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Meet teamRSVP

Randle Roper-Olson
President randle@rsvpvacations.com

Randle joined teamRSVP in June 2013. Prior to becoming President, he was part of the leadership team of Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ vaunted Ambassador Service – the crown jewel of the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program. Randle worked for five years as Director of Entertainment & Operations for Atlantis Events and for nearly 16 years at Universal Studios Hollywood, where he managed the world famous Studio Tour. At age 27, Randle had a massive stroke. It was probably the best thing that ever happened to him – setting his life on its current wild and wonderful course. He made a promise to himself that after recovery, he’d finally see the world. So he got his passport and set a goal of visiting 100 countries by age 40. He’s happy to report he’s up to 118 and now has his eyes firmly set on traveling to them all!

A few of Randle’s favorite things:

Patrick Gunn
Vice President of Marketing patrick@rsvpvacations.com

Patrick is RSVP’s and Atlantis’s dual-branded marketing lead. Prior to joining the team, he was the Global Account Director at OMD media agency, working exclusively on Levi Strauss. He’s also played integral roles on leadership teams at Disney, EA, Yahoo!, HP, and Procter & Gamble. Patrick has circumnavigated the globe twice by ship on Semester at Sea, traveling to over 40 countries. He is passionate about cycling and has participated in Aids/Lifecycle twice. Patrick lives with his husband, Michael, and their two dogs, Luca and Bella, in Santa Monica.

A few of Patrick’s favorite things:

James Compton
Director of Guest Experience – Entertainment & Operations james@rsvpvacations.com

James joins us after having served on teamRSVP for our 2014 and 2015 Caribbean cruises. He comes to us directly from Studio3 Performing Arts Convention, where he created performing arts education intensives as Director/Producer. Originally from southern Indiana, James has lived in New York City and most recently in St. Louis, where he also graduated from the city’s famed performing arts conservatory at Webster University. He is grateful to have held various positions in arts/events management, project management, and non-profit fundraising and he’s thrilled to be part of the RSVP family and community.

A few of James’ favorite things:

Ellen Schneider
Producer

Ellen is a woman. And a straight one at that. But oh does she know the gays! She works alongside our Director of Guest Experience, James Compton, helping pull together each RSVP experience in her role as Producer. Many of you may know her from her years as the Queen of Club Atlantis, producing our sister company’s events in Cancun and Puerta Vallarta – something she proudly continues to do in addition to her work with RSVP. Ellen is a New York native with a B.A. in Graphic Design from Philadelphia’s famed University of the Arts. After working in the rough and tumble world of New York publishing for several years, Ellen got bit…by the travel bug! So she left NYC, moved to Mexico, and joined Club Med as a G.O., where she frolicked and found her true passion (Mexican hombres). Fast forward over two decades later and the rest is gay travel history!

A few of Ellen’s favorite things:

Nareth Chuon
Graphic Designer/Photographer

Nareth has been part of teamRSVP since early 2013. What started out as a freelance photography job turned into a full-time position as our in-house photographer and graphic designer. Born and raised in Long Beach, California, Nareth studied graphic design at the Art Institute of Los Angeles. He loves photography, art, and traveling.

A few of Nareth’s favorite things:

Shervin Michaels
Director of Accounting
It is only appropriate that Shervin should be working for RSVP: his life started with travel. He was born in Germany, lived in Iran, moved to Washington, D.C., and eventually settled in Los Angeles at age 10.  He was officially bitten by the travel bug at 22 when he traveled to Europe on his own for the very first time. Since then, he has lived/worked in three different countries and visited nearly fifty. Traveling has been the zest of his life. Along his journey, Shervin managed to find time to receive his CPA license. He joined the RSVP/Atlantis family in 2010. 

A few of Shervin’s favorite things:

Mark Westerfield
Staff Accountant

Mark is a true farm boy, having grown up in rural Illinois on a ranch with every kind of animal imaginable. Who knew wrangling animals would lead to a career wrangling LGBT vacationers? But that’s where Mark finds himself. A family man with nine nieces and nephews, Mark left Bloomington to pursue his California dreams. Before joining teamRSVP in Los Angeles, Mark worked in administration at State Farm and as a project coordinator for a general contractor in Laguna Beach. He loves to stay active and, of course, loves numbers. Ready to take on every challenge that comes his way with vibrant energy and inextinguishable passion, Mark is a Scorpio through and through.

A few of Mark’s favorite things:

Abel Diaz
Senior Reservations Expert

Abel first joined RSVP as an on-ship volunteer in Europe in 2012. Having relocated from our former Minneapolis office to California, he’s now the senior member of our Los Angeles-based Reservations Experts Team. Originally from Mexico, Abel worked at Disney for 3 years and has done aerial acrobatics with Xelias. Xelias Aerial Arts recognizes each individual’s raw talent and uses it as a base to build confidence, courage, and strength through circus training. No doubt those nimble skills will come in handy on teamRSVP. Abel speaks fluent Spanish and is currently completing his Communications degree at St. Thomas University in St. Paul. Only one more Statistics class to go!

A few of Abel’s favorite things:

Michael Reilly
Reservations Expert

Growing up in Massapequa, New York, Michael started working in gay travel shortly after birth. Well…maybe not that early, but he’s had an impressive 20+ years working with Atlantis Events and now RSVP Vacations. He is our “Gay Travel Guru" – the man who literally knows everything. As an avid photographer, Michael has explored the far reaches of the earth, with Venice, Rome, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Cuba, Santorini, and Thailand among his all-time favorite destinations in which to shoot. Although he loves travel, the true loves of Michael's life are his cats Woody and Spooky.

A few of Michael's favorite things:

Joey Barney
Reservations Expert

Originally from suburban Detroit, Joey's mother attended a Donna Summer concert while she was pregnant with him and thus it became inevitable that he would end up selling gay cruises. After earning his BS in Travel & Tourism Management from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, Joey moved to Los Angeles. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, spending time with his family on the East Coast, exploring Los Angeles, fitness, and keeping up with current events, architecture, and design.

A few of Joey's favorite things:

Johnny Yamamoto
Reservations Expert

Johnny joined teamRSVP in early 2015 and works as one of our dual-branded (RSVP and Atlantis) Reservations Experts. Originally from Corona del Mar, California (the REAL O.C.), Johnny moved to L.A. to attend the University of California, Los Angeles then went on to complete his masters/PhD in International Economics at Stanford. He is an accomplished gymnast, having competed both as a member of the U.S. Men’s National Sr. & Jr. Teams & UCLA's Mens Gymnastics Team. In his "free” time, Johnny continues to manage his businesses, coach competitive athletes in 7 sports, surf, sail, compete in triathlons, perform (triple-threat), play piano & violin, guest lecture for university courses, travel, spend time with family & friends, and volunteer for local charitable organizations.

A few of Johnny’s favorite things:

Sam Mao
Reservations Expert

Originally from Oregon, Sam was first inspired to travel by his 7th Grade teacher, Mrs. H, who’d regale her students with tales from afar. That ignited a passion inside young Sam that eventually led to a career in the industry he grew to love, working first for United Airlines as a flight attendant and later with RSVP/Atlantis as one of our Reservations Experts. The youngest of three boys, Sam considers himself the ultimate foodie and has enjoyed his culinary adventures through 5 different continents (only Africa and Antarctica remain to be discovered) immensely. Although his English skills are impeccable, Khmer (Cambodian) is his native tongue. សប្បាយរីករាយ ធ្វើដំណើរជាមួយនឹង RSVP!

A few of Sam’s favorite things: