Founders and Team
CEO/Co-Founder, Editorial Director
Greg Sullivan is CEO and cofounder of AFAR Media. Greg launched AFAR in 2009 with cofounder Joe Diaz, and AFAR has already become one of the leading travel media companies in the world. Its flagship magazine has twice been named Best Travel Magazine in America. AFAR’s groundbreaking website provides distinctive travel guides for destinations around the globe and enables users to choose their favorite recommendations to build trip plans they can use on their mobile phones wherever they are. AFAR also works with top brands, hotel companies and destinations to provide content, inspiration, and advice to effectively connect with and serve discerning travelers.
AFAR also has a nonprofit foundation, Learning AFAR, which provides scholarships to lower-income high school students to go on life changing trips and a division, AFAR Experiences, that puts on travel events in conjunction with destination marketing programs around the world.
Greg started his career as a corporate securities attorney and later an investment banker before launching a series of successful entrepreneurial ventures, including the world’s largest selling coin-operated basketball game manufacturer and the second largest used car sales and finance company in the USA.
Recent Highlight: Andy Goldsworthy’s Wood Line
Next Trip: Punta Mita or Puerto Vallarta
Best Local Discovery: Gigi’s Oysteria on Green Street
Co-Founder, Chief Product Officer
Joe Diaz is Chief Product Officer and cofounder of AFAR Media. Joe launched AFAR in 2009 with cofounder Greg Sullivan, and AFAR has already become one of the world’s leading travel media companies. Its flagship magazine has twice been named “America’s Best Travel Magazine.” AFAR’s digital platform is designed to provide experience seekers with rich destination that turn their mobile phones into the next generation of travel guide and trip planner. The company also has a nonprofit foundation, Learning AFAR, that provides scholarships to lower-income high school students to go on life changing trips and a division, AFAR Experiences that puts on travel events in conjunction with destination marketing programs around the world. Finally, AFAR works with top brands, hotel companies and destinations to provide content, inspiration and advice to effectively connect with and serve discerning travelers.
Joe was born and raised in Palm Springs, CA and grew up in a bi-cultural family with his father from Spain and mother from San Francisco. He graduated from Duke University and started his career with Teach For America where he taught 5th, 7th, and 8th grade in Phoenix, Arizona. Joe went on to found a successful real estate investment company, which he sold in 2006 before embarking on living life AFAR. He passionately believes that experiential travel is the best form of education and the more people who travel in a curious and open-minded way, the better our world will be. Joe resides between New York City and San Francisco.
Recent Highlight: Bar Agricole—Pancakes, Micheladas and More
Next Trip: Aspen, CO
Best Local Discovery: Strand Bookstore
Advertising, Sales & Marketing
Chief Revenue Officer
Prior to joining AFAR, Ellen served as Vice President and General Manager of Weekend Edition & Luxury Group at The Wall Street Journal, where she oversaw sales and developed strategies to drive revenue in the luxury categories through all properties and strategic partnerships. Ellen originally joined The Journal to launch its successful lifestyle magazine WSJ.
Previously, she spent 17 years at American Express Publishing, the last seven of which as Senior Vice President and Publisher at Travel + Leisure. During her tenure at Travel + Leisure, the magazine experienced a 55% growth in ad pages and revenue and successfully lead the category. The Travel + Leisure brand extended to six countries, TV, the Web and ancillary products. Travel + Leisure received frequent accolades as the world’s leading travel magazine. Ellen collaborated in the development of key platforms that continue to drive revenue and differentiate the brand. Some include, World’s Best Awards, Design Awards, Marketwatch conferences and strategic alliances. Ellen has sat on the boards of: NYC & Co., Taj Hotels, Starwood Hotels, Kiwi, The Caribbean Tourism Organization, and the Audrey Palmer Hawks Scholarship Fund. She graduated from Baruch College and received an AAS in advertising from the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Recent Highlight: Amazing Singita – Tanzania Experience
Next Trip: Cartagena, Columbia to dance in the streets with locals
Best Local Discovery: The downstairs after-hours at Il Bagatto in the East Village
With over 10 years experience creating digital and print advertising solutions, Bryan brings a wealth of knowledge about the media landscape and client-driven marketing solutions to the team. Prior to joining AFAR, Bryan was an advertising director at National Geographic Adventure, senior sales director at the New Yorker, and most recently served as the Associate Publisher at Outside Magazine.
