A Global Network
Planeterra is made up of a dedicated team of individuals who work in Toronto, Amherst, Chiang Mai, and Cusco with frequent travel in the field. Our entire global community - including our in-country partners, G Adventures' global staff, board, and advisors - are integral to the success of our work.
Joel Callañaupa – Field Manager (South America)
Joel believes that Planeterra’s philosophy and approach to community tourism is one of the most appropriate models to minimize impacts on the environment, respect local people and culture, and create economic benefits for local communities — this is why Joel works for Planeterra. Joel manages our South America projects and works closely with the indigenous communities in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. Joel holds a post-secondary degree in Tourism and has worked in the sustainable tourism sector since 2007. He has worked with a number of stakeholder groups, which include public, private and international organizations. A native speak of Spanish and Quechua, Joel loves to learn new languages in his free time, especially native language’s sayings and slang.
Panot Pakongsup – Field Manager (Asia)
Panot, also known as Tung, enjoys seeing how responsible tourism can benefit sustainable development in communities. He has seen the positive change tourism can bring to help people live a better life in some of the most rural parts of Thailand and Myanmar. Tung is responsible for the in-country research, coordination, and facilitation of Planeterra projects with local communities and organizations in Asia. He has been working in the tourism industry since 2001, owning a tour operator that specializes in community based tourism experiences with the hill-tribe communities of Northern Thailand. When he’s not travelling, Tung spends his free time taking photos of scenic places and spaces, and meeting locals wherever he goes.
Alanna Wallace – Coordinator, Planeterra
Alanna is passionate about finding new ways to engage travellers in making positive, lasting impact on communities across the world. Holding a Masters in Global Development Challenges from the University of Edinburgh, and having worked across Africa in youth travel and voluntourism since 2011, Alanna sees unlimited opportunity in Planeterra’s strategy to empower social enterprises to create sustainable livelihoods. She’s a strong advocate for protection of culture and wildlife on any adventure abroad. As a Coordinator for Planeterra, Alanna focuses on the implementation of projects in Africa, Europe and the Americas. Alanna loves combining her passion for being active and outdoors, so you’ll find her (rain or shine!) on a hike with her rescue dog, Goose.
Rhea Simms – Coordinator, Planeterra
Rhea strongly believes that the creation of sustainable businesses across the developing world can open doors for the next generation to think bigger, create more, and change the world. Rhea has a Masters of Development Practice from the University of Waterloo, focusing on interdisciplinary solutions for sustainable development. She is passionate about preserving environmental integrity and empowering at-risk groups, particularly women and indigenous populations, and in 2012 began working in Pakistan and Cambodia in the non-profit sector. As a coordinator for Planeterra, Rhea focuses on project development, communications and development for Asia and Oceania. Rhea spends her free time whipping up desserts that are too healthy to be delicious and caring for her rescue beta fish, Gerome.
Kelly Galaski – Program Manager (Americas, Europe)
Kelly loves working for an exciting, ever-changing, fulfilling organization, that is changing people’s lives, including her own. Working at Planeterra has afforded her many opportunities that she would never have imagined. Kelly is responsible for the development and implementation of our community projects in the Americas and Europe, and also focuses on sustainability strategies for Planeterra. She has been in the tourism sector since 1998, graduating with a Masters, which focused on community tourism planning in Costa Rica. This experience set the foundation for her to understand the dynamics of community tourism planning. She loves to travel (surprise, surprise!) … but when she’s not wearing her backpack, you can find her flying down the Canadian Rockies on her snowboard!
Adrienne Lee – Program Manager (Asia, Africa, Oceania)
Adrienne believes that some of the world’s biggest problems can be combatted through the development of livelihoods through social enterprise. That’s why she loves Planeterra – which is doing revolutionary work creating new opportunities through social enterprise in the tourism industry. Adrienne manages the implementation of our programs in Asia, Africa and Oceania. She holds a Masters in Environmental Management, which focused on developing accessible technologies to test for environmental contaminants in marginalized communities in Southeast Asia. She has worked in the non-profit section since 2006. When Adrienne isn’t on a plane, you can find her hiking the Bruce Trail with her dog, MacGuffin.
Jamie Sweeting – President
Jamie has spent the last 20 years working in tourism, conservation, development, and business management. In his decades of traversing the globe, he has yet to encounter another organization that is leading in creating jobs for some of the most under-resourced people on this planet — especially marginalized women, disadvantaged youth, and a priority focus on indigenous communities. Prior to Planeterra, Jamie was a senior business advisor and director for Conservation International. He also held the role of Chairman at Sustainable Travel International and continues to engage in policy and destination management as part of the board. When Jamie is not working, you can find him enjoying time with his family or fishing (unfortunately rarely both at the same time!).
Our Board of Directors
Bruce Poon Tip – Founder
Entrepreneur, leader and philanthropist Bruce Poon Tip is the founder of adventure travel company and social enterprise G Adventures. With a vision that travel could become a force for social good and significant wealth distribution, Bruce founded the nonprofit foundation Planeterra in 2003, to direct travel dollars into vulnerable and underserved communities around the world. He has addressed the United Nations and the World Bank, spoken at the headquarters of Apple and Google, and delivered keynote speeches at TED events and entrepreneurship conferences around the world. In 2012, Bruce was inducted into the Social Venture Network Hall of Fame. He was also awarded a Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, recognizing significant contributions to society, and was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 and 2002.
Stephanie believes Planeterra is an organization that is uniquely positioned to make a meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of individuals globally. Stephanie believes in Planeterra’s model to establish platforms that allow locals to get a kick start in their communities then stand on their own merits to succeed. Stephanie is a finance and risk management professional with over 25 years of experience in service businesses most prominently travel, energy and marketing. Stephanie loves the outdoors and travelling (and exploring both with her son!) – her son had put his feet in all the oceans save the Arctic by the time he was 7 months old (she thanks Australia for knocking off three of these!)
Zeina believes that travellers can do more than just give back to countries we visit; that skills and tools can be used to develop local capacity and make economics self-sustainable — that’s what motivates her to be involved with Planeterra. Zeina has over 20 years experience in the Travel Industry with a focus on technology and e-commerce. She has been involved in the leadership of several iconic Canadian travel companies, which include Air Canada Vacations and Travel Brands Inc. Zeina has a track record for turning around companies profitability by building extraordinary teams. A true adventure seeker at heart, Zeina enjoys car racing, thrill rides and roller coasters.
Tenzin supports Planeterra because he believes that travel is a pathway to peace. His experiences have enabled him to see that people are more alike than not, and that travel can genuinely connect and benefit local communities when innovation is promoted and done collaboratively. Tenzin is the President of Viralyze - a stealth startup focused on influencer marketing technology. In his previous roles, he has acted as an Executive Advisor for leading technology, energy, finance, real estate and travel companies, as well as many years at the Government of Canada. Tenzin dreams of being able to dunk, play competently in an ice hockey league, audition for The Voice and grow up to be at least six feet three inches tall.