ABOUT

what is

kaanect

In the big picture Kaanect is a coaching company based around helping individuals and companies find perspective, purpose and passion. Of course this is easy to say, but when you boil it down, what does that mean?

We think that as we move into the post-COVID era, people are looking to find true connections in their personal and professional lives, and we want to be a catalyst for those connections. Kaanect brings together four inter-connected services - Travel Coaching, Small Business Consulting, Life Coaching and Idea Generation - all designed to give individuals and companies the space and platform they need to gain new perspectives, find their true purpose and live/travel/work with passion.

The last year has obviously been an incredibly disruptive time, but it also gave us all space to look at who we wanted to be, and what we wanted to do. Out of that space, the Kaanect Founders - Karen Caton (K), April Cole (a) and Andrea Ross (a), all came together, added the 'nect' and Kaanect (pronounced “connect”) was born! We’ve grown quickly, bringing the best talent/experience in coaching, travel and business to Kaanect and to you. Meet our Kaanect team here
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Meet the Team

Founder & CEO

ANDREA ROSS

Founder & Life/Wellness Coach

KAREN CATON

Founder & COO

APRIL COLE

Travel Coach

TARA BUFFINGTON

Accounting Guru

Dudley NIGG

Travel Coach

JENNIFER BARNABY

Marketing Guru

Paul raymore

Coach & SE Asia Regional Director

Naida Dizdarevic

Accountant

KANIKA PEOU

BOOKING COORDINATOR

SREYLEAK OUK

Systems Guru

LINDA CHHAY

Founder & CEO

ANDREA ROSS

At 10 years old when asked what she was passionate about, Andrea Ross boldly replied, ‘life’! This passion has paid off and Andrea has had a life filled with adventure. After moving to Cambodia at the age of 25 she started Journeys Within, a Southeast Asia travel company. Traveling the region over the next 10 years she opened offices in six different countries and created a multi-million dollar travel company. At the same time she founded Journey Within Our Community, a non-profit addressing issues faced by the local communities in Southeast Asia and bringing philanthropic travelers together with local community initiatives. After returning to the U.S. Andrea continued to develop Journeys Within and traveled the country speaking on Southeast Asia, philanthropic travel and global leadership. In 2017 Journeys Within was acquired and Andrea ran the transition and development of Wild Frontiers U.S. In 2020 with the travel industry in hibernation Andrea took a hard look at where she wanted to focus her time and energy. After enrolling in a UC Davis Life and Executive Coaching program, she realized her passion for empowering others, finding and developing solutions and coaching people and companies to their best selves, which all came together in the creation of KAANECT. She is thrilled to be working with April and Karen and bringing this powerful team to the world. She balances work and family and will still proudly decry her passion for life!

KAREN CATON

As a life coach, entrepreneur, fitness professional, athlete, and mother, Karen understands the challenges and importance of work/life balance to perform at an optimal level in all areas of life. Karen is a professional human and a life-long student of human potential and behavior. She has dedicated her life to holding space for her clients to tap into their potential, uncover sources of resistance, and discover their unique gifts to live a balanced and meaningful life. With over 20 years of wellness and coaching experience, Karen understands the connection between our hearts, minds, and bodies. That knowledge led her to become a certified wellness and life coach as well as a certified fitness trainer, who specializes in helping people step out from behind their fears and into their extraordinary. Karen’s clients are diverse, but they have one thing in common: they are driven, successful individuals with a hunger for self-awareness and a willingness to dig deep and evolve. Karen knows the power of coaching, first-hand. She turned to a life coach when she hit rock bottom in her own life. Divorce, gripping anxiety, depression, total lack of balance in her personal and professional lives; her life coach helped her to set the compass North. Her transformation was palpable. The experience was so powerful that it motivated her to turn her passion into a full-time career as a transformational life coach and fitness professional. Karen is a master at creating space to help clients develop insight and clarity around their personal and professional goals. She is willing to ask powerful and provocative questions to inspire clients to challenge their thinking and habits. Karen knows that beyond “uncomfortable” is the achievement of what seems impossible.
Founder & Life/Wellness Coach
Founder & COO

