R.V. Irrawaddy Explorer
R.V. Irrawaddy Explorer
R.V. Ganges Voyager
R.V. Ganges Voyager
R.V. Mekong Navigator
R.V. Mekong Navigator

The Company


HAIMARK OWNERSHIP

Haimark was founded in Breckenridge, Colorado, in 2013, and is a partnership between Marcus Leskovar, an Austrian national, Tom Markwell, a US national, and Hai Giang, a Vietnam national. With more than 70 years of combined experience in the tourism industry, the partners discovered the absence of true luxury ships on the rivers of Southeast Asia, committing their new company to provide a product that would appeal to travelers from around the world, and inspire them to visit some of the world's most fascinating, but rarely visited locations. 

 

Marcus Leskovar - Managing Partner, Finance and Procurement

With two decades of tourism and operations experience, executive Marcus Leskovar earned his Master of Management in Hospitality (MBA) at the Tourismusschulen Salzburg, Klessheim, in Salzburg, Austria, and his Bachelor of Science at the Hotel & Gastronomy School, also in Salzburg.  Currently the Managing Partner for Finance and Procurement at Haimark, Ltd., Leskovar founded the company with partners Tom Markwell and Hai Giang as the first U.S.-based luxury river cruise company and Destination Management Company focused on Southeast Asia and India.  Prior to co-founding Haimark, Leskovar was President of Pandaw America, Inc., of Breckenridge, Colorado, a company he established in the United States and Canada for parent company Pandaw River Cruises. - See more at: http://www.haimarktravel.com/why-haimark/the-company#sthash.1gmHSRIy.dpuf

 

Tom Markwell - Managing Partner, Sales & Marketing

As Managing Partner for Sales and Marketing at Haimark, Ltd., Tom Markwell brings two decades of travel industry experience, along with extensive knowledge in planning, program management, sales and delivery for luxury river-cruise and land-based ventures worldwide.  Formerly, Markwell served as Vice President for Sales and Marketing for the U.S./Canada Division of Pandaw River Cruises in Chicago, Ill.; Vice President for Sales at Thomas P. Gohagan and Co., also in Chicago; General Manager at Decatur Travel of Decatur, Ill.; and was Corporate and Leisure Travel Advisor for Carlson-Wagonlit Travel, also of Decatur.  Markwell earned his B.A. in Business from Eastern Illinois University and his Assoc. of Applied Science in Tourism from Robert Morris College.

 

Giang Hoang Hai - Managing Partner, Operations

Haimark, Ltd., Managing Partner for Operations Giang Hoang Hai brings two decades of Southeast Asia travel-industry perspective and experience to the company.  Giang is Founder and Co-owner for Sales and Marketing of Indochina Partner Travel for both Cambodia and Laos, and Founder and Co-owner for Sales and Marketing for ICN Travel for Vietnam. Giang has been managing ground operations for tourism in Southeast Asia since soon after earning a B. A. in Education and Linguistics from the University of Science, Society and Humanity of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, a B.A. in Foreign Affairs from the Institute of Foreign Affairs - External Relation Service of Ho Chi Minh City, and completed the program in Hospitality and Tourism and Management from the Institute of Hospitality Management of Ho Chi Minh City.

 

HAIMARK ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

The administrative services division, located in Lakewood, Colorado, and is headed by partner Marcus Leskovar. The division is responsible for all the company's contracting and accounting, as well as human resources. 

 

J. Luis Correa - Accounting Administrator

Luis Correa comes to Haimark from Coyne College, where he served as Bursar. With a degree in Business, Accounting, and Audit from DePaul University, Luis has worked for The Dreyfus Corporation and The Bank Of New York over the past 15 years. He is also a former US serviceman, trained in ship control and navigation. Luis joins Haimark as our Accounting Administrator, and will be working with all our offices and ships around the world.

 

Lisa Larue - Accountant

Haimark’s accountant, Lisa Larue possesses both a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in accounting, and is a licensed CPA. After spending six years managing an Ernst & Young audit team, Lisa followed her love of the outdoors to Breckenridge, Colorado, and spent the next two decades managing her own CPA business and managing rental properties, as well as serving as manager and accountant of a local restaurant. She spends her off-time skiing, hiking, biking, and camping, and enjoyed her first international trip with Haimark in 2013, when the entire staff traveled to India to experience our newest itinerary.

