CASSANDRA DE PECOL – Explorer & Producer
All her life Cassie knew she wanted to be an inspiration, but the question was how? She was raised in rural Washington, Connecticut by her parents Cynthia and Mark De Pecol alongside her brother Jason De Pecol. In her early years she attended Waldorf, Montessori, Public School and was Home Schooled by her parents. In junior year of High School at Shepaug Valley HS she decided to homeschool herself, but somehow that wasn’t enough. For college she attended Long Island University – Global College in Costa Rica, Green Mountain College, Post University, Santa Barbara City College and Galleleo Travel School before deciding to call it quits and take-off to travel the world on her own. All in all she completed 3 1/2 years before deciding school just did not fulfill her inner yearning for living life to the fullest. In August of 2009 she and her brother took off to travel to Europe and after a month of exploring Belgium, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland, they parted ways. Cassie continued on with what would be two years of travel across four continents with only $2,000 in her bank account. She slept in train stations, lived off of bread, swept floors and hitch hiked her way through the Middle East, Africa, South America and Asia while pursuing Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality through independently gained internships.
Still though, she felt as though she had a fire burning inside of her, even after having lived through such a unique upbringing and complex group of adult years through college, work and travel. Her dream since High School was to see every country on earth, and it wasn’t until her 25th birthday that she realized her life-long dream was in plain sight, just waiting for her to make a move. There was no better time to pursue her goal of seeing every country on earth. So, she spent one month sweating over a wall map and planning her itinerary for what would be, Expedition 196.
“I choose to live my life in a unique way. To live in iconic, low key lifestyle where I do what I want, when I want, and inspire those along the way.” – Cassie De Pecol
LOUIS D’AMORE – Supporter & Mentor
President & Founder of IIPT
Louis D’Amore is the Founder and President of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT). He has been instrumental in promoting the travel and tourism industry as the world’s first “Global Peace Industry” since the founding of IIPT in 1986.
In 1992, following the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (Rio Summit), he developed the world’s first Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Sustainable Tourism for the Canadian tourism industry. He also conducted the world’s first international study on Codes of Conduct and best practices in Sustainable Tourism for the United Nations.
His consulting experience includes working with governments at all levels, and private sector organizations in a range of areas including: research, planning, community development, social impact assessment, public participation, cultural/heritage development, and conflict resolution.