Meet the Team

Mary Cecchini
Founder, Chief Adventurer + Travel Designer

Mary started the company in 2013 after leaving full-time life in corporate America and an epic 5 month solo trek through Europe in 2012. From these experiences Mary created Living Big — an adventure and travel company for women — that allows her to bring her personal mantra of ‘living big’ to life. Outside of travel, you can find Mary enjoying her home town of Portland, Oregon, exploring Mt.Hood on snowshoes or a paddle board, hosting dinner parties, loving on her adorable nephew and spending time with family and friends.

To learn more about Mary and how she started Living Big, click here.

Katie Weltner
Trip Host + Pacific NW Program Manager

Katie strives to find the best swimming holes and ice cream cones to fill up her life, and her camera. Her motivations to travel have always been to see beautiful places and meet interesting people, and have led her to build a huge appreciation of her home in the Pacific NW. After a couple years of living in Austria, she came home, found a great guy to marry, adopted a very handsome cat, and promptly planned her next big adventure. On most weekends, you can find her picking fruit and helping her husband run his pizza restaurant.

To learn more about Katie, click here.

Newsha Tarifard
Trip Host

Newsha was engrained with a love of travel from a young age and has embraced every opportunity to hit the road. She lives in Los Angeles, freelances in marketing and relocation services, and enjoys meeting people from all corners of the globe. After connecting with several round-the-world travelers years ago, she became inspired to make her own travel dreams a reality and with some logistics juggling, she has managed to make international travel a staple of her lifestyle. When at home, Newsha enjoys the beach, wine tasting, spending time with friends, and making day trips around Southern California. 

To learn more about Newsha, click here.

Lora Woodruff
Trip Host

Lora’s been traveling every opportunity she can since she was a teenager, including years studying and working in London and multiple trips each year to her second “home town” of New York City the past 10+ years. Lora lives with her husband, daughter and dog, and calls Portland, Oregon home. After years in high-tech Lora quit her job to stay home with her daughter for a couple years, and instead of returning to the corporate world she decided to follow her passion and started a travel related business doing coffee tours. In her spare time Lora loves to cook (she has a pretty decent repertoire of Indian dishes she makes), enjoys distance running, and is a huge theater buff.

To learn more about Lora, click here.

Bailey Smith
Operations Guru + Travel Designer

Bailey discovered her love for travel in her teens and has jumped at every opportunity to experience other cultures ever since. After living in Germany for the past two years, Bailey and her husband are getting ready to move back “home” to the Portland, OR area and can’t wait to get back to all the outdoor activities that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. When she’s not browsing for the best flight deals or photographing quintessential European towns, Bailey loves swimming, eating sushi, and spending time with friends and family.

To learn more about Bailey, click here.

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