 

HAIMARK CREATIVE SERVICES

The creative services division of Haimark is overseen by Nikki Fitzgerald, a US national. Responsible for all asepcts of Haimark's marketing material, Nikki's team writes, edits, designs, and produces brochures, pre-departure informational documents for guests, and onboard materials. 

 

Nikki Fitzgerald - Director of Creative Services

Nikki Fitzgerald joined Haimark in 2014 as the Creative Services Director, responsible for the design and release of all Haimark marketing materials. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Nikki has a degree in graphic design, and has worked as a graphic designer for 16 years, the last 10 in the travel industry. Immediately prior to joining the Haimark Team, Nikki was senior graphic designer at Thomas P. Gohagan & Company in Chicago. She also has extensive experience as a freelance designer for various individuals and companies throughout the country. Originally from South Dakota, Nikki now lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter. 

 

HAIMARK LAND OPERATIONS

Haimark's Land Operations division, led by Laurence Gosset-Lukaszczyk, a French national, is primarily responsible for the land portion of all Haimark tours, including hotel and restaurant arrangements, optional excursions, transportation vendors, local entertainment, and land extensions. The division also supervises tour managers, local guides, and local Haimark offices. 

 

Laurence Gosset-Lukaszczyk - Vice President, Land Operations

With more than a decade in marketing and operations, Laurence Gosset-Lukaszczyk brings a diverse portfolio of international experiences to Haimark. Most recently the Planning and Operations Manager for Pandaw America of Chicago, Illinois, a city where she also served in planning and operations roles at two other companies. Earlier, she was a Marketing Assistant and Product Marketing Analyst for Denver, Colorado’s, Theaters and Arenas where she created a marketing plan for the Denver Coliseum, Denver Performing Arts Complex, and the Red Rocks Amphitheater and Visitor Center. Gosset-Lukaszczyk came to the United States after serving as event coordinator for two major festivals in France, where she was also working in sales and business development for a travel agency and a radio station.  She earned a Master’s degree in Tourism and Event Planning from Blaise Pascal University in Clermont-Ferrand, France, which brought her to Colorado State University as an exchange student. She has also earned a Tourism Certificate from the French School of Tourism, and a Bachelor’s degree in marketing from Jules Verne University in Amiens, France.

 

Michelle Bell - On-Site Land/Cruise Operations Manager

Michelle joined Haimark after spending 11 years managing both the international, educational, and sports travel programs of the University of Arkansas Alumni Association, planning travel packages for groups as large as 750 people, events for up to 2,500 people, and to destinations as luxurious as the Greek Isles, as exotic as the Galapagos Islands, and as far away as Antarctica. Michelle has personally traveled to more than 35 countries in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Originally joining Haimark as a tour manager, she moved into operations in 2013 and now based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, overseeing ground operations in SE Asia. Michelle has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Sociology, and has completed coursework towards a Master of Arts in Hospitality Management.

 

Jennifer Bing - Land Operations Manager

Jennifer joins Haimark as a Land Operations Manager after spending four years managing corporate incentive travel for Landmark Incentive Marketing in Chicago. With a bachelor of science in Hospitality and Tourism Management, Jennifer brings extensive experience in hotel, event, conference, and group management to Haimark's Land Operations division. In addition to trip planning, over the past nine years, she has also negotiated vendor contracts, maintained budgets, and served as a travel director. She also worked for Renaissance Hotels and the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. She has traveled extensively in Europe and currently lives in Chicago. 

 

Haimark Tour Managers

On request, Haimark contracts tour managers to manage all aspects of our clients' full, land/cruise programs. Supervised by the land operations division, our tour managers are experienced, English-speaking, highly-qualified program managers, who oversee all aspects of the programs, including guides, transportation, excursions, flights, and immigration, ensure guests have the opportunity to relax and enjoy their Southeast Asia experience, without worrrying about the details. 

 

Chantel Thomas - Tour Manager

Chantel Thomas joined Haimark's team of professional tour managers in the fall of 2013, successfully managing 13 groups on one of our Mekong programs. Originally from St. Lucia, Chantel has a degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Arkansas, and previously worked in guest services for The Peabody Orlando and at the Inn at Carnall Hall. She served as a Disney cast member, and has extensive experience in event planning. She was selected for Who’s Who Among College Students in 2010, and has presented papers in “green” business practices. She has traveled extensively across the US, Asia, and the Caribbean.

 

Haimark Local Offices

Haimark currently manages ground operations through their local offices in Yangon, Myanmar, and Hanoi, Vietnam. 

