Anyone who works in events and tourism can become quickly disgusted by the waste left behind from events. I decided soon after the start of my career, that my life’s purpose was to help the industries I love to make a positive impact on the longevity of the Earth, and our amazing people.
— Mercedes Hunt, PhD, Founder and Owner, Map & Compass Consulting LLC
Mercedes Hunt, PhD is a passionate sustainability advocate working in the venue, event and tourism industries. She is an engaging speaker, educator, consultant and researcher. She utilizes her 15 years of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry managing organizations and events, teaching and researching to consult organizations on employee engagement and sustainability. Mercedes received her Bachelor’s in Leisure Studies and Recreation at Cal State Northridge. She earned her Master’s from San Francisco State University in Recreation, Parks and Tourism with an emphasis in Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism. She completed her Doctorate in Parks, Recreation and Tourism with an emphasis in Sustainable Events and Tourism. She has worked for The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) as the Managing Director and Event Director where she planned Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conferences (ESTCs).
Mercedes has traveled the world for work and pleasure. She has planned international events and conferences in the United States, Kenya, Brazil and Ecuador. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast who regularly hikes, skis and sails. She strives to be integrally involved in her local community sustainability efforts.
She is also dedicated to her involvement in the International Association of Venue Managers where she is the New Hampshire representative for Region 1, an active member of the sustainability committee and a member of the facility doctors writing team. She has been part of the APEX/ASTM sustainable event standards rewrite with the Event Industry Council. She maintains active memberships with the Professional Convention Management Association, Meeting Planners International, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and the EcoClub. She speaks English, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, American Sign Language and is currently learning Turkish.
— Krista Gurko, MEd, PhD, Co-Founder and Principal, Map & Compass Consulting LLC
Map & Compass Consulting co-founder, Krista, has spent much of her career working with non-profit organizations and university-community research partnerships in the US and around the world. She sees sustainable practices as a way to promote social justice. She has
provided research-based training to organizations and communities aiming to invest in strengthening interpersonal relationships, environmentally sound practices, and improving opportunities and resources for people of all ages across settings.
Krista’s research includes designing qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods approaches to documenting stakeholder experiences in the
US, Brazil and Rwanda. She conducts program evaluations, writes Institutional Review Board applications, uses the Implementation Science Framework to guide iterative program development from pilot phases through implementation, and designs employee training to ensure compliance with private and federal grant funding requirements.
Krista has traveled the world providing interactive teacher professional development workshops about ways members of a host community could measure tourist impacts and guide tourists to abide by Ecotourism principles including equitable interactions.