The IAATO team is comprised of the Secretariat and the Executive Committee. Read more about who we are below.
Previously a partner at global business advisory and consulting firm, Deloitte, Gina brings to IAATO more than 20 years of experience interpreting regulatory and business issues, identifying challenges and developing operational strategies to address them; qualities which will benefit IAATO as it continues to manage the challenges ahead.
A recent graduate of Stony Brook University, School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences where she obtained a Master of Arts in Marine Conservation and Policy, Gina is also a research associate at Gotham Whale, coordinating with organizations that maintain humpback whale fluke catalogs on the east coast of the United States to further develop understanding of migration behaviors. In addition, she volunteers at Atlantic Marine Conservation Society.
She is based at IAATO’s offices in Rhode Island, US.
Director of Operations & Government Affairs; Deputy Executive Director
Lisa joined IAATO in 2016 and is responsible for the field operations aspect of IAATO, developing industry best practice and guidelines for field operations.
Lisa began working aboard expedition ships in 2000. Most at home in the polar regions, she has worked as undersea specialist, logistics coordinator, divemaster and expedition leader in the Arctic and the Antarctic. She was also the station manager at Palmer Station for the United States Antarctic Program during the austral winter of 2010. Passionate about the future of polar tourism, Lisa began representing operators in 2004 at the annual IAATO conferences, sits on the IAATO Field Operations Committee, and contributes to AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators). Additionally, Lisa is a member of the board for FOSGI (Friends of South Georgia Island). Her passion and commitment to safe and environmentally friendly travel lead her to the position IAATO Head of Operations.
Lisa’s vast experience of diving “the Ice” led to her publishing Below Freezing: The Antarctic Dive Guide in 2006, now in its third edition. Her underwater experience and exploration of the Polar Regions led to her acceptance into the Explorers Club.
Director of Governance & Finance
Janeen joined IAATO in 2013 and is responsible for IAATO’s corporate governance and administration, which includes ensuring the association is proactive against and protected from any potential anti-trust violations and liability issues, as well as ensuring human resources and benefits compliance. In addition, she manages the association’s finances and budgets and the membership application process.
Prior to joining IAATO, Janeen worked as a senior program manager in International Development for Global Health and Global Literacy NGOs and trade associations in Washington, DC for 10 years. In this capacity, she managed high-level projects for international donors some of which include: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), The Hewlett Foundation, The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), ChildFund, and several Ministries of Education. She was fortunate to travel extensively in her work, including many countries in the developing world.
Janeen has lived and worked overseas in Germany and France and speaks both languages. She grew up in Rhode Island on the water with a father who was an old salty sailor and had a choice, love to sail or stay home. She chose to love sailing!
Director of Environment & Science Coordination
Amanda’s role is to support IAATO in meeting environmental obligations arising from its mission, the Antarctic Treaty System and other international agreements. This includes coordinating research and monitoring efforts and citizen science.
Her Antarctic career began in 1996 with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) as a penguin biologist and field assistant for the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). She established long-term seabird monitoring projects at Signy Island, South Orkney Islands, and at Port Lockroy on the Antarctic Peninsula. Her research involved studying the foraging behaviour of Adelie and chinstrap penguins, the findings of which fed into the development of the first CCAMLR Marine Protected Area in Antarctica.
Amanda’s passion for communicating Antarctic issues and science led her to a position as press officer in the award-winning Press, Public Relations and Education Department at BAS and a project coordinator for the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust. Outside of the Antarctic community, she has worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) at busy tourist destinations in the Peak District National Park, UK.
She was first introduced to IAATO in 2002 while working at Port Lockroy. Impressed by IAATO’s ethos, core values and potential for creating Antarctic ambassadors, she went on to work for an IAATO member operator and eventually the Secretariat in 2013. Her experiences have led her to appreciate the value of polar tourism when it is expertly managed. She believes protecting our wild places depends on giving people opportunities to learn while exploring them first hand. Amanda lives with her family in the English Lake District.
Communications & Engagement Manager
Hayley joined IAATO in October 2017 and manages the Secretariat’s communications and engagement.
A former newspaper journalist, Hayley moved into communications and PR in 2010, supporting Hampshire Constabulary’s road traffic, major incident, and serious and organised crime teams, before moving to London where she became Acting Director of Communications for the Association of Chief Police Officers; managing crisis and reputational issues within the UK Police Service and working with 10 Downing Street, The Home Office, COBRA and 44 police forces across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
A member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and an advocate for ethical practice and transparency, Hayley joined IAATO to support and strengthen the Association’s mission and vision of facilitating appropriate, safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic.
Hayley and her family live in the Peak District National Park in West Yorkshire, UK.
Operations Administration Manager
Erin went to school at Johnson and Wales University graduating with a Bachelor’s in Travel and Tourism. She spent time during college working in various parts of tourism including working at TF Greene Airport in Rhode Island and planning a trip to Peru.
