Hot Springs Initiative Members
The Hot Springs Initiative is an international wellness ThinkTank dedicated to exploring the diverse values of geothermal waters for health, recreation, tourism and community. We seek to connect the global communities involved with geothermal water and to provide network events and conferences to help grow consumer and political awareness of this unique segment of recreation, health and tourism markets (industry). Our intention is to connect the global community of hot springs and geothermal resources by raising awareness of this unique and distinct segment of global recreation, health and tourism industry (community).
Our task force members include:
Managing Director, Slovenian Spa Association, Slovenia
Iztok was appointed to the position to the manager at the Slovenian Spas Association nine years ago, after he spent most of his career in the tourism business. Before this position he was the CEO of Globtour, one of the most important Tour Operators at that time. In his years of work in the Association, Iztok established strong connections to the Health, Spa and Wellness industry in the region of Central Europe. One of the most important projects he is leading and running is “SPA-CE”. The Slovenian Spas Association is also the Founding Member of the Balkan Spa Institute, where Iztok took the role of developing the Balkan Spa Award.
COO, VAMED Vitality World, Austria
Tom J. Bauer celebrates more than 25 years in the international hotel industry, with six years as chief operating officer for market leader VAMED Vitality World. Tom’s daily responsibilities include working with over 1,600 colleagues in nine properties in Austria and Hungary to drive health awareness and deliver medical and hot springs wellness to create and stimulate happiness.
Professor Marc Cohen, MBBS (Hons), PhD, B MEd Sc (Hons)
Professor of Health Sciences, RMIT University and Chair, Australasian Wellness Association, Australia
Professor Cohen is one of Australia’s pioneers of integrative and holistic medicine. He is currently chair of the Australasian Wellness Association and a professor at RMIT University where he leads postgraduate wellness programs and supervises research in nutrition, herbal medicine, yoga, lifestyle, and the health impact of pesticides, organic food and detoxification.
Prof. J. Paul de Vierville, PhD
Owner & Director, Spa Cultures, United States
Dr. J. Paul de Vierville is Professor of History and Humanities at Alamo Colleges, St. Philip’s College, and is a Jungian Psychotherapist/Analytical Consultant. He has been associated with the Balneotherapy Association of North America and the International Association for Study of Dreams. He owns the Alamo Plaza Spa at the historic Menger Hotel in San Antonio,Texas and runs a Spa-Waters: Dreams and Cultures seminar.
Jean Guy de Gabriac
Jean Guy de Gabriac, CEO, TIP TOUCH International, France & Belgium
Jean-Guy is an award-winning spa/wellness advisor & educator since 2001, assisting hotels, spa operators & cosmetic brands to go from GOOD to GREAT, integrating WOW factors in their marketing, communication & SOPs to boost client satisfaction. Jean-Guy also serves as conference producer of the World Spa & Wellness Convention ; judge of the World Spa & Wellness Awards ; and founder World Wellness Weekend celebrated in 88 countries on the Equinox of September (21-22 Sept 2019).
Dr. Nelia Jonker
Dr. Environmental Science UNISA, South Africa
Dr Nelia Jonker recently completed her PhD entitled Balneological classification of South African thermal springs at University of South Africa focusing on balneo-climatology in cure of various diseases. Nelia has more than 10 years’ experience in the environmental sector. She has a passion for community development and the use of remedies of place to embrace health and wellness.
Lecturer, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts Business, Switzerland
Roland Lymann has lectured on destination management and health tourism at the Institute of Tourism since 2008. He holds an “ITW-Forum” with the Swiss wellness industry, is supervisor of the Swiss Wellness destinations and cures, teaches at other universities, gives speeches at conferences and evaluates research projects. Previously, Roland worked as the director of tourism and was responsible for 35 holiday resorts in Europe.
Owner Principal, Under a Tree Health and Wellness Consulting, United States
Amy McDonald is the owner of Under a Tree Consulting and has designed world class wellness experiences over 30 years that support optimal health and sustainability on an international level. Specialties include turnkey development and operational consulting globally. An advocate of water’s healing properties, Amy has chaired the Hot Spring Initiative for GWI for the past 2 years.
Chief Researcher & Manager at the Research Institute, Mitsui Knowledge Industry Co., Ltd., Japan
Tomonori Maruyama is dedicated to global research on current issues such as spa services, quality standards of therapists, labor markets, industry structures, regulations and overseas recruitment systems. As chief researcher of Mistui Knowledge Industry, he and his team undertake studies for the spa industry commissioned by the government. Currently, he is engaged in co-innovation projects with major companies.
CEO, Resort Trends, Inc. in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, United States
With vast tourism industry experience spanning 35 years and a passion for travel, Vicky Nash operates the tourism marketing firm Resort Trends, Inc. which specializes in project management, public relations, communications, content creation, and graphic design for destination marketing organizations, convention & visitor bureaus, tourism associations, attractions, historic sites, resorts, hotels, hot springs, and spas. She implements an integrated approach to communicating specific messages to a variety of targeted audiences including visitors, members, partners, and media outlets. She has played a vital role in creating award-winning campaigns, most recently the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop.
CEO and Co-Owner, Toskanaworld GMBH, Germany
Marion Schneider is CEO and co-owner of Toskanaworld, Klinikzentrum Bad Sulza, Hotel an der Therme Bad Sulza and Bad Orb, Hotel Resort Schloss Auerstedt and Toskana Therme Bad Sulza, Bad Orb and Bad Schandau, all in Germany. She is president of the non-profit Ourchild and on the advisory board of several organizations. She is the author of several books and holds an MA in History as well as in German language and literature.
Chairman, Chongqing Hakone Hot Spring & Thermalism Industry, China
With decades of experience in the planning and development of thermal projects, Jeff Wang has served hundreds of premium cases. He has led and worked on the drafting and formulation of four national and industrial hot spring and spa service standards. In 2012 and 2016, he was awarded a Certificate of Merit by FEMTEC to honor his work promoting thermalism, health spas, hydrotherapy and climatotherapy in China.
Hot Springs Research and Development, James D White Ltd, New Zealand
James White is an experienced research and development consultant to the hot springs bathing and spa industries. He is currently engaged to document global best practices in the hot springs industry, which will identify sustainable growth opportunities for public and private businesses in New Zealand and Australia. He holds an MBA degree, and his thesis topic was commercial bathing and spa development concepts.