Intrepid Group North America Leadership Team
Intrepid Group North America Leadership Team

Record growth for The Intrepid Group; Zand takes on expanded trade role

TORONTO — Building on double-digit growth in North America and Canada in particular, The Intrepid Group has appointed company veteran Shayna Zand to the role of Head of Business Development for Intrepid Group North America, working with industry partners and developing new partnerships.

Her March 1 appointment comes a few months before Leigh Barnes, currently Regional Director of North America for the Intrepid Group, moves into his newly-created role of Chief Purpose Officer on July 1.

Shayna Zand and Leigh Barnes

Shayna Zand and Leigh Barnes

It’s the second year of record growth for multi-brand Intrepid Group, which comes two and a half years after the travel company split from TUI Plc to become an independently-owned company with a ‘purpose beyond profit’.

Revenue for The Intrepid Group was up 17% globally in 2017. The company also saw a 40% increase in North America in January 2018.

North America has been the fastest-growing region for the Australia-based company, with a recorded 60% growth in the past two years as the demand for sustainable travel and immersive experiences increases.

The Intrepid Foundation, the Intrepid Group’s not-for-profit, also marked a record year in 2017, raising AUD$1 million for local and international charities.

“It’s become increasingly evident to us that having a purpose beyond profit can actually be profitable,” said James Thornton, who was appointed as CEO of the Intrepid Group, as well as Chair of The Intrepid Foundation, in 2017. “Growth is nice on its own, but it’s this sense of purpose that has us excited about the future because it means the more we grow, the more we can do.”

Aligned with the company’s long-term vision, Thornton created two new senior executive roles on Intrepid Group’s global leadership team to focus on sustained growth in both purpose and profit: Barnes’ appointment to Chief Purpose Officer; and Michael Edwards’ appointment to the role of Chief Growth Officer, which took effect Jan. 1.

Thornton said he believes the Chief Growth Officer (CGO) and Chief Purpose Officer (CPO) will help Intrepid Group become the first billion-dollar adventure travel company, while donating $3 million into local communities through The Intrepid Foundation by 2020.

Meanwhile Zand’s appointment as Head of Business Development for Intrepid Group North America is in direct response to the rapid growth Intrepid has experienced in North America over the past two years, says Barnes.

Barnes adds: “We are confident Shayna is the best candidate for this position. She is a great example of the growth possibilities in the Intrepid Group. She started working with the company six years ago as a tour leader, transitioning into a role as Business Development Manager for the past few years and, now, will be responsible for further developing the North America business.”

In her role as Head of Business Development, Zand will continue to work with industry partners and develop new partnerships in an effort to continue the record growth Intrepid Group has seen in the region.

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