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The VolunTourism.org Team

No, that is not the VolunTourism.org Team pictured on the left - we aspire to be that youthful and curious in heart and spirit, of course. But the team is compiled of some slightly older personages and is led by the Founder of VolunTourism.org, David Clemmons. He is joined by other individuals that play an important role in the ongoing development of this industry - Elisa Sabatini, Executive Director of Via International., Nancy McGehee, PhD., Associate Professor at Virginia Tech University, and Roslyn Parker, Founder of Travel To Do Good. To learn more about these individuals, browse below.

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The Team

David Clemmons - Founder, VolunTourism.org

As one of the world’s leading authorities on VolunTourism, David has provided lectures on VolunTourism for corporations & associations, the travel industry, the nonprofit sector, service clubs, colleges & universities, and high schools since 2000. He has written extensively on the subject and is the Editor/Publisher of The VolunTourist, a travel trade e-publication. And in August 2007, he began hosting a weekly webcast, also entitled "The VolunTourist," to further educate the travel & tourism and nonprofit industries respectively.

He advises destination marketing organizations, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and tour operators. He has designed events and products & services for destination management companies and corporations to support team-building projects in the U.S. & Mexico. Occasionally he will even host a VolunTourism group in the U.S./Mexico Border Region from a college, university, or corporation.

David Clemmons

In collaboration with The Educational Travel Conference, he facilitates an annual discussion on VolunTourism for travel planners, DMOs, tour operators & suppliers, and nonprofit organizations. He is often quoted by the media and his insights on VolunTourism influence blogs & web sites throughout the world.

Prior to his involvement with VolunTourism, David spent 15 years in the Hospitality Industry in numerous capacities. He has worked in the nonprofit industry and has been an active volunteer for more than three decades.

Elisa Sabatini, Executive Director, Via International

Elisa Sabatini serves as the Executive Director for Via International She is responsible for providing strategic direction, supervising staff, creating new programs, and securing all resources for activities in Mexico, the United States and Canada. Program areas include family health, nutrition, micro-finance, sustainable agriculture, community organizing and development education. In 2003, the VolunTours™ “social business” joined the family of Los Niños’ programs.

Elisa formerly served with World SHARE for fourteen years. She served as Mexico Director (1984-87) involving food movement and storage, inventories, community development projects, program proposals, fundraising and evaluation. As Country Director in Guatemala (1987-91), Elisa set up systems, trained staff in accounting software, developed food handling and warehouse manuals, designed program proposals in the areas of maternal child health, agroforestry, infrastructure development and community banks/income generation.

Elisa was named the World SHARE Regional Director for Latin America (1992-98) and coordinated participatory processes to create an autonomous SHARE organization in Guatemala as well as develop self-funding food distribution in Mexico and a rural agricultural loan fund. In Mexico, the Compartamos (SHARE) program is now the largest micro credit initiative in the country. Elisa joined Los Niños in 1998.

Nancy McGehee

Nancy McGehee, PhD - Professor, Virginia Tech University

Nancy has been working in the area of tourism development for over 18 years. She received an MS in Tourism Management from North Carolina State University in 1991, worked for the Appalachian Tourism Research and Development Center from 1991-1994, then received both an MS and PhD in Sociology from Virginia Tech in 1999. Her dissertation focused on how volunteer tourism influenced individual’s participation in social movements once they returned to their home communities.

Since that time, Nancy has broadened her research focus to include what really was her “first research love”, resident attitudes toward volunteer tourism. She is in the early stages of what she hopes to be a long-term study of exploring the similarities and differences amongst a variety of communities experiencing a variety of types of voluntourism. Her other long-term project involves raising her two children, both 11 year olds, named Grace and Spencer. Any advice on either project is always welcome!

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Roslyn Parker - President & CEO/Chief Experiences Officer, Affinity Travel Group

ros parker
Roslyn Parker, President & CEO, Affinity Travel Group

Roslyn is President and CEO/Chief Experiences Officer of the Affinity Travel Group, a boutique travel agency based in Houston Texas that connects travelers to the life, history, people and culture of their chosen destination through unique and distinctive travel experiences.  Roslyn also creates and manages life-changing opportunities for participants to Travel to do Good through volunteer travel partnerships around the world.  Travel to do Good is a signature program of the Affinity Travel Group.  

Roslyn’s colleagues and clients describe her as energized, talented, committed, and inspiring to work with and for.  Throughout her professional career she has worked for several fortune 500 companies including, Supermedia, Verizon, HBO/Time Warner, Where Travel Magazine and Bell Atlantic.  While at Verizon, she was an award winning sales leader, who was also known as the Chief Environmental Officer because of her infectious desire and spirit to create a winning and fun environment for employees to grow and excel.  During her tenure at Verizon, she also spearheaded a number of corporate community outreach initiatives including several cause-related marketing campaigns for domestic violence awareness and literacy.   

As a travel and marketing consultant, Roslyn has worked with a variety of clients including, Stanford University, Airline Ambassadors, Kids for Kids, The Government of Senegal – FESMAN Arts Festival, The Law Offices of Willie Gary, Carnival Caribbean Festival, Western Union, The City of Miami Mayor’s Office and the Haitian Cultural Awareness Festival.

Roslyn is an advocate for women's empowerment and is a former board member of Dress For Success.  She is also the immediate Past President of the Safespace Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides resources and support to victims of domestic violence in Miami Florida.  

In her most important role as a parent, she has two adult children, Sherie and Steven who currently reside in New York and Dallas

As an advocate and humanitarian, her dedication and commitment to volunteerism is a part of a personal journey of giving back and being in service to others.

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