About Kristin Boekhoff

Kristin Boekhoff

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Kristin Boekhoff is currently developing a sustainable boutique resort in southern Bangladesh where savvy travelers can have a beautiful, authentic, cultural experience while preserving the social and environmental integrity of the area. Panigram Resort and Spa will be the first in a collection of resorts that focus on responsible hospitality and destination stewardship. In 2006 Ms. Boekhoff was a Fulbright Fellow to Bangladesh where she researched the feasibility of a sustainable, replicable low-income housing real estate development program for female migrant laborers in Dhaka. Prior to her departure for Bangladesh, she was the Chief Information Officer at CharterMac, one of the US's leading full-service real estate finance companies. Her team worked closely with the asset management, underwriting, acquisitions, accounting, lending, and construction groups to improve the firm's ability to service its developers and investors and to continue the corporate goals of streamlining workflow efficiencies and improving communication between internal and external groups. Previously, Ms. Boekhoff ran the Fund Management Group where she was responsible for developer servicing, cash management, and investor reporting. She managed over $7 billion of equity invested in the firm's 100+ real estate funds and oversaw developer relations for over 1,200 new and stabilized properties. Before joining CharterMac, Ms. Boekhoff had six years of project management experience, most recently as a business analyst at Neuberger Berman, a financial services firm, where she was responsible for managing large information technology and business reorganization projects. Previously, she worked as a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Marketing and Customer Management Group. Ms. Boekhoff received a B.S. from Cornell University and an M.S. in Real Estate Development from New York University.

Posts by Kristin Boekhoff:

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Hotel Internship at an Eco Resort in Bangladesh

Posted by on March 31st, 2014

Title: Hotel Intern

Number of Open Positions: 2

Location: Jessore, Bangladesh

Duration: 8 weeks

Salary: 15,000 Tk/ month living stipend (room, board, and transportation within Bangladesh are provided; students are responsible for their own transportation to and from Bangladesh)

Job Description:
Panigram Resort will be a socially and environmentally responsible spa resort located in southern Bangladesh. We are developing a luxury boutique resort with a spa and wellness center that protects the natural and cultural heritage of Bangladesh, provides authentic and distinctive travel experiences to discerning travelers, promotes sustainable development, and improves the quality of life in the host community. The hotel interns will help with the hospitality training of the villagers and creating the standard operating procedure manual as well as other miscellaneous pre-opening activities.  Interns also act as ambassadors for Panigram Resort in our host community and are expected to participate in other activities with the villagers such as Friday English lessons with children and movie night.

You will be staying in the newly constructed staff quarters at the resort property. The rooms are clean and modern and you will have your own private bathroom, but there is no air conditioning.

Interns are given some basic Bangla lessons when they arrive so that they can communicate with the villagers. The Bangladeshi people are very warm and hospitable and our past interns have formed some strong bonds with the community.

The environment is one of work and play where you can take a pottery class in our pottery village, go on a cow cart ride, take a night time boat ride, and truly experience Bangladeshi village life. The resort is currently under construction so you will be a part of the pre-opening process.

Qualifications:
•    Hotel major
•    Has completed at least their sophomore year
•    Independent worker
•    Comfortable working in foreign cultures

To Apply:
Please send your resume and a cover letter explaining why you are interested in the internship to hr@panigram.com with the subject “Hotel Internship” by May 1, 2014. (Applications without cover letters will not be accepted.)

