Meet Our Team

Our New Zealand Team Members

Lance loves to experience Asia and the amazing ancient traditions and cultures.

How would you describe yourself in three words?
Practical, Observant and Honest. My wife might say I am a little too practical at times.

You originally started in investment banking, yet your life since the early 1990s has been all about travel?
I knew I always wanted to travel so when my friend suggested travelling the world for twelve months I thought why not. Twelve months became four years! Between my passion for history and different cultures, this trip was life-changing. The travel bug had bitten deep and there was no going back. In our industry and especially Asia, everything runs at a million miles an hour and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Living in New Zealand is my ultimate rejuvenation.

How does travel influence your work?
My vocation is also my vacation. Every culture has its unique way of producing experiences which enable me to reinterpret into our work here at Active Asia.

How is it working with your wife?
We operate slightly differently and that’s probably why we manage to work well together. We play to each other’s strengths and know when to step up (or back) to get the best results.

Where is your next place you will be travelling to?
Next stop: Sri Lanka followed by Vietnam to celebrate Active Asia’s 20th Anniversary and then to Japan, finishing the year off in Melbourne with family and friends.

Lance you’ve been in the industry for over 20 years now ….. email or phone call?
ALWAYS phone call.

09-360 7669

Lance Mould

Managing Director

Valentina loves being immersed in new places and totally disconnecting from being at home. She advises that freedom translates into creative energy that goes into her work.

When did you want to start traveling?
Everything started in Ho Chi Minh City for me. I was privileged to be invited to be on the trip when we hosted House of Travel top 30 superstars reward trip and my passion for travel was ignited. I FELL IN LOVE & now I am obsessing over the next trips.

Looking forward to?
A research trip to Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Japan this year.

You originally started out in fashion & Interiors for quarter of a decade and now you have changed to Travel. Why?
I feel I have won the trifecta! Fashion and Interiors will always be a huge part of me but after Ho Chi Minh City I have room for one more new love. Travel.
“Funnily enough, this move in to a whole new industry has been invigorating and humbling, I have many different projects on the go at the moment at Active Asia but the most exciting part of this new role is being the support between the wholesaler and retailer. It’s a wonderful project to be involved in.”

Enduring influences?
Some of the biggest influences in my life have been my husband, always positive and encouraging. My supportive family is always there for me, too.

How does travel influence your work?
I love being immersed in a new place and totally disconnecting from being at home. I think that freedom translates into creative energy in my work.

Finally, 10 resolutions for the rest of 2018, what would they be?
1. Glam up Active Asia office space. 2. Buy a good looking car to visit retailers. 3. Do more yoga. 4. Eat more local produce. 5. Travel any time the opportunity pops up. 6. Stress less. 7. Declutter. 8. Complete more really long walks. 9. Read a lot, lot more. 10. Drink more (organic) Champagne!

09-360 7669
valentina@activeasia.co.nz

Valentina Mould Morelli

Creative Director

Joanne wants to further explore Japan by rail pass which is her next ‘must do’ on the list.

Which three words sum you up?
Approachable, enquiring, compassionate.

How did you start out in the travel industry?
When I moved to New Zealand from Scotland I wanted to work in travel and use my Spanish that I had been studying at uni so I applied to Aerolineas Argentinas who took me on.

What is your favorite place on Earth and why?
Borneo for its wildlife, people and scenery.

Which country has the friendliest people?
Malaysia.

What is the most interesting item of food you’ve tasted?
Coconut rat in the Mekong Delta.

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met so far?
An elderly teacher at my primary school who had travelled widely and loved sharing her stories and insights with her pupils. She helped ignite my love for travel.

Where is your next place you will be traveling ?
Japan.

09-360 7669
jo@activeasia.co.nz

Joanne Hooper

Acting Product Manager

Ana is our Sales and Marketing Executive and joined Active Asia in September 2017 and has been involved in the travel industry in Australia and Latin America working in the Hotel Industry and the Chateaux Relais publication.Along with her background in Fine Arts and Interior Design she has always been intrigued by the Travel Industry and the connection with art.

As a member of Active Asia her job is to assist you and discuss your travel options and exiting news about Asia to make a stimulating adventure that will stay with you and your clients for ever.

09-360 7669
ana@activeasia.co.nz

Ana Mon

Sales Guru

Lynn has travelled extensively to many countries within the Asian region.

