Andrew White

President

To paraphrase Kurt Hahn, the founder of Outward Bound:

“We become more alive by simply changing our environments, particularly through adventure. When we intentionally put ourselves in a unique setting where we can no longer count on things as they were, our senses become more finely attuned and our instincts sharpen—it’s a sure ticket to revitalized awareness.”

Or as I call it, maximum aliveness!

~ Andrew White

Andrew White has one foot in the boardroom and one foot in the field—literally.

A previous Expedition Leader, he’s found a way to reverse engineer his career by turning his passion for the polar regions into a living. After guiding his first white-water paddling trip in the Arctic a few decades ago, he was instantly captivated by the raw, wild remoteness and rugged beauty only the opposite ends of the Earth can truly offer. For him, it wasn’t solely about the destinations themselves, but the experience of expedition travel—of being a true explorer—and embarking on an adventure where the outcome is unknown, creating epiphanies and eternal memories.

Born in South Africa and having grown up in Belgium, England and Canada, travel and exploration has always been at White’s core. The drive to alter perspectives by getting out of one’s comfort zone to achieve what he calls ‘maximum aliveness’ is a philosophy he brings to every space, be it a corporate or natural one.

Since 2014, White has led the Quark Expeditions Team in delivering transformative experiences in the polar regions. More often than not, he says Quark passengers return home feeling different—the expedition experience comprised of an extraordinary destination and a team that goes the extra mile leaves them with a renewed perspective.

White’s 30-plus years in international sales and marketing leadership roles has consistently been marked by his energy to create transformative experiences.

After graduating from university, he left Canada for England, where he spent five years co-owning two London pubs before joining the U.K. arm of multinational brewing company Molson Coors. He returned to Canada in the mid-1990s to head up Molson’s international division, responsible for all business outside of North America.

After this 10-year stint in the brewing industry, White gave in to his love of adventure and became co-owner of a North American outdoor adventure company that specialized in Arctic canoe trips. From there, he joined the senior executive team at The Hive Strategic Marketing. White followed that term with a position at Bond Brand Loyalty, a global leader in loyalty marketing, where he managed a multimillion-dollar book of business for Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard.

In 2004, White became co-owner of one of Canada’s oldest tour operators, Horizon & Co., which after six years was sold to Kensington Tours. And since then, his strategic marketing and sales track record and his strong reputation as an authority in experiential travel led him to several consulting contracts, including that of Chief Experience Officer and Expedition Leader at Arctic Kingdom Polar Expeditions.

White joined Quark Expeditions as Vice President, Sales in 2012, before taking the reins as President. Quark has continued to grow and push boundaries as an innovative travel company, receiving numerous awards for its programs and products.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from traveling?

My advice is to travel to both poles! The Arctic and the Antarctic are the last 2 remaining great wildernesses on our planet. Admittedly, I was bitten by the Arctic bug many years ago, and before my first trip to Antarctica, I didn’t think any place on earth could rival my love for the Canadian Arctic. Well, I was wrong! Antarctica is equally spectacular in so many ways. Call me, and I’ll be happy to share my thoughts as to why!

What advice would you give someone traveling to the polar regions?

Experience + emotion = memory! When I travel anywhere, I strive to dial up both the experience and the emotion by getting out of my comfort zone, and the result is both a lifelong memory and a feeling of what I call “maximum aliveness” or “revitalized awareness.” To paraphrase Kurt Hahn, the founder of Outward Bound, we become more alive by simply changing our environments, particularly through adventure. In a unique setting where we can no longer count on things as they were, our senses become more finely attuned and our instincts sharpen, a sure ticket to revitalized awareness.

Get in on the adventure.

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