APRIL COLE

April is currently writing her autobiography which has the working title “Typical Suburban Housewife: Just Your Standard Mom of 2.5 Kids and Her Tales of Ghost Encounters, Intrepid World Travels, Robbery by Gunpoint, Being a Sales Savant and a Little Bit of Hollywood Glamour.” Having seemingly lived a few different lifetimes already, you can see her varied life experience woven within and throughout her unique perspective on life, business acumen and problem solving. In her early career April was an Executive Assistant to the Executive VP at 20th Century Fox and brought a level of competence and maturity that belied her young age. She started working with Andrea at Journeys Within Tour Company in 2005 and quickly rose through the company to become the U.S. Director. Clients considered April a friend and confidant, allowing her to truly understand their visions and needs so she could tailor the best and most personalized trips possible. In 2017, in partnership with her fellow leadership team, April helped to smoothly transition Journeys Within to Wild Frontiers U.S., becoming Head of Sales of a now much larger organization. Driven by innovation and doing right by her clients, April is constantly seeking a better way to approach a task or obstacle. Brilliant with systems and efficiencies, she embraces idea generation and small business success strategies. Her high level of customer service and demonstrated success in sales give her a pointed and distinct perspective on how to help small and medium-sized businesses be the best version of themselves . As a Rotarian leader and an engaged community member, April makes it her priority to give back and to inspire others to nurture that same spirit. She believes fiercely in the power that people have within themselves, and is passionate in her efforts to be a problem solver for her clients and community!

JEN BARNABY

As a life-long traveler and adventure seeker, Jennifer started working in the travel industry over 20 years ago. After moving to the Middle East in her early 30's by herself and spending 8 years living overseas, including time spent teaching scuba diving in SE Asia and studying yoga and Ayruedic medicine in India, she decided it was time to return to America and study to become a professional health and wellness coach. Combining her lifelong passions of travel, adventure and wellness has been a fulfillment of all the things Jennifer is passionate about in life. She was able to combine her skills and dedicate her time to her endeavours when she came on as a fulltime travel consultant for WIld Frontiers in April of 2019. Organizing adventure based trips for intrepid world travelers to exotic destinations and designing several wellness based travel itineraries to some of the most healing locations on the planet, Jennifer received accolades after being named a Condè Nast Travel specialist of the year last year. Dedicated to the life-changing impacts travel and wellness can have on her clients life, Jennifer is enthusiastic to spread her knowledge and love of her passions with others. Trained in coaching and teaching techniques, easy and fun to work with, devoted to her clients and creating truly unique travel and healing experiences, Jennifer prioritizes moving forward in a Post-Covid world by creating truly deep connections. Having suffered feeling lost, not-knowing herself and struggling to fully love herself, she specializes in helping others heal the uncertainty within themselves by encouraging world-wide exploration, by diving deep beneath the surface of the destinations she specializes in, and by cultivating the deep and loving connection we all possess within ourselves to develop and accept our own self-worth and self-love.
Jennifer believes healing and reestablishing our connections again will be our biggest Post-Covid challenge. Her conviction is that only by being able to fully connect, or reconnect with ourselves can we truly connect with others, our planet, and the greater world to which we all live with-in.
Travel Coach
Travel Coach

TARA BUFFINGTON

The two most enduring threads which have woven together the fabric of Tara’s life are travel and working with people to create amazing experiences. Tara is continually planning out and seeking the next adventure, whether it be temple-hopping in Southeast Asia, embarking on a grand river rafting / biking / hiking adventure from Cusco to Machu Picchu, backpacking in the Sierra Nevadas or Romania, or simply taking a drive to the nearest lake to soak in the sunset.
Already geared up with a passion for travel and several international experiences under her belt, when Tara set off on her career in the travel industry in 2015 she knew it would be a great fit (and it sure has been!). What she had not yet accounted for was how rewarding and life-changing it would be to make connections with people from around the world, and the paradigm shifts that this career path would provide. It brings her immense joy to use travel as a conduit for helping others to experience their own shifts while having a positive impact on local communities. Tara appreciates the potent power of human connection across borders, and that learning about and empathizing with each other’s ways of life and experiences is what the world needs (now, more than ever).
Tara’s 16 years of experience of building rapport with clients across a variety of industries shines through in everything that she does. She is a tenacious and dynamic consultant who prides herself on curating transformative experiences for others – and on reinforcing the good in this world!