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Social Programs Internship at an Eco Resort in Bangladesh

Posted by on March 31st, 2014

Title: Social Programs Intern

Number of Open Positions: 1

Location: Jessore, Bangladesh

Duration: 8 weeks

Salary: 15,000 Tk/ month living stipend (room, board, and transportation within Bangladesh are provided; students are responsible for their own transportation to and from Bangladesh)

Job Description:
Panigram Resort will be a socially and environmentally responsible spa resort located in southern Bangladesh. We are developing a luxury boutique resort with a spa and wellness center that protects the natural and cultural heritage of Bangladesh, provides authentic and distinctive travel experiences to discerning travelers, promotes sustainable development, and improves the quality of life in the host community. The social programs intern will work with the top produce designer in Bangladesh and our junior product designers to help build our handicraft center. The intern will be responsible for fundraising by seeking CSR money from companies in Dhaka, coordinating with the village leaders and craftsmen to set up the center, working with retail outlets to place our goods, helping to build the handicraft library (a collection of books and handicraft samples), working with the product designers to train the villagers how to produce the goods, and developing a marketing plan to market our products and our center in Dhaka.

Interns also act as ambassadors for Panigram Resort in our host community and are expected to participate in other activities with the villagers such as Friday English lessons with children and movie nights.

You will be staying in the newly constructed staff quarters at the resort property. The rooms are clean and modern and you will have your own private bathroom, but there is no air conditioning.

Interns are given some basic Bangla lessons when they arrive so that they can communicate with the villagers. The Bangladeshi people are very warm and hospitable and our past interns have formed some strong bonds with the community.

The environment is one of work and play where you can take a pottery class in our pottery village, go on a cow cart ride, take a night time boat ride, and truly experience Bangladeshi village life. The resort is currently under construction so you will be a part of the pre-opening process.

Qualifications:
•    Business  or Policy Analysis major preferred, but will also take enthusiastic students with a passion for handicrafts and socially responsible initiatives
•    Has completed at least their sophomore year
•    Independent worker
•    Comfortable working in foreign cultures

To Apply:
Please send your resume and a cover letter explaining why you are interested in the internship to hr@panigram.com with the subject “Organic Farming Internship” by May 1, 2014. (Applications without cover letters will not be accepted.)

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Organic Farming Internship at an Eco Resort in Bangladesh

Posted by on March 31st, 2014

Title: Organic Farming Intern

Number of Open Positions: 1

Location: Jessore, Bangladesh

Duration: 8 weeks

Salary: 15,000 Tk/ month living stipend (room, board, and transportation within Bangladesh are provided; students are responsible for their own transportation to and from Bangladesh)

Job Description:
Panigram Resort will be a socially and environmentally responsible spa resort located in southern Bangladesh. We are developing a luxury boutique resort with a spa and wellness center that protects the natural and cultural heritage of Bangladesh, provides authentic and distinctive travel experiences to discerning travelers, promotes sustainable development, and improves the quality of life in the host community. The organic farming intern will work with a professor of organic farming and the villagers to establish an organic farming program in the village building on the work done by the previous year’s intern and using the organic farming plots at Panigram as an example. We have a pilot group of about 25 village farmers who are interested in the program. Interns will teach the villagers organic farming techniques, work with them to apply for grants to cover the losses of the first two years where yields are lower due to soil degradation, and help them figure out the distribution channels to the stores that sell organic produce in Dhaka.

Interns also act as ambassadors for Panigram Resort in our host community and are expected to participate in other activities with the villagers such as Friday English lessons with children and movie nights.

You will be staying in the newly constructed staff quarters at the resort property. The rooms are clean and modern and you will have your own private bathroom, but there is no air conditioning.

Interns are given some basic Bangla lessons when they arrive so that they can communicate with the villagers. The Bangladeshi people are very warm and hospitable and our past interns have formed some strong bonds with the community.

The environment is one of work and play where you can take a pottery class in our pottery village, go on a cow cart ride, take a night time boat ride, and truly experience Bangladeshi village life. The resort is currently under construction so you will be a part of the pre-opening process.

Qualifications:
•    Agriculture major preferred, but will also take enthusiastic students with a passion for organic farming
•    Has completed at least their sophomore year
•    Independent worker
•    Comfortable working in foreign cultures

To Apply:
Please send your resume and a cover letter explaining why you are interested in the internship to hr@panigram.com with the subject “Organic Farming Internship” by May 1, 2014. (Applications without cover letters will not be accepted.)

