Our Leadership Team
Located across four continents, our senior leadership team are the glue that binds the Camps model together. We have a resident British director in each region ensuring the smooth running of the Camps operation.
These are the guys that trek through jungles and savannahs to discover new camp locations. They meet with the local communities that surround each of our camps to realise the challenges they face and put in place mutual objectives. It’s from those conversations that our volunteer projects are then devised, to offer real solutions for the real world.
Stuart Rees Jones
Founder and CEO
My first chosen career was as a British Army Officer and whilst I loved every minute, I always wanted to build my own business. I decided to make the leap and spent several years leading expeditions to Tanzania and Kilimanjaro. I felt frustrated that I was unable to make a significant and lasting impact on the host environments and I saw that a permanent camp, co located and staffed by the community, to deliver on local challenges could be a solution. The company was started in Kenya, I learnt Swahili (rusty at best) and spent a couple of years with our team developing the community-based model that we have now been able to emulate in South East Asia and Latin America. Since then I have dragged my wife, daughters and Jack Russell around the world living in Asia, Africa and now the Middle East. It has given me a connection with the people, wildlife and environments that our business is built around and affords me the privilege of working with the huge diversity of inspiring people worldwide that make up our brilliant team. When we started out we weren’t quite sure whether we were a charity or a business. I now understand that we are a social enterprise, a fantastic company that lives by a strong ethical code and puts as much back into the planet as it takes out.
Chief Operating Officer
I’ve done a whole host of things over the years. From musician to clog-maker to chef. I’ve also travelled a lot and finally bumped into Stu during the very early stages of setting up Camps. A sucker for punishment, and a firm believer in the social enterprise model that we have built, I decided to support the cause and have been running the UK operation pretty much ever since. My responsibilities now stretch much further, being the COO I have the pleasure of overseeing the daily group operation from sales to operations to finance to strategy to systems and more. There’s never enough time in the day! I am also a previous chairman of the Expedition Provider’s Association (EPA).
Director South America
Having worked in outdoor education for many years, my career had taken me toward more mainstream education before I joined Camps International full-time. Leaving the tranquility of teaching literature in Dorset to set up and run the Camps’ Latin America operation took my family and I from rolling green countryside to a life at altitude in Quito and a less controllable set of challenges. However, I believe that we are still involved in education in its broadest sense so there is a logic to the career path above that, admittedly, might not be immediately apparent. I now spend my time accumulating loyalty points with LAN, flying between our offices in Quito and Cusco and promoting our operation throughout the major Latin American cities. I have moved the Latin America head quarters from Quito to Lima; swapping altitude for the possibility of surfing and the noisy chaos of a small city for that of a much bigger one. My wife, children and dog remain stoical.
After a long, and relatively uneventful career in the British Army, I moved into the expedition business, leading an assortment of trips across the globe, before ending up, and putting down roots, in Malaysian Borneo for a few years. I joined Camps in 2008 and set up the whole of the Asia operation from scratch, which means I can do everything from plan menus, fix vehicles, design buildings and negotiate with local community members as well as the dull stuff like spreadsheets, budgets, emails and dealing with local government regulations. Being responsible for the whole Asia ground operation and new business development down to Australasia means I am usually bouncing around at 40,000ft en route to, or returning from, somewhere (and not always exotic!). On the rare occasions I am back on the ground and near home, I prefer transport of the 2 wheeled pedaled variety, taking my chances with the crazy downtown traffic of Kuala Lumpur. The remainder of my time is spent trying to keep my two young sons amused and my Indonesian wife happy.
My first real career was as a commercial diver in the North Sea and the English Channel. After a few years of freezing cold dives and very rough seas, I realized that I had made terrible mistake and moved to Kenya to manage a large recreational scuba diving operation. That was 28 years ago and I have been here ever since albeit with a few minor developments, including a beautiful wife and 2 kids. I got involved and developed the very first Camps International locations in Kenya 13 years ago and now oversee the African operation. My job has a very rare quality, which enables me to see first hand, some of the amazing effects our projects have on thousands of needy individuals. I am sticking with it for now!
Carl is our Group Finance Director and joined Camps International in June 2010. He is responsible for all financial and fiscal management aspects of the group’s operations and provides leadership and coordination in the administrative, business planning, accounting and budgeting efforts of the group. He qualified as an accountant in 1998 and has over 15 years’ experience within a practice environment, advising an array of businesses including international groups and charities. His role includes directing and overseeing all of the Group’s financial activities both in the UK and all of its worldwide locations along with HR, Compliance and Company Secretarial matters.
Non Executive Chairman
James is responsible for the corporate governance, leadership and accountability of the board. He also monitors the roll out of the business plan and offers, when required, support and advice to the CEO. James is one of a number of founder shareholders of the business and has, prior to taking over as chairman, been a non-executive director for a number of years. He has travelled to most of the companies’ locations overseas and has considerable knowledge of the day-to-day activities of the company. James is semi retired having run and sold a number of very diverse businesses.