Meet the Team

Meet the Team

wendy

Wendy, Chief Executive Officer

Originally from the Netherlands, Wendy immigrated to New Zealand with her family as a child and is now very much a 'kiwi'. With more than twenty years’ experience in senior management roles in leisure and corporate travel, Wendy is particularly passionate about inspiring positive culture in the workplace. She's a graduate of the University of Canterbury, a previous board member of the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand, and a current board member of the Tourism Export Council NZ. At Active Adventures, Wendy leads the talented team to excellence and is super focussed on guest experience, satisfaction and loyalty. An avid runner, Wendy has completed five full marathons and loves to hike, bike and paddle-board with her family in all the beautiful spots around Queenstown.

kasey

Kasey, Head of Global Product & President USA

Kasey was born in Alaska and raised in Montana. She graduated from the University of Montana, Missoula with a degree in Education. A member of the Austin family (founder, Dan Austin’s daughter), Kasey grew up in the industry and has worked her way up doing just about every job in the company. She’s now the Head of the Product Team, ensuring Austin Adventures' & Active Adventures' product line-up is top notch and the Operations & Guide teams have what they need to deliver an amazing trip for our guests worldwide. There’s nothing that Kasey loves more than going on a hike with her husband, daughter, and dogs. But she also will try just about anything – skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, etc. – at least once!

EJ Meet the Active Adventures team

EJ, Chief Growth Officer

EJ has lived most of his life in the Philippines and Australia, but has travelled to over 40 countries across 6 continents around the world, with New Zealand firmly among his top destinations. A highly accomplished professional with a career spanning 16+ years — nearly a decade of which in travel, leisure, and tourism — EJ brings deep expertise in growth marketing, media, ecommerce, digital enablement, and data-led transformation to his role as Chief Growth Officer. The role and company are a perfect fit for EJ, who used to head up a mountaineering organisation in his University days, and is an adrenaline junkie who has jumped out of a perfectly good airplane 10 times in pursuit of a skydiving licence, and tries to squeeze in a bungy jump with every visit to Queenstown.

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Sam, Head of Global Sales & Operations

Sam hails the small town of Feilding on the north island of New Zealand. He attended university in the south island where he completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Otago followed by a Graduate Diploma in Journalism at the University of Canterbury. After five years working as a reporter for Radio New Zealand, Sam set sail for Europe where he began his foray into the travel industry as a Tour Guide. Upon returning to New Zealand he returned into the sales side of travel progressing from Sales Manager to General Management roles with international travel companies throughout New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia before moving to Queenstown at the beginning of 2021 to join Active Adventures.

tracey

Tracy, Head of Finance

Tracy called Wellington home for over 30 years. After 20 years of holidaying there, the lure of Queenstown finally saw her join the Active Adventures team in 2022. Given her role, it's lucky Tracy is excellent with numbers, accounting and puzzles.  She has over 25 years’ experience in accounting across many industries. Her cocktail-making and baking skills are also appreciated by the team.

Living in Singapore with her family was the start of her love for travel. Some memorable experiences have been getting stitches while camping in the Malaysian jungle, hand-feeding wild turtles scuba diving in Tahiti, and a lightning strike next to her in Costa Rica. Always keen on adventure, Tracy still has an extensive bucket list of places to explore.

Adrian

Adrian, Head of ICT & Digital Product

With a scientific background in Antarctic Geophysics and experience in tech research and development in the UK, Adrian first toured around in New Zealand in 1991, stayed for good in 2002 and has been working for Active ever since. After starting out as a New Zealand tour guide, he inevitably ended up being sucked into the office where his technical and analytical skills could be put to work in various roles over the years and is currently Head of ICT for Active. Away from the office, Adrian can be found biking, kayaking, fishing, camping, hiking, skiing - enjoying all that the great New Zealand outdoors has to offer!

ben

Ben, Vendor Relationships

A born world-traveler, Ben is passionate about combining education and travel, while also protecting the environment. He has worked in ecotourism ventures in Costa Rica, Kenya, Tanzania, Peru and Pohnpei, Micronesia. He has taken part in Climate Ride five times to help raise awareness around climate change, bike advocacy, and national park protection. Ben is also an avid hiker and thoroughly enjoys all the great trails around Missoula, Montana joined by his beloved dog, Vida, as much as possible. He has visited over 150 national parks and loves to connect travelers to amazing experiences in our national parks and public lands.  

