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OUR TEAM

WHO WE ARE

MEET THE TEAM

The Just Challenge Team is made up of the most fantastic group of people from around the world. We are all driven, passionate and fiercely loyal. We have a smile on our face every morning (blisters and all). We are full of passion. We love meeting new people. We are happiest in trekking kit when exploring new places. We work for Just Challenge because we truly believe we can make a difference to peoples’ lives.

Lucy Bennett-Baggs

FOUNDER & CEO

Lucy Bennett-Baggs

Lucy Bennett-Baggs is the CEO and Founder of Just Challenge. Lucy worked for HSBC for 7 years in their Events & Sponsorship Team. Lucy’s passion for sport, adventure and giving back to charity was the catalyst for starting Just Challenge. Lucy has trekked in over 30 different countries and led a number of major corporate expeditions.
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RUSTED ROOT  SEND ME ON MY WAY

LUCY BENNETT-BAGGS

Lucy Bennett-Baggs

Katherine Parker

GENERAL MANAGER, OPERATIONS

Katherine Parker

Being raised in New Zealand, Katherine’s love of the outdoors was inevitable. After beginning her career in advertising (and hating it!) she very quickly transitioned into the sports industry to combine her passion with her career. Katherine is responsible for Just Challenge’s operations and safety & risk management globally. She has travelled extensively and led a number of epic challenges all over the world. Katherine is experienced in operating ground teams and developing exceptional product in mind-blowing locations with health, safety and risk management at the forefront.
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BILL WITHERS  LOVELY DAY

KATHERINE PARKER

Katherine Parker

Jennifer Abbey

HEAD OF CLIENT SERVICING

Jennifer Abbey

Jen is our Hong Kong-based South African with a love for people, travel & being outdoors. She is a self-confessed A-Type, people-centred and extremely passionate about connection and human engagement. When she’s not at work, Jen can be found on one of Hong Kong’s many trails, traveling or organising things. She’s also a big fan of live music & loves to dance – what she lacks in talent, she makes up for with enthusiasm. Jen is also responsible for Just Challenge’s brand and marketing – having been on all our challenges, Jen has created a unique way of ensuring our values and the spirit of Just Challenge is woven through all our communications.
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SURVIVOR  EYE OF THE TIGER

JENNIFER ABBEY

Jennifer Abbey

Andy Fong

FINANCE DIRECTOR

Andy Fong

Andy Fong is a CPA accredited accountant who specialises in business solutions and smart accounting.  He earned his accounting degree from Macquarie University and CPA from CPA Australia. Unlike typical accountants, Andy is a problem resolutions expert with extensive knowledge in business affairs. He is committed to supporting business success and rarely says no to anything. Andy is passionate about maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle and can often be found running around the Peak. In addition to his day job, he is a part owner in hipster bar Bobby’s Rabble where he can often also be found with a beer in hand!
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ELTON JOHN  ARE YOU READY FOR LOVE

ANDY FONG

Andy Fong

Liz Glover

BUSINESS CONSULTANT, UK

Liz Glover

Liz joined Just Challenge in the summer of 2019 having experienced a public challenge in the Drakensburg Mountains in South Africa. She loved it so much, she wanted to spread the word! Having worked in finance for 18 years, Liz has returned to Just Challenge from a long career break – bringing up one lovely girl and three enormous rugby players. When not playing or watching sport, Liz can be found power-walking around Richmond Park with Barney, the family’s mad (deer-chasing) chocolate Labrador. She loves London, the restaurants, theatre and culture but is equally happy trekking and chatting.
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QUEEN  DON’T STOP ME NOW
liz

LIZ GLOVER

Liz Glover

Jemima Hambro

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Jemima Hambro

Jemima is a new recruit to Just Challenge and supports the whole team on client servicing, operations and marketing. Having moved out to Hong Kong from the rainy and relatively flat UK, she leapt at the idea of travelling and trekking for a job. Since her arrival, Jemima has caught the hiking bug and can’t wait to take on the challenges! In her free time, you will find Jem up the Peak obsessing over every dog that passes her.
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ROBBIE WILLIAMS  HOT FUDGE

