Meet the team


Ross Borden / CEO / Co-Founder of Matador / Twitter: @rossborden

Since starting Matador in 2006, Ross Borden has worked with dozens of brands and destinations on custom content and viral marketing campaigns. He is an expert at destination/tourism marketing and in 2013/14 will be speaking at travel/tourism conferences in Berlin, Mexico, Norway, London, New York, and Namibia. He has lived in Spain, Kenya, and Argentina, and currently splits time between New York and his native San Francisco.

Ben Polansky / Co-Founder of Matador

Ben Polansky is one of the founding members of Matador. He has lived in Spain, traveled in Asia and Africa, taught in Central America, and trekked and surfed his way through South America. He lives in San Francisco, where he manages a youth leadership program and travels vicariously through the Matador community.

Network Design & Development

Stefan Klopp / CTO / Twitter: @kloppster

Stefan Klopp is the CTO of Matador and all around tech ninja. He keeps the Matador turtles at bay, all the while developing the latest features for the site. Stefan is a craftsman at heart with a passion for travel, and a photographic eye. He has been known to bake a mean cake, and brew a tasty beer.

Doug Mcleod / Developer

Doug works tirelessly developing all the wonderful features of Matador. With years of experience in both design and programming he is able to craft unique multimedia experiences. Living in Vancouver he is often found riding the local trails on his mountain bike.

Sales & Marketing

Katka Lapelosa / Managing Editor & Director of Social Media / Twitter: @katkatravels

Katka is a travel writer and editor based in New York. Her first eBook, 101 Guys to Date Before You Die, launched in 2013. Other publications include articles for Reader’s Digest, GM’s Drive the District, Thought Catalog, Travel Fashion Girl, Listicle, Yelp!, Groupon, and more. Follow her on Twitter for 140-characters worth of travel-related antics.

Katie Scott Aiton / MatadorU Director of Sales & Editorial Outreach Coordinator

Katie has been traveling Asian/Pacific region for 10 years working as a forensic anthropologist and regional analyst. She hails from Scotland, where she studied Anthropology and International business progressing to Sydney to study and teach in the School of Peace and Journalism. Katie has worked for the United Nations as a translator, negotiator and media liaison in Cambodia, Australia, and New York. When she not surfing, chasing summers and eating coconuts, she is writing stories in Sydney, Australia.


David Miller / Senior Editor / Twitter: @dahveed_miller

David Miller is senior editor of Matador (winner of 2010, 2011 Lowell Thomas awards). After living with his wife and two young children in Patagonia, Argentina, he’s recently settled back in Asheville, North Carolina.

Hal Amen / Managing Editor, AdOps Manager / Twitter: @halamen

Hal has lived in South Korea, Bolivia, and Argentina, and is currently settled in Austin, TX. He is the co-author of Korean for Beginners and My First Book of Korean Words. His often-neglected personal blog is at WayWorded.

Joshua Johnson / Contributing Editor / Twitter: @joshywashington

Josh has spent the last 10 years telling stories about travel online. He has created, edited and curated content for Matador Network for 5 years. Josh loves strong coffee, classic literature and never travels without his snorkel. In between his travels he calls Los Angeles home.

Debbie Gonzalez Canada / Spanish Editor & Translator / Twitter: @debgcanada

Debbie prefers not to tag herself, but if she must: She chooses dancer, friend, traveler, facilitator of learning and sustainability specialist wannabe. Keen on trying new things and meeting diverse beings with whom she can practice the art of conversation, she particularly enjoys working with kind-bright-joyful-creative people and has been privileged to do so in a number of non-profits, experiential learning projects, and now Matador. Argentine by birthplace, she is now looking forward to moving to Australia for a Master’s in environment.

Gaía Passarelli / Portuguese Editor & Translator / Twitter: @gaiapassarelli

Born and raised in São Paulo, Gaía is a passionate music geek who created Brazil’s first electronic music website back in 1997, had a glimpse of the television world as reporter for local MTV, and recently found her way back to the interwebs creating a YouTube channel and a blog. She is currently obsessed with early jazz music and European train routes. Her blog and portfolio can be found at

Matador Ambassadors

Cody Forest Doucette / Matador Ambassadors Team Manager

Cody Forest Doucette was born in the heartland of Wisconsin, raised in the mountains of Idaho and educated on the beaches of California at UCSB. Working with his twin brother, writer Kitt Doucette, he has spent the past six years circling the globe in pursuit of images and experiences which capture both the beauty of the natural world and the complexity of the human condition in the 21st century. You can find more of his work on his website,

Staff Writers

Morgan de Boer / Staff Writer / Twitter: @morgandeboer

Morgan is a native of New Jersey who lives in Hayama, Japan. She likes to write about food, travel, and being one half of a military family. She is studying creative writing and working on a collection of essays on Japan.