Recent Highlight: Maan, Jordan
Next Trip: Lucerne, Switzerland
Best Local Discovery: The Gowanus Yacht Club
Executive Director, Marketing
Maggie has worked in the publishing industry for 10 years with a focus on growing digital and mobile revenue for traditional media brands. Prior to joining AFAR, she served as Vice President of Client Solutions for USA TODAY and USA WEEKEND, where she oversaw the ad sales marketing strategy for the national sales team. As an enthusiastic traveler and magazine junkie, landing a role at AFAR has been an exciting and welcome adventure for Maggie.
Most Recent Highlight: Feast of St. Anthony
Next Trip: Basque Country, Spain
Best Local Discovery: Casa Adela on Avenue C
Executive Director, International Sales
Executive Sales Director
Barry Brown joined AFAR in 2010. He has been serving the travel industry for over 20 years, starting at DDB Needham Advertising in the late 1980’s. Barry counts among his greatest professional accomplishments the conception and development of the Bermuda Music Festival, now one of Bermuda’s largest consumer events. He was at Amex Publishing for 10 years, where in addition to Travel + Leisure he took on roles with Travel + Leisure Family as Advertising Director and Director of Strategic Partnerships for Corporate Sales, managing corporate and global programs for Australia Tourism, Canada and others. He serves the industry tirelessly the as a longtime member of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Board of Directors, CTO Allied Committee Chairman, Audrey Palmer Hawkes Foundation Board, and CTO Foundation Board, Association of Travel Marketing Executives Board of Directors in addition to other travel associations.
Recent Highlight: Sunset at Halong
Next Trip: New Orleans Jazzfest
Best Local Discovery: The Fort Greene (Brooklyn) Flea Market
West Coast Sales Director
Prior to running West Coast Sales for AFAR magazine and AFAR.com, Onnalee served as the West Coast Sales Director for billboard.com, focused on integrated sales, events, and digital. Prior to this she handled digital media sales for Hearst, Warner Bros and Sugar inc., selling to brands across all categories. Onnalee began her career in print sales, and helped launch several titles, most notably, Time inc., Teen People Magazine, consequently running the west coast office for eight years. Always seeking out her next adventure, she now gets to combine her skill set with her personal passion for travel.
Recent Highlight: Adventure in the Andes
Next Trip: Croatia and Greece
Best Local Discovery: Surfing or stand-up paddling the waves of Manhattan Beach
Luxury Sales Director
Kate has worked in publishing for over fourteen years with a focus on luxury sales and marketing. Growing up the daughter of a flight attendant, Kate started traveling the world at a young age. Her travels and love for the outdoors led her to the University of Colorado at Boulder where she graduated with a degree in Advertising. She started her publishing career at Sports Illustrated and has been exercising her love for sport and activity since then through travel experiences rooted in adventure. It was while trekking through the jungle around Chiang Rai, Thailand on the back of an elephant that Kate knew she would be right at home at AFAR! Most recently, Kate was the Luxury Sales and Partnerships Director at Worth Magazine.
Recent Highlight: Bring on the Spice!
Next trip: Zambia (hopefully!)
Best Local Discovery: Breakneck Ridge hike in Cold Spring, NY
Prior to joining AFAR, Lauren served as Sales Manager at the Los Angeles Times for four and a half years where she primarily focused on the television and book publishing categories. While new to Travel, she is looking forward to diving in head first while also taking the time to explore and immerse herself in the AFAR Culture. She is excited to work at a place where travel is encouraged and global diversity is embraced.
Highlights: Coming soon!