NAIDA DIZDAREVIC

As a teenager, Naida dreamt about travelling the world and working in the travel industry. The first dream came true when she had the amazing opportunity to live in Argentina for 6 months, from then on her desire to travel only grew stronger. After returning home from Argentina, settling down was impossible, so she moved to Australia where her second dream came true when she began working in the travel industry. Following Australia, Naida continued travelling and it was at this time that she fell in love with Cambodia, its rich culture, history and the wonderful Khmer people. She is thrilled to be living and working in Cambodia and loves working in a role where she can introduce new people to the wonders of Cambodia and Southeast Asia.

Naida has spent the past 8 years finding hidden gems around Southeast Asia and has dedicated that time to help her client’s dreams come true. She has a passion for making each holiday unique, magical and completely stress-free. Naida’s attention to detail makes her the perfect person to bring your dream vacation to life, there is no problem she can’t solve and as she always says “there is no dream too big, and no detail too small”. Naida’s extensive knowledge, passion and dedication will ensure your perfect holiday is one to remember from start to finish.
Coach & SE Asia Regional Director
Marketing Guru

Paul Raymore

Paul is a father and a husband; a resident of Truckee, California for the past 20+ years; a die-hard soccer player, and a wannabe world traveler with plans to attend every FIFA World Cup for the rest of his days. And on the side, he does a little marketing - both for Kaanect, and for the Incline Village General Improvement District's community-owned recreation facilities including Diamond Peak Ski Resort, the Golf Courses at Incline Village, the Chateau at Incline Village, and the Incline Village Recreation and Tennis Centers.

Paul thrives on creating analytics-driven digital campaigns and community-driven branding initiatives, from strategy to execution and measurement. In work he likes nothing more than integrating and automating new tools for clients, allowing their expertise and stories to shine brightly, while giving them time to concentrate on the core of their business.

Paul has focused most of his professional development since 2010 in the ski and travel industries, but spent time as a journalist and editor at the Sierra Sun newspaper, as well as a programmer for a number of internet startups in San Francisco before that.

Paul grew up in the great city of Seattle, Washington (before it grew too big for its own good), and graduated in 1998 with a degree in Philosophy from Stanford University. He still loves arguing for or against most any topic, much to his family's dismay.

KANIKA PEOU

Kanika grew up in Cambodia’s main agricultural province of Battambang. She knew early on that agriculture wasn’t where her passion was and moved to Siem Reap in 2006 to obtain her Business degree. Kanika quickly fell in love with Siem Reap and its bustling tourism industry. She worked as a teacher assistant all through university and in 2010 a teacher encouraged her to apply for the accountant position at Journeys Within. This role enabled Kanika to pursue the two things she is most passionate about; finance and tourism. Kanika has a natural ability for numbers, she is the team ‘Numbers Cruncher’ and Kaanect is lucky to have her!
ACCOUNTANT
BOOKING COORDINATOR

SREYLEAK OUK

Sreyleak knew from an early age that she wanted to work in the tourism industry. Growing up in Siem Reap and having the majestic Angkor Wat at her fingertips, she saw from an early age the benefits of tourists in Cambodia. Having started in the hotel industry, like many others in Siem Reap, she soon found her home at Journeys Within. The job at Journeys Within fulfilled her dream to travel and took her to countries like the USA, Vietnam and Thailand. Having started as a booking assistant for Journeys Within, she is now the main booking coordinator for all Kaanect’s guests, making sure that they are as prepared as possible before embarking on their dream holidays.

LINDA CHHAY

Linda was Journeys Within’s first employee in Cambodia and Andrea isn’t sure how any of the last fifteen years would have been possible without her! Born and raised in Siem Reap, Linda moved to Phnom Penh and graduated with a degree in tourism at the National University of Management. Having all her roots in Siem Reap, she moved back and started working in the hotel industry. A year later she applied to Journeys Within for the booking assistant role. Linda has a real talent for navigating the online booking system and effortlessly manages her team. When she is not making sure that all guests bookings are perfect, she finds the time to manage her own hotel and flower shop. Linda is a businesswoman through and through, and there is no one we trust more to ensure all bookings are running smoothly.
SYSTEMS GURU
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