Our Team

Patan-Durbar-Square-Daily-Life (1)

Our team is passionate about creating transformative and personal experiences that will last a lifetime. On our journeys, we immerse you in the culture’s art, history, music, culinary delicacies, and ancient and indigenous traditions. We visit local people, experience natural beauty, learn about social justice, the health of the environment and the practices of the land.

Cecilia “Cilla” Utne, CEO of CCJ and VP of CCJ Foundation

Cilla joined Cross Cultural Journeys as CEO in January of 2015. Since the late 90's, she has worked in the field of intercultural consciousness and facilitated cross-cultural training programs for executives living and working across cultures. A native of Sweden and a world traveler, she has lived for extended periods in Spain, the UK, Chile, Guatemala and the US. She holds an MBA in Sustainability from Pinchot University and is often a speaker on the links between sustainability and cultural values. Cilla is also a budding author, working on a novel about her mother’s childhood, contemplating how unresolved trauma can impact future generations. Based in the US since 1998, she lives on on Bainbridge Island, WA where she is co-parenting her teen son with her ex-husband Leif. She loves the outdoors, long walks with her French Bulldog puppy Lola always by her side.


Leif Utne, Chair of CCJ Foundation

Leif is a technologist, journalist, musician and social entrepreneur. Leif is chairing the CCJ Foundation and occasionally leads trips. By moonlight, he can be found playing music, coaching youth soccer, facilitating un conferences, promoting the sharing economy. Leif has led marketing and sales for a variety of online technology and media startups, and spent eight years as online editor at Utne Reader magazine. A jazz flute master, he lives in an intentional community with his girlfriend Rebecca, where he also co-parents his teen son Mateo with his ex-wife Cilla.


Wilford Welch, Ambassador-at-Large and Board Member, CCJ Foundation 

Wilford, a former U.S. diplomat, professor and publisher, is Chair of the CCJ Foundation, and Ambassador-at-Large for CCJ. Wilford recently wrote "The Tactics of Hope, How Social Entrepreneurs are Changing our World", and is currently creating a website and book entitled, "Co-creating Prosperity - Moving to a World that Supports all People and the Planet". Wilford is a recognized speaker on solutions to the global sustainability challenge. He lives on a houseboat with Carole in Sausalito, CA.

Carole Angermeir, Founder, Ambassador-at-Large and Board Member, CCJ Foundation

Carole started Cross Cultural Journeys in 1991 with the vision that socially responsible, culturally aware, low impact travel was important — where small groups can meet and share with the people of another culture, thus promoting global awareness and understanding — for both the travelers and those visited. She lives on a houseboat with Wilford in Sausalito, CA.


Francie Brown, Bookkeeper

Francie has been working in the travel industry since 2000. Previously, she worked in the legal industry which imbued her with a precise attention to detail. She loves to travel, particularly to sunny, tropical places, but also gets a kick out of historical landmarks. She is very proud to be a part of a large family and is thrilled to be an active and loving grandmother. She lives in Bremerton, WA.


Tom Crowell,  Project Manager and Salesforce Systems Administrator

Tom has over 20 years of experience working with supply chains, logistics, and information technologies with major Bay Area companies. He enjoys working with team members bringing order to chaos, efficiencies to ineffective processes, and lower costs to all aspects of the business. Currently based in Wyoming, Tom enjoys any outdoor adventure, especially if it involves biking, skiing, hiking or sailing.

Socially responsible travel for individuals and member organizations interested in global awareness, indigenous wisdoms and societies at the crossroads.

Scroll to Top