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
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.
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.
Khiri Travel Sustainability Manager
& Executive Director Khiri Reach
Gili is a South African-born mother of two, who has lived in many countries, including Israel and England, before settling in Thailand for the last 15 years. With a passion for conservation and a strong conviction in the need to lead change, she believes that sustainability must start with us as individuals, rather than waiting for governments to implement the changes needed to benefit us and the world we live in.
With a varied background, including many years in F&B, scuba diving, environmental conservation, fund raising for charities and an assortment of music festivals and corporate events, Gili brings a fresh perspective and new energy to her position as Sustainability Manager for Khiri Travel and Executive Director of Khiri REACH, the non-profit arm, which works with disadvantaged people to implement sustainable, community-driven programs in each of the countries it operates.
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.
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.
Marketing Executive, YAANA Ventures
Titapa Rujirojsakul, whose friends call her Muk, graduated from Chulalongkorn University with a degree in Political Science. Her first job was working at Thailand’s Ministry of Energy as an international coordinator. While at the Ministry she quickly became interested in marketing and decided to try a new career challenge. She joined an FMCG company for a year to gain more marketing experience, before continuing her studies in the United Kingdom doing an MSc in International Marketing Management at the University of Leeds.
In her position as marketing executive for YAANA Ventures, Muk believes her personal experiences traveling abroad, her love of adventure and new places, coupled with her passion for marketing challenges, will be key assets in her position as marketing executive for YAANA Ventures.
Marketing Executive, YAANA Ventures
Janejira Domklang, known as Jane to her friends, graduated from Silpakorn University’s Faculty of Communication Arts with a degree in Art. She began her career in advertising, working as a graphic designer and account executive. She hopes her new position with YAANA Ventures will enable her to put into practice her broad range of skills and expand her horizons in a new and exciting field.
Jane has joined YANNA Ventures as a marketing executive, taking care of branding for each of the company’s affiliates, including Khiri Travel, GROUND and Anurak Community Lodge. A keen traveler with a fascination of other cultures, Jane believes travel is an empowering experience that teaches us to accept and appreciate other people and their way of life.