Michael T. Becker CEO
Entrepreneur and investor, formed Broadsword Partners, a NYC merchant banking & consulting firm. A Wall Street veteran, he was Senior Vice President at Dillon Read & Co and Smith Barney. He has led or participated in numerous private investments, has over 20 years of management, finance and business development experience, global relationships, Columbia Business School MBA. Co-founded environmental non-profit, Blue Nomad Foundation. Member of the Economics Club of New York, Columbia Hermes Society and other industry associations, Mr. Becker has served on for-profit and non-profit boards and has advised several multi-national, private organizations on strategic affairs. Mountaineer and adventurer, three flag carrying expeditions in Central Asia for the Explorers Club, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society London, he has lived abroad and has extensive travel experience to remote parts of the world.
Dr. Donald L. Pardew Chief Scientific Officer
Founder and President of Cybernetica Consulting, Inc., Dr. Pardew’s consulting career has focused on the development and application of quantitative models for evaluating and improving the alignment of strategic initiatives and operational activities in client companies in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Highly accomplished in several fields, much of Dr. Pardew’s acclaimed risk modeling work has been for the travel and tourism industry and he has taught programs in tourism management and published articles on tourism and security for the global travel and leisure industry. He has credentials in both experimental psychology and mathematical statistics from Columbia University and has taught statistics and management sciences at a major US graduate school of business, Columbia Business School for over 20 years as well as graduate level University programs in Italy. Has lived abroad and has vast global travel experience on all continents.
Mark Snyder Chief Operating Officer
Mark has a broad range of experience in managing both private and publicly held companies. He has been a founder, principal shareholder and director of several healthcare and advanced technology companies. Mark’s entrepreneurial activities have included management of start-ups, capital creation activities as both principal, investment banker and venture capital funding, as well as strategic mergers and acquisitions of technology growth companies.
Mark is currently managing director of JAMA VENTURES, a healthcare, telecommunications, and advanced technology venture management firm.
Mark received his MBA from the University of Colorado and a BS in business administration from the University of Arizona. Mark holds the CLU, CHFC and CFP designations.
An outdoor sports enthusiast, Mark enjoys being involved with the many endeavors of his four active children.
Caterina Sparacino Data Collection Analyst
A consultant and Chartered Accountant and Auditor, with a background in market statistics, statistical data processing, marketing research, database preparation background. Caterina’s experience includes the European Social Fund, the Embassy of Italy in Madrid and Società Europea di Consulenzae. She holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and Land and Tourism Management, cum laude, from the University of Palermo, Faculty of Economics and Malaga University, Facultad of Economics and Business, Malaga Spain and is a member of the Association of Chartered Accountants of Palermo (Italy).
Marybeth Bond Women’s Empowerment Advisor
#1 “Women’s Travel Expert” on Google Searches.Marybeth has spent her career empowering women through travel. She is the nation’s preeminent women’s travel guru — no other author, journalist or media personality brings her prodigious experience and expertise to the page, the screen, the podium or the airwaves.
As a dynamic author of 12 women’s books, including best sellers:Gutsy Women, A Woman’s World and Best Girlfriend Getaways, she offers invaluable travel tips and wisdom to grads, grannies, backpackers and business executives.
Marybeth was a featured guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show discussing why and how women use travel as a means to heal, celebrate, grow, and change. She was the “travel expert” for CBS, appears regularly on NBC, ABC, and CNN and has been quoted extensively in The Wall Street Journal and TheNew York Times. Currently she writes for National Geographic Intelligent Travel, Yahoo Travel and Travelgirl Magazine.
Julianne Zimmerman Senior Technical & Strategy Advisor
Julianne has put technology to work for the greater good worldwide for over 25 years as co-founder, senior management and engineer. She has built departments, managed alpha projects, cultivated customer and investor relationships, guided branding and identity efforts, and led a wide variety of initiatives from blank page to successful, in many cases award-winning, completion.
She was Co-Founder of seed-stage investment firm Vodia Ventures, Vice President of Communications at General Compression, a utility-scale energy storage company, Co-founder and Director of Business Development of GreenFuel Technologies Corporation, a biofuel company and served as Vice President of Engineering at Ovation Products, a water purification company. Prior to entering cleantech, Julianne had a 14-year tenure as a senior staff member at Payload Systems Inc., an engineering services firm in the manned spaceflight sector.
Julianne earned two undergraduate degrees from MIT (XVI and XXI-L), an MS from the University of Maryland, and an executive certificate in sustainability management from the Presidio Graduate School; is a certified Emergency Medical Technician in Maryland (PGFD 1) research diver at the University of Maryland Space Systems Laboratory, twice a finalist in the NASA astronaut selection process, Co-chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum Innovation Series, mentor with the MIT Venture Mentoring. As an author and speaker on innovation- and strategy-related themes for domestic and global audiences, she has contributed to GreenMoney, GreenBiz, Sloan Women in Management, Sloan EMBA, GIST Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, High Water Women, We Own It Summit, All-Russia Innovation Convention, Northeastern University, Forum 20/20, and the MIT Nuts & Bolts Course, among others; she also frequently serves as a judge for technology and entrepreneurship competitions, and is a trusted board member, advisor.
