Leadership Committee

Galeo-Saintz3
Galeo Saintz – South Africa
Chair
Rim of Africa Trail

Full Bio

Galeo Saintz is a conservation adventurer, a professional speaker and mountain wilderness guide. A founding member of numerous conservation NGOs including the mountain conservation trail initiative Rim of Africa and the biodiversity corridor initiative Eden to Addo in South Africa.

As a peace activist, he is founder of the Wild Peace Alliance, a global initiative addressing conflict between humans and wildlife using adventure, technology, workshops  and cultural interventions to promote peace.

Galeo is founding Chair of the World Trails Network, an international initiative championing the international trails industry and promoting the world’s leading trails and trail destinations. He holds an MSc in Holistic Science from Schumacher College (UK).

lbell-photo
Laura Belleville – United States
Vice-Chair, Team Leader: Strategy
Appalachian Trail

Full Bio

Laura Belleville joined The Appalachian Trail Conservancy staff in 2005 as the Southwest and Central Virginia Regional Director, assuming the Conservation Director role in 2007. She currently leads a dynamic team of 25 staff in the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s conservation department on many programs, including trail management, land acquisition, volunteer development, education and outreach, environmental monitoring, and advocacy. Her organization works on the management of the 3515km Appalachian Trail corridor. She has a passion for engaging local communities and volunteers in conservation projects. She also serves on the board of the American Hiking Society. Laura is proud to work for an organization that aspires to implement the community building vision of Benton MacKaye, while protecting and promoting a premier hiking destination.

Jackie-Randle
Jackie Randle – Canada
Secretary
Bruce Trail

Full Bio

Jackie Randle has been the Director of Volunteer Programs for the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) since 2002. As Director of Volunteer Programs, Jackie is responsible for setting the direction of the Volunteer Program, implementing new policies and procedures, providing training materials and developing new ways to provide access to necessary training resources. Since Jackie joined the BTC, the volunteer program has grown from 800 volunteers to over 1350 volunteers, representing 15% of the total membership of the BTC. Major projects include the 50th Anniversary of the Bruce Trail celebrations; creation of a standardized volunteer database; and the creation of an international image for the Bruce Trail Conservancy through the introduction of Friendship Trails and an ongoing presence at the World Trails Network. Jackie has a Bachelor degree in Anthropology, a post-graduate diplomas in Volunteer Management  and Human Resources

Fivos Tsaravopoulos
Fivos Tsaravopoulos – Greece
Treasurer
Paths of Greece

Full Bio

Fivos Tsaravopoulos holds two MSc titles in European Studies and Environmental Management. Through his company “Paths of Greece“, he has been actively involved with the implementation of walking and cycling trails across all of Greece since 2010. He has developed or helped with the implementation of several path networks on the islands of Skyros, Spetses, Sifnos, Kythera, Patmos, Karpathos, Kefalonia, as well as in  Marathon, Athens and Drama. Since 2012 he is a board member of the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature. During his free time, he likes climbing, hiking and he is a passionate photographer.

Julie-Jung
Julie Jung – South Korea
Team Leader: Conference & Events
Jeju Olle Trail

Full Bio

Julie has been the Manager of Global Communication Team for Jeju Olle Foundation since 2010. As Manager of Global Communication Team, Julie is responsible for promoting Friendship Trail co-marketing projects and also cooperating with national and international trail networking organizations. Julie is also responsible for coordinating World Trails Conference since 2010 to 2015 and taking a role of secretariat of Asia Trails Network since 2014.

Huseyin-Eryurt
Huseyin Eryurt – Turkey
Team Leader: Biodiversity & Culture
Cultural Routes Turkey

Full Bio

Hüseyin Eryurt studied History of Art and Archaeology in Ankara between 1999-2004 and worked at numerous arcaheological excavations around South-east Turkey since then. In 2008 he had his master’s degree on ‘Administration and Economy of Cultural Heritage’ at Scuola Superiore di Catania in Sicily. Having given Latin and Museum Studies courses at Uludag University, he is now the manager of Turkey’s Culture Routes Society, an NGO founded to develop, maintain and promote trekking routes which are used for rural development.

Bob-Searns-2012
Robert Searns – USA
Team Leader: Knowledge & Resources
American Trails Board

Full Bio

Robert Searns, specializes in greenways and trails with a four-decade, award-winning record helping communities visualize concepts, win support and get projects built. His projects include Denver’s Platte River Greenway—the spine of a 600-mile system and a bicycle/walking network for Grand Canyon National Park.  He co-authored Greenways (Island Press—U.S. and China) and contributed to Greenways: The Beginning of an International Movement (Elsevier Press). He has written articles for American TrailsPlanning, Landscape Architecture and LA China Magazines. He has been a trainer for the U.S. National Park Service, the Urban Land Institute and the American Planning Association. Bob is Chair Emeritus of American Trails.

