Solimar International welcomed its largest group of interns to its sustainable tourism team earlier this month. This diverse group of future travel leaders comes to Solimar from across the United States and will be instrumental in further developing current projects (Southern Tanzania Marketing Plan, The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Experience & Georgia/Armenia DMO Development Programs) and the continued strategizing of Solimar’a DMMS program.
Meet the interns below:
Amelia Quarto is currently pursuing an MS in Global Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development through Johnson and Whales University. While completing her undergraduate degree in Hospitality Management, she embarked on a 105 day travel and educational journey that took her to over 12 countries through the Semester at Sea program. Amelia continued to gain knowledge and experience in hospitality management through an internship in Sydney, Australia. Later, it was a job she held in Glacier National Park that sparked her interest and showed her the importance and need of sustainable tourism. Amelia’s education, career, and solo travel adventures have taken her to over 25 countries.
Mason Meadows is a graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in Public Relations. Prior to joining the Solimar International team, Mason lived in Australia where he spent his winters working alongside the indigenous Jawoyn People at Nitmiluk National Park, and his summers living in the city of Melbourne and backpacking Southeast Asia. Previously, Mason served as Sponsorship Coordinator for the international nonprofit Children of Uganda, and as an AmeriCorps NCCC Team Leader based in Denver, Colorado. Mason is a passionate thrifter, avid adventurer, and strong believer in the power of using sustainable practices to minimize negative environmental, economic and cultural impacts.
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Dominic Gialdini holds an Bachelor of Science in Recreation Administration with an Emphasis in Sustainable Tourism Management from San Diego State University, where he was selected as the outstanding graduate of his program after having worked as a teacher’s assistant for the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. In September 2020, Dominic graduated from the Erasmus Mundus European Master in Tourism Management Program (through the University of Southern Denmark, University of Ljubljana, and University of Girona). He also interned for the Alliance for Innovators and Researchers in Tourism and Hospitality (AIRTH).
Stephanie Auslander is wrapping up her final class for her master’s degree from Johnson & Wales University and is scheduled to graduate in December 2020. Stephanie previously worked for Key Travel as a business travel consultant and has recently completed an internship with the Economic Transformation group highlighting ways in which the tourism industry can recover from Covid-19. Furthermore, Stephanie had an opportunity to complete a project with the World Bank focused on a cultural landscape approach for the great Lumbini region in Nepal. Through both her course work and internship, she has steadily focused on sustainable tourism practices for destination management.
Rebecca Morris is a recent graduate of the Master of Tourism Administration program at the George Washington University with a focus in Sustainable Tourism Management. She is excited to be interning with Solimar and is interested in learning about marketing, brand strategy, and website development with the local Inn at Meander project in Madison County, Virginia.
Hannah Garland is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. While studying at Pitt, Hannah earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication along with a minor in History and a certificate in Spanish. Hannah enjoys traveling and being outdoors. She has been to many National and State Parks within the US, as well as in Ireland, Italy, and Canada. While in Ireland, Hannah experienced her first taste of geotourism and is looking forward to furthering her knowledge of the intricacies of geotourism.
Lolya McWest recently graduated from Rutgers University with a BS in Environmental Science. She plans on perusing a master’s in environmental and sustainable development and management. She is excited to be a part of the Solimar International internship program as it combines the two topics she enjoys the most; sustainability and tourism. From a very young age, Lolya loved to travel. She wants to travel as much as possible to meet new faces and see places she has never seen before. Lolya is not sure what the future holds for her, but her end goal is to solve environmental problems and aid communities in striving toward a sustainable future, especially in developing countries.
With over 15 years of experience in hospitality public relations and marketing, Brigid Finley has worked with top travel and tourism brands, including Visit Telluride, Visit Sun Valley, Visit Tucson, Healdsburg Tourism Improvement District, Peru Trade Commission and Eleven Experience, as well as hotels and brands including Loews Hotels, 21c Museum Hotels, The St. Regis Aspen Resort and The Broadmoor. Brigid holds B.A. from Boston College in Political Science and Latin American Studies and is currently completing a Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism Destination Management from George Washington Univ. and a Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute.
Robert Carter grew up in Mount Vernon and has over 15 years on the operations side of the hospitality industry, from managing all aspects of free- standing restaurants to working for the Starwood Hotel Company. One of his strongest quality was educating his staff on anticipating the guest needs, then going above and beyond their satisfaction. Robert then took this knowledge of leading, managing and applied to his own business model. His passion for sports really came to life, while living in Chicago, Il, (from 2014-2018) where he started a sports training business for youth sports. Through the success of his business, he was recognized and teamed with Chicago City Soccer Club as a volunteer trainer for their entire club. With great results on the youth side, Robert was then asked to train their WPSL team. (Women’s Professional Soccer League).
Raised in a small town in Northern California, Elizabeth Evans graduated from Arizona State University with a B.S. in Tourism Development and Management. Beginning her career in tourism and travel marketing at the Arizona Office of Tourism, MMGY Global, and Visit Huntington Beach. Elizabeth is passionate about the Tourism industry and hopes to continue her career in tourism marketing or consulting. She hopes to learn more about sustainable tourism and stakeholder engagement in order to create a tourism product that closely aligns with a community’s personal values and traditions, forming an accurate and authentic experience for tourists and future generations.
Kylie Schultz is a senior studying environmental studies at the University of Pittsburgh. She is originally from the Pittsburgh area as well. In the future I hope to work with the National Park Service or similar organizations to promote sustainability and conservation. I am interested in learning more about the ways that eco-tourism can create a more sustainable world and educate people about the environment around them.
Lindsey Neuwirth is currently a junior at Stony Brook University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Law, Public Policy and Waste Management, minoring in Marine Science. She is passionate about bridging the worlds of tourism and sustainability, as well as ocean conservation. She had the privilege to volunteer in Costa Rica at a child care center and saw how differently they live. After experiencing first hand how greatly they value sustainability and wildlife in their country, it is very clear how all destinations must practice the same methods. She has taken multiple trips to Mexico and has traveled to Germany, Ireland and Puerto Rico.
Emily Binder is currently a sophomore at Creighton University studying history. She is from small town Nebraska and is passionate about promoting local history.