As the new Vice President, International, for Destination Canada, Emmanuelle Legault brings over 15 years of experience in developing B2C and B2B digital solutions, marketing and communications strategies. Emmanuelle comes from Tourisme Montréal where she created and rolled out earned, owned and paid media strategies to build awareness of the Montréal tourism brand. Amongst other, this work included a: 100% web-based advertising and leisure campaign in 2009, at that time a first for a Canadian convention and visitor bureau; a three-year strategy to implement an organization-wide adoption of social media, with the goal of making every employee, partner and member a brand ambassador for the destination. Emmanuelle has kept pace with the waves of technological change that have transformed the travel and tourism industries, continuously reimagining the possibilities and turning disruptive shifts in consumer behaviour into competitive advantages for brand-building and market development.
Jim Kane founded Culture Xplorers in 2003, which at its core is an adventure lab that creates fresh models for active engagement, meaningful connection and mind-expanding travel experiences. In 2015, in partnership with Gregg Bleakney, Jim created Off the Table, a digital food adventure series spotlighting the stories of visionary chefs and passionate producers. Off the Table inspires viewers to get out and explore the world using food as a lens to both enrich and elevate their experience. A key principle of both Culture Xplorers and Off the Table is to work to foster the sustainability of local culture within at-risk communities worldwide. Among Jim’s most satisfying achievements has been the co-creation of an annual Peru Weavers Awards now in its 11th edition, the sponsorship of artist scholarships in Peru and Oaxaca and acting as a financial catalyst and awareness building partner for four mold-breaking NGO’s using the power of food to transform lives in Peru and Brazil.
Entrepreneur and social enterpriser Val Litwin became CEO of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce in September 2013, bringing with him a commitment to timely support and fresh, leadership-oriented professional development for Chamber Members. He totes a wealth of executive and real-world business experience from launching and marketing the wildly successful, Kindness Crew, and authoring two books from this non-profit experience to co-founding the franchise concept Blo Blow Dry Bar. Most recently he was Vice President of Franchise Operations at Nurse Next Door, expanding its footprint into the U.S.
Dan Westergren, Director of Photography for National Geographic Traveler, is based in Washington DC where he spends his days looking at pictures of some of the most beautiful places in the world. Since picking up a camera in the 8th grade he has been fascinated with photography and the way photographers create objects of beauty from the world at large. He has turned this fascination into a lifetime obsession of constantly photographing everything around him. He’s been lucky to photograph for the pages of National Geographic Traveler amazing places like the summit of Mt. Blanc and the North Pole, and most recently an incredible assignment that took him to Montana. He is also an experienced teacher, having led one-day seminars all over the U.S. and workshops for National Geographic Expeditions in Santa Fe, Tuscany, Baja, Antarctica, The Arctic Ocean, Washington DC, and the Galápagos Islands.
Barbara Banks is the Director of Marketing and New Trip Development for Wilderness Travel, a leading adventure travel company with hiking trips, trekking adventures, safaris and snorkeling journeys throughout the world. Her award-winning trips have been recognized for their innovative routes, deep engagement with the local communities, and authentic experience of the destination. Food culture and supporting local producers are part of every trip that she designs, a window into the cultures that the trip is exploring, and a profound shared experience for all.
Carl-Éric Guertin is the Executive Director of the ÉCONOMUSÉE Society Network (ESN), which is a non-profit organization that partners to promote traditional crafts and culinary arts. He has an educational background forestry and economics and has worked in regional development for 17 years. Carl-Éric is recognized internationally as an entrepreneur dedicated to strategic planning and motivated by sustainable development. The ESN currently has 70 ÉCONOMUSÉES in 8 countries with the goal of continuing to expand around the world to bring acknowledgment to the artisans involved.
Chris Johns is one of Canada’s most respected food and travel writers. The co-author of the award-winning True North cookbook he is a frequent contributor to the Globe and Mail, Style Advisor, enRoute Magazine and various international publications. His work has been translated into three languages and has appeared in the Best Food Writing compilation.
And announcing the AdventureELEVATE 2016 Master of Ceremonies:
Luis Vargas returns to AdventureELEVATE as Emcee. Vargas is the Chief Brand Officer and President of Travel for the Leftlane Sports family of brands which includes The Clymb. The family of brands are 12 million+ member strong, e-commerce and content businesses selling gear, apparel and global adventure travel experiences. Luis has spent most of his career in the adventure travel industry having held leadership roles at iconic brands such as REI, The Walt Disney Company and Backroads. He is a graduate of The Anderson School of Management at UCLA, a Certified Sommelier, and sits on the Board of Directors of Sustainable Travel International, the Adventure Cycling Association and is a frequent advisor to the Adventure Travel Trade Association. Luis also sits on the Boards of several early stage travel startups including Trip Grid and Untrodden.
Established in 1990, the Adventure Travel Trade Association is the largest global network of adventure travel leaders. Our community is made up of ~30,000 individual guides, tour operators, lodges, travel advisors, tourism boards, destination marketing and management organizations, outdoor educators, gear companies and travel media who share a belief and commitment to sustainable tourism. The connections and creativity of this vibrant community come together both virtually and in person to create and deliver the solutions that propel our businesses and our communities toward a responsible and profitable future.