Founders & Staff
Christine Torrison Mackay
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Chris Mackay has been working in environmental education, outdoor recreation, community development, and ecotourism since 1980. She co-founded and directed the Bearfoot Backpacker, offering outdoor educational excursions throughout Washington State. Her love of international travel and the natural world, together with her concern about the negative impacts of tourism on culture and the environment, led her to co-found Crooked Trails in 1998.
Chris holds an M.A. in natural science education from Western Washington University and a B.A. in geography with a minor in biology from the University of Washington. She has worked with youth and adult education in both formal and non-traditional sectors, and has taught at all levels from elementary school to university. Chris sees education as the cornerstone of efforts to protect the natural world and at-risk cultures. Her ability to engage and inspire her audience has made her a popular speaker at clubs, international conferences, bookstores, universities, and schools.
Chris acts as a consultant to a wide range of organizations on issues such as community-based tourism, nature education, international study abroad and community service, and wilderness education. Organizations she has worked with include Tillicum Village, Concordia College, the Shoshone/Arapaho and Makah tribes, North Andaman Tsunami Relief, Western Washington University, and Lakeside High School.
Co-Founder and International Program Director
Tammy Leland is a passionate traveler who has spent more than 20 years exploring the world. An outdoor enthusiast who enjoys climbing at high altitudes, Tammy initially began traveling the world as she sought out enticing peaks, visiting remote areas and living with mountain people. Over the course of her adventures, she learned fluent Spanish and discovered the joys of world music and connecting with local communities.
Tammy holds a B.S. in geology from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in environmental education from Western Washington University. Her master’s thesis examined the environmental, cultural, and economic impacts of travel. Prior to co-founding Crooked Trails, Tammy worked in a variety of positions related to education and the environment. She developed an industry workshop on responsible travel and is an expert on the development and delivery of interactive education programs, international community development, environmentally and culturally sensitive travel, and corporate social responsibility.
Director of Communications
Angela Broderick was born with a severe case of wanderlust. A Washington native, she has also lived in Hawaii and Alaska, and has traveled through parts of Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Europe. During her wanderings, she forged deep bonds with several small communities and became aware of the vital need to protect indigenous cultures.
Angela was thrilled to discover Crooked Trails’ work on issues so close to her heart and has been proud to be part of the team since 2005. Angela is passionate about cultural preservation and sustainable travel, movements that she feels are crucial for our time. She blogs about sustainable travel at Travel with a Purpose.
Latin America Programs
Emily was first drawn to the natural beauty of Latin America, but quickly realized that the richness of the local cultures and the kindness of our community partners had captivated her. As a guide for Crooked Trails, working in the field of sustainable and community-based travel set her on a new course in life and shaped her view of the world, and sharing this experience with other travelers was a great source of joy. Emily believes that travel can serve as a force for understanding and truth in our complex world. She is honored to continue that work, offering others the chance to glimpse the world through new eyes by fostering relationships with deep connections in local partner communities.
Emily holds a BA from University of Washington in Environmental Studies and a Master’s in Public Health from Boston University. Through both of these disciplines, she has explored how communities interact with and are shaped by their environment. Working with travelers to plan trips to Peru and other destinations allows her mind to continue to wander new paths and experience the world through their journeys.
Director of Mexico Programs
Robin found Crooked Trails in 2005, after reading an article about their methodology and philosophy in a local travel magazine. Since then, Robin has volunteered and collaborated with Crooked Trails on various projects, including the partnership with the Pueblos Mancomunados in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Robin has lived and worked in Oaxaca for 15 years. In addition to being the director of Mexico for Crooked Trails, she also works with local NGOs in Oaxaca that support the revitalization of traditional farming, ancestral plant medicine, and rural healthcare. With a degree in both Anthropology and a Master’s in Chinese medicine, Robin brings a deep interest in ethnobotany, along with the interplay of environmental conservation and social justice. She endeavors to provide travelers opportunities to touch on these ideas, which are essential to truly understanding and appreciating Mexico.
Director of Cuba & Nicaragua Programs
A Pacific Northwest native, Alexis has been chasing sunshine, international adventure and the perfect street food her whole life. She has a 21-year relationship with Nicaragua and considers Ometepe Island her second home, where she is still very involved with development and cultural exchange. She believes in the power of travel to transform and enrich the traveler and the in-country host on a global and personal level.
Alexis joined Crooked Trails in 2008 and has explored Latin American, from the high-altitude homestays in Chinchero, Peru to the pirate bay of Baracoa, Cuba, telling bad puns in English and Spanish. She holds a BA in Latin American studies with a minor in comparative mythology. In her spare time she can be found wandering the Cascade Mountains or throwing stones on the rocky beaches of the Puget Sound.
Board of Directors
Dan Travers has been with Crooked Trails from the very beginning. Focusing primarily on program development, he has also guided for Crooked Trails in Thailand, India and Peru. Recently, after a month in Iran, Dan began researching the Middle East for future CT travel program destinations. From his home base in the Pacific NW, Dan has been an avid climber and traveler through over 40 countries on 6 continents.
With an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and an MBA from UW, he has been running his own Green Building and rental property businesses for over 15 years. Dan also regularly consults on construction related issues and is involved in management of a California Natural Gas production company and a Napa Valley winery.
