For Immediate Release

Contact: Alix Collins, CREST Communications Manager
(202) 347-9203 ex. 417

Center for Responsible Travel Strengthens its Sustainable Tourism Leadership Position with Five New Board Members

Washington, D.C. (June 16, 2021) – The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) is excited to announce the addition of five new members to its Board of Directors: Kimberly Daley, Founder & CEO of Daley & Company and former CEO of MT Sobek; Sophia Hyder-Hock, Founder and CEO of Papilia; Judy Kepher-Gona, Director and Lead Consultant at Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda (STTA), Nairobi, Kenya; Jake Kheel, Vice President Grupo Puntacana Foundation, Dominican Republic; and Bob Shevlin, Co-Owner of UXUA Hotel & Spa, Bahia, Brazil.

“These are exciting, strategic times for sustainable tourism, as we grapple with the triple threat of the COVID pandemic, climate change, and biodiversity loss,” noted Gregory Miller, Executive Director at CREST. “Our mission has never been more urgent or timely and we are thrilled by the tremendous thought leadership and sustainability know-how these five new board members bring to CREST.”

CREST is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive Board of Directors and its Board of Directors recently evaluated its composition and set out to ensure it includes the widest variety of skill sets, expertise, and perspectives.

These new directors join an already dynamic, committed board of directors at CREST: Mike Robbins, Founding Partner at The Tourism Company, Canada; Ella Messerli, Director at All Baja Solutions, Mexico; Eric Bergstrom, President of Bergstrom Capital Advisors, Inc.; Andrea Pinabell, President of Southface; Richard Bangs, Founder of MT Sobek; Melissa Biggs Bradley, Founder & CEO of Indagare; Jessica Blotter, Co-Founder & CEO of Kind Traveler; K. Denaye Hinds, Managing Director at JustaTADD, LLC Barbados; Andrea Holbrook, President of Holbrook Travel; Alice Marshall, Founder & Owner of Alice Marshall Public Relations; and Gregory Miller, Executive Director for CREST.

About Kimberly Daley
Kimberly Daley is a business transformation leader with more than 15 years of success executing operational and marketing growth across organizations in hospitality. Since 2019 Daley has provided strategic consulting services to large-scale corporations, start-ups, non-profits, and individuals through her practice, Daley & Company. With the mantra, Simple Solutions for Complex Problems, Daley champions an innovation-first culture that propels brands, projects, and individuals to achieve sustainable differentiation and growth.

Prior to launching Daley & Company, she excelled as a leader in the travel space as an executive for many of the most iconic brands including as the President & CEO for MT Sobek; Senior Vice President of Sales Strategy for Pleasant Holidays and its four brands; Vice President and Managing Director of Journese; and at Abercrombie & Kent as Vice President and Senior Director of Marketing. She holds a BA in International Relations and Political Science from UCLA and an MBA in International Marketing and Finance from Northwestern University.

About Sophia Hyder-Hock
Sophia Hyder Hock is the Founder and CEO of Papilia, a company committed to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion practices for destinations, travel organizations, and content creators. She integrates human-centered design methodologies to empower her clients to be thoughtful thinkers, leaders, and travelers through a greater understanding of diverse perspectives and communication styles. She has also played an integral part in designing the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Standards for Travel and Tourism and co-facilitates the Certified Diversity Travel Professional (CDTP) program with Travel Unity. Prior to starting Papilia, Sophia was an international development professional working on economic growth, sustainability, and gender empowerment initiatives in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Sophia received her Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Affairs and South Asian Studies from the University of Virginia and her Masters Degree in International Development Policy and Applied Economics from Duke University.

About Judy Kepher-Gona
Judy is a thought leader in sustainable tourism with over 20 years of experience championing responsible tourism in Africa and beyond. From setting up Africa’s first ecotourism society to working with communities in tourism and conservation, developing, managing, and being an assessor for several sustainable tourism certifications and awards, Judy’s contribution to sustainable tourism transcends continents.

Judy is currently Director and Lead Consultant at Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda (STTA), an organization she founded in 2013 to contribute and lead the modeling of a sustainable future for Africa’s tourism, mentor youth in sustainable tourism to ensure tomorrow’s leaders are grounded in critical thinking and sustainable tourism clause and finally influence sustainable tourism practice globally.

In September 2020, the CREST Board of Directors was honored to recognize Judy as the second annual recipient of the Martha Honey Legacy Award for Responsible Travel. “This recognition is a much-needed boost to my commitment to stand up for responsible travel. A renewal,” Kepher-Gona noted. “Until the last tourism company responds. Until the last traveler responds. Until global tourism organizations respond. Until policymakers and investors respond to the call for responsible travel, I have my work cut out for me.”

About Jake Kheel
Jake Kheel is a sustainability innovator, author, and award-winning documentary filmmaker. For sixteen years he has confronted social and environmental challenges in the tourism industry as Vice President of Grupo Puntacana Foundation in the Dominican Republic. The foundation has pioneered numerous ground-breaking initiatives, launching the first Zero Waste project in the country, as well as leading one of the most expansive coral reef restoration initiatives in the Caribbean.

Under his leadership, Grupo Puntacana Foundation has received numerous international awards for its environmental programs. His new book in 2021, Waking the Sleeping Giant: Unlocking the Hidden Power of Business to Save Our Planet, uses examples from his vast experience in Punta Cana to demonstrate how companies can drive breakthroughs in sustainability.

Jake has a Master’s in Environmental Management from Cornell University and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

About Bob Shevlin
Bob Shevlin was born and educated in Columbus, Ohio. He began working in pharmaceutical sales before changing directions at the age of 25 when he departed for Italy and began a 20-year career in the fashion industry focusing on advertising and communications. A life-long activist for gun control, human rights, and the environment, in 2008 Bob along with fashion designer Wilbert Das founded the Brazilian hotel and design studio UXUA in Trancoso, Bahia. UXUA is an experiment in sustainable design and progressive social values – using the business’s visibility and profits to finance various local education and environmental organizations such as Association Despertar academy, the Observatorio Social, and Capoeira Sul da Bahia.

Bob is also a board member of Conservation International Brazil, and a co-founder of the activism school MAMA Trancoso, Organic Festival Trancoso, and the regional Trancoso+Sustainable project created in partnership with Conservation International Brazil.


About the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST)
The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) is a global nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC dedicated to increasing the positive global impact of responsible tourism. CREST provides evidence-based research and analysis to governments, policymakers, tourism businesses, nonprofit organizations, and international agencies to solve the most pressing problems confronting tourism, the world’s largest service industry.