The YAANA Team
FOUNDER AND CEO,
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,
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,
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.
Lauren, born in the UK, has a passion for educational travel and first hand experience of transformative travel from her trips teaching English in rural China, as well as studying and working in both Poland & Germany.Lauren is passionate about responsible tourism management and has led several projects in the field, the most recent one being a tech project in Indonesia focusing on clean drinking water and reusable plastic bottles. Lauren joins GROUND after spending 6 years in Budapest, Hungary where she worked for a tour operator, youth hostel and DMC.
CARDAMOM TENTED CAMP
Allan has been living in Cambodia for the past 17 years. His true passion for wildlife photography and conservation brought him to the country after several years of working in the financial industry in his home country, England. Even though this is Allans first tourism project he is already a veteran within the environmental, wildlife and sustainability movement in Cambodia. He has a true passion for the country its nature, people and animals. His own produced film (“Cambodia: Forests, water, life”) is used as educational material at the Royal University of Phnom Penh and well renowned as well as his 2015 wildlife film (“Land of the Giants”).
During his freelance years Allan has done photography as well as writing articles for local and regional media such as BBC Natural History Unit, Animal Planet and National Geographic Magazine.
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.
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,
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.
RESERVATION AND SALES EXECUTIVE,
ANURAK COMMUNITY LODGE
Pemika (“Tai”) graduated from Bangkok University with a degree in hotel management. She started her career in the travel industry as a Reservation Officer for the Dusit Thani Bangkok where she worked for two years and learned the importance of customer service and hospitality working for this major international hotel group.
Tai has joined the Yaana-Ventures team as the Reservation and Sales Executive for Anurak Community Lodge. She believes that going the extra mile to ensure guests enjoy their stay, is the key to an unforgettable experience and a successful product.