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Beate, Website and Data Coordinator

Beāte is from Latvia, a small country in the Northern Europe, which is known for its beautiful forests, rich culture, and flat landscape. During her master’s studies in International Economic Relations, she managed to go on a couple of international exchange studies and later lived and worked in 4 countries. The decision to come to New Zealand came naturally after living in Canada and discovering the love towards adventuring in the mountains. While her intention was to live in New Zealand only for a year, endless outdoor opportunities and meeting her kiwi partner was the reason why she decided to call New Zealand home. When she’s not working you can find her in the mountains rock climbing, trail running, photographing, skiing, mountaineering or ice climbing. 

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Jack, Marketing Coordinator

Eternally English at heart, Jack is never far from a cup of steaming tea or from his next adventure. Hiking, biking, and riding his way around the world, and encouraging others to do the same, Jack has made travel his vocation. Since the day he was lost in the desert aged 6 in Petra - returning to his distressed parents delighted atop a police camel - he has had the travel bug. Following a Master in Aerospace Engineering and moving to the USA and Canada, and then a lengthy period backpacking around the world, Jack has joined Active Adventures in his new home of Queenstown, New Zealand.

Kristie

Kristie, International Direct Sales Manager

Kristie is from the Hawkes Bay, a beautiful spot on the East Coast of the North Island well known for the sunny weather, great beaches and world-class wines – Her three favourite things! She’s spent the last 8 years living abroad in Melbourne, the Whitsundays and most recently Edinburgh while working in the Travel industry. She’s now back in New Zealand after extensive travel throughout Europe, the US and Asia and is a Travel Specialist here at Active Adventures. When she isn’t planning your trips she is planning her own, ticking off her own travel wishlist as often as possible!

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Jazzmin, International Customer Service Manager

Jazz grew up in the Central North Island of New Zealand, moved to our capital city, Wellington (No, not Auckland!) to fast-track her study before moving to Florida, USA to pursue her passion for Travel and Tourism and further her education with the goal of 'trying something new' every day! With more than 10 years experience in the Travel industry, and travel all over the world under her belt (with plenty more to explore!) she has since moved back to New Zealand to raise her future-adventurers! 

brenon

Brenon, Process and Systems Manager

An example of the life-changing power of adventure, Brenon left the deep south to work a summer in Yellowstone National Park in 1993. It has been a great summer. An avid rock-climber, backcountry skier and mountaineer, he has embraced the pointy rocks of the Greater Yellowstone as home for over 25 years. Along the way, Brenon has guided tours in Yellowstone, taught young people perseverance in the mountains, and even rescued a few lucky adventurers. After working in mine reclamation and microbiology, being with Austin Adventures is the perfect way to connect the dots between his passion for exploration and a fulfilling career.

ange

Ange, Operations Coordinator and Supplier Relations

Ange spent her youth living in a small farming town in the South Island where she was introduced to the great outdoors. After training and working as a preschool teacher for 5 years she decided to retrain as an Outdoor Instructor. This led her to introduce an array of people from youth at risk to the outdoors and at times pushing their comfort zones. Ange decided she wanted to stay working in the outdoors but with a slight career change, which led her to Active Adventures. After guiding for a few years, the opportunity came up to work in the office with the operations team, where you'll find her today. When she's not coordinating trips, Ange can be found spending time in the hills, whether it's mountain biking, hiking, trail running and any event that involves a map.

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Stephanie, Partnership Marketing Manager

Stephanie was born and raised in the smallest state in the United States – Rhode Island. With an official nickname of the Ocean State and 400 miles of coastline, it’s no wonder she spent all her summers growing up down by the water. She attended Rhode Island College graduating with a degree in Marketing and Economics. While she’s resided in the same state her entire life, she has spent a lot of time traveling around the U.S. and quite a few road-trips down the east coast. She maintains an active lifestyle, keep up with her Australian Cattle Dog, Dewey. On the weekend, you’ll find her scoping out new eateries in the city and chasing live music and a cold beer in the summer. 

