Travel Agency Team

Excellence Recognized.

OUR TEAM

Staff

We're an owner-managed small company and a team of experts with a passion for our region of the world. The exceptional quality of service that defines ATJ is a direct reflection of the knowledgeable, experienced, committed people who work here.

Along with our Asia travel experts, we believe that travel propels us outside of ourselves, beyond our previous understandings, to embrace new ways of imagining, new ways of seeing. Contact them when you are ready to Journey Beyond the Ordinary™.

MARILYN DOWNING- STAFF

Founder (retired)

It was Marilyn's boundless enthusiasm for Asia that brought ATJ to life three decades ago. With degrees in environmental biology and sociology, Marilyn set off on to travel the world, landing in Thailand where the dream of starting a tour operator first took shape.

After 28 years at the helm, Marilyn stepped down to pursue her own travel dreams. To ensure ATJ would remain steady on its course, Marilyn passed the company to three long-time employees, Donna Galland (CFO), Eric Kareus (Director of Travel) and Kirsten Louy-Nasty (CEO).

KIRSTEN LOUY-NASTY

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER & Co-Owner

Kirsten grew up in our nation's capital, dreaming of places far and away. After landed in Papua New Guinea to participate in a grassroots organization studying women and small businesses, Kirsten was hooked on travel for good. Kirsten created and received the first Cultural Studies Bachelor of Arts at Keene State College in New Hampshire and has gone on to travel extensively throughout four continents.

Donna Galland

DONNA GALLAND

Chief Financial Officer & Co-Owner

Donna displayed a knack for numbers early on, which was honed with a B.S Degree in Accounting from CU – Boulder. She crunched digits for Moguls Mountain Travel as Controller and at a Boulder law firm as Financial Manager before seizing the accounting reigns at ATJ. She has her brown belt in Thai kickboxing, so keep your hands out of the till.

Eric Kareus

Director of Travel & Co-Owner

Eric's knowledge of Asia borders on the encyclopedic—he has twice been named a Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist. He holds a degree from the University of Colorado in International Relations and Economics with an emphasis on the developing world.

He was a guide in Europe, then joined ATJ in 1993 and has since traveled extensively throughout the region. Eric was raised in the arid Colorado River valley and reared on National Geographic, periodic family trips to Central America, and Asian cuisine.

Max Smith

Systems Administrator

Exploration for Max began on the hill behind his house, building forts and climbing trees. He has since traveled to places as far afield as Laos and Mongolia, as well as to less coveted destinations closer to home, working in lumberyards and kitchens.

Books were Max's preferred mode of discovery while earning his degrees in English Literature and History from the University of Colorado. But now, as part of the ATJ team, Max fuels his desire to learn by delving into the wealth of knowledge and new horizons available to him. When he’s not at work, Max can be found skiing the nearby mountains or catching a flight to somewhere far way. He's also a casual climber, gamer, writer and moviegoer.

JANENE DIGREGORIO

CTIE, AIR TRAVEL MANAGER

Janene has been in the travel business for over 25 years. She's a Colorado native whose travels have taken her to far-flung places throughout Europe, Central America, South America and Africa.

Cherished memories include awakening at dawn in Botswana to find a wild elephant walking out of the jungle towards her. When not exploring she may be found cooking for friends and family and hiking around the Flatirons.

Tamara Grivicic

Travel Coordinator

A native of Croatia, Tamara is now a Boulderite through and through. After receiving an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of California at Davis, where she garnered multiple academic awards and scholarships, Tamara found herself drawn to the health and environmentally conscious culture of Boulder.

In her off time, you can find Tamara practicing yoga and Pilates, biking around town, cooking up healthy meals, getting involved in community development projects and, of course, traveling.

Ginger Nix

Travel Coordinator

Ginger grew up in Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana, fond of creole cuisine and the region’s rich cultural landscape. As newlyweds, she and her husband moved to Washington D.C. where Ginger’s sense of adventure was sated by visiting the city’s numerous museums and landmarks—at least until she and her family decided it was time to "go west" and moved to Colorado.

Ginger brings to ATJ her many years of experience in the hospitality industry and an innate knack for making travel arrangements seem effortless. She’s eager to expand her knowledge of the cultures of Asia and the Pacific and to embrace the next adventure on the horizon.

Heather Crouch

Accounting Coordinator

Heather was born under the shadow of a giant Paul Bunyan statue in Brainerd, Minnesota. Her early journeys took her to San Diego where she earned a B.S. in Finance and met her future husband in a class studying multi-variable calculus.

Heather's recent forays into India and New Zealand have her looking forward to visiting more of the beautiful and exotic destinations frequented by ATJ. She is an avid runner, and recently completed two marathons, including the New York City Marathon. In winter you'll find her on a quest for champagne powder in the Colorado Rockies.

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