Transformative, educational and experiential travel on land, rivers and oceans
We represent more than four decades of tour operator experience that encompasses nearly every form of organized travel. We have extensive experience in planning and operating eco-tours, educational, affinity, student groups, bespoke, luxury, soft-adventure, active outdoor, civil rights, birding and cultural tours in the United States and around the world.
Founder & Chairman, Alabama Civil Rights Tourism Association, the Center for Conservation and Community; President, Conservancy Travel
Steve is the visionary and co-founder of International Expeditions, one of the first ecotourism companies in the world at its inception in 1980. As a world leader in nature travel, International Expeditions was at the forefront of the sustainability movement, using conservation- and education-based tourism to fund projects in tropical rainforest locations.
Steve began initiatives to apply the same concepts practiced in ecotourism and sustainable travel to benefit his home state of Alabama, home to some of our nation’s richest Civil Rights history. He established the non-profit Alabama Civil Rights Tourism Association in 2019.
Prior to founding International Expeditions, Steve established a travel department for the regional publication Progressive Farmer Magazine, sister publication to Southern Living Magazine, and worked as a United States Senate Staffer, roles that firmly established his passion for connecting people through experiential travel. Steve earned his B.A. in Political Science from Auburn University. He and his wife, attorney Janet Pitts Cox, have two adult children, a standard poodle and live in Birmingham, Alabama.
Chief Product & Strategy Officer
Elaine Chu has more than thirty years of travel industry experience, spanning an extensive list of roles. Her passion for exploring the world began on a student choral performance tour of Europe, then was cemented during two years of study abroad in France while earning a bachelor of arts from Boston University. As a freelance tour manager for twenty years, Elaine traveled to every continent. Transitioning to in-house roles, she held a variety of positions at travel companies in sales, tour operations and quality. Prior to joining Conservancy Travel and the Alabama Civil Rights Tourism Association, Elaine was product development and contracting director at Road Scholar.
Chief Financial & Operations Officer
John Key operated more than forty international trade missions between the State of Alabama and governments and businesses in twenty-seven countries around the world. He developed and coordinated OFAC-compliant travel and trade relations between the U.S. and Cuba. John established a successful international programs division at the University of West Alabama. His transition from international business to travel began when he joined International Expeditions to expand authorized travel to Cuba, and manage tour operations for the Alabama Civil Rights Tourism Association and Conservancy Travel. John earned a bachelor of science in business administration and management from Troy University and a master of public administration from Walden University. He resides in Troy, Alabama with his wife and three children.
Director of Operations
With over twenty-five years of experience in the international travel industry, Tracey is a dedicated professional driven by her passion for details and a knack for kindling excitement in travelers, whether they’re embarking on their first journey or are seasoned globetrotters. Her primary mission is to ensure seamless travel experiences by nurturing global vendor relationships and fostering teamwork. Tracey’s unique perspective characterizes operations as akin to piloting a freight train, being a puzzle maestro, a private investigator, and even a bit of a mind reader; all demanding meticulous attention to detail. Her extensive background includes roles as a Destination and Operations Manager at International Expeditions and Orbridge.
Tracey and her husband reside in Alabama and share three children, one grandson and three dog-babies. She loves spending time laughing with friends, antique treasure hunting, camping, fishing and enjoying a good view anywhere on the water.
Director of Sales
With more than thirty years of experience in nature, expedition and adventure travel, Jennifer enjoys sharing her passion for conservation and sustainable tourism gained through extensive travel to every continent. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in International Studies at the University of Montevallo, with a concentration in Japanese. Prior to joining Conservancy Travel, Jennifer held roles in operations & customer service, sales, account management, business development, social media, and product development for International Expeditions, Safari Legacy and Poseidon Expeditions.
Jennifer and her husband share two adult children, two orange tabbies and live in a modern log cabin on the banks of a tranquil creek in Alabama.
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