Meet the Team

At PEAK DMC, our offices span the globe – from Budapest to Bangkok, Cusco to Cairo.

Our 21 DMCs collectively employ more than 450 people across Operations, Sales, Finance, Contracting and Human Resources. In addition to our office staff, we also work with over 1000 tour leaders and local guides.

We’re a diverse bunch, but we’ve got a few things in common: our commitment to responsible business; our spirit of innovation and, more importantly, our love of creating and delivering the best travel experiences for your brand.

To get to know our regional teams, please read through their profiles below.  

Global

Natalie Kidd

Natalie Kidd

Managing Director

Natalie Kidd is the Managing Director of Peak DMC. Natalie joined PEAK DMC in 2005 as the founding General Manager of the first DMC based in Hanoi Vietnam and has since gone on to grow the network to 21 DMCs around the global. She is passionate about developing people across cultures and leads a truly global team of 1500 staff, leaders and crew. Natalie is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and holds a Masters of Business Administration (AGSM), a Master of Asian Studies (UNSW) and Bachelor of Arts/Asian Studies (USyd).

Charles Lees

Charles Lees

Global General Manager

Charles has over 15 years’ experience at ensuring international company operations are run efficiently and compliantly and leads the DMC Global team in Melbourne across all functional areas. Charles has travelled to over 100 countries and combines his lifelong passion for travel with delivering successful results in a professional capacity

Matt Berna

Matt Berna

General Manager, Global Sales

Matt started his career as a tour leader over 25 years ago and fully appreciates what it takes to deliver an exceptional travel experience. Over this time, he has worked with some of the world’s leading tour operators to develop and grow their travel portfolios; from student groups and hiking trips to more cultural and luxurious itineraries. He is proud to be a part of such an innovative and global team at PEAK DMC and is dedicated to helping you grow your business and ensuring your customers have the best travel experience possible.

Frédéric Lizée

Frédéric Lizée

Regional Business Development Manager,EMEA

Fred has over ten years of experience in the travel industry including various roles in sourcing, product, sales and marketing. Working alongside global DMCs and supporting local teams from different cultures and continents is his true passion. Fred has spent five years working and travelling all around Asia, the highlight of which was an epic nomadic journey dog sledding and horse riding in Mongolia. He now brings his energy to PEAK DMC and looks forward to working with our partners.

Nathan Ward

Nathan Ward

Regional Business Development Manager, APAC

With more than thirteen years experience working in the travel industry in a variety of sales roles, including a stint working in the UK, Nathan brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to PEAK DMC. Having previously managed a large sales team, Nathan is able to facilitate strong links between our local sales teams and your product specialists; helping you create immersive, innovative, experience rich travel products for your brand. 

Karly Hillas

Karly Hillas

Global Operations Manager

With over 15 years working in the travel industry Karly has a strong background in global product and operations. Responsible for supporting the global network of PEAK DMCs in a multitude of tasks including safety compliance, commercial performance, training, development and procurement. When she’s not flying around the world working in a local DMC office, she’s at home studying to complete her law degree, or lost in the mountains on a remote trekking expedition.

Asia

Carl Needham

Carl Needham

Regional General Manager, South East Asia

What started as an 18-month commitment as a tour leader in 1996, led to a 17-year long, travel love story. Carl’s passion for learning a new culture began way back then and still continues today. Having worked in all areas of PEAK’s business, he knows what it takes to deliver inspirational travel experiences for our clients. It is this challenge – of bringing new and innovative travel products onboard – that he thrives on. Well, that, and sharing the wonders of South East Asia with everyone he meets.

Mike Stewart

Mike Stewart

General Manager, Thailand

Mike's love for adventure saw him travel the world until 2003 when he decided that Asia was the place to be. Starting out as a tour leader and having worked across all departments within the DMC business, Mike enjoys nothing more than working with the local team in Thailand creating and delivering innovative and sustainable experiences for your clients.