adam

Adam, European Operation Manager

After moving to a new neighborhood at age five, Adam took off on his bike in search of new friends in Minnesota. More than thirty years later Adam still enjoys making friends on his bike while cycling around Europe. Adam has lived the life of a nomad, having taught English in China, managed a beach resort in Mexico, and now lives in the Netherlands with his wife since 2011, where they raise their daughter in the continued family tradition getting to know the world on the seat of a bicycle. Adam enjoys playing on local sports teams, adventure travel with the family, and continually learning new things from whichever culture he might be living or traveling in.

valerie

Valerie, Financial Controller

Valerie was born in San Diego, CA, she lived in New Jersey for 5 years, but has been in Montana since 2nd grade.  Valerie handles most aspects of accounting. She loves where she got to grow up and considers herself a Montanan. She lives in Billings with her husband and her dog.  She enjoys camping, cooking for friends, and playing board games. 

ryan

Ryan, Operation Coordinator

Ryan was born and raised in Newtown, Connecticut where he learned to love running, hiking, camping, and sailing. In 2007 he moved to Billings, Montana. Shortly after moving Ryan got into rock climbing and fell in love with the mountains and trails of the Rockies. After attending the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Ryan pursued a degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership. He has worked as a rock climbing instructor/guide, zipline guide, college professor, and even a professional sewer. You can now find Ryan working alongside his wife Kasey running the operations of Austin Adventures.

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Rhet, Operations

Rhet grew up in Cave Creek, Arizona within the family business of training thoroughbred racehorses. However, Rhet greatly preferred taking long hikes in the desert looking for javelina or quail than cleaning horse stalls. He became the first member of his family to graduate from college with a degree in Wildlife Sciences. Rhet spent time working on research projects with black bears, California sea lions, black-footed ferrets, and platypus before taking his first guiding job in Grand Teton National Park. That one seasonal guide job changed his career trajectory as he found a deep passion for adventure travel and sharing the natural world with people from across the globe. In the 14 years since getting into the industry, Rhet has worked in Wyoming, Oklahoma, Florida, Arizona, Utah, Louisiana, Alaska, and Hawaii. 

Tory Profile

Tory, Global Operations Technology & Product Co-ordinator

Born in Christchurch, Tory spent the first ten years of her life in a small town near Aoraki Mount Cook before heading North for school, and eventually university in our Capital city, Wellington! Having travelled to Thailand for a school exchange at 17, the travel bug began as her explorations reached Nepal & Tibet before living in Australia, Peru and Canada over the years, and road-tripping through North, Central and South America’s!

Her move to Queenstown in 2015 saw her stumble across Active Adventures by chance. After spending two summers guiding around NZ, sharing all the best spots of her home country she decided to stop in the best place of all, Queenstown, where she spent many years in our HQ. She now resides in Christchurch with her young family and can’t wait to explore more of the world with a little one in tow.

ChrisW Profile

Chris, Fleet Manager

Chris was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and moved to Yellowstone country in 1996, where he developed a love for the outdoors. Starting as a snowmobile operator and guide at the east gate of the park, he got his first taste of Yellowstone and has been hooked ever since. Chris majored in Outdoor Recreation and Leadership and managed a tour company in Cody, Wyoming for many years affording the opportunity to vastly increase his knowledge of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. With more than 10 years experience in the travel industry, and many more to come, he now lives in Billings, Montana where he can stay close to the Big Sky country he has grown to love.

Why Travel With Us

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Experience adventure the way you want

You’ll be inspired and exhilarated, enjoying mind-blowing scenery on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike - all at your own pace.

benefits awards

Crafting award-winning trips for decades - the Kiwi way

We're proud of our Kiwi roots and you’ll love our professional and warm style of hosting. We’re always here to help with planning... even hiking boot recommendations!

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Every detail covered, to maximise your time

We've got everything covered – top-notch meals, comfortable transport, superb accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

benefit group travel

Group travel for those who aren’t ‘group travelers’

With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading average 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you'll get to know your fellow travelers and have the flexibility to go at your own pace.

benefit gems

Explore hidden gems through our expert local guides

All our carefully selected guides are highly experienced and have deep personal connections to nature and culture. You’ll enjoy an authentic local experience.

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Over 10,000 5-star reviews - that’s pretty solid

We could hang around all day telling you how wonderful our trips are... but the best people to hear it from are our guests themselves.