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Panigram Resort Organic Farm Flourishes in Rural Bangladesh

Posted by on January 9th, 2014

Our organic farm test plot next to the riverside bungalows.

Our first planting of our organic test plot is flourishing! Clark, our summer intern, and ULAB professor Shafiqul Islam designed our planting plan: first, we plant a round of legumes (beans and peas) to enrich the soil with nitrogen. Second, members of the brassicaceae (mustard and cabbage) family are planted; these include: lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, and brussels sprouts. Next, nightshade vegetables are planted; these include: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant. Finally, roots and alliums are planted; these include: garlic, onion, leek, turnip, celery, carrot, beets, etc. Planting in this order restores the nutrients in the soil and creates the ideal growing conditions for our crops. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wintering at Panigram!

Posted by on November 27th, 2013

As we enter into the winter season at Panigram the emerald green fields turn to golden brown as the rice is collected and harvested. In a few weeks beautiful yellow mustard flowers will start popping up all over the countryside. As the weather cools, the date palm sap starts to run. Villagers (and Panigram Apprenticeship guests!) collect the date palm sap called “rosh” and drink it straight from the tree. The sweet, smoky flavored juice that is not consumed by the guests is cooked into a sticky sweet syrup or sugar called khejurer ghur, a true village delight!

Winter time brings delicious date palm juice and khejurer ghur!

We have added some fun new activities to the Panigram Apprenticeship Experience including:

  • Date palm juice collection and ghur making
  • Muri moa (Bangladeshi equivalent of caramel corn balls) cooking class
  • Basket weaving
  • Pottery classes for children
  • Mustard oil collection and processing

For more information on the Panigram Apprenticeship Experience, click here.

Panigram Apprenticeship Experience guest (and father of company founder Kristin Boekhoff!) enjoys some fresh sugar cane on the verandah of one of our bungalows.

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Guest Blog: Ecotourism at Panigram Provides a New Perspective on Bangladesh

Posted by on September 25th, 2013

Panigram Apprenticeship Experience guest and Dhaka Tribune reporter Sheikh Mohammad Irfan observes the introduction of eco-friendly tourism in Bangladesh, exemplified by Panigram Resort.

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When someone hears the word “Bangladesh,” the first thing that usually comes to mind is Dhaka city, notorious for its congestion, pollution, and impoverished population. But what if all that could change?

Excluding its capital city, Bangladesh is somewhat of an untapped treasure, hidden from global attention and enjoyed only by the locals. From the mystical forests of the Sunderbans to the breathtaking tea gardens of Sylhet to the beaches of Cox’s Bazaar, the natural beauty of the country is mostly admired by Bangladeshis escaping the noise and bustle of the city. Those tourists who do visit mostly stay in commercial hotels and rarely get a fully authentic experience of Bangladeshi culture.

Scenic view along Panigram's vangari village tour route.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Guest Blog: The “Real” Bangladesh

Posted by on July 4th, 2013

Paola Fornari Hanna, a professional linguist, writer, and trainer and wife of the European Union Ambassador in Bangladesh, recently participated in the Panigram Apprenticeship Experience with her sister, Silvia. She enjoyed her stay so much that she was inspired to write a blog entry for us; we are very happy to publish it!

The Real Bangladesh

Recently my sister Silvia, who lives in Houston, Texas, came to stay. She was our very first visitor in two and a half years in Bangladesh, and was as determined to see, feel and breathe as much of the real Bangladesh as I was to show her.

I had read about the Panigram Apprenticeship Experience, and it seemed to be exactly what we were looking for, so we signed up.  And for three days and two nights, it was one exciting sensory experience after another. Like blissful children, we got filthy mixing mud (and learnt to add jute to strengthen it for fixing cracks).

Mixing Mud Mortar

Read the rest of this entry »

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