Savath Mao

Savath Mao

General Manager, Cambodia

Savath feels very passionate about travelling and loves having adventures, meeting people, and developing different experiences. After working in various industries Savath took on the role of Tour Leader and has been privileged to explore and share the region with visitors from all over the world. In 2010 and after 3 years being on the road Savath took on management of the Cambodia operation’s team ensuring that our leaders, local guides and operations team are fulfilling our client’s expectations and are getting fabulous experiences from the tour. In 2017 Savath became the General Manager for PEAK Cambodia. It is a busy and challenging role but Savath says by seeing the positive impact that employment and ongoing training has for my staff, our group leaders, and local guides to deliver such as incredible service and experiences to our travelers makes my everyday work a real pleasure.

Aye Mya Mya Soe

Aye Mya Mya Soe

General Manager, Myanmar

Aye has been in the tourism industry since she graduated and brings a wealth of experience to her role. She helps to ensure our clients and partners in Myanmar are regularly audited and performing to the required, internationally recognised safety standards. Aye is detailed, patient, customer-focused and willing to go the extra mile to ensure our guests have a fantastic experience in Myanmar and to play a key leadership role in our success as a world-class adventure travel operator.

Tuan Pham

Tuan Pham

General Manager, Vietnam

Tuan is an avid traveller and prior to joining PEAK, has enjoyed 8 trips to various parts of the world with PEAK. He enjoyed the experience so much that he jumped at the opportunity to be part of the team that delivers the best-travel-experience-ever in Vietnam. His background in impact investing and supporting social enterprises forms his approach to responsible tourism; both the travellers and the host communities should be enriched by the experience and sustainability must always at the core of the experience. Tuan and his team strive to making every experience in Vietnam an unforgettable one.

Leslie Lau

Leslie Lau

Country Manager, Malaysia

Leslie is our man behind the scenes in Borneo, Malaysia. Joining PEAK DMC in August 2017, Leslie has worked in the tourism industry for over fifteen years and has a deep passion for tourism due to its exhilarating nature and opportunity to meet new people. Leslie prides himself on his ability to learn new skills and also enjoys training his team, with customer feedback being something he takes very seriously as a tool for continual improvement. ​​​​​​​

Chris Hardy

Chris Hardy

Country Manager, Indonesia

Chris has been working in travel since 2007 –starting out as a travel agent he then took the plunge and became a tour leader before moving into Product and Operational roles in 4 of our different DMCs. These broad experiences have given Chris a detailed knowledge and understanding of the full customer journey. Chris has recently moved to Bali to open up our 21st DMC in Bali

Anu Karunatilaka

Anu Karunatilaka

Regional General Manager, North and South Asia

Anu’s passion for exploring the world led him to move to Melbourne from his home country of Sri Lanka. Taking up an IT consultancy role with the Intrepid Group in 2008, Anu got his first taste of the travel industry and developed an in-depth understanding on how our business works . Eight years after he left Sri Lanka, Anu took his team-leading abilities and passion for travel to come full circle with his move back to head up our Colombo office.  After growing the business almost 10 fold in just four years, Anu has now taken on the challenge of managing the North and South Asia region. Anu clearly loves rising to challenges, so what is next on his list of things to conquer? A climb to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro of course.

Ravindra Singh Shekhawat

Ravindra Singh Shekhawat

General Manager, Nepal

Trained in hospitality and service, Ravindra started as a sales manager for a large hotel. His passion for travel took him towards the travel trade where he started leading trips throughout India/Nepal. After being a tour leader for three years, he was promoted to Deputy Operations Manager then to Operations Manager in the India DMC, and currently heads our Nepal DMC as General Manager. He is hailed as a great communicator with various business partners, and his focus remains on the safety aspect of the trips and strong performance of teams. Ravindra, along with his team in Nepal, ensures an unforgettable sustainable travel experience for our passengers supported by a great experienced team of tour leaders.

Pravin Tamang

Pravin Tamang

General Manager, India

Pravin started his career as a mountaineering instructor at Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling. He then moved to Nepal to work as a freelance trek leader, and started leading cultural and adventure based tours throughout India. His love for adventure and passion for India grew stronger with each day of his career. Pravin has an in-depth knowledge about India, its culture and business intricacies. He joined PEAK DMC India as Operations Manager and was promoted to the role of General Manager within three years. He possesses excellent knowledge of India, its travel products and experience in managing Indian business.