Jeffrey Johnson Senior Technical Advisor
Jeffrey is an Open source geospatial software engineer and application developer. Formally with Boundless/OpenGeo, CTO of PictEarth USA, CTO of Global AIS Networks, and developer for Global Imaging, and internet application developer for iTango. Jeff is an expert engineer and developer for geospatial mapping applications who can work at any level, from writing code and fixing bugs or at top levels making architectural decisions and coordinating technical policy with corporate strategy. Jeff is deeply involved with the City of San Diego’s Open Data Policy initiative BA Humboldt State University in Geography, Geospatial Technology, Cartography and Geology.
Adam Hanft Senior Marketing & Brand Strategist Advisor
Adam Hanft, CEO of Hanft Projects, is a nationally-known expert in marketing strategy and branding, as well as a prolific cultural critic and journalist. He sits on the board of Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE: SMG), and is co-author of the best-selling book “Dictionary of the Future.” He has advised many consumer and b2b digital and technology companies, including Microsoft, AT&T, Match.com, and start-ups still in stealth mode. Articles and commentaries written by Adam appear regularly in the Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, Fast Company, Slate and other publications. He has appeared on the “Today Show,” “The Daily Show,” CNBC, Fox News, and many other outlets.
David Rogers Senior Strategy & Innovation Advisor
David Rogers is a globally-recognized leader on social media and digital strategy, known for his pioneering model of customer networks. He is author of three books, most recently, “The Network Is Your Customer: 5 Strategies to Thrive in a Digital Age.” At Columbia Business School, he is faculty director of executive programs on Digital Marketing Strategy, and founder of the acclaimed BRITE conference on the future of marketing and media. Rogers consults to global companies and startups in diverse industries (publishing, broadcast, financial, consumer goods, hospitality, telecom, entertainment, automotive, IT, mobile web), enabling them to build effective digital strategies to engage customers and drive business results. Rogers speaks at conferences worldwide, and has appeared on CNN, ABC News, CNBC, Marketplace, Channel News Asia, and in The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and BusinessWeek.
Heather Clay Senior Blog and Content Advisor
Heather Clay is writer and blogger who has written for The New Yorker magazine, Parenting magazine, the New York Times, London’s Daily Mail and numerous other publications. She is the author of Losing Charlotte, a novel published by Alfred J. Knopf, and is presently at work on another book. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, two daughters, one dog and two rabbits, though her love of travel has taken her to five continents and counting. She is thrilled to be part of the GeoSure family, and loves the opportunity to interview and cover intrepid adventurers and travel news from around the globe.
Lucas Hanft Senior Marketing Advisor
Lucas is creative director at Hanft Projects, where he has developed marketing and brand strategies for 1stDibs, Aviary, BigCommerce, AriaSystems, and Pono. He has previously worked at Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve, serving as a Trend Analyst. Prior to that he had a career in journalism at the New York Observer and Radar. As a free-lance writer he has also contributed to the Boston Globe, Salon, and Paper. He is a graduate of Yale University.
Matt Murphy Senior Advisor
Matthew is the Global Vice President of Renren (NYSE: RENN) and is focused on driving their global investment strategy in the FinTech, HealthTech and EdTech spaces. In addition, Matthew is the co-founder ofAppsurdity, the US innovation lab for Renren, which creates mobile applications that unleash connections, communication and creativity in a way that may seem absurd today, but will become the standard very soon. Appsurdity’s creations include: QUAD Chat, Dubbler, Schmuze and others to come…
Previously, Murphy was the Chief Marketing Officer & Co-Founder of Lemon.com,a leading mobile wallet solution, General Manager of Bling Nation, a provider of mobile payment services; and the CMO at Chegg, the leader in textbook rentals. Murphy was also the head of Advertising & Media at E*TRADE Financial and won numerous awards for his work, including a Clio, Effie and Stevie Award. MBA William Patterson University, Santa Clara University, NorthwesternUniversity School of Management coursework.
Kimberley Person Director, Women Travelers and Study Abroad Programs
With 25 years of management experience and a wealth of University relationships, Kim is helping to build a global community of students, parents and study abroad program administrators to have better awareness and increased confidence while traveling in less familiar parts of the world. A highly accomplished entrepreneur founded Gecko Traders, has expertise in business development and marketing to several Fortune 500 clients. Formerly with State Street Bank, McDonalds and Hallmark Corporation, Kim most recently completed an international trade project for the Deputy Mayor’s office of Washington DC. She now serves as a Social Entrepreneur-In-Residence for the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business and has worked abroad and has a lifetime of overseas travel experience.