Election Committee

The GSTC Board of Directors includes twelve seats with three-year terms, with annual elections for those among the twelve which are vacant or expired. This committee plays an oversight role on the process of nominating and electing board members to those seats. Their specific duties are dictated by the organization’s bylaws. Members of the Election Committee include the GSTC CEO and the following volunteer members.

Catherine Germier-Hamel

Millennium Destinations Founder and CEO

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For over 20 years, Catherine has gained international experience in marketing, communications and business development, in various fields such as tourism, hospitality, education, environment, water and power utilities, etc. With a growing commitment to global issues and sustainable development,she has undertaken several assignments, either as Consultant or Project Director, within theframework of international cooperation and technical assistance projects, mostly in developingcountries. Expatriated in South Korea since 2005, she has dedicated the past ten years to sustainabletourism, particularly as Director of Global Programs at the UNWTO ST-EP Foundation, established inSeoul within the framework of the Sustainable Tourism – Eliminating Poverty (ST-EP) initiative of theWorld Tourism Organization, and then as Founder and CEO of Millennium Destinations. Catherine isCountry delegate of AMFORTHT – World Association for Hospitality and Tourism Education andTraining – for South Korea since 2015.

Eric Ricaurte

Greenview Founder

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Since founding Greenview in 2008, Eric has helped several global hospitality organizations measure and report on sustainability and ESG, in addition to his 10 years of experience in operations and consulting in diverse nature and cultural tourism projects globally. Eric earned a B.S. from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and a M.S. in Tourism & Travel Management from New York University. Eric is a member of the UFI Committee on Sustainable Development and the International Standards Working Group of the GSTC. He has held a research fellowship at the Cornell University Center for Hospitality Research and is adjunct instructor at the NYU University Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism.

Masaru Takayama

Japan Ecolodge Association and Asian Ecotourism Network Founder

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Mr. Masaru Takayama founded Japan Ecolodge Association (ECOLA) and Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN), to promote true ecotourism and ecolodge in the region by creating a platform for ecotourism fraternity. The environmentally-friendly accommodations standard developed by EOLA is recognized by the GSTC to bottom up the industry standards in the Japaneses marketplace. Working as a global community-based ecotourism consultant, ecolodge advisor, and eco travel agency ‘Spirit of Japan Travel’ in Kyoto, Masaru serves a number of key positions in the organizations both home and abroad pertinent to ecotourism and protected areas. Mr. Takayama has served as a Tourism for Tomorrow Awards on-site evaluation judge 2013, 2014, 2015, on the World Travel and Tourism Council World Legacy Awards for 2016, and the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards for 2012 and 2015.

Steve Noakes

Pacific Asia Tourism Founder

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In early 2009, Steve Noakes was active in the process to link the Sustainable Tourism Stewardship Council (hosted by Rainforest Alliance) and the Partnership for Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (coordinated by the UN Foundation). He served on the Interim Advisory Committee of the Tourism Sustainability Council which evolved out of that process. The TSC went on to become the Global Sustainable Tourism Council where he served on the Board during its first 3 years. During that time he was a member of the Membership Committee, the Finance Committee and the Education & Training Committee of the GSTC Board and represented the GSTC at numerous high-level forums around the Pacific Asia region. He retired from the GSTC Board in 2012, continuing for a few years as CoChair of the Knowledge Networking, Education & Training Working Group (KNET WG). In 2013, he became a member of the GSTC Elections Committee and in 2017 became active as a GSTC Trainer. Based in Australia, Steve has been active in the industry, NGOs, and academia for some 40 years – with a focus on the Pacific Asia region.