Ryan Turner

Ryan Turner

General Manager, Sri Lanka

Ryan left to travel weeks after he finished high school and ended up making travel his career. Originally from Australia, Ryan has previously lived in both the UK and the USA. Ryan has worked in travel since 2000, and has been with the Intrepid Group since 2004. With experience across a broad range of product regions including the Middle East, Nth Africa, Australia and India, Ryan now starts a new chapter as General Manager for Sri Lanka, where he is based in Colombo. 

Chalini Fernando

Chalini Fernando

Sales Team Leader, Sri Lanka

Chalini had over six years of travel trade experience in the agency space in Sri Lanka before joining PEAK DMC as our Sales Team Leader. As proud ambassador for her country, Chalini would one day like to experience a phenomenon a little further from home - the Northern Lights!

Maggie Tian

Maggie Tian

General Manager, China

Maggie started her journey with PEAK DMC China way back in 2008 as one of the company's very first employees. Working as the Finance Manager for ten years, Maggie was appointed General Manager at the beginning of 2019. Born in Beijing, Maggie's favourite local experience is cycling through the Hutong area. Her passion combined with her deep knowledge and experience in the travel industry makes her an indispensable asset to the business. 

Kai Yu

Kai Yu

Contracting Manager, China

Kai has always loved travel and foreign places. This passion was ignited during the ten years he lived in France working and completing his business management diploma. In 2008 Kai returned home to China and spent time in various roles ranging from purchasing and project management through to one stage even being the assistant to the president of one of the biggest, listed travel companies in China! Kai joined the PEAK DMC team in 2014 as our purchasing and reservations manager, working hard to ensure our prices are competitive and our travel experiences are world class.

John Ng

John Ng

Sales Team Leader, Japan

A lover of all things Japan from way back, John worked as a reservations and sales consultant in the travel industry in both Hong Kong and Japan for six years before joining PEAK DMC Japan as Product and Sales Leader.

Megan Fraser

Megan Fraser

General Manager, Japan

Megan’s connection with Japan first started as a high-school exchange student on the island of Shikoku. After studying and working in Tokyo for many years, she took her passion for Asia and worked in business development roles in a number of other North Asian markets. She’s now back in Japan in captivating Kyoto, half-way between Shikoku and Tokyo, working as General Manager of PEAK DMC Japan.

North Africa & Middle East

Zina Bencheikh

Zina Bencheikh

Regional General Manager, Europe, Middle East & North Africa

Born in Marrakech, Zina’s passion for travel started very early at the age of one when her parents decided to move to Canada to explore new horizons. After moving back to Morocco at 6 and then to Europe at 17 where she studied and worked for 10 years in France and the UK, Zina decided it was time to go back home where she started a new adventure with PEAK DMC in 2010 as Finance Manager for Europe and Morocco before her role was extended to look after the whole Europe, Middle East and North Africa region. After 8 years’ experience within the company, she is now the Regional General Manager for Europe, Middle East and North Africa. Her goal is to build a multicultural team that has the wide knowledge and expertise required to operate the best travel experiences for our customers across the 43 countries in which PEAK DMC Marrakech operates.

Sameh Tawfik

Sameh Tawfik

General Manager, Egypt

Sameh has worked his way up from tour leader to General Manager of the Middle East at PEAK DMC. His experience of every department, including purchasing, reservations and operations, has allowed him to gain an in-depth knowledge of the business and empowers him to develop creative solutions for his clients. He strives for the highest level of service by inspiring his team of highly experienced and talented tour leaders to deliver great customer service and safe, enjoyable tours. His goal? To design tours that leave clients with long-lasting memories of the people they meet and the destinations they experience.

FatimaZohra Benhenia

FatimaZohra Benhenia

Sales Team Leader, Morocco

Tourism has always been FatimaZohra’s passion and working with PEAK has made it that much more exciting, especially when it comes to the adventure and responsible travel market. Working in this environment is not only interesting, stimulating and fun, but it makes FatimaZohra want to provide excellent customer service and an unforgettable experience for all.