Dikson Slam / Staff Writer

Dikson is a spoken word artist and writer from Zimbabwe. He’s performed around Europe and Africa and works with a cultural activist network that runs hip-hop events in Harare, Zimbabwe, and is editor of the Zimbabwean youth site To check out his spoken word scour away on YouTube or hit up

Richard Stupart / Staff Writer, Associate Editor / Twitter: @wheretheroad

Richard Stupart lives and works in South Africa, exploring as often as possible the strange and unknown places that his continent is so rich in. What stories of far flung places and mischief he is able to trap and bring home are stuffed and mounted on his blog at

Alyssa James / Staff Writer / Twitter: @aaljames

Alyssa is an outgoing introvert from Toronto who has read The Alchemist a few too many times. After graduating university, she taught English on a Caribbean island where she realized her passion for writing. Since then, her work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Teaching Education Journal, local newspapers, and on White Horse Digital. Her latest musings on life in London can be read on her blog, Alyssa Writes.

Matt Hershberger / Staff Writer / Twitter: @MattHershberger

Matt is a writer and blogger based in Washington, DC who has lived in London, Buenos Aires, and Beijing. His hobbies include profanity, Scotch consumption, and human rights activism. You can find him at A Man Without a Country.

Matador Productions

Scott Sporleder / Head Producer / Director of Travel Filmmaking program, MatadorU

Scott is a professional photographer, graphic designer, and filmmaker who found his passion for travel documentation while living in China. Scott’s most recent project, “Ixim”, is a documentary short about indigenous Guatemalans. When Scott is not on the road you can find him in the ocean near his home in Laguna Beach.

Eric Warren / Staff Writer / Twitter: @advenjunkie

Eric Warren is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker with an unhealthy, dichotomous love for the natural world and all types of modern transportation. Based in Billings, Montana, he is usually found exploring the American west in a 1994 Chevy Cavalier convertible or riding backcountry trails on his mountain bike. His current projects include filming a documentary about a rural town that started a 24-hour mountain bike race to save its cafe, as well as creating exploding blood packs and cleaning machine guns on the production crew of a zombie movie.

MatadorU Faculty

Carlo Alcos / Dean of Education MatadorU & Managing Editor / Twitter: @vagab0nderz

Carlo lives in Nelson, BC where he ponders big life questions, tends to his garden, and enjoys fresh mountain air. His work has appeared on CNN Travel, Asian Traveler, and Huffington Post TV. You can find him on Facebook here.

Sarah Park / Student Advisor, Contributing Editor / Twitter: @itsmesarahp

Sarah Park is currently spending her quarter-life crisis shuffling between the endless sunshine of San Diego and the incredibly long winters of the Eastern Sierra. She lives and works in Mammoth Lakes, against the beautiful backdrop of trees, mountains, and grungy snowboarders who smell. When not out snowboarding, Sarah occupies her time hiking with her boyfriend and their dog, making disastrous mistakes in the kitchen, and trying to decide where they should live next. Read about her latest exploits on her blog, which she occasionally remembers to update.

Kate Siobhan / MatadorU Writing & Photography Faculty / Twitter: @katesiobhan

Kate Siobhan is a writer and photographer from Vancouver, BC. Holding a degree in Creative Non-Fiction / Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and armed with a camera, Kate has been on the road on and off since 2005. When not writing for Matador or working at the U, Kate runs The Giving Lens, and runs international teams of photographers on humanitarian / travel photography trips. Interests include beer, more beer, sleeping, surfing, reading, instagramming, coffee, more coffee, and her husband. Probably in that order. Work and travels found at

Daniel Nahabedian / Contributing Editor, MatadorU Photography Faculty / Twitter: @Eloren

A 5-language speaking multicultural guy, Daniel Nahabedian left behind his cubicle in 2009 to start a long journey and follow his true passion: Photography. After a year of travel, he is currently settled in Chiang Mai, north of Thailand to work on his travel photo website Canvas of Light, become a full time freelance travel photographer and spend his days planning his next meal.

Candice Walsh / MatadorU Writing Lead Faculty, Contributing Editor / Twitter @candicewalsh

Candice Walsh is a Contributing Editor at Matador and the Lead Writing Faculty at MatadorU. After completing a BA in English and a diploma in Professional Writing, Candice worked as a technical writer for a deep sea technology company for two years before moving into full-time location independence. Her writing has been featured in,, AOL Canada, Reader’s Digest, and various local newspapers. Her east coast Canadian publications have included SOAR, ahoy!, Marine Atlantic Onboard Magazine, and the Newfoundland Quarterly.

Noah Pelletier / MatadorU Writing Coach, Contributing Editor / Twitter: @flyingknuckle

C. Noah Pelletier is a claims adjuster turned writer drawn to the offbeat side of travel and culture. He is working on a book about growing up in the American South, marrying an expat, and becoming one himself. Noah lives in Düsseldorf, Germany, where he keeps The Flying Pork Knuckle, drinks beer, and leads his wife on wild goose chases. Check out his adventures at


Erin Kennedy / Intern / Twitter: @erinskennedy

Erin Kennedy is an intern at Matador and will be starting her senior year at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in the fall. She hopes to combine her studies in digital journalism with her passion for travel to explore the world and tell stories along the way. Besides hiking and camping throughout Arizona, other interests include cooking, reading, enjoying coffee and playing piano.


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