Before joining IAATO in July 2018 as Operations Assistant, Erin worked for Whole Foods Market, which really brought out her passion for sustainability and learning about working for a company that promotes sustainability on different levels with stores, suppliers and the community.
IAATO perfectly combines Erin’s passion for tourism with sustainability, as well as enabling her to be a part of protecting the Antarctic environment.
When she isn’t in the office, Erin loves spending time outdoors, hiking, walking, biking, and fishing especially in New Hampshire where her family lives.
Colleen came to IAATO from the precious metal jewelry manufacturing industry in March 2019 and oversees the financial record keeping of the Association. Educated at The Community College of Rhode Island and Bryant College, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and qualifications in computer programming.
Before diving into the world of responsible polar travel, Colleen saw how conscientious jewelry manufacturers worked together to develop standard practices; recycling and refining precious metal material, treating waste water and air emissions before dispersing them back into the environment; a post which gave her an understanding about how industry collaboration and safe and responsible practices can support the environment.
Colleen grew up in Rhode Island where she continues to live today. She spends her free time with friends and family and keeping up with five nieces and nephews. She loves the mountains of New Hampshire, the beaches of Rhode Island and the rich history and cultural diversity of the state’s cities.
Intern Stella is a student at Stony Brook University, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, working towards her Master’s degree in Marine Conservation and Policy. She recently graduated with her B.S. in Biology and chose to further her education in a field she is passionate about.
Stella works part-time as a tutor and a nanny, where she has the privilege of helping and educating younger generations. Combining her passion for the ocean, environment, and educating others, Stella has joined IAATO as an intern from February to August 2022 to support the Antarctic Ambassadors project.
Stella grew up on Long Island and frequently went on boat trips with her family, which sparked her passion for marine life. When she is not in class or studying, you can find Stella at the dog park, at the gym, or fishing with her dad.
Tudor has always had a passion for polar places. After many Arctic and Alpine expeditions while studying Geology at Manchester University he first went South with British Antarctic Survey wintered as a Field Guide before becoming became Field Operations Manager. After six years he moved on to work for the Antarctic Heritage Trust managing the operation at Port Lockroy and overseeing the conservation of other historic sites.
Before joining the full time staff at Hurtigruten Expeditions he was Operations Manager at IAATO. He has represented Hurtigruten at IAATO since 2016 and joined the Executive Committee in 2019. He was elected to the role of Executive Committee Chair in 2022.
He has been awarded the Queens Polar Medal for outstanding service to Antarctic science and Heritage.
John has been involved in responsible Antarctic travel since 2004 and an active member of IAATO since 2010. He joined the Membership Committee in 2014 and serving as chair from 2017 to 2021 when he was elected to IAATO’s Executive Committee. John has also served on the Tourism Growth Working Group. He is the President/CEO of IAATO Member Operator Polar Latitudes.
Deciding long ago that what you love and what you do should be the same, John has been working in the adventure travel world for over three decades. Starting out in North American and European bicycle touring before moving into a career in the safari world and, for the last two decades, in responsible polar tourism.
John believes that leading safe and environmentally responsible expeditions to Antarctica can create ambassadors who will champion its continued protection when they return home.
Steve Wellmeier is the managing director of Poseidon Expeditions USA, based in Providence, Rhode Island. He’s been active in marketing, promotion and public affairs in the small ship segment of the cruise industry since the mid-1980s and polar-related expedition cruising since 1997. He was the executive director or co-director of IAATO from 2008-2013, managing the organization during the challenging years following the Great Recession and the sinking of the Explorer in Antarctica in November 2007.
Following the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, Steve served as public affairs liaison with the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and grants administrator with the Empire State Development Corporation, assisting hundreds of businesses rebuild in lower Manhattan.
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Steve holds a Master of Arts in English Literature from the University of Cincinnati, where he co-designed and taught a writing course: The Art of Contemporary Persuasion. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and studied in the MBA program at Saint Louis University. He is a firm believer in the value of a strong liberal arts education and what this brings to the business world. His passion for Antarctica rests on his conviction that sustainable commercial tourism is a vital element in the long-term preservation of this remarkable polar ecosystem.
Sibrand Hassing is Director, Fleet Operations Europe for the Holland America Line (HAL). As well as a decade as a Master Mariner, including operating in ice covered waters off the Baltic and St. Lawrence, Sibrand worked for 21.5 years for the Dutch Maritime Authorities as senior policy adviser on cargo safety, port state control, ISM Code, STCW/safe manning, Polar Code and Climate Change. Furthermore, I was a lead-auditor of IMO’s Member State Audit Scheme.
In 2013 Sibrand joined HAL, later representing the Operator at IAATO meetings as well as participating in several IAATO Committees. He has also served on the IAATO delegation at IMO meetings. He joined the IAATO Executive Committee in April 2022.