Trained as a Wilderness First Responder, conversational in both Spanish and French, he is a strong believer in Crooked Trails’ messages of cultural sensitivity and sustainable tourism. He keeps (reasonably) fit playing lacrosse and soccer while also Randonne skiing and scrambling the peaks of the Cascade Mtns. His other interests include an ongoing historical research adventure in the Peruvian Amazon jungle (www.theriversraneast.com) and other international projects.
Dan Moore is the CEO of the travel-industry consultancy, Pandion. Dan has over 15 years experience as an entrepreneur, professional adventure guide, and high-level facilitator. He has successfully launched and led two travel companies, filling numerous roles at each. Dan has participated in every Adventure Travel World Summit since 2008, learning best practices and industry trends from business leaders from around the globe. He is frequently asked to present at conferences and meetings and regularly delivers seminars and workshops.
Dan has extensive experience designing cutting edge itineraries and travel products, and applying innovative techniques to market these products. He frequently utilizes his operations knowledge, including guide training, permitting, risk-management, staff management, and more, in his role at Crooked Trails.Dan sits on other non-profit boards: he represents the Adventure & Recreation segment on the board of the Washington Tourism Alliance and was a co-chair of the Alliance’s marketing committee; and is Board President for the youth focused Terra-Forma Education.
At the heart of his work is a passion for sustainable business, and the concept that we can have a profound impact on the world due to our actions.
Julie grew up in Northern Minnesota, but answered the call of Washington’s mountains and waters in her early twenties and has never looked back. She holds a BS in Business Administration and has worked in multiple settings, using her skills to enable mission-driven organizations to find their strengths and manage their resources in the best possible ways to support their well-being and growth. Julie is a wandering spirit wrapped in the pragmatism that comes from being a numbers person and the single mother of two daughters who are now of the age where they are exploring their own life adventures. Julie is honored to be a part of an organization that will benefit from her pragmatic skills while enabling her wandering spirit to finally have equal time.
Mona McPhee is a travel and tourism business attorney who employs strategic decision-making in high-pressure situations with a focus on entrepreneurial solutions. She provides legal counsel to companies on commercial and regulatory issues, including sanctions law compliance, cross-border transactions, supply-chain contracts, co-branding, employment matters, internal standards and practices, risk and crisis management, hospitality law, and operations. Mona frequently works with companies expanding into new markets.
An avid traveler, Mona particularly loves working with travel companies as a partner in their success by helping these companies to achieve their own missions.
Lee Riggins credits her immigrant mother for her lifelong love of travel and foreign languages and appreciation of other cultures. She majored in French and English Writing at Concordia College and studied abroad in France, and as an adult has travelled extensively throughout the world, although her bucket list of additional destinations is still very long. A Montana native, she grew up appreciating nature and outdoor pursuits, and is today an avid boater, kayaker and hiker.
Lee is a training consultant at CDK Global in Seattle and has a long and varied career in learning and performance, human resources, business unit and project management, operations, writing and communications. She is passionate about utilizing her experience to promote ecotourism and support local economies and cultures through education and outreach.
Doug Taber is of California extraction, Steinbeck country. Early experiences traveling to Central America ignited a passion for human interconnectedness, and international relations in young Mr. Taber. These passions fermented at the University of California, Davis into a degree in Political Science, with a focus on International Relations. While attending UC Davis a desire to better understand the global community earned him a spot on a summer program titled “The Politics of Inequality” at Geneva, Switzerland. Shortly thereafter, Douglas was accepted to the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, where he served as Treasurer for the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) while earning an MPA. After graduation he worked for several non-profits before accepting a position at Seattle’s very own HomeStreet Bank. Doug is particularly skilled in data software, snowboarding, finding waterfalls, and learning random phrases in dozens of languages, but never enough to carry on a conversation. He’s excited to contribute to Crooked Trails by refining financial tracking and reporting, and by providing ad-hoc puns.
Cindy Zu is a global financial professional who was born in Ohio, lived in Chicago, and spent her formative years in Rochester, New York. During high school, her family relocated to Singapore as expatriates. Cindy graduated from Singapore American School, where she started a nonprofit organization that used revenues from musical performances to start music programs in developing countries.
Cindy attended the University of Rochester with dual majors in Economics and International Relations and graduated a semester early Cum Laude with High Distinction. She began her career at J.P. Morgan in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and New York in various roles within the Corporate Investment Bank. In 2015 she joined J.P. Morgan’s Asset Management arm in Seattle, Washington within the Private Bank. Cindy decided to enter the tech world and became the Head of Business Development and Strategy for an early stage AI fintech startup. Her global banking experience has given her an in depth understanding of the global financial systems and emerging Fintech landscape.
Cindy also sits on the Board of Directors of the Music Center of the Northwest, a nonprofit music school in North Seattle. She enjoys golf, tennis, and boxing. She’s the captain of a mixed doubles tennis team in Seattle, and she recently hit her first hole-in-one. Her transient life and career has allowed her to thrive in situations that foreign and uncertain. She prides herself in her ability to widen the aperture and take a 10,000ft view of the situation, and she is thrilled to have the opportunity to help Crooked Trails grow.
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