Mohamed Mahrous

Mohamed Mahrous

Purchasing Manager, Egypt

Mohammed started as an Italian-speaking tour guide in the travel industry in the 1980s. Since then, he’s witnessed the industry in Egypt develop considerably. He is highly experienced and sought-after for working closely and professionally with brands from various markets. It’s his aim as Purchasing and Reservations Manager to provide the most competitive prices and the best experiences for clients.

Çağlar Gökgün

Çağlar Gökgün

General Manager, Turkey

After studying in Turkey and Latvia for five years, Çağlar started his tourism career in Intrepid Travel as a tour leader in 2008. This led to many different travel trips before he moved into the office side of the business. He covered the Purchasing and Reservation Manager role for one and a half years, then he started working for PEAK Istanbul in 2013 as Deputy General Manager. He completed an MBA to continue to improve his impeccable management skills. He runs, organizes, manages and markets trips all around Turkey.

Burcu Tuten

Burcu Tuten

Sales Team Leader, Turkey

’Burcu has worked in different sectors since the graduation, but always in sales in which she has dedicated herself and have been working in tourism more than ten years now. Worked as Sales Manager in hotels in various segments such as boutique, five stars, international, etc. till she succeeded to be a proud member of PEAK DMC Turkey

Sub-Saharan Africa

Mehalah Beckett

Mehalah Beckett

Regional General Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa

Mehalah grew up overlanding – every summer as a kid she would take off with her family to tour Europe with a tent in the back of a car, eventually upgrading to a caravan. She never understood why other families flew to Spain for a week on the beach – where’s the adventure in that? The sense of adventure has never left her and she has been fortunate to spend both her professional and play time exploring the globe; most recently supporting businesses and governments across southern and east Africa to grow and prosper. For holidays, she travelled with PEAK supported and trusted brands many a time before leaping at the chance to run PEAK East Africa DMC. Her adopted home, Nairobi, provides an excellent base to explore the fascinating region and she gets a great buzz out of delivering innovative adventures for the clients and customers she is fortunate to work with.

Samuel Karani

Samuel Karani

General Manager, East Africa

Sam joined PEAK East Africa in 2014 with over ten years managerial experience in tourism. After four successful years as Finance Manager, in 2019 he was promoted to General Manager. He has closely worked with every department including operations, contacting, sales and human resources giving him a wide understanding of the industry. Sam is passionate about developing and working with teams to deliver memorable adventures across the region. 

Teddy Mogaka

Teddy Mogaka

Sales Team Leader, East Africa

With over ten years of sales experience in East Africa, Teddy’s passion for wildlife, travel and adventure makes him the perfect person to create unique, tailor-made trips across the region. He loves nothing more than that feeling of satisfaction that comes with putting together an itinerary for a client that gives them an experience of a lifetime, whether that’s a hot air balloon over the Maasai Mara or trekking for mountain gorillas in Rwanda.

Gideon Langat

Gideon Langat

Contracting Manager, East Africa

Originally from the hotel sector, Gideon worked for some of the oldest and largest players in the Kenyan hotel industry before joining PEAK East Africa in 2012. Drawing on a formidable network of hotel and lodge contacts throughout the country, Gideon is in charge of contracting and negotiating the very best deals for PEAK East Africa and our partners, as well as heading up our reservations team.

John Kinyua

John Kinyua

Operations Manager, East Africa

With over 25 years experience in the adventure travel sector, John heads up the PEAK East Africa regional operations team and ensures the smooth, safe and efficient running of all PEAK East Africa trips. John is an avid storyteller, drawing on his many years of leading overland trips throughout the Sub-Saharan Africa region. His passion for Kenya and insistence on only the very best in operational standards ensure that PEAK East Africa’s operations run without a hitch.

Kym Campton

Kym Campton

General Manager, Southern Africa

Kym has over 14 years’ experience in the travel industry working predominantly in sales, purchasing and contracting, product management, destination management, adventure travel and group travel. An Australian with a comprehensive knowledge of African tourism product, Kym has lived in London, Venice, Marrakech, Istanbul and is now our GM for Southern Africa based in Johannesburg.

Ashleigh Bester

Ashleigh Bester

Sales Team Leader, Southern Africa

A passionate advocate for South Africa, Ashleigh has been designing tours across the country for over ten years. She loves to make her customers’ travel dreams come true, and to share her knowledge of her homeland. She recommends all travellers partake in a walking safari, as this allows you to get really close to the wildlife.

Europe

Zina Bencheikh

Zina Bencheikh

Regional General Manager, Europe, Middle East & North Africa

Born in Marrakech, Zina’s passion for travel started very early at the age of one when her parents decided to move to Canada to explore new horizons. After moving back to Morocco at 6 and then to Europe at 17 where she studied and worked for 10 years in France and the UK, Zina decided it was time to go back home where she started a new adventure with PEAK DMC in 2010 as Finance Manager for Europe and Morocco before her role was extended to look after the whole Europe, Middle East and North Africa region. After 8 years’ experience within the company, she is now the Regional General Manager for Europe, Middle East and North Africa. Her goal is to build a multicultural team that has the wide knowledge and expertise required to operate the best travel experiences for our customers across the 43 countries in which PEAK DMC Marrakech operates.

Kristijan Svajnzger

Kristijan Svajnzger

General Manager, Europe

Kris left his native Slovenia with a thirst to see the world. Working in various industries he soon discovered a passion for adventure that continues to this day. After four years working as a tour leader in Europe, Kris became the Operations Manager for PEAK DMC Marrakech in 2012. Kris has now taken on the newly created position of General Manager for Europe to focus on the growth and quality of our European operations.

Mark Walgemoet

Mark Walgemoet

Sales Team Leader, Europe

From a very young age Mark developed a curiosity about discovering other cultures and meeting people from all over the world. He managed to get a dream job as a Tour Leader in South East Asia 11 years ago and in the years since has led trips in South East Asia, the Middle East, Russia and Europe, before becoming a Sales Consultant at PEAK Marrakech. Currently working as a Sales Team Leader from the Budapest office, he looks after sales for Europe and Iceland, he enjoys sharing his passion, knowledge and experience with current and future partners to help them create incredible experiences for their travellers.

Angelika Zimmer

Angelika Zimmer

Purchasing Manager, Europe

Angelika started in the travel industry in 2005 and has wealth of experience in product, contracting, customer service, reservation & sales. Originally from Germany, her passion for travel brought her to Asia, Africa, North America, Caribbean and of course Europe. She live in London for 9 years where she worked for a global travel company specializing in FIT experiential travel for students & young adults. Her aim is provide PEAK partner passengers with a great experience they love to talk about.

Masha Smirnova

Masha Smirnova

Ground Manager, Russia

Masha first started in travel back in 2008. Fresh out of university where she studied Russian literature in the hope of becoming a Russian teacher, Masha soon realised that showing travelers around Russia was a much greater educational experience. Masha spent eight years leading trips in Russia, Mongolia, China and Central Asia as well as a number of expeditions to Tajikistan and Tibet. Now based on the Black Sea coast in Sochi, Masha looks after our Russia operations.

Çağlar Gökgün

Çağlar Gökgün

General Manager, Turkey

After studying in Turkey and Latvia for five years, Çağlar started his tourism career in Intrepid Travel as a tour leader in 2008. This led to many different travel trips before he moved into the office side of the business. He covered the Purchasing and Reservation Manager role for one and a half years, then he started working for PEAK Istanbul in 2013 as Deputy General Manager. He completed an MBA to continue to improve his impeccable management skills. He runs, organizes, manages and markets trips all around Turkey.

Ekrem Seyhan

Ekrem Seyhan

Operations Manager, Turkey

Ekrem is a qualified tourism professional with a strong commitment to sustainable tour practices and focus on contributing team growth and development. He is a creative operations manager with is wealth of experience in tour guiding in Turkey for years; continually looking for new and innovative approaches to tour delivery. Strengths in team building, incident management and responsible travel across a wide range for demographics, cultures, levels and styles. His aim is to ensure tour leaders to deliver best travel experiences to travellers in Turkey.

