Our Team

We are a team of explorers, entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasts who put our passions to work every day.

Dan Buettner

Dan is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Zones and the New York Times best-selling author of The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. Dan is an internationally recognized explorer, educator, public speaker and co-producer of an Emmy Award-winning travel documentary. Dan has appeared as a longevity expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show, ABC World News, CBS’s The Early Show and CNN. He is also the Chairperson of Blue Zones Board of Directors.

Tony Buettner

Tony is a National Speaker and leads business development for Blue Zones. He is responsible for sales, product development, partner relationships and delivery of overall operations and services. He received his BA in Operations Management from the University of St. Thomas and spent the first thirty years of his career running an adventure travel company and as owner of wholesale company based in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Following the sale of his wholesale company he opened a retail store and consulted on retail operations throughout the Caribbean. Tony enjoys hunting and fishing, the outdoors, and is dedicated to his family and wife.

Nick Buettner

Nick Buettner

Nick is the Community and Corporate Program Director and is responsible for leading the development and implementation of the Blue Zones Project in all of the Blue Zones communities and corporate sites. In the last 20 years, Nick has lead 17 expeditions over 6 continents around the world, three of which to the Blue Zones sites. Nick has received his BA in International Business with a minor in Economics from Augsburg College. In his free time, Nick enjoys playing hockey, gardening, and going on adventures!

Amelia Clabots

Amelia is the Operations Director at Blue Zones. She oversees daily operations, HR, IT support, accounting, finance and website management. She received her MBA from the University of St. Thomas, is a Certified Professional Project Manager (CPPM) from the University of St. Thomas, and received a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Amelia is passionate about health, individual and community wellness and helping others.

Dan Burden - Blue Zones Team

Dan Burden

Dan is the newly-appointed Director of Inspiration and Innovation at Blue Zones. In May 2014, the White House recognized Burden as one of the top ten Champions of Change in Transportation, also named by TIME magazine as “one of the six most important civic innovators in the world,” and his peers at Planetzian list him as one of the 100 most significant urban thinkers of all time. Dan has relentless energy and has personally helped 3500 communities throughout the world make their means of transportation healthier, more active and affordable. Many of Dan’s streets designs and town centers are now celebrated in numerous publications and books and, of course, everyday by the millions of feet utilizing his designs.

Samantha Thomas

Samantha is the Built Environment Manager, co-facilitating walkability with Dan Burden, active-living, safe routes to schools, and neighborhood traffic calming workshops. Working with the community, she develops community-led action plans spanning from Kauai, HI to Long Island, NY. She received her degree in Urban Design from the University of Minnesota. Samantha works to inspire residents and leaders alike to start any public project with an understanding of their shared values as the foundation for creating great public spaces.

Sam Skemp

Sam Skemp

Sam is the Program Manager at Blue Zones. He oversees Blue Zones Speaking Bureau as well as provides executive assistant support to Blue Zones CEO Dan Buettner. Sam also manages Blue Zones’ social media presence, and handles social media related correspondence. Sam received a degree in Business Management and Leadership from the University of St. Thomas. He loves to golf, ski and spend time with friends and family.

Aislinn Leonard

Aislinn is the Business Coordinator at Blue Zones where she co-manages social media, email marketing communication, and digital media. She is also responsible for general office support and customer service. Aislinn graduated as an Aquinas Scholar from the University of St. Thomas with degrees in Communication & Journalism and French. She’s a national champion hurler, a hockey player, and has a bad case of wanderlust.