Which three words sum you up?
Knowledgeable, Creative & Well Travelled or Passionate?

How did you start out in the travel industry?
After years of working in the IT industry in NZ, Australia & the UK. Decided to go from working to travel to selling it when I returned back to NZ permanently. So I could continue to enjoy my passion.

What is your favorite place on Earth and why?
nle Lake as so different that anywhere else I have been. I love the fact that everything is on the water, including floating gardens & you travel by boat between everything.

Which country has the friendliest people?
Myanmar or Laos.

What is the most interesting item of food you’ve tasted?
BBQ Scorpio – had to try it just to see…

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met so far?
2 x Monks on the flight from Bangkok to Luang Prabang. They were on the flight I was on last week & we had a very interesting conversation before boarding the flight about their lives, expectations etc.

Where is your next place you will be traveling ?
Hong Kong for work.

09-360 7669
lynn@activeasia.co.nz

Lynn Meechan

Travel-Group Designer

Billy has a lust for international travel has seen him visit more than 60 countries and all 7 New Wonders of the World.

Which three words sum you up?
Honest, Caring, Joker.

How did you start out in the travel industry?
After my father passed away I decided to travel the world to take photo’s standing in exactly the same places he once did and merge his black & white photo album with my photos. In the process I’ve visited around 70 countries, lived in 7 countries (including Laos, Cambodia and Thailand) and visited all 7 New Wonders of the World. Travel is my greatest passion?

What is your favorite place on Earth and why?
Thailand… great food, constant warm weather, cheap beer!

Which country has the friendliest people?
A toss up between Laos and Cambodia.

What has been the most interesting item of food you’ve tasted?
Deep fried spider (tarantula) in Cambodia.

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met so far?
My Mum, she’s the biggest star in my eyes?

Where is your next place you will be traveling ?
Laos on the next Active Asia famil!

09-360 7669
sales@activeasia.co.nz

Billy Davison

Travel Designer

Two of Jades favourite destinations are Vietnam and Laos – they truly have won a place in her heart.

Which three words sum you up?
Curious, Trust Worthy and Honest.

How did you start out in the travel industry?
I started out by studying Travel and Tourism at New Zealand School of Tourism, whilst I was studying I saved up for a 3 month trip around Asia which lead me to 10 countries, once I got back from Asia for 3 weeks I had an internship opportunity to go work at Walt Disney World in Florida for 6 months. Upon completing that I returned to New Zealand seeking a career in Travel which I successfully gained hear at Active Asia.

What is your favorite place on Earth and why?
Luang Prabang in Laos. Luang Prabang is my favourite place to visit because when you are there you truly feel at ease. Everyone is happy and living a simple life. It is a quite town where you can wander around without a worry in the world.

Which country has the friendliest people?
Most friendliest people I have come across is Japanese, they are always whiling to help you out even though English may not be their first language.

What is the most interesting item of food you’ve tasted?
Cricket Tacos at Teotihuacan in Mexico.

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met so far?
My dad is the most interesting person I have met so far, what he has done and how far he has come!!

Where is your next place you will be traveling ?
I will be travelling to China next on Saturday.

Jade Walkden-Wright

Travel Designer

Sachiko has just started at Active Asia, so Vietnam and Cambodia are now on her list of ‘to visit’ countries.

Which three words sum you up?
Don’t know….I tried this link and the result was Humble, Kind, Loyal!
You are Humble and Loyal.
You are sweet and very honest. You are dependable and very supportive. People look to you when they need help. You are sweet and smart, and mildly introverted.

How did you start out in the travel industry?
JTB in Japan.

What is your favorite place on Earth and why?
Okuhida onsenkyo, Gifu & Kamikochi National Park, Nagano.
I’m from Gifu and my family used to drive to Takayama, stayed at onsen ryokans in Okuhida onsen then go to Kamikochi national park next morning.
Kamikochi is a remote mountainous highland valley within the Hida Mountains range and it’s a fantastic area for trekking and where you can see spectacular autumn colours and also I used to do cross-country skiing in Kamikochi too.
I love staying at onsen ryokan and experience kaisei dinner (dozens of tiny dishes, exquisitely presented, featuring a set menu of regional specialities made from seasonal implodents) and relax having onsen bath.

Which country has the friendliest people?
NZ & Japan.