JEMIMA HAMBRO

Jemima Hambro

Mark Smith

HEAD OF RISK & SAFETY

Mark Smith

Mark’s taste for adventure and travel began when he travelled overland from the UK to New Zealand at the age of 7.  After many more years of travel, and challenging himself and others through outdoor experiences, Mark is now regarded as one of NZ’s leading outdoor safety experts.  He has led the development of adventure-based safety systems in New Zealand and also works with a number of adventure operators all around the world.   As Just Challenge’s Head of Safety Mark’s focus is on making sure that every effort is made to provide clients with the safest and most truly memorable experience.  When he’s not at work, you will find him with his family – out camping, sailing, in the surf, or up on the snow.
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KATRINA & THE WAVES  WALKING ON SUNSHINE

MARK SMITH

Mark Smith

Craig Baker

CHALLENGE DIRECTOR

Craig Baker

Hailing from New Zealand’s Southern Alps, Craig grew up climbing mountains and finding new ways to come down them. He is an active member of Fire and Emergency NZ and the Wakatipu Land Search and Rescue team with extensive experience in wilderness safety and emergency response. After throwing in the towel on an advertising career to pursue his love of the outdoors, Craig finds himself more often on top of mountain in a foreign land than at home with his slightly mental springer spaniel Mitsi. When he’s not chewing someone’s ear off in on a Just Challenge expedition (while also ensuring everyone’s safety), you’ll find him trudging through the snow in the Southern Alps or trying desperately not to crash his paraglider. Suffering from an affliction that can only be described as a severe kit addiction, don’t get Craig started on the topic of outdoor gear.
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BRONZE RADIO RETURN LIGHT ME UP

CRAIG BAKER

Craig Baker

Tamar Valkenier

TEAM LEADER

Tamar Valkenier

Dutch born Tamar Valkenier gave up her career as a criminologist / Investigative Psychologist for the Dutch National Police in 2015 to pursue her passion for travel and the wilderness. Tamar has taken on a number of incredible adventures since – living with jungle tribes, hitchhiking in Panama, rock climbing in Laos, eagle hunting in Mongolia and cycling 12,000km around the world – to name a few.  She is qualified for Wilderness First Aid both under the International Wilderness Association and the Canadian Red Cross.  She is an interpretative Guide (IGA Canada), an International Wilderness Guide (WGA) and a Canadian Woodsland travel and survival instructor. If you ever have the chance to hear Tamar tell a story around the campfire, tune in!
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AVIVII  WAKE ME UP

TAMAR VALKENIER

Tamar Valkenier

Grant Christie

TEAM LEADER

Grant Christie

Grant is a South African with a (possibly unhealthy) obsession with walking. He is that friend that always says, “We don’t need an uber, we can just walk.” In fact, his escape plan from his engineering career was to walk the entire coastline of South Africa. Grant has always been an active sportsman and a nature enthusiast, but it was this eight month, 3 500 km expedition that served as his springboard into the adventure world. Grant worked at an adventure centre for a year before moving into the freelance space. He now leads school expeditions around the globe and guides mountain trips back home in South Africa. When Grant’s not walking he takes half-decent photographs, writes the odd feature article, stares at stars, and strums away on his guitar.
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LITTLE RICHARD  TUTTI FRUTTI

GRANT CHRISTIE

Grant Christie

Lizzie Thorne

CHIEF MEDICAL OPERATOR

Lizzie Thorne

With a love for sport, exploration and adventure Lizzie has combined her medical career with her passions to focus on sport and expedition medicine. She has worked as lead medic on a number worldwide treks, events and ultra marathons and has recently been part of the medical team for Amazons EcoChallenge.
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GUNS AND ROSES  SWEET CHILD O’ MINE

LIZZIE THORNE

Lizzie Thorne

Nico Wills

PHOTOGRAPHER

Nico Wills

Nico is a photographer passionate about his art, and often unbelieving of where it has led him. From the Indian Himalayas, the Arctic Circle, the Malawian bush, or backstage at the Royal Opera House, Nico feels he has been blessed to be able to do, day in, day out, a ‘job’ that he truly loves. While photography has always been a passion it is his third career having trained originally as a zoologist, specialising in cheetah conservation in Namibia and Botswana. Nico then spent 8 years in the British Army where he guarded the Queen, taught soldiers to ski, lived in the jungle and became very proficient at running up enormous hills with large rucksacks. Through moving into photography, he enjoys a more settled existence with his wife Molly, daughter Alice and dog Flea.
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IMAGINE DRAGONS  ON TOP OF THE WORLD

NICO WILLS

Nico Wills

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