Next Trip: Thailand (fingers crossed!)
Best Local Discovery: Coming soon!
Lauren joins AFAR with five years of integrated sales experience, most recently at The New Yorker and Time Out New York. She has experience across the arts and entertainment categories and is thrilled to join the travel space. Lauren is a Minnesota native and graduate of Cornell University.
Recent Highlight: Coming soon!
Next Trip: Japan
Best Local Discovery: Whitney Museum (+refreshments and city views on the rooftop)
Colleen Schoch Morell
Sales Manager, Southeast
Business Development Director
Lou joins AFAR from Lonely Planet where he spent 7 years in global marketing and sales, with a focus on developing custom programs for client partners. A true experiential traveler, Lou has been to over 120 countries and all 50 states.
Most Recent Highlight: Great Food, Architecture, and Food!
Next Trip: Zanzibar
Best Local Discovery: Preston Family Vineyards
Kate comes to AFAR with more than a decade of experience in creating engaging lifestyle content. She worked previously as a digital editor and writer for LearnVest, Travel+Leisure, Budget Travel, and New York. Along the way, she’s overseen award-winning features and brand platforms, moonlighted as a restaurant critic, and put her Italian to good use – reporting on agriturismi in Piedmont, how to order coffee like a Roman, and where to shop in Florence. (Apart from Italian, Kate has studied four languages of varying utility, most recently muddling through basic Mandarin with her husband.) Some of her favorite and earliest travel memories involve escaping sweltering New York summers for the Pacific Northwest.
Recent Highlight: Coming soon!
Next Trip: Barcelona and San Sebastián, Spain
Best Local Discovery: Razza pizzeria in Jersey City
Digital Ad Operations Director
Denise joined AFAR in February 2014 from Sydney, Australia. She graduated with a marketing degree and quickly dove into the world of online advertising. Coming from an agency and magazine publishing background, with more than 3 years experience in trafficking and campaign management, she is all about digital! Combining both her passion for traveling and digital media is her dream. Having lived in Indonesia in her younger years, she has also travelled extensively across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, but just simply cannot get enough.
Recent Highlight: Versailles: World Famous Cuban Food in Little Havana
Next Trip: Greece
Best Local Discovery: Sofia’s Restaurant in Little Italy
Ad Operations Coordinator
Born and raised in New York City, Connie comes to AFAR with a wealth of travel experiences. Immediately after graduating with her bachelor’s degree in advertising, she took the next flight out of NY and traveled abroad. When given the opportunity to join the AFAR team, she seized it with the hope of being able to combine her two passions: adventures and advertising.
Most Recent Highlight: Coming soon!
Next Trip: Tasmania
Best Local Discovery: Cheeky’s Sandwich in the L.E.S.
A New York City native, Katie got her start in publishing when she interned at Esquire Magazine while attending school full-time at Fordham University. She went on to work at some of the world’s top media brands, including Cosmopolitan, Allure, REAL SIMPLE, and, most recently, VOGUE – where she won Marketer of the Year in 2013. Katie’s love of travel and languages began at a very early age, when her father – who was born and raised in Italy – took her back to Tuscany each summer to spend time with family and immerse herself in the culture. Insanely obsessed with food, fitness, and all things beauty, Katie also contributes to health & wellness site, project: CLEAN FOOD.
Most Recent Highlight: Coming soon!
Next Trip: The Beautiful Beaches of Belize
Best Local Discovery: Incredibly authentic pizza at San Matteo on the Upper East Side
Senior Graphic Designer
Chris graduated from Parsons School of Design with a BFA in Fine Arts and Graphic Design. In recent years, Chris has worked with the likes of Jack Spade, Gourmet Magazine, and Ogilvy & Mather. With a varied interest in travel, food, fashion, and design, Chris is excited to bring his experience to AFAR.
Recent Highlight: Amazing French Food in … Bushwick!
