Meet the team

Between us, we have visited all seven continents, summited over 50 mountains, and competed in over 25 marathons! More importantly, we have raised over $570,000 collectively and assisted in raising millions for a wide variety of charities. All of this means that we are perfectly placed to offer advice and assist in making your trip epic! 

Simon Varley  CEO  Simon is based at our HQ in New York and is responsible for managing the day to day operations of the office. He works hard to ensure that the Choose a Challenge team is providing the best service possible and offering the best, safest, and most enjoyable experience to all our adventurers across the USA.  Originally hailing from London, England - Simon has run marathons and ultra marathons across the world, taken on the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro, trekked along the Great Wall of China and even had a go at canoeing down parts of the Nile.

Simon Varley
CEO

Simon is based at our HQ in New York and is responsible for managing the day to day operations of the office. He works hard to ensure that the Choose a Challenge team is providing the best service possible and offering the best, safest, and most enjoyable experience to all our adventurers across the USA.

Originally hailing from London, England - Simon has run marathons and ultra marathons across the world, taken on the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro, trekked along the Great Wall of China and even had a go at canoeing down parts of the Nile.

Mike Crocker  Senior Brand and Marketing Coordinator  Mike is responsible for ensuring that Choose a Challenge's life-changing destination trips are offered to as many students as possible across our target areas. He also manages the online visual and social brand of Choose a Challenge in the United States.  Originally Putnam Valley, NY - Mike loves to run, kayak, and travel as often as possible. One of his favorite trips was in November 2018 when he booked a last minute solo trip and spent a week in Amsterdam with nothing but his backpack.

Mike Crocker
Senior Brand and Marketing Coordinator

Mike is responsible for ensuring that Choose a Challenge's life-changing destination trips are offered to as many students as possible across our target areas. He also manages the online visual and social brand of Choose a Challenge in the United States.

Originally Putnam Valley, NY - Mike loves to run, kayak, and travel as often as possible. One of his favorite trips was in November 2018 when he booked a last minute solo trip and spent a week in Amsterdam with nothing but his backpack.

Gabriela Gialaboukis  Senior Care and Support Coordinator  Gabby is here to ensure our students are as prepared as possible before taking on a challenge with us. She also works closely with our charity partners to make sure fundraisers are being fully supported throughout their journey.   Raised in Mahopac, NY, Gabby attended college at Pace University in Manhattan, where she received her degree in communications. She now resides in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Her first travel memory is visiting her family in Greece, while her most recent adventure was a Dubai getaway with friends.

Gabriela Gialaboukis
Senior Care and Support Coordinator

Gabby is here to ensure our students are as prepared as possible before taking on a challenge with us. She also works closely with our charity partners to make sure fundraisers are being fully supported throughout their journey.

Raised in Mahopac, NY, Gabby attended college at Pace University in Manhattan, where she received her degree in communications. She now resides in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Her first travel memory is visiting her family in Greece, while her most recent adventure was a Dubai getaway with friends.

Sam Jackson  Senior Operations Coordinator  Sam takes care of the "behind-the-scenes" details with Choose a Challenge. He organizes all the logistics of our challenges so the only thing you have to worry about is physical training and not forgetting your passport!

Sam Jackson
Senior Operations Coordinator

Sam takes care of the "behind-the-scenes" details with Choose a Challenge. He organizes all the logistics of our challenges so the only thing you have to worry about is physical training and not forgetting your passport!

Ben Burtis  Sales and Development Coordinator  Ben was born and raised in Falmouth, Massachusetts and attended UMass Amherst for four years, graduating with a degree in Economics. He has always had a passion for exploring the world, meeting people of unique backgrounds, and enjoying the outdoors. All of these interests really came to fruition during the summer of 2017 when he and a childhood friend of his embarked on a month long road trip across the US and Canada. Now Ben hopes to continue his travels around the world with Choose A Challenge.

Ben Burtis
Sales and Development Coordinator

Ben was born and raised in Falmouth, Massachusetts and attended UMass Amherst for four years, graduating with a degree in Economics. He has always had a passion for exploring the world, meeting people of unique backgrounds, and enjoying the outdoors. All of these interests really came to fruition during the summer of 2017 when he and a childhood friend of his embarked on a month long road trip across the US and Canada. Now Ben hopes to continue his travels around the world with Choose A Challenge.