Founders and Team
CEO/Co-Founder, Editorial Director
Greg started his career as a corporate securities attorney and later an investment banker before launching a series of successful entrepreneurial ventures. In 1989, he started a business designing and manufacturing international arcade games, including the world’s largest selling coin-operated basketball game. After selling that company, Greg led a car retailing and finance company, growing it into a $750-million operation with 76 dealerships across the country. After selling his interest in that business in 2006, Greg began traveling the globe, searching for his next entrepreneurial opportunity.
While on a trip to India, Greg and AFAR’s co-founder Joe Diaz realized that there was no media voice for cultural explorers, those seeking to broaden themselves by going beyond the typical tourist haunts and connecting deeply with local people and places. Thus was born the inspiration to launch AFAR Media, a media company focused on experiential travel that helps people experience every destination as local residents do.
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
A seasoned world traveler, Joe spent his early years growing up in a bi-cultural family, with one foot in Spain and the other in California. That early exposure to the global village propelled Joe toward what he now considers his “calling”—learning about this fascinating and quirky world we live in through travel.
After graduating from Duke University, Joe spent three years working with Teach for America in the barrios of Phoenix, Arizona, before getting his masters degree and launching a successful real estate investment firm in Arizona. His travels have taken him extensively to four of the seven continents, with a goal to visit all seven.
Recent Highlight: Bar Agricole—Pancakes, Micheladas and More
Next Trip: Puerto Vallarta
Best Local Discovery: Strand Bookstore
Advertising, Sales & Marketing
Executive Vice President, Publisher
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
Integrated Marketing Director
Anjali has worked in marketing and branding for over 10 years with experience ranging from multi-platform program development, brand building strategies, client relationship management, social media, multi-media content creation and traditional and new media marketing programs. Her experience spans high profile brands such as O, The Oprah Magazine, Town&Country Magazine, WWD and Style.com.
Recent Highlight: Holy Cow
Next Trip: Jamaica, Croatia, Beirut…I don’t know, so much to see
Best Local Discovery: Anejo Tequileria in New York City
Senior 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: Pool in the Lake
Next Trip: Hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim
Best Local Discovery: Surfing or stand-up paddling the waves of Manhattan Beach
East Coast Sales Director
Katherine has worked in publishing for the past six years and has been at AFAR for almost three years.
Recent Highlight: Double Rainbow
Next Trip: Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Best Local Discovery: The Union Square Green Market in NYC
International Travel Director
John has worked in the travel industry for 20+ years, and from all sides—agency side, client side, and publishing side. He is a passionate traveler, and always has his next trip planned and tickets in hand.
Recent Highlight: Aspen to Crested Butte hike
Next Trip: Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita, Mexico
Best Local Discovery: Hiking and biking through Central Park, New York, now that the weather is warm.
Colleen Schoch Morell
Sales Manager, Southeast
Sales Manager, Midwest
AFAR Exchange Sales Coordinator
This recent college graduate’s love of travel, history, photography, and people has brought her to AFAR.
Recent Highlight: SXSW – Keeping Austin Weird
Next Trip: Galapagos
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
Jasmine graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Journalism and Marketing. She has worked on both the editorial and marketing side of publishing freelancing for several publications and working in marketing at Vogue Magazine and OpenSky. She spent her senior year abroad in Cairo, Egypt and fell in love with traveling and conquering fears.
Recent Highlight: Climb Mt. Sinai and Watch the Sunrise
Next Trip: Hopefully Thailand
Best Local Discovery: The Blue Stove in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. BEST PIE EVER!!
Associate Integrated Marketing Manager
Sarah thinks everything is interesting. But, she had to get a degree in something, so she studied Psycholinguistics at New York University where she also served as editor for several academic publications. When she joined AFAR, Sarah knew she would find herself at home among travelers who value cultural exchange, discovery and a healthy dose of adventure. In all of her travels, she has come to know that there is no better way to see the streets than with her feet, so she walks as much as possible wherever she goes. Sarah is thrilled to bring her experience in and passion for designing communication to AFAR.
Sales & Marketing Assistant
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
Jane is the recipient of numerous awards for her magazine design work, including multiple National Magazine Awards (the “Ellies”) for her design as founding art director of the Hippocrates and Health magazines. Jane has also served as art director of Mother Jones, and created the look, logos, and design templates for a number of new and redesigned magazines, including Yoga Journal, Dwell, and Natural Solutions.