Next Trip: UK, Sweden, Berlin and (fingers crossed…) Cape Town
Best Local Discovery: Mominette
Integrated Marketing Manager
Maci joined the AFAR team in Spring of 2015 with previous experience in Creative Services and Marketing at TUMI Inc. Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Maci received her Humanities degree from the University of Louisville while actively competing on their Division I Volleyball team (Go Cards!). An insatiable curiosity paired with a spontaneity to try new things, led to her new home at AFAR – which quickly became evident as a perfect fit, both professionally and personally. Although new to the Travel Publishing world, she remains inspired by her perpetual wanderlust promoted by her role with such a world-widening company. With emerging adventures on the horizon, Maci is anxious to share unique stories of her own.
Next Trip: Cape Town, South Africa
Best Local Discovery: A Magic from Bluestone Lane
Associate Marketing Manager
Grace joined AFAR in September 2014 with a background in public relations and content marketing. Her past experience includes working for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Zehnder Communications and on Capitol Hill. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University, where studying abroad and working for Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, who oversees tourism for the state, were two of her most influential experiences. Her top travel experiences include biking around Santorini, feeding kangaroos in Perth and exploring London.
Most Recent Highlight: Waterfalls in the Outskirts of Perth
Next Trip: Spain and Portugal
Best Local Discovery: Greenacre Park on 51st St.
Juliette San Fillipo
Associate Marketing Manager
Juliette comes to AFAR after polishing off a bachelors degree in 2013 from Boston College in English, Environmental Studies, and French. Relentlessly curious, she’s studied at four different institutions in 4.5 years, during which she lived abroad not once but twice. Aside from interning at magazines like Boston and publishing start-ups such as BostInno, Juliette started her marketing career at John Wiley & Sons, an academic press. Now at AFAR, Juliette is inspired every day to chase the kinds of transformative experiences she’s had thus far from travel and to never stop moving or learning. Her favorite kinds of sojourns include scenic hikes and music festivals, and she’s inordinately obsessed with maps.
Most Recent Highlight: Snorkel the Ends of the Earth in Iceland
Next Trip: Chile to explore Patagonia and the Atacama Desert.
Best Local Discovery: The W 25th Street Antiques Garage in NYC
New to the world of media, Lucy joins AFAR with a background in Marketing and Social Media Campaigning for International Relief Funds. Her past experience includes internships with Save the Children, ONE, and The Brave Collection- a New York based, fair-trade fashion brand that supports Cambodian artisans to combat human trafficking. Lucy studied International Affairs and Oil Painting at Skidmore College, with a focus on International Law and Scandinavian Prostitution, much to her parents’ embarrassment at cocktail parties. Determined to live life AFAR, she is lucky to have already called Rome, London, and Copenhagen home. When she’s not in the office she’s painting and planning her next trip.
Recent Highlight: Railway through Norway
Next Trip: Roadtrip from Vancouver to Portland
Best Local Discovery: The “pop-up restaurant” at BoxKite in the East Village.
Growing up in a small town in Southern California, Erin always knew she’d one day move to a big city to work for a magazine. The challenge for her was deciding the right time, and ultimately preparing to move away from her family. At 18, she moved to Virginia where she went to college for two years before completing her studies in Maryland. Following her college graduation, she immediately moved to New York where she received her Masters degree in publishing. While completing her studies, she interned for Condé Nast and Hearst, and within fashion public relations. Interning at different magazines helped to shape her interests and affirm her desire to work within the publishing industry.
Recent Highlight: A Beautiful Deserted Island
Next Trip: Santorini, Greece
Best Local Discovery: ICI French Country Kitchen in Brooklyn
VP, Editor in Chief
Julia joined AFAR as executive editor in 2008, and was promoted to editor in chief in 2011. She last served as deputy editor of the DIY design magazine ReadyMade. During her tenure, the magazine was a finalist for a National Magazine Award in general excellence. Before making stuff at ReadyMade, Julia was part of the original launch team behind Time Out New York Kids, a spinoff of Time Out New York. She started her career as a writer at Business Week and the New York Daily News. Her obsessions include the writer Joan Didion, palm trees, and Paris in the 1950s.