 

Vu Minh Toan - Office Administrator, Haimark Myanmar

A native of Vietnam, Toan Minh Vu has extensive experience in operations and guest services, spending the past four years as Guest Service Officer and Front Desk Team Leader at the Park Hyatt Saigon, the leading luxury hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. After completing his education at the Saigon International Tourism and Marketing School, Toan worked at destination management company Indochina Partner Travel in Phnom Penh, Riverside Saigon Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, and Vinpearl Resort and Spa in Nha Trang. Toan will manage day-to-day operations in the Haimark Myanmar office. 

 

HAIMARK SALES

The Haimark sales division is supervised directly by partner Tom Markwell. The division is responsible for both charter and FIT sales of all our ships, worldwide. 

 

Dick Burkemper - US Sales

Dick Burkemper leads U.S. Sales for Haimark, building upon three decades of experience in the sales for the river cruise industry. Burkemper worked for INTRAV, the company that pioneered the concept of river and small ship cruising, for fifteen years and advanced to the level of Senior V.P. of Sales and Marketing. Burkemper later was Executive V.P and General Manager for Gohagan, and then in 2003, started his own company called International Destination Marketing, which he co-owner with a partner.  The company was the North American General Sales Agent for multiple companies with 5-star ships on the Nile, Volga, European rivers, the Amazon and in the Galapagos Islands.

 

Steven Dobbins - Sales Director

Steven caught the travel bug 10 years ago during a corporate sabbatical in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, and has visited destinations such as Namibia, Botswana, Brazil, Ecuador & Galapagos, Mexico, Singapore, Laos, Thailand, Taiwan, China, Japan and Mongolia. From 2008 to 2013 Dobbins worked for Berlin-based private train and river cruise specialist tour operator Lernidee Erlebnisreisen, developing new markets around the world. Steven recently joined Haimark’s sales team, and works with clients in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

 

Cheryl Jensen - Sales Manager

Before joining Haimark, Cheryl Jensen spent more than a decade supporting an executive-level sales team as a Sales Administrator. In that role, she serviced more than 200 client organizations participating on more then 38 global travel programs - a portfolio that represented nearly 12,000 passengers in 2013 alone.

 

HAIMARK PASSENGER SERVICES

Our passenger services team works directly with sales, land, and ship operations, sharing information across the company, in order to ensure the best information and best experience is delivered to all Haimark guests. 

 

Jesse Markwell - Passenger Services Coordinator


A Chicago native, Jesse Markwell brings more than 10 years of experience in building and managing customer relationships to Haimark's passenger services department. After studying psychology at DePaul University, Jesse joined PNC Bank, where he served customers for more than 10 years, advancing to the role of Assistant Vice President. He has traveled extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, including visits to Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, France, Italy, Germany, and the UK, and is currently pursuing a degree in organizational leadership from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. 

 

HAIMARK SHIP OPERATIONS

Ship Operations for Haimark are managed by company vice president Dianne Mohan, a US National. The division oversees all aspects of the Haimark cruises, including both culinary and hospitality management, on board entertainment and lectures, and shore excursions. Dianne's team also works with the marine and technical crews both on board and in each country. 

 

Dianne Mohan - Vice President, Ship Operations

Graduating with a degree in Management from Indiana University - Bloomington, Dianne Mohan soon joined the elite Cunard Cruise Line aboard the M.V. Cunard Countess. Over nearly a decade traveling throughout the Caribbean and Mediterranean aboard the Countess, she held numerous positions including Crew Purser, Berthing Officer, Housekeeping Officer, and Public Rooms Officer. In 1997, Dianne worked briefly worked as an Assistant Hotel Manager before arriving at Thomas P. Gohagan & Company, where she served as Senior Program Operations Manager and Director of Passenger Services. She joined Haimark in December 2013.

 

Haimark Hospitality Team

Part of the division of Ship Operations, Haimark's hospitality team is directly responsble for all on board hospitality services. Hospitalty director Steff Rau, a German national, and assistant hospitality director, Carlynne Rau, a South African national, supervise housekeeping, restaurant, bar, and guest services teams on all ships, setting procedures and standards, and selecting amenities for both the suites and public areas. Hotel managers on board all our ships are part of the Hospitality team. 

