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  Vice President of Marketing  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 when he and three of his friends drove across the United States from NYC to LA, collecting a lifetime of memories and Snapchats in the process.

Mike Crocker
Vice President of Marketing

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 when he and three of his friends drove across the United States from NYC to LA, collecting a lifetime of memories and Snapchats in the process.

  Gabriela Gialaboukis  Challenge Coordinator  Gabby is here to assist in our recruitment processes, collaborate with schools and charities, and further our social media and marketing efforts. She is excited to build relationships with our student trekkers and partners, but also take on her first overseas challenge!  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 two-week Euro-trip last summer with her sister.

Gabriela Gialaboukis
Challenge Coordinator

Gabby is here to assist in our recruitment processes, collaborate with schools and charities, and further our social media and marketing efforts. She is excited to build relationships with our student trekkers and partners, but also take on her first overseas challenge!

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 two-week Euro-trip last summer with her sister.

  Sam Jackson  Digital & Logistics 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
Digital & Logistics 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  Challenge 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
Challenge 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.