Recent Highlight: Totems in Stanley Park
Next Trip: Sweden and Russia
Best Local Discovery: The Best Hometown Pizza in Oakland
Elizabeth Spiridakis Olson
After working for four years in custom publishing, Jeremy took off with his wife to travel the world for a year and a half. Having slept in the shadow of Mt. Everest, slid down a Chilean volcano on their rear ends, and innertubed with glowworms in New Zealand, they returned to San Francisco. There, Jeremy worked as the managing editor of Diablo magazine and then as the associate managing editor of Via, a regional travel publication published by AAA.
Recent Highlight: Hawaiian Music
Next Trip: Canadian Rockies
Best Local Discovery: The Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda
Director of Photography
Tara has been working as a photo editor since 1998 when she began her career at BlackBook Magazine in NYC. She has been involved with several national publications, among them Talk, Seventeen, InStyle, and Lucky. Going from the fashion world in New York to the world outside my door here in California has been an amazing transition. I am equally passionate about both and feel lucky that each magazine I’ve been apart of has reflected that.
Recent Highlight: Worth the Drive North
Next Trip: Tanzania.
Best Local Discovery: The thousands of miles of trails crisscrossing California’s state and national parks. Anderson valleys Vineyards.
Prior to joining AFAR, Jennifer spent eight years at Travel+Leisure magazine, most recently as hotels & food editor, concurrently serving as travel correspondent at Food & Wine. A self-described hotel brat, she grew up as an hotelier’s daughter in Asia and the U.S., and even got to be real-life Eloise when she lived in New York City’s Plaza Hotel. Things she loves: foreign supermarkets and room upgrades. Things she detests: impersonal service and hotel bedspreads. Jennifer is based in Manhattan. Find her on Instagram at @jenniferleeflowers and on Twitter at @jennflowers.
Recent Highlight: Coming soon!
Next Trip: Coming soon!
Best Local Discovery: For some of the best Sichuan food in New York City, take the 7 subway line into Flushing, Queens, and visit Spicy & Tasty.
After coming home from a semester of studying in Florence, Italy, Nicoletta began her first magazine gig interning at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. Ever since those two eye-opening journeys, she has dreamed of nothing but travel, exploration and discovery. She graduated from Fairfield University in English, Anthropology and Art History, and has a past of working at Travel + Leisure and The Knot. Now returning back to the travel work (where she truly belongs,) Nicoletta is thrilled to dive into cultures and territories, both familiar and unknown.
Recent Highlight: Wandering in Henniker, New Hampshire
Next Trip: Mumbai, India (hopefully!)
Best Local Discovery: Vale of Cashmere in Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Along with editing special sections and features, Andrew helms Wander, AFAR’s front-of-book section, which is devoted to all the curious things we stumble upon while traveling. It helps that he’s obsessively curious himself. In his six-year tenure at GQ, he reported stories on everything from terrible online dates and hospitals for the hungover to rowdy karaoke bars in Helsinki. On that note, he is literally always down to sing “Big Me” by the Foo Fighters.
Recent Highlight: Coming soon!
Next Trip: Tel Aviv
Best Local Discovery: Humphrey Slocombe’s whiskey and cornflake (AKA “Secret Breakfast”) ice-cream
A New Jersey native, Jason worked at Out magazine and Good Housekeeping magazine in New York City before moving to San Francisco to join the AFAR team. Diving into editorial design right out of college, he has assisted on a number of magazine redesigns, and has won Merit Awards from the Society of Publication Designers. Jason has also created illustrations for Money, Manhattan magazine, and Out magazine in his spare time.
Next Trip: Peru, or Greece
Best Local Discovery: Domo Sushi in Hayes Valley
After a few years spent tracking the dizzying rise of technology for a Seattle tech and business journal, Aislyn headed south (as in California) to return to her first love: travel and magazines. She spent two years digging into all things Washington and Oregon as the NW travel editor for Sunset magazine, before hopping to AFAR.