 

Steff Rau - Hospitality Director

Steff Rau serves as the Hospitality Director for Haimark, Ltd., bringing more than two decades of experience in the luxury hotel and restaurant industry. Rau is in the process of completing his Master Sommelier Exam with the Court of Master Sommeliers in London, and currently holds the Advanced Diploma of the Court of Master Sommeliers. Before joining Haimark, Rau was Hotel Director and Corporate Wine Buyer for the Basel, Switzerland, office of luxury river cruise company Uniworld. Rau's restaurant experience includes owning and managing L’Aperitivo Restaurant and Wine Bar in Cape Town, South Africa, which he conceptualized and developed, and serving as Food and Beverage Director for Regent Seven Seas Cruises & Hotels of Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. Rau also served as General Manager and Wine Director for the Vong Restaurant Group for The United States and Hong Kong, Head Sommelier and Cellar Master for Scottsdale Princess Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., Restaurant General Manager & Wine Buyer for Christopher's & Christopher's Bistro in Phoenix, Ariz., and served in foodservice apprenticeship programs in Germany and France. Rau holds a B.A. in Hotel Management & Marketing from EHL Lausanne in Switzerland.

 

Carlynne Rau - Assistant Director of Hospitality

Born in South Africa, Carlynne Rau completed a degree in Tourism Management, and began her career with Norwegian Cruise Liners, where she served as receptionist and purser until Radisson Seven Seas Cruises/Regent Seven Seas Cruises) invited Carlynne to join their reception team. Following management positions at Cape Riviera Guest House and one of The Cascades Collection exclusive properties, Carlynne joined Uniworld Boutique River Cruises as a purser, relief hotel manager, and resident manager for the past four years, before joining Haimark as the Assistant Director of Hospitality. She has traveled extensively throughout parts of North and South America, Asia, the South Pacific, and the Mediterranean and Baltic countries. .

 

Nikhil Suresh - Ganges Voyager Hotel Director

Nikhil Suresh was born in Chennai, in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Moving to the United States with his family at the age of six, he attended school in Chicago, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Advertising from DePaul University. His love of travel inspired him to pursue a Master’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Roosevelt University. In addition to more than six years of restaurant and guest service experience, Nikhil's frequent travel to visit family and friends in India over the years also brings extensive knowledge of his home country and culture to the Haimark team. 

 

Joshua Youngerman - Irrawaddy Explorer Hotel Director

Joshua Youngerman began his career with Haimark as a tour manager for Uniworld Boutique Cruises' Timeless Wonders program on the Mekong River in 2013. Following the spring season, he moved into the corporate offices as the Operations Administrator. Beginning in the summer of 2014, he will transfer back to Southeast Asia as the Irrawaddy Explorer Cruise Manager.  A graduate of Loyola University in Chicago, Joshus was previously an English instructor for the MOMA Kids Kindergarden in Beijing, China, and the Beijing 21st Century Experimental School.

 

Haimark Culinary Team

Haimark's culinary team, a part of the ship operations division, is led by Jorg Penneke, a New Zealand national. Designing menus, sourcing food and supplies, supervising all culinary staff, and managing supplier relations, are the primary responsibilities of the culinary team, keeping in mind the Haimark goal of minimizing our environmental impact. The team also set high standards for both food safety and guest satisfaction, and designed the kitchens and bars on board each Haimark ship. 

 

Jorg Penneke - Culinary Director

Jorg Penneke has spent more than two decades perfecting his culinary style in kitchens across four continents, through cook apprenticeships at HO Gaststaetten Berlin, Restaurant Moskau, and attendance at the cooking school Simon Bolivar. Prior to becoming the Culinary Director for Haimark's cruises, Chef Penneke was the Executive Chef for Scenic Circle Hotel Southern Cross, Dunedin, New Zealand. Chef Penneke has overseen 4-star, 5-star, and 6-star galley kitchens on large and small cruises ships for over a decade, including Silversea, Crystal Cruises, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. He served as Corporate Chef for Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, and was Executive Sous Chef at Salt Restaurant, Auckland, during the New Zealand America's Cup 2011. In addition to his extensive culinary and kitchen management experience, Chef Penneke is also a Padi Advanced & Rescue Diver.

 

Dirk Schroeter - Corporate Chef

Dirk began his culinary career almost 25 years ago in Germany. Starting as a cook trainee at a hotel restaurant, he has continually pursued additional training and education in Germany, New Zealand, Thailand, and the United States, advancing to Chef Saucier, Chef de Partie, Sous Chef, Executive Sous Chef, and Executive Chef. After gaining extensive experience with cruise companies including Crystal, Celebrity, and SilverSea Cruises, and at various luxury resorts in Thailand, Dirk joins Haimark as our Corporate Chef.