Chile. He leads on-site project development, management, and implementation, as well as fund marketing, fundraising, and local engagement.
Wes received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley where he double-majored in Political Science and Theater. While completing his undergraduate degree, Wes worked full-time as the Event Director and Assistant Australia Director for KAR - a national dance competition and convention tour.
Wes eventually moved to Quito, Ecuador where he worked for three years as the Latin American Development Lead for Asylum Access, a nonprofit that provided legal services to refugees. Here, he honed his nonprofit skills in fundraising, program implementation, and community development that led to his next role as the Partnership Development Manager at Sustainable Travel International.
He eventually found his way down to Chile where he now lives and works. The Torres del Paine Legacy Fund became a fiscally -sponsored program of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) in 2020, and Wes works closely with CREST on TDPLF coordination. Beyond helping Torres del Paine National Park build sustainable trails and improve ecological restoration efforts, he is passionate about creating opportunities for local residents and tourists to give back and conserve Chile's incredible protected areas.
Jill is the director of CARE for the Cape & Islands, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She received her Bachelor of Science in Food, Hotel and Tourism Management from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work in the hotel industry brought her to Boston and Cape Cod 25 years ago where she fell in love with the ocean. She was Sales Director for Group Tour Magazine representing New England and Eastern Canada for fifteen years. Jill is Past President and Scholarship Chair of Cape Cod Hospitality Marketing Association.
She founded and led Single Volunteers of Cape Cod for five years, connecting volunteers with local nonprofit organizations. A growing concern for the wellbeing of her surroundings sent her back to school to earn her Master of Tourism Administration, Sustainable Destination Management from The George Washington University. Her degree and an internship with CREST led her to found CARE (Creating A Responsible Environment) for the Cape and Islands in 2012, a Travelers' Philanthropy program committed to engaging others in the stewardship and long-term sustainability of our region. CREST is its fiscal sponsor.
Jill is an Adjunct Instructor at Cape Cod Community College, co-chair of her town’s Recycling and Solid Waste Committee, an advocate to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, and most recently, Jill has been trained as a Climate Reality Leader through Al Gore's Climate Reality Project.