Adrian Benedetti
Adrian Benedetti – Panama
Team Leader: Biodiversity and Conservation
Caminando Panama

Full Bio

Adrian Benedetti has worked at various levels within the conservation field. From the NGO sector focused on wildlife conservation with the Peregrine Fund, to the public sector as director for Panama City’s Summit Zoo and Botanical Garden to working at national level as Panama’s Director of Protected Area and Wildlife, to the private sector advising companies on how to allocate funding for the conservation of wildlife and landscapes. Currently Adrian is focusing his energy on his true passion: hiking and enjoying the outdoors. In 2013 he founded Caminando Panama, a foundation focused on promoting trail-based recreation in Panama’s protected areas as a means to increasing the stewardship of the country’s natural landscapes and historic treasures. Through the website, caminandopanama.org,
community-based projects, events, and capacity building workshops, Caminando Panama has been having multilevel impact in a very short time.

Mirvat-Bakkour
Mirvat Bakkour – Lebanon
Team Leader: International Friendship Trails
Lebanon Trail

Full Bio

Mirvat Bakkour is simply a challenger! She uses her social Entrepreneurial and life coaching skills to help people achieving their dreams and goals, and contributing towards a positive change in the world. She is a board member of Lebanon Mountain Trail Association, where her passion for mountaineering started in discovering the diverse landscape of Lebanon. Believing in the high power of nature, she spends most her time, hiking and climbing mountains. Always in look for more adventures, discoveries and challenges in life.

Lis-Nielsen
Lis Nielsen – Denmark
Committee Member
European Ramblers Association

Full Bio

Lis Nielsen is President of the European Ramblers Association (ERA). She has a deep knowledge of the different conditions / challenges for hiking in Europe and has visited and hiked in most European countries. “Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe” is an example of how she tries to implement Quality in the European community of hiking. She lives in Denmark, the ERA office is in Czech Republic and the official address is in Germany. Lis Nielsen is leading a true European organisation.

Kerstin-Stender
Kerstin Stender – Australia
Committee Member

Full Bio

Kerstin is the Trails Coordinator at the Department of Parks and Wildlife. Born in Germany she came to Australia after she finished school. Even as a young person she has always enjoyed the outdoors and hiked, cycled and paddled throughout Europe. She studied leisure science and is now progressing towards a Master in Tourism Management. Her thesis is about trail business management models and she have traveled the world to investigate several world class trails, including the Appalachian Trail (United States), West Highland Way (Scotland), New Zealand Cycle Trails and Jeju Olle Trail (South Korea). In Australia she manages the Bibbulmun Track, Munda Biddi Trail, Cape to Cape Track and has policy responsibility for another 600+ smaller trails.

Hui-Jung
Hui Jung – South Korea
Committee Member
Korean Trails

Full Bio

Hui Jung holds an MSc in Ecotourism and Regional Development and a PhD with a thesis about “Planning method for networking trail routes” at Environmental Graduate School in Seoul National University. She has performed many projects in the field of ecotourism and region planning since 2000. In 2006, she conducted the project for “the Plan of National Trails System in Korea” which was the very first trail project in South Korea. She researched and consulted the Jirisan trails and community developing plan near Jiri National Parks funding by Korea forest service, and she also performed the policy studies for Korea trails with the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. She established “Korean Trails Culture Foundation” and organized “Teenager’s Walking Travel School (TWTS)” for younger people who are poor, isolated or juvenile delinquent. She is a member of board of directors in Korean Trails Culture Foundation.

DavidLandis
David Landis – USA
Committee Member
Village to Village Press

Full Bio

David Landis is an outdoor adventure tourism expert with ten years of experience in hiking trail development, outdoor leadership and capacity building, and travel resource development in the Middle East and Mediterranean. He is a co-founder of the Jesus Trail and was instrumental in the development of the Village to Village Press, Jordan Trail and Sinai Trail. David has coauthored hiking guidebooks to the Camino de Santiago and Jesus Trail, founded a publishing company, and has expertise in adventure tourism and marketing/public relations. David is a certified trainer in Wilderness First Aid (WFA) and Response (WFR) and instructed the first WFA courses in the Middle East. He has also trained local trail developers across the Middle East in GIS technology, cartography, trail scouting, and hiking guidebook resource development and advised local non-profit organizations on trail sustainability and outdoor tourism strategy.