Recent Highlight: Coming soon!
Next Trip: Kauai, Vancouver B.C., Tokyo
Best Local Discovery: Post-cycling beers at the Presidio Yacht Club
Associate Photo Editor
Alex is lucky enough to have been raised within a family of artists that had her traveling to Spain before she could say “¡ajo!” These experiences have shaped two passions -art and travel- and have now taken her cross-country to AFAR’s team in the Bay Area. Alex’s curiosity and drive has led her to photograph a never-elected NY governor (guess who!), coordinate graffiti artists in Lima, Peru, teach ESL to immigrants in Asbury Park, NJ, and conquer a Cuban fiancé visa for her now-husband. Alex continues to photograph, draw, learn and push the envelope as often as possible.
Most Recent Highlight: Dance Salsa Beneath the Stars
Next Trip: Manila, The Philippines
Best Local Discovery: Dim Sum in the Sunset District (no English necessary)
Before joining AFAR, Nicole worked on geology books as a project manager and wore multiple hats at Counterpoint Press, working on everything from inventory to acquisitions. There, some of her favorite projects included a two-pronged travelogue about Tibet, the memoir of a young woman making a living as an art installation in Los Angeles, and a political thriller based in Shanghai. When she’s not nerding out in Excel or planning a whirlwind getaway, Nicole can be caught writing Attenborough-inspired captions for Instagram photos of her absurdly fluffy cat.
Recent Highlight: Coming soon!
Next Trip: Portland, Oregon
Best Local Discovery: Tanpopo in San Francisco’s Japantown
Maggie has always had a habit of traveling, a knack for getting side-tracked, and an inability to keep her stories to herself. After 10 years of exploring from the mountains of Nepal to the waters of the Caribbean, a few attempts at travel blogging, and experience in freelance social media consulting for small Bay Area companies, she joined AFAR in September 2015 as a digital intern. Now, she could not be more thrilled to continue with this community as an editorial assistant. Her favorite travel moments usually involve finding out what’s around that corner, climbing on rocks, and anywhere with a beach and a book.
Recent Highlight: Coming soon!
Next Trip: Turkey
Best Local Discovery: China Beach on a sunny weekday or the San Gregorio General Store for live music on a weekend.
Sarah is excited to continue at AFAR as an editorial assistant, having become completely addicted to the travel world through her prior role as an editorial intern. She started writing professionally in college through internships and freelance gigs at publications like Los Angeles magazine and LA Weekly, covering L.A. news and music. Her favorite experiences during her travels include running with the bulls in Pamplona, stumbling on a wine festival in Luxembourg, and swimming in Slovenia’s lakes. In her free time, she can be found dancing at music festivals, checking out a new coffee shop, or finding her way to the nearest warm weather.
Recent Highlight: The Original 800 Degrees Pizza
Next Trip: Iceland or Greece
Best Local Discovery: North Beach Pizza, by the slice, cheap, and so delicious!
Chief Technology Officer, VP Digital
Derek Butcher has over 12 years of experience in media and technology with companies such as The Industry Standard, IDG, Disney Internet Group, and Infoseek. As Vice President and General Manager of The Industry Standard, he relaunched the internet brand as a new form of online media property. Prior to that, Butcher served as Vice President and CTO of InfoWorld Media Group, where he spearheaded technology initiatives including web publishing systems, content redistribution and syndication, and web serving capacity. Derek also served as Senior Engineering Manager at Disney Internet Group, where he was responsible for the development of the Infoseek search engine portal, as well as assisting with the integration of espn.com and abcnews.com.
Recent Highlight: A Patagonian day hike
Next Trip: Vienna
Best Local Discovery: 850 Montgomery Cigar Bar
Since 2006, Sherry has worked at various tech companies in the Bay Area such as Cisco, ThoughtWorks, New Relic, and Boatbound. She studied computer science at Stanford University. In her spare time, she enjoys boxing, video games (both playing them and writing about them), and cheering for Stanford football.
