The YAANA Team
Founder and CEO, YAANA Ventures
Willem has had a passion for travel since a solo bicycle trip around The Netherlands when he was just eleven years old. In his early years, he worked several jobs both after school and on weekends. His interest in business quickly took over from classroom learning. He worked for a neighbor’s television and white goods shop, where he did everything from selling televisions to delivering washing machines. These experiences laid the foundation for his entrepreneurial future.
From the beginning Willem was committed to growing his business in a sustainable manner using responsible travel practices at the core of product development and operations. He strongly advocates that sustainability is no longer a luxury but an imperative in order to leave a world that is livable for our children. Willem is married and has two daughters. He speaks Dutch, English and Thai.
Partner and CFO, YAANA Ventures
Mark grew up in Valparaiso, Indiana – just about an hour east of Chicago. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. Mark later pursued and earned his Masters in Business Administration in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
Mark has lived in Asia for over 20 years, immersing himself in the region’s cultures, languages, and landscapes. Mark has proudly called Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines “home”. He speaks English, Thai, Vietnamese, Khmer, Tagalog, Spanish and Arabic, all of which have helped develop his love and appreciation for travel and cultural richness.
Richard R. Brouwer
Chief Executive Officer, Khiri Travel
Richard arrived in Thailand in 1989 after receiving a degree in Hotel Management from the Hotel School The Hague. Richard previously worked for Amari Hotels and Resorts, where he spent four years as the hotel group’s Corporate Director of Sales & Marketing. In June 2000, Richard joined Diethelm Travel Group where he held the responsibilities of VP of Sales and Marketing, Managing Director of Thailand, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer of the company in November 2012.
Richard’s career is consistent in its quest for pursuing sustainable travel. He is a Dutch national, fluent in both German and English in addition to his native language. He is married and has one daughter, and resides in Thailand.
Chief Executive Officer, Grasshopper Adventures
Adam rediscovered the simple pleasure of cycling in his mid twenties, commuting by bike to his bank job in Melbourne, Australia. That same bank job in SME finance, had actually been a great education, exposing him to a wide range of small businesses and their owners. In 2003 Adam joined a fundraiser ride through southern China where he made a friend who would later found Grasshopper, and became inspired by the dual features of cycling and travel in Asia.
Adam now leads the wonderful team of personalities that make up Grasshopper Adventures. He lives in Siem Reap (Cambodia) with his young family and still occasionally hosts tours.
General Manager, GROUND
Jack joined Khiri Travel in 2011 as Operations Manager in Laos, after which he was promoted to and served as General Manager in Cambodia in 2012. To further utilize his deep destination knowledge and passionate interest in Indochina, Jack was then promoted to Regional Director Indochina, based in Hanoi. During his time in Cambodia, Jack spearheaded the development and implementation of Banteay Chhmar Tents with the Banteay Chhmar CBT.
Project Manager, Cardamom Tented Camp
Marius Hermann was born in Germany but spent extensive amounts of time in the eastern hemisphere. Some of his stopover destinations included Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and Laos.
Marius has a deep curiosity for culture, nature and adventure based activities. His eagerness to learn from and engage with local people and his knowledge of sustainability and wildlife conservation led him to a job with Yaana Ventures.
Marius has been named Project Manager of the Cardamom Tented Camp, a new product of Yaana Ventures to be located in Cambodia’s Botum Sakor National Park starting in mid 2017. With the goal in mind to break new ground in environmental-conservational tourism, the Cardamom Tented Camp will further diversify the unique Yaana Ventures product range.
Lodge Manager, Anurak Community Lodge
Kithirun (Thom) graduated from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok and then joined Ernst and Young, one of the largest professional service firms in the world. At EY, Thom gained experience in business consulting in several industries, including hotel management and tourism. After an assignment as an Audit Manager, Thom left EY to travel around the world and look for new challenges.
Thom has joined the Yaana team as manager of Anurak Community Lodge. Before taking on this new challenge, he had a chance to visit. He fell in love instantly, not only with the incredibly peaceful retreat, but also with the whole concept of the hotel. Thom aims to lead this sustainable eco lodge so as to improve the quality of life of the local people as well as to continue to build the name and reputation of Anurak to be well known globally.
Damien Del Porto
Marketing Director, YAANA Ventures
Prior to joining YAANA Ventures, Damien led the marketing and product teams for Wyndham Destination Network’s RCI division, based in Singapore. In that role, Damien was responsible for all marketing and product initiatives for both RCI-affiliated hotel operators as well as to RCI’s dues-paying members residing in the APJ region.
Damien holds an MBA in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management as well as a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Damien speaks English, French, Spanish and Italian fluently and is (very) slowly learning Thai and Mandarin Chinese. He is most passionate about empowering small businesses to succeed through the triple-bottom-line.
Project Coordinator, YAANA Ventures
Nitshananun (“Nitsha”) began her career as a part-time receptionist at the hotel in Bangkok. After obtaining her Bachelor’s of Arts in Business English, she moved to London for three years to pursue a diploma in Tourism and Hospitality management. After returning to Thailand, she worked as a film coordinator for the Thailand Film Office, an account executive for Chevalier Network Solutions and a real-estate agent for CB Richard Ellis. Nitsha is adventurous and outgoing by nature and loves to try local food in her travels.
Finance Manager, YAANA Ventures
Issara built the foundations of the company’s finance department, joining Khiri Travel in Bangkok’s Banglumpoo district in 1998 as an assistant accountant. She graduated from Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University with a degree in accounting and is the company’s longest serving staff member.
Corporate Financial Accountant, YAANA Ventures
Natthita (“Jeep”) graduated from Payap University in Chiang Mai with a degree in accounting. She started her career in her hometown of Chiang Mai and moved to Bangkok in 2010 to seek new challenges. Jeep has worked for several growing companies in the hospitality industry. At YAANA, Jeep is responsible for the accounting of both YAANA and its ventures.
Digital Marketing Executive, YAANA Ventures
Siwaporn (“Gift”) joined YAANA in 2015 and provides general marketing support for all YAANA ventures. Prior to joining YAANA, Gift worked as a sales support executive for Hotelbeds and Bedsonline where she provided administrative and sales support for the company’s sales teams around Asia-Pacific. She is most passionate about social media and its ability to connect with customers in the travel and hospitality industry.
Brand Marketing Executive, YAANA Ventures
Jantipa Charanyakorn graduated from Assumption University in Bangkok from the faculty of Communication Arts with a major in Advertising. She is interested in the field of marketing because she likes the challenge of staying up to date on changing trends and technology. Jantipa is also self-motivated and enjoys watching movies and TV serial shows.
Her new passion is travel to experience new places, people and cultures. She wants to learn about the world through amazing adventures and to develop a wider worldview. She likes to remember a place according to the colors and flavors of the food and how the experience makes her feel.
Marketing Assistant, YAANA Ventures
Thanita Sumranjit, also known as New for short, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Kasetsart University and Master’s degree from the International University of Japan. Both of her degrees are in International Relations.
As a student in Japan, her university was surrounded by nature and she was immersed in the culture of the local Japanese people. Being an international university, New also made friends with people from all over the world. She understands the advantages of learning how to live in a diverse community and appreciate cultural differences.
She studied about using green techology in the environment to address economic and social inequality among human populations. As a result, she is interested in sustainability, thus her decision to join Yaana Ventures.