Who We Are

Scott Dimetrosky, Founder

Mr. Scott Dimetrosky founded the International Mountain Explorers Connection (originally called the Himalayan Explorers Club) in 1996 after completing a six-month traverse of the entire Himalayan range, through Pakistan, India, and Nepal. Disturbed by the negative environmental and cultural impacts of tourism that he witnessed on this trip, Scott created IMEC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, to minimize the deleterious effects of tourism on the fragile mountain environments and cultures. IMEC established a number of initiatives, including a homestay program, volunteer handbook, teacher placement program, and the porter clothing bank, as ways to connect tourists more closely with the region and give back to the mountain cultures that provide so much to the tourists that visit. Currently, Mr. Dimetrosky designs and evaluates energy efficiency programs in the U.S. and stays connected to Nepal and Tanzania through his work on the IMEC Board of Directors.

Christine Minja-Trupin, Board Chairperson

Christine Minja-Trupin is a Tanzanian citizen and a resident in USA. Christine’s interest in community development began very early on in her career as a clinical technologist at Machame Lutheran Hospital. She was successful in organizing a women’s forum which became the first women’s group in Machame to receive funding from UNICEF to combat malnutrition. Before and after her education in the US, Christine worked with government, local and international NGOs in Tanzania, and as a consultant for USAID development programs in Xu Saharan African countries. Her most recent employment with Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee included evaluation of federally funded projects, grant writing, supporting public health-related research and teaching program planning and evaluation. Christine’s early retirement gives her the opportunity to provide needed care for her aging parents as well as improve quality of lives particularly among the subsistence farmers and porters in her home region of Kilimanjaro.

Jack Zuzack, IMEC Volunteer

Jack lives in Boulder, Colorado and has a love for adventure travel and mountaineering.  After several climbing trips to Nepal and South America, he saw first-hand the needs of the people living and working in these remote mountainous regions of the world. He noticed, in particular, how warm and generous these people are despite their difficult lives.  These travel experiences lead to Jack’s desire to make a difference in the lives of people living and working in the world’s mountain zones.  After joining IMEC’s volunteer staff in 2005 he served as clothing transport coordinator, office manager, and board member.  Jack continues to be inspired by the impact a small organization like IMEC can make.

Karen Capaldi, Board Member

Karen has been a Ski Instructor, US Forest Service employee, Professional Singer/Songwriter, Recruiter and Digital Production Artist. For the last 17 years she has exceeded all metrics in her role as Starbucks Store Manager through meaningful connections with her employees, peers and Senior Leadership. She created TheDreamMakerProject to inspire and connect Starbucks employees to lead a more meaningful life, using their job to get them closer to their goals and dreams. Using her own story as the pilot, she traveled the world, did volunteer work in Rwanda with Bridges to Prosperity, successfully summited Kilimanjaro, and interviewed Starbucks employees on their dreams. The result was a program that uses Digital Storytelling to start the conversation of “why are you here?” This technique galvanized a business/management tool to elevate the value of everyone it touches by showing relatedness and inspiration to empower engagement and a deliberate life. Karen makes her home in Colorado with her partner in crime Chuy (a boxer/bulldog mix).

Melissa Foley, Board Member

Melissa has lived abroad for several years consulting for various NGO’s in Greece, India, Cambodia, Thailand and Tanzania. Primarily focused on women’s health, education, advocacy and wildlife conservation she has developed and implemented sustainable outreach programs integrating responsible tourism and voluntourism with local community development. Most recently as founding Director of All About Africa a boutique marketing consulting firm to Africa tour operators, lodges and the largest safari vehicle manufacturing company in Africa, she has established international networks and is actively promoting the development of corporate social responsibility policies into the tourism industry. Utilizing over two decades of executive marketing and business development expertise in corporate America, combined with extensive global travel experience; she provides a unique perspective on tourism development.

Harry McLaren, IT/Website Support

Having become acquainted with KPAP when he was just 16 years old and living in Moshi, Tanzania, Harry later offered his emerging website development skills and has supported KPAP over the last 15 years. As a Cybersecurity Consultant, Harry works alongside some of the largest companies in the UK and, in his personal time, several charities and NGOs across Scotland. Harry volunteers his services as IT/Website Support, develops and hosts the IMEC and KPAP websites, and provides any additional ad-hoc advice required.