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.
Jen has worked in the journalism world for the last ten years. She got her start at the Wall Street Journal, and continues to write a fitness column called “What’s Your Workout” for the paper. She spent seven years at Food & Wine magazine. During her three-year tenure as travel editor, she wandered the globe uncovering rising star chefs, trendsetting restaurants, and life-changing meals.
Recent Highlight: Break for Bubbly on the Slopes
Next Trip: Copenhagen
Best Local Discovery: Black Jet Baking Co.’s Pop Tarts. The Jalapeño Cream Cheese when I want savory or the Nutella & Salty Hazelnut when I’m craving sweet.
Before joining AFAR’s founding editorial team in 2008, Derk had written about music, food, and travel for nearly 30 years. He turned to editing in 2003, first at Acoustic Guitar magazine, then at Oakland and Alameda magazines. He hosts a weekly free-form music program on KPFA radio in Berkeley.
Recent Highlight: “Bird Houses” in Borneo
Next Trip: Laos and Cambodia
Best Local Discovery: First Fridays Art Murmur in Oakland
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
Assistant Managing Editor
Serena has a deep interest in people and a desire to document life’s journeys. That’s what led her to AFAR, after spending a year as the travel editor at Diablo magazine. She caught the travel bug during a study abroad trip to Granada, Spain. In the four months of her trip, she visited nine countries, from Morocco to Austria, and learned how to have real conversations in Spanish. Since her days of tapas and tinto de veranos, she’s endured a torrential downpour in Chiapas, Mexico; snorkeled with sharks in the Galapagos Islands; and driven through 11 U.S. national parks in a single summer. She now edits Wander and Stay, and hopes to take her travels further east.
Recent Highlight: Looking down on Guanajuato
Next Trip: India
Dani graduated with a degree in Photojournalism from SFSU and has worked with various media outlets in the Bay Area, including KQED and the Palo Alto Weekly. She also had the opportunity to travel around the world with a study-abroad program called Semester at Sea, which inspired her to work with a magazine that encourages the same form of travel that she was able to experience while abroad.
Recent Highlight: U Bein Bridge
Next Trip: Australia
Best Local Discovery: Giordano’s Bros restaurant in North Beach. Amazing sandwiches!
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 hike for reflection
Next Trip: Vienna
Best Local Discovery: 850 Montgomery Cigar Bar
Director of Digital Content
Davina has 15 years of experience in journalism, eight of those years in online content. During her tenure as managing editor at CHOW.com, the site won a James Beard Award for Best Food Website and was twice nominated for National Magazine Awards. She has also worked for San Jose-based Metro Newspapers and edited books for Peachpit Press and Sybex.
Recent Highlight: Mezcal in Mexico
Next Trip: Amsterdam
Best Local Discovery: Tule elks at Point Reyes
Senior UX Product Manager
Ji has over 15 years years of experience in interaction design, software engineering, and product management. Prior to Afar, he worked at consumer technology companies such as Pandora, Blurb, and Zoosk. He loves to create fun and useful products. Outside of work, Ji enjoys surfing, riding his bicycle and vintage motorscooters, yoga, korean bbq, and music festivals.
Recent Highlight: Antique Nerd’s Heaven
Next Trip: Istanbul
Best Local Discovery: Monthly East Bay bike party
Senior Visual Designer
Rachael has been designing for over 10 years. Before AFAR, she worked at Mint.com, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and Hallmark Cards. She enjoys making pleasing and easy-to-use products. Rachael studied creative writing at Macalester College and design at California College of the Arts. Her extracurricular interests include writing kids’ books and cheesy songs.
Recent Highlight: Students’ Parade at Tainan National University of the Arts
Next Trip: Cuba
Best Local Discovery: Lucky Mojo Curio Co. in Forestville, CA
Lead Software Engineer
Evan, a Chicago native, recently moved to San Francisco. Professionally, he’s swooped from the desktop app to the web and from closed source to open. He’s not very good at typing when other people are watching.
Recent Highlight: The Hopleaf
Next Trip: Holland
Best Local Discovery: Zomg! I found an apartment! Guys? Are you listening, guys? An apartment! I can finally put my stuff down! Guys?
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
Jason has worked on the internet for many years now. He was a product designer, crafting user experiences for companies such as Mint and Zendesk, before transforming into a developer at AFAR media. Jason’s hobbies include embarrassing himself at karaoke, and herding cats.