What is the most interesting item of food you’ve tasted?
Hachinoko, bee larvae & pupae cooked in soy sauce and honey.
When I was a child, I used to help preparing my grandma making hachinoko…imagine a child taking the larvae and pupae from honeycomb using a pair of tweezers…
Here is the recipe
You need:
• 1 cup bee larvae & pupae!
• 2 tablespoons oil
• 2-4 teaspoons Japanese soy sauce
• 1 teaspoon honey or sugar
Heat oil and fry over medium heat. Fry the breed stirring constantly.
When it begins to dry add soy sauce and honey or sugar and continue to fry until crispy.
You can purchase tined or bottle hachinoko in Japan if you ever want to try!!

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met so far?
My grandparents, especially grandmas. They survived through wars and build their life with very little resources, full of knowledge.
Used to love to hear about their stories when I was a little girl.

Where is your next place you will be traveling ?
Undecided.

Sachiko Lord

Travel Designer

Stephen is our man, who manages everything that comes across his desk naturally with ease and a huge smile.

Which three words sum you up?
Food, Wine Fun.

How did you start out in the travel industry?
Hotel/Hotel Software background and started own cleaning company – doing admin and accounts.

What is your favorite place on Earth and why?
Home/our apartment. Is my sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle.

Which country has the friendliest people?
New Zealand of course!!

What is the most interesting item of food you’ve tasted?
Durian – yuk!!!

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met so far?
George Michael!

Where is your next place you will be traveling ?
BALI!

Stephen Grogan

Accounts & Office Administration

Our International Team Members

Italy is high on Phan’s list to travel. She’s in love with Italy’s history and knows it will make a memorable travelling experience.

Which three words sum you up?
Friendly, soft, organised.

How did you start out in the travel industry?
I graduated with a major in Business Administration and was accepted to work in the travel industry. I really enjoyed this role and was fortunate to travel intensely to many places in Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore. I joined Active Asia Vietnam in 2015 and I feel privileged to work so closely with the New Zealand team in this boutique business.

What is your favorite place on Earth and why?
Italy is high on my list to travel. I am in love with Italy’s history and really look forward to visiting the museums, art, culture and discovering different tastes through their food. Italy I know will one day make a memorable travelling experience for me.

Which country has the friendliest people?
Thailand. Although communication with each other is quite hard they are always ready to help you unconditionally.

What is the most interesting item of food you’ve tasted?
Durian ….. If you’ve smelt it, you would more than likely not want to taste it, but if you are brave enough to try it you will find it is the best fruit ever!

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met so far?
Fr. Long, Society of Jesus is not only interesting but inspiring. He has been part of my Dad’s life since Dad was a teenager. He is a gentle priest and respected theologian. He has an abundance of wisdom to share. His stories are intelligent and engaging, a very down-to-earth priest who has inspired me and taught me so many lessons about life.

Where is your next place you will be traveling ?
Bali.

Phan Thi Mai Sương

Travel Designer

Oanh has a plan to explore Taiwan with her friends next year, spending time in Taichung and Taipei which are located in the central and north of the island.

Which three words sum you up?
Energetic, friendly and open-minded.

How did you start out in the travel industry?
I graduated in Travel and Tourism majoring in Management. While I was a student, I joined a project to be a guide for foreign tourists who were visiting Saigon. I think it’s really exciting to introduce tourist’s to our culture, people and the stories behind the most active city in Southeast Asia. I am respectful and curious about the different culture’s that come to Vietnam. Working for Active Asia New Zealand is a new experience for me as I get to explore more than one country.

What is your favorite place on earth and why?
Bhutan. I always wanted to visit “The World’s Happiest Country”. I love the way they live and how they treat people. More than that, Bhutan is very famous for its temples and yoga. They teach people how to slow down the speed of life. I love that.

Which country has the friendliest people?
Vietnam, China, US and New Zealand.

What is the most interesting item of food you’ve tasted?
I love spicy and sour flavours and love noodle soup like Pho, and Bun Bo which are made from rice noodles and really famous in Vietnam.

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met so far?
My dad. He is not only my advisor but also the best listener in the world.

Where is your next place you will be traveling ?
Taiwan. I have a plan to explore with my friends next year. I’m going to spend time in Taichung and Taipei which are located in the central and north of Taiwan.

Truong Buu Oanh

Travel Designer