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Lydia Polgreen and Karin Timpone join Atlas Obscura’s board of directors

Atlas Obscura offers industry-leading innovation during a transformative time for travel

October 23,2020

NEW YORK — (October 23, 2020) — Atlas Obscura announces the appointment of former HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen, and former Marriott Global Marketing Officer Karin Timpone, to its board of directors. The move comes as Atlas Obscura expands its experiences, trips, and media business following a 2019 $20M Series B round of funding led by Airbnb.


Well-known for award-winning journalism and building the definitive, community-driven guide to the world’s hidden wonders, Atlas Obscura continues to develop innovative offerings as the travel industry transforms. Since shifting from in-person to online experiences in April, the company has rapidly expanded their unique online programming, recently introducing multi-session courses taught by leading experts like birder Jason Ward, lock-picker Schuyler Towne, and storyteller Justine Abigail Yu. The nearly 100 trips planned for 2021 include private excursions like an Erie Canal houseboat adventure and a tour of Svalbard, the northernmost town on Earth, and most recently Atlas Obscura partnered with Tastemade to create several sensory-rich travel experiences including swimming with the singing whales of Tonga and exploring floriculture in Paris.


“Lydia and Karin bring an incredible depth of experience and knowledge that will be invaluable as we bring our mission of discovery to a global community of curious explorers,” said CEO Warren Webster. “With their help and guidance Atlas Obscura can help redefine what travel means around the world.”


Polgreen is a media pioneer and award-winning journalist and is currently Head of Content at Gimlet, a podcast studio at Spotify. She has served as editor-in-chief of HuffPost and spent 15 years with The New York Times, where she led the initiative to expand its audience beyond the United States. While at HuffPost, Polgreen relaunched the site and updated its contributor model.


“Atlas Obscura has such a wonderful mission and values, I’m thrilled to join at this time of growth and expansion,” said Polgreen. “I’m looking forward to helping the team bring discovery to a global audience.”


Timpone is an acclaimed innovator in digital, marketing and customer experience. In addition to an extensive background with leading media and technology players like The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios and Yahoo!, she recently served as Global Marketing Officer for Marriott International, where she was responsible for significant customer growth, as well as tripling the membership of its loyalty program.


“Audiences are heading to where Atlas Obscura already has a foothold — off-the-beaten-path, curated experiences that lend themselves naturally to storytelling,” said Timpone. “I’m thrilled to join the board as we look to expand our offerings in this new era.”


Atlas Obscura is an award-winning experiences company that shares the world’s hidden wonders in-person and online. Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura created the definitive, community-driven online guide to the world’s most fascinating places. Atlas Obscura has a community of millions of global explorers, produces trips and experiences highlighting niche perspectives with leading experts, and has published two New York Times bestselling books with more than a million copies in print. The company has been nominated for three National Magazine Awards, a James Beard Award, three Webby Awards, and named one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies in 2020.


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