Recent Highlight: Flying Jelly Belly
Next Trip: Belize
Best Local Discovery: Black Diamond Mines
Lauren has been actively involved in the online travel community since returning from her extended travel down under in 2010. Moving to San Francisco has kept her in the travel mindset—constantly exploring this ever-changing city as well as developing a solid network of travel lovers. She quickly got involved in start-up Tripping and co-founded the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Travel Massive, a monthly travel industry networking event. Moving to San Francisco also opened her eyes to the exciting world of tech and social media. Being a longtime fan of AFAR Magazine, she is thrilled to be working for a company for which she has so much passion, and to be on board during such an exhilarating time for AFAR.com.
Recent Highlight: Escape Across the Bay
Next Trip: Big Island of Hawaii
Best Local Discovery: Viracocha in the Mission District, a vintage shop, library, and underground music venue
Laura was a part of the original launch team for Dwell and, during her eight year tenure there, grew circulation over 500% to a rate base of 325,000. She was actively involved in the development of dwell.com and Dwell on Design conferences. Laura also served as VP, Consumer Marketing for 8020 Media and JPG magazine, helping to build innovative new web programs to tap an online community member base of over 195,000. Laura is a two-time CM Circulation Excellence award winner and was responsible for Dwell being listed in Capell’s as one of the top ten best performers in circulation, three years running. Past experience also includes stints at Health and Mother Jones magazines.
Audience Marketing Director
Robyn has spent the last 15 years working in media, most recently as consumer marketing manager at Dwell. Previously she tackled marketing for brands as varied as Lowrider, Surfing, PC Gamer and Macworld. She’s excited to have landed at AFAR, where her love of travel makes the work all the more interesting.
Recent Highlight: No Heels in the Alps Please
Next Trip: Portland
Best Local Discovery: Playland exhibit at Conservatory of Flowers
Senior Accounting Manager
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 Marketing Coordinator
Jenny comes to AFAR from the world of book publishing, where she spent nearly 6 years at Ten Speed Press, most recently as an Associate Marketing Manager. During her time there, she worked on a variety of projects, including the David Lebovitz app, and was introduced to some of her favorite interests including food, wine, and travel. Before getting her start in publishing, she worked on Google’s Book Search team and at the law firm Downey Brand.
Recent Highlight: Early Morning in Oia
Next Trip: Turkey or Thailand
Best Local Discovery: Vida y Vino Wine Bistro in Fremont
Brianna joined the AFAR team in October of 2012 as the Office & Accounting Coordinator. She has always dreamed of seeing the world and is overjoyed to be around wonderful people who feel the same way about culture, travel, and nature. When she’s not at work you can find her hiking, playing board games, seeing the latest movies and hanging out with her miniature dachshund, Jasmine.
Recent Highlight: A Visit to the Jaguar Rescue Center
Next Trip: Greek isles
Best Local Discovery: Sol Food in San Rafael, there’s nothing better.
Executive Director, AFAR Experiences
Nina joined AFAR after participating in the inaugural AFAR Experiences in Cairo, fall 2011. A seasoned and fearless global nomad, Nina studied and launched her design career in London. In her longtime home base of San Francisco, she founded and spearheaded the award-winning design agency 300FeetOut for 15 years. Nina gained event cred through her association with TEDx, localized events in the TED “ideas worth spreading” vein. Rarely seen without camera in hand in her rare free time, Nina has contributed photography to The Huffington Post, The Culturist, Peter Greenberg Worldwide, AFAR Magazine, and AFAR.com.
Recent Highlight: Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
Next Trip: Delhi, India
Best Local Discovery: Comstock Saloon
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!
Program Officer, AFAR Foundation
Growing up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and Glastonbury, England, Jordan was immersed in nature and travel from the start. Jordan’s passion is two-fold: helping youth to better understand themselves and their connection to the planet, and working with strategic partners to create the support systems that help youth reach their life goals. Over the past 12 years, Jordan has worked with the Kenya Wildlife Service and as California Manager of the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots program. Today, Jordan brings the power of experiential travel to low-income youth in her dual role as Program Officer for the AFAR Foundation and Director of Scholarship Programs for Global Explorers.
Recent Highlight: Biodynamic Farming in the Fertile Soil of Arenal Volcano
Next Trip: Stockholm Archipelago
Best Local Discovery: Jasper Hill Farm cheeses, Greensboro, VT