Election Committee

Steve Noakes

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Organization: Pacific Asia Tourism Pty Ltd 
Position: Chairman
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In early 2009, Steve Noakes was active in the process to linking 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, and remains as CoChair of the Knowledge Networking, Education & Training Working Group (KNET WG). In 2013, he became a member of the GSTC Elections Committee. Based in Australia, Steve has been active in industry, NGOs and academia for some 35 years – with a focus on the Pacific Asia region.

Melissa Teates

Organization: ASTA
Position: Director, Research 
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melissa-teates-caeMelissa has over 15 years experience in business research, analysis, and development. She has held the positions of International Economist at the Association for Manufacturing Technology, Director of Industry Information and Research at the Paperboard Packaging Council and, currently, is the Director of Research for the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) as well as the Project Manager for ASTA’s Green Program.

Melissa received a B.S. in Political Science from James Madison University, where she spent a lot of time programming SPSS programs to analyze political data. She also has begun coursework towards a Master in Economics. She received her Certified Association Executive certification from ASAE in 2007.

Melissa is a strong believer in community service and is the leader of two Girl Scouts troops. She serves as Treasurer for the Falls Church Village Preservation and Improvement Society (501c3), which has a primary mission to plant trees in urbanized areas and enhance landscaping in the city. Melissa leads the Falls Church Habitat Restoration Team, which removes invasive vegetation and plants natives in local parks. Additionally, she is the Chairman of the local Planning Commission and involved in updating the zoning code to enforce sustainable building and increase efforts to meet Chesapeake Bay watershed standards.

C B Ramkumar

Organization: Our Native Village
Position: Founder and Managing Director
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RamRam, as he is popularly known, has been an advertising and marketing professional for two decades. He has spent most of his professional career outside India in the Middle East.

Ram returned to India after a 17 year stint abroad in 2006 to follow his dream and passion and started Our Native Village-an eco retreat fro holistic health. Our Native Village follows a 100% eco principle, where all the major pillars of sustainability – energy, water, waste management, architecture and the food chain – are on sustainable platforms.

Our Native Village has been awarded a Responsible tourism award, listed as the number 1 eco resort in India by Asia Geographic magazine, listed as one of to 10 eco resorts in India by MSN, India Today, Outlook traveller and the BBC.

Ram was invited by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India to serve on the Planning Projects committee for Tiger conservation in the country, and on the Global Sustainable Tourism committee. He is a Core Committee member of the KTF (Karnataka Tourism Forum), and a member of the special committee on tourism of the BCCI (Bangalore Chamber of Commerce and Industry). Ram is a regular speaker at most eco, sustainability and environment related workshops, conferences and seminars, and a visiting faculty member at the some of the colleges in Bangalore. He is also a faculty member for the training of the Indian Forest Officers that is held in Karnataka.

Ram has been part of the consultative process of the GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria), a global criteria for sustainability in tourism ventures. Our Native Village is a Network member at the GSTC. Ram has worked with UNEP and the UN Foundation to bring this criterion into India. A successful national launch of this took place in New Delhi in July 2010. Ram now serves a three year term as a member of the Election Committee for electing Board Members for the GSTC.

Ram now lives in Bangalore with his wife Lalitha and kids, Aakanksha and Akshay.

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