Recent Highlight: Coming soon!
Next Trip: Brazil/Argentina/Peru
Best Local Discovery: The Liberties Pub on Guerrero
Director of Mobile Apps
Kevin started programming the web while living in Nepal as a means to share his experiences and creations with friends and family back home. He has since worked for various startups and large corporations around Northern California as a Software Engineer, and is currently helping AFAR build out their mobile and tablet applications.
Recent Highlight: Winter Garden
Next Trip: Kauai
Best Local Discovery: Placerville Waterfalls
Yue Weng Mak
Yue Weng joined the AFAR team in October 2014 with a passion to develop the best product for AFAR’s online properties. Yue Weng started his career after graduating from Madison, WI, focusing on bringing web designs to life through the use of front-end technologies. He eventually grew his skill set to help with the development efforts at the back-end through the use of Ruby to help support his front-end work. Prior to AFAR, Yue Weng worked for a Bay Area company that aims to revolutionize the fashion scene. In his free time, he loves to sip a Blue Bottle coffee while strolling along San Francisco’s Embarcadero walk way.
Recent Highlight: Takara Sushi
Next Trip: Liverpool, UK to watch a Liverpool Football match
Best Local Discovery: Sa Jai Thai
Anne joined the Digital team having worked on numerous strategic design projects for brands like Apple and Google, as well as the Asian Art Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Anne caught the travel bug from her parents, whose fridge is adorned with the kitschy magnets collected from cities around the world. In an attempt to keep up with them, she once packed her bags and camera for a 40-day trip across the atlas. For now, she’s staying put to reimagine the digital space of travel media with the Editorial and Engineering teams at AFAR.
Digital Audience Development Director
Sean has over 10 years of digital audience development experience, working most recently with some of the largest tech media brands in the industry: TechCrunch and Engadget, respectively. Sean has always had a strong interest in experiential travel, having lived, studied, or worked in Italy, Germany, and Brazil. Besides travel, interests include hiking in the Berkeley hills, restoring 1950’s coke machines, and enjoying Negronis.
Recent Highlight: Lobster Roll in San Francisco
Next Trip: Maui
Best Local Discovery: Sutter Station
Audience Marketing Specialist
After fully immersing herself at AFAR as the Community Intern, Samantha is excited to continue working with the digital and print teams as the Audience Marketing Specialist. With a background in journalism, marketing, graphic design, photography, newsstand app development, and of course a love for travel, AFAR is a perfect spot for Samantha. She has traveled a bit of the world, having lived in the Galapagos, and roamed through parts of the US, Israel, and Europe, but she certainly hasn’t seen enough yet. In her spare time, she enjoys walking through the neighborhoods of San Francisco, hiking, making music, and training for triathlons.
Recent Highlight: Best Sandwich in Town
Next Trip: Brazil!
Best Local Discovery: Seward Street Slides, San Francisco
With over 15 years experience in the technical field Cricket has devoted most of his professional and personal life to helping people solve the problem at hand with technology solutions. He started his career freelancing as a web designer/developer and online marketer. He later went on to oversee the technology infrastructure as IT Director for the Jane Goodall Institute. Cricket comes to AFAR with a passion to create and inspire via human-centric technology and storytelling.
Recent Highlight: Coming soon!
Next Trip: Turkey and other points in the historic Ottoman Empire
Best Local Discovery: Ohgane Korean BBQ in Oakland, CA
Before coming to the U.S., Jonathan had years of experience in computer sales and customer support in Taiwan. Later on, he worked for Ogilvy and Mather and Giant Creative Strategy in San Francisco as their IT support point of contact. By day he does IT stuff. By night, as an avid toy collector with an art background, he has been working with fellow collectors, artists and toy companies, like Sideshow Collectibles, on subjects (Terminator, Alien, Predator, etc.) that he is familiar with to come up with ideas for collectibles. It is a great balancer for Jonathan. Oh, and he is one of those who gets in line to see the first screening of films like Star Wars!
