New owner Cilla Utne and former owner Carole Angermeir in Sausalito, CA
I have exciting news. After twenty-four incredible years at the helm of Cross Cultural Journeys, I am passing the torch to a new leader, my long-time friend Cecilia Utne, a.k.a. “Cilla”. More on this amazing woman in a bit.
When I founded Cross Cultural Journeys way back in 1991, my vision was to create a different kind of travel experience for our travelers, one that offered journeys of the spirit and the heart as well as of geographies and cultures, journeys that could feed one’s soul as well as satisfy one’s desire to explore the world.
Cross Cultural Journeys was also created to offer socially responsible, culturally aware travel that would promote global awareness and understanding between our travelers and those they met along the way. I purposely structured the organization as a values-led rather than personality-led company.
With my background in anthropology and my desire to help transform the minds and hearts of everyone involved in our journeys, I have much in common with my friend, and now colleague, Cilla Utne, who will lead Cross Cultural Journeys into the future. As the new owner and CEO, Cilla will bring a powerful combination of skills, experience, and passion for intercultural consciousness, sustainability and low-impact travel.
Born and raised in Sweden, Cilla holds an MBA in Sustainable Business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute and a BA in Intercultural Studies from Stockholm University. She is passionate about finding ways to connect the values and expertise of local communities in less-consuming cultures with the resources and knowledge that exist elsewhere in the world. For the past 15 years she has worked as an expert on intercultural consciousness, has delivered hundreds of cross-cultural programs to senior corporate executives, and has been a frequent speaker on the links between cultural values and sustainability.
Based in the US since 1998, Cilla has lived for extended periods in Spain, the UK, Chile and Guatemala and has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Latin America, including a number of trips to Cuba, a major Cross Cultural Journeys destination. She is fluent in Swedish, English, and Spanish and has a working knowledge of Portuguese and German. She lives with her husband Leif and son Mateo in a co-housing community on Bainbridge Island, Washington.
I will continue to stay involved with Cross Cultural Journeys as Ambassador-at-Large as well as remain a director of our sister organization the Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation. This will include planning and leading trips around the world as well as working closely with Cilla to assure a seamless transition.
Please join me, and the rest of the team in welcoming Cilla to Cross Cultural Journeys. We are in good hands!
Carole Angermeir, Founder, Cross Cultural Journeys