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Crooked Trails Announces New Executive Director

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Ambrose Bittner, Executive Director, Crooked Trails

Crooked Trails has selected Ambrose Bittner IV as its new executive director. Crooked Trails is a Seattle-based non-profit that builds tourism capacity and development projects at the request of communities around the globe. Ambrose is an experienced travel industry and non-profit leader with a background in community development projects.  

Crooked Trails board president, Dan Moore, says “Ambrose was hired to take the helm at Crooked Trails after our decision to refocus the organization away from offering international tours that included community-based activities to an organization that supports those community-based projects more directly—and in partnership with members of the travel industry who share that ethos.”

“I am truly honored and excited to join Crooked Trails,” said Ambrose. “The board’s decision to stop offering tours means that we can help other sustainability-focused, community-based travel companies achieve their goals. We are thrilled to be able to work in partnership with both local communities and travel companies to ensure that locally-led efforts to invigorate, diversify, and stabilize their communities will be fully funded and sustainable.” 

Ambrose is an alumnus of both Washington State University (BS in engineering) and the University of Washington (MBA). He brings over 30 years of small business and executive experience in diverse industries that have included tourism, technology, and engineering. 

Ambrose serves on the board of the US non-profit, the Mitrata-Nepal Foundation for Children, which supports education programs for disadvantaged children in Nepal. He is also the founder and managing director of the boutique travel company, Red Lantern Journeys, which arranges private cultural and adventure travel packages in Asia. 

“We are thrilled to be able to work in partnership with both local communities and travel companies to ensure that locally-led efforts to invigorate, diversify, and stabilize their communities will be fully funded and sustainable,” says Bittner. Photo Credit: Merrill Images

When asked how he thinks Red Lantern Journeys and other travel companies could work with Crooked Trails, Ambrose said “Tour operators like Red Lantern Journeys often visit communities who request projects they would like to support but run into a couple of barriers. First, they don’t have the resources or expertise to provide proper support to communities to ensure their projects are successful and sustainable for the long term. Second, they don’t have a good way to fundraise or ensure donations are tax-deductible for donors. Crooked Trails is the solution to both issues. Our Partnership Program provides community technical support, and project fiscal sponsorship, makes donations tax-deductible, and offers project transparency to donors.” 

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