Nick came down with The Travels early in his life, and has climbed the Mountains of the Moon in Uganda, stayed with a rickshaw driver in the slums of New Delhi, hitched around Syria, and hiked the Camino Francés to Santiago de Compostela. From 2006–2012 he lived in Egypt, working as a tour leader, travel writer, magazine editor, and online news video producer. He moved to San Francisco in summer 2012, and has been greedily assembling the trappings of a Settled Life. As well as traveling and writing, he enjoys green smoothies, aikido, and playing poker.
Recent Highlight: The Book of Kells: Turning Darkness into Light
Next trip: Currently taking bets on Mexico
Best local discovery: Borderlands Books and Cafe
Associate Editor – Social Media and Newsletters
Danielle joined the AFAR team in October 2014, a newbie to the travel journalism space. It’s no surprise that when she does jet off an adventure, though, her focus is on food. Formerly the associate Web editor at Bon Appétit, she’s written and edited a wide variety of online stories and gained quite the understanding of social media. She has an embarrassing obsession with Instagram, but still makes friends and family wait before digging into their dinners to snap the perfect photo (trust her, all the likes are worth the eye rolls).
Recent Highlight: It’s a Bookstore! It’s a Bar!
Next Trip: Dubrovnik, Croatia or Santiago, Chile
Best Local Discovery: The NYC wine bar, Terroir, serves $2.50 glasses of Sherry during happy hour
A media veteran of over 17 years, Laura’s had involvement in finance, digital and events strategy, audience development and research. She has a soft spot for launches and was part of the original team not only for Afar, but also Dwell and 8020 Media. She’s also learned some valuable lessons from tenures with more established players such as Health and Mother Jones. Mostly, she just loves a good challenge and enjoys collaborating with teams with diverse talents.
Director of Finance
Matthew has worked in the accounting field for 8 years and got started in the publishing industry during his tenure at Dwell Magazine. When he isn’t completing month-end closes, budgets, and monitoring the AFAR bank accounts he enjoys hiking, listening to records, and working on the record label he started with friends, Voltaire records.
Recent Highlight: View from Nevada Falls, Yosemite
Next Trip: Barcelona and Paris
Best Local Discovery: Hog Island Oyster Company
Audience Development Director
Lisa comes to AFAR with over two decades in the publishing industry, with stints at Health Magazine, IDG & Future US Media, where she headed up their audience marketing and eCommerce initiatives. Her passion for travel grew out of her friendships in college with foreign exchange students, eventually visiting many of them once they returned home. Lisa is so excited to be able to combine both her love of publishing and travel in her job.
Most recent highlight: Fish & Chips with a pint in Norfolk
Next Trip: Mexico
Best Local Discovery: Sushi Zone
Breanna comes to AFAR with over 10 years of Human Resources experience in Finance and IT Consulting in both California and New York. She is excited to combine her love of travel with her HR expertise and knowledge. When not working, Breanna is often out exploring all the Bay Area has to offer.
Recent Highlight: A Unique Bar Experience in the Heart of Shinjuku, Tokyo
Next Trip: Montreal
Best Local Discovery: Lake Merritt – on sunny Sundays you can expect an eclectic group of Oaklanders bbq’ing, playing music and enjoying the warmth on the best side of the Bay.
Director, AFAR Experiences
Jill is a seasoned marketing and event production specialist who gets to combine her two loves—travel and creating memorable experiences—through the programming and execution of all AFAR Experiences events. Jill came to AFAR from TED Conferences, where she directed multiple facets of the event operations for its major US and international programs. Prior to becoming an event producer, Jill spent her formative years in Whistler, BC, where she was director of marketing for Tourism Whistler.
Recent Highlight: Magical Oasis
Next Trip: Buenos Aires
Best Local Discovery: The monthly letter writing club at Vancouver’s Regional Assembly of Text, where this gorgeous, yet lost, art is celebrated—paper, pens and Smith Coronas provided!