Jessica Pociask | Owner/Expedition Guide, WANT Expeditions
With hundreds of expeditions and 80 countries under her belt, Jessica Pociask is considered the most "adventurous woman in travel." From guiding travelers up a volcano to view an active lava lake in Congo (Virunga), to crossing the Greenland ice sheet via dogsled, Jessica's field experience is unparalleled. Her awards include 50 Tours of a Lifetime from National Geographic, DC Modern Luxury's Brightest Entrepreneur's Under 40, and being declared "your tour guide for crazy destinations" by the Washington Post.
As a child, Jessica spent hours poring over her grandfather's collection of National Geographic magazines. "I think it was not only the allure of the exotic destinations and exploration in general, but the teamwork and collaboration that is necessary for a successful expedition that ultimately drew me into the group travel industry."
Jessica is fascinated with the way Internet access is changing the face of travel. "From a tour operator's perspective, it's a great way to connect travelers from all over the world on unique tours to new and exciting destinations." More important, the Internet allows Jessica and her staff to keep in touch with local contacts on a regular basis, through apps such as Skype and Whatsapp and through social media platforms—which enriches their relationships with the communities they visit, making a better tour experience for their guests.
As for Jessica's prized accomplishment, why should there be only one?
"My greatest accomplishment so far is a toss-up between being awarded National Geographic's 50 Tours of a Lifetime in 2014 for WANT Expeditions' Greenland Dogsled trip, and being the first North American company to lead an expedition to the top of Nyiragongo to see its lava lake in Virunga National Park."
Jessica Pociask is one of the 2016 Top 10 Next Gens, as nominated by Groups Today readers for making a difference in the industry with her creative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit. Click here to see the January/February magazine.
Know a group travel professional making an impact on the industry with a fresh, progressive perspective? Nominate him or her for 2017's Top 10 Next Gen here.