Joel joined Africa Reps in 2001 following his graduation from Loughborough University - most people know that he is 'sports mad' but perhaps not everyone knows that he has a degree in it as well.
His connections to Africa go back to his very early days being brought up and educated in Nairobi and Blantyre - in fact his first language was Kiswahili - before returning to UK for prep and senior school.
Safari is something that Joel has been doing most of his life so it is quite natural that he should be involved in promoting safaris to Africa with a passion and enthusiasm that comes naturally - it could possibly be 'in his blood'.
He brings a wide variety of skills to Africa Reps that have helped the company to fully engage with the 21st century through communications and technology - having no fear of embracing new technology and adapting it to suit the needs of the company.
Being our main sales person Joel not only hits the road in the UK (armed with a good supply of chocolate brownies), but is the face of our client companies at travel trade shows at World Travel Market, ITB and We Are Africa. He is a frequent visitor to our client companies and our 'specialist' on Uganda and Gorillas and Madagascar.
He took over the Managing Director's position in 2011 and is well placed to move the company forward to face the ever increasing challenges of promoting tourism to Africa.
DIRECTOR - EUROPE
Stefania joined Africa Reps in 2010 "opening up" Africa-Reps Europe and bringing not only her Mediterranean creativity and style but also a very practical and forward thinking approach as well as her passion for Africa and extensive industry network.
A graduate of Trieste University in modern languages she has travelled and worked extensively representing Italian operators in the Far East, Asia, Middle East, Egypt, The Maldives and Kenya. In fact she has experienced tourism in most of its many facets from tour guiding to hotel management, from incoming to outgoing, from international marketing to product management, from special tailor-made tours to difficult expeditions, from budget to top-end tours.
Before joining up with Africa Reps Stefania was the product manager of a well-known up-market adventure operator in Italy covering African destinations that some us only dream about - but Stefania makes the complicated look easy.
We invited her to become a director in 2011 and to help us to guide the company into the future.
When she is not keeping us on our toes her interests range far and wide from diving to fire walking!
Lisa joined Africa Reps in 2004 to help us with sales and reservations for Nationwide Airlines - it was a huge learning curve for us all when this rather small client suddenly grew and grew to the point where we were almost an airline reservations office selling international, regional and domestic tickets. She came well recommended as she had worked previously for two companies well known to us - both involved in the African safari industry.
We were fortunate that when Nationwide moved on that Lisa was well placed to take on the reservations for Beho Beho and when the Oyster Bay opened it was natural for her to take on that as well. She is now well known by most booking agents and operators as the 'efficient' side of the company handling the intricacies of high end reservations with remarkably few problems.
When the office moved to Shepperton, Lisa too moved to Shepperton and has joined the 'walk to work' brigade. Her main passions besides safari Africa are keeping fit and her enormous dog Tyler.
George founded the company in 1998 when he returned to UK after spending almost 20 years in Africa. For many years as Group General Manager of Sopa Lodges he had tried to find a marketing representation company that knew about Africa from an in-depth perspective - not someone who had back-packed through or been on a couple of safaris - but someone who understood the challenges that face tourism to Africa - someone who saw the African safari product as the stunningly unique product that it is and was passionate about promoting it. It took him a while to realise that if he wanted this kind of a company then he would have to form it himself.
He had held marketing, sales, public relations and promotions portfolios for the last of his ten years working in East and Southern Africa and had travelled extensively promoting safari tourism and East Africa as a tourist destination developing an impressive network of contacts in all aspects of the travel and tourism sector. He has been a regular participant in the major world tourism fairs and has promoted the region in UK, Germany, Italy, USA, Japan, UAE, France, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Russia, Austria, Hungary and South Africa.
Africa Reps has provided the perfect combination for George who enjoys being based in UK but loves his involvement and commitment to Africa and tourism to Africa, visiting frequently to support our clients operationally as well as advising on marketing strategy and new tourism and hospitality projects.
Of late his interest in India - pulls him more and more to The Himalayas to recharge his batteries to give him the energy required to meet his never failing enthusiasm.