Burcu Tuten

Burcu Tuten

Sales Team Leader, Turkey

’Burcu has worked in different sectors since the graduation, but always in sales in which she has dedicated herself and have been working in tourism more than ten years now. Worked as Sales Manager in hotels in various segments such as boutique, five stars, international, etc. till she succeeded to be a proud member of PEAK DMC Turkey

Latin America

Gary Cohen

Gary Cohen

Regional General Manager, South America

Gary's passion for travel started early. He was born in South Africa and then moved to the UK when he was 10. After graduating from university, he started travelling all over Latin America and eventually worked for Exodus as an overland expedition leader from 2003 to 2005. After leaving the travel industry for a few years to live in Spain, he then joined PEAK DMC as the Ground Manager in Buenos Aires at the end of 2010, later becoming our Operations Manager in Peru. He is now our Regional General Manager for South America, based in Lima.

Fausto Sarango

Fausto Sarango

General Manager, Ecuador

Fausto joined PEAK at the end of 2011. With an extensive background in travel, and more than 25 years in the travel industry, he is currently the General Manager for PEAK DMC Ecuador and the Galapagos. Fausto’s experience comes from leading successful adventure businesses, as well as contracting and managing operations in the Galapagos, and as such, is widely respected locally. Fausto is focused on delivering consistently high-quality, safe, transparent and trusted product for our DMC partners.

Tom Smith

Tom Smith

General Manager, Peru

Born in Germany and spending much of his childhood in the back of a car driving around Europe, Tom’s passion for travel started early. He has spent the last six years working in the travel industry across a variety of commercially-focused roles in Australia, Morocco, the UK and now Peru. Working for the Intrepid Group since 2015, Tom was most recently the Marketing Director for the EMEA region and is now putting his leadership and Spanish skills to the test by leading our team in Peru. If he’s not working or travelling, he likes to be surfing somewhere that has warm water! 

Claudia Zakrzewski

Claudia Zakrzewski

Sales Manager, South America

A graduate of Tourism Management, Claudia has more than ten years’ experience in the travel industry including almost five years of service with the Peruvian Tourism Board selling Peru to the main outbound markets of UK and Canada. Her areas of expertise consist of customer service, sales, e-commerce and marketing. Joining PEAK DMC South America in 2013, Claudia has developed a vast knowledge of Peru and South America products to deliver customised trips to existing and new clients. Her main focus as a Sales Manager is to grow PEAK DMC sales in the region by attending trade shows and different tourism events.

Vicente Nicola

Vicente Nicola

Sales Representative, Ecuador

Born and raised in Guayaquil, Vicente came to Quito for high school and then to study tourism at university. He has spent his own career in the travel industry, working in sales in various agencies as well as for Latam Airlines. Joining PEAK DMC in 2017, Vicente specializes in the Galapagos, where he oversees sales on our two ships: the Daphne and the Grand Queen Beatriz.

Bradley John-Davis

Bradley John-Davis

Regional General Manager, Central America

Born and raised in the UK, Brad has spent his whole career working in inbound tourism across the globe. He spent many years working for luxury operator Abercrombie & Kent in South America, Europe and East Africa, and it’s this wealth of experience from diverse geographical and operational backgrounds that he brings to PEAK. Brad always focuses on customer service and communications, which he feels are the essential elements in the success of inbound tour operations and in the development of long-lasting industry partnerships.

Noelia Moya

Noelia Moya

Sales Team Leader, Central America

Noelia has been working in the travel business for over 12 years. Having previously enjoyed roles in operations, product, marketing and customer service, she has now found her path with sales. Noelia loves to create amazing experiences for our travellers all over Central America. 

Monserrat Rivera

Monserrat Rivera

Operations Manager, Central America

Monserrat came to tourism because "the stars aligned" and has now been working in the industry for over ten years. Working in travel for her is like living a dream - she is endlessly fascinated by the history, people and landscapes of Central America. As Operations Manager, Monserrat has travelled all over the region but still feels there are hundreds of new places to discover. 

Yanira Caldera

Yanira Caldera

Contracting Manager, Central America

Yanira first discovered the world of travel and tourism in 2002. One of our first team members in Central America, Yanira brings not only a wealth of experience and knowledge to her role as Contracting Manager, but also a deep love for the region. Born in Costa Rica, Yanira's parents are Nicaragua and Salvadorian; Central America runs in her blood. She sees the ability to create new experiences for our clients as well as development opportunities in our destinations as an honour. 

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