Francisco Singul
Francisco Singul – Spain
Committee Member
Camino de Santiago

Full Bio

Francisco Singul is doctor in history of art, researcher and diffuser of the history and culture of the way of st. James, and of course he’s a pilgrim. He works since 1993 in a special public company of Xunta de Galicia (Galician government, Spain) dedicated to the development a sustainable management and promotion of the Jacobean routes. He has been a curator of many exhibitions of the way of st. James from several perspectives, historical epochs and different concepts, using in much of them an important group of pieces from international museums and archives and, in another contemporary projects, photographs and videos of young artists. He wrote several books and many articles relatives to the Camino, published in Spain, Portugal, Brasil, Italy, Japan and USA, and participated in numerous international conferences around the world.

Anna-Carolina-Lobo
Anna Carolina Lobo – Brasil
Committee Member
WWF Brasil

Full Bio

Anna Carolina Lobo is the Marine and Atlantic Rainforest Program Coordinator of WWF-Brazil.

Anna has nine years of experience with public use management of Protected Areas in both public agencies and private institutions. In WWF Brazil she´s being working with Protected Areas in a mosaic landscape/seascape perspective, aligning sustainable use and conservation efforts, as a tool to promote sustainable territorial development. Long distance trails are considered an important strategy to promote conservation – connecting protected areas, strengthening ecological corridors and promoting sustainable business in the priority landscapes of the Atlantic Rainforest Program. For six years, she worked as Ecotourism Manager at Forest Foundation (Protected Areas Agency of Sao Paulo State Government), where she was able to implement trails system in all parks of the state. For two years Anna Carolina was worked as Institutional Affairs and Project Coordinator of Semeia Institute, bringing together public and private entities to develop management models for National Parks, with a special focus on tourism. Anna has served as counselor in the following Government´s Boards: Tourism, Environmental and Geological Monuments. She is a Post-Graduate in Environmental Management, has a Bachelor of Tourism Management degree and is the author, co-author and coordinated 10 articles and books on Natural Protected Areas and public use.

kate-clow
Kate Clow – Turkey
Committee Member
Culture Routes Turkey

Full Bio

Kate Clow is British but has lived in Turkey for nearly 30 years, exploring and writing about ancient road systems. From 1995, she connected a series of paths to make Turkey’s first long-distance walking route, the Lycian Way. It opened in 1999 and was followed in 2004 by the St Paul Trail. She has since then worked on two more trails, the Kaçkar trails and the Evliya Çelebi Way. In 2012 she founded the Culture Routes Society, which now markets guidebooks, maps and apps for 17 trails in Turkey. The Society is now working with the Association of the Vie Francigene to extend Europe’s second Culture Route from Rome across the Balkans to Turkey; parts are now complete. Kate’s passion is the discovery of old roads and the ruins along them, and she has discovered many forgotten stretches in Turkey’s mountains.

Sumit-Baral
Sumit Baral – NEPAL
Committee Member
Great Himalaya Trails

Full Bio

After working in multiple sub-sectors in tourism space for over 17 years within and outside of Nepal, Sumit has developed a passion for trails as they are the inherent assets for Nepal’s tourism. Great Himalaya Trails, a network of vast array of ancient trail routes of Nepal, is his work space and he is involved with an aspirational vision to establish it as a brand that promises enhanced quality, experience and safety assurance to the users and provides a sustainable livelihoods to the resident community. He has wide-ranging industry experience in trail planning, management with linkage to tourism business, agribusiness, manufacturing, trade, export and skill sectors. He has demonstrated authority in trails and business linkage and has a consulting career with international agencies like World Bank Group/ IFC, Asian Development Bank, DFID etc. Writing and hiking are Sumit’s passions.

Suzanne-Shuai
Suzanne Shuai – CHINA
Committee Member
China Volkssports Association

Full Bio

Susanna Shuai, is an actuve trails advocate in China. She has a Bachelor of Journalism, having studied in Germany, and acted as the international contact between the Internationaler Volkssportverband (IVV) and the China Volkssport Association (CVA). CVA is the representative of IVV in China. As a liaison, she successfully worked with the Chengdu Municipal Government to host the 2015 IVV Olympiad in Chengdu. She advised and helped local organizations to improve and manage the trails in the area. As we all know, China is an ancient civilization, so is the Chinese trails tradition. Most of China’s ancient trails are related to the famous Chinese Literati, and to religion and history. With the development of China, Susanne devotes herself to bring Chinese trails to the world while introducing a healthy lifestyle to Chinese hikers.