AKA THE FAT PANDAS
Hailing from Coventry, England, Steve has been living in and around Thailand for 10 years. A self–confessed travel–addict, Steve's passion for helping those less fortunate led him to Thailand as a volunteer in 2007. That fateful trip was a life–defining moment for him. To his mother's horror, after returning to England Steve had no second–thoughts in giving up a high–powered career in marketing and advertising, purchased a one–way ticket and moved lock, stock to Thailand to give what help he could to those who need it.
Steve's eye for detail is something that you'll experience first–hand on any of the Bamboo tours or volunteering placements. He's the one who heads up the operations teams and is a real stickler for making sure that even the little things do exactly what they're supposed too.
In what limited free time he gets you'll find Steve sweating like a lunatic at running events across Thailand. He's a very keen half–marathoner, has completed several full marathons and in April 2017 will be running the London Marathon for the first time.
Steve is 43 years old. He married Lerdtida in 2011 and is now father to two very demanding children; 5 year old, Tyler and 1 month old, Lewis!
Mark is the Co–Founder of Bamboo and previously the Co–Founder of The Bamboo Project. The brain–child of over 10 years of travel, far too many moon parties, a flip–flop, elephant selfies, 3000 hi5's and piggy backs, tuk tuks, spicy food, bad tans, wanderlusting, awe–inspiring, toe–tapping, bucket guzzling adventures with a wee touch of magic.
Mark is the creative one (and the younger) of the 3, ensuring the Bamboo brand, the bamboo family, our karma and anything else we create is fresh, of the highest standards and upholds our fundamental principles to be the greatest adventure company the planet has seen.
Born in Cardiff, Wales, Mark loves his mam, a pint and rugby (a true Welshman). Inspired at a young age to see the world, Mark spent years wandering and meeting amazing people (most of whom helped shape his persona today). That was until finally one dark and stormy night he met a fellow knight of travel–adventure–awesomeness, Steve Williams, and after exactly 3 pints and a packet of cheese and onion crisps, Fat Panda and The Bamboo Project was spawned into existence! Never looking back they are proud of their Bamboo Baby, the team that help support it and excited for what the future beholds.
Mark is currently single...ahem (just saying).
After leaving school at 16, Colin Salisbury was told that he was best suited to being a construction worker, did he prove them wrong! Colin went on to get a Masters in International Development, and it didn't stop there. As a part of his thesis, Colin flew from his home country New Zealand to Ghana to complete a research project for World Vision. Whilst there, Colin had a light bulb moment: There is so much need around the world, and so many people who are willing to help, but they just don't know how. What the world needs is a go–between. Something that could link willing volunteers with these local organisations... A Global Volunteer Network.
In December 2002, Colin launched an organisation bearing this very name (GVN) with nothing but a computer, $500 and a couple of mates to help him out. This organisation then flourished into an internationally recognised NGO, placing over 22,000 volunteers across 20+ countries. Whilst doing this, he also launched a Youth Ambassador program, a US non–profit, a global solar lighting project, and a training academy for social change makers. As well as this, he personally volunteered in Ecuador, Ghana, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and locally in his home country, New Zealand.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Colin is now pursuing new dreams by joining forces with Steve and Mark from the Bamboo Project to form a new travel brand called: "Bamboo."
Colin is not only the "big ideas" guy, but the guy who brings those big ideas to fruition. You'll spot him as the one with the perfect balance of chill–down–to–earth–kiwi and charismatic entrepreneur.
As well as being a proud kiwi, marketing guru and international development black–belt, Colin is a husband to his lovely wife Jo, and has two creative teenage daughters. When he's not travelling the globe, Colin's favourite things to do are spending time with his family, drinking good wine, and going jet–skiing.