Dedicated Team
Meet Our

Dedicated Team

Headquartered in Miami, our team extends across the Straits of Florida to the island of Cuba, located just 90 miles from Key West. Though we are spread across two countries, the Cuba Candela team is one big family united by our mission and values, a passion for sharing Cuba with travelers and a dedication to high-quality service and unique experiences.

Our Mission

Connect travelers to one another and to an inspiring local culture through unique experiences and personalized service, while empowering local communities.​

Our Core Values

Inspired. We feel inspired for doing good in the world.

Service. We live and breathe exceptional service. It’s in our DNA.

Authenticity. We regard cultural immersion as fundamental to the spirit of travel.

Impact. We seek to positively transform the lives of our clients, our local partners and the world.

Respect. We are founded on the principle of global unity, which transcends race, religion and country. 

Accountability. We uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct and professionalism.

Innovation. We continuously discover and create magic moments of experiential travel.

Miami Leadership Team

Chad Olin

Founder and Owner

Chad began his career in 2008 as an investment banking analyst at Bank of America, then joined private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS) as an investment professional in 2010. Subsequently, he became a founding member and Senior Director of Business Development at US Anesthesia Partners, a physician services organization formed by management and WCAS. In 2016, Chad graduated with an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Chad has visited over thirty countries on six continents and was uniquely inspired by Cuba on his first of countless trips to the island.

Rachel Dunnam

Marketing associate

To me, the most rewarding part about travel is the connections that form among fellow travelers and locals. While working for a nonprofit in India, I met locals that inspired me to pursue a career where I am creating opportunities for others. Supporting local entrepreneurs in Cuba and connecting new travelers to the incredible island nation is a truly rewarding experience that I am proud and grateful to be a part of. When I am not inspiring, educating or reaching new travelers, I am exploring Miami and practicing my Spanish.

Favorite Cuba Candela memory: Of course, my first company trip to Cuba! Ask me about the best local spot for salsa, on a weeknight.

Molly Layman

Client Experience Manager

I have a personal connection to Cuba having lived there for a summer. My time on the island was filled with captivating, transformative experiences that indulged my curiosity and continue to inspire me today. At Cuba Candela, my job is to make sure your travels are filled with moments just like these. I love creating immersive trips that lead travelers below the surface to unparalleled cultural experiences all while positively impacting the local community. I view travel as a powerful tool to bring people together and get inspired by the connections our travelers make with the vibrant culture and people of Cuba.

Personal recommendations: Ask me about my favorite spot to spend an afternoon having a cafecito (or 3) and people-watching in Old Havana.

Local Cuba Team
YOUR SALSA TEACHER
"Thanks to travelers visiting from the United States, I have been able to fulfill my dreams of working in a travel agency as a dance teacher. I teach basic principles so that you can dance. Through this travel company – I achieved my biggest dream, to have my own apartment for me and my mom. It is currently being built and is almost finished."
Elio
Dedicated Team
LOCAL MUSICIAN IN HAVANA
"Through meeting with more travelers and American visitors, I have gained confidence as a musician and person. I have so much joy and pride in meeting them and sharing my music. They have also helped me to grow financially. Thanks to their help, I have been able to record and produce songs and promote my music."
JESUS
Dedicated Team
YOUR ART TOUR HOST
"Travelers who experience and get to know the reality of this country first-hand often leave with a much more accurate idea about Cubans, and especially about how rich and immense Cuban art (in all its manifestations) is."
DANIELLA
VIÑALES FARMER
"Working with travelers is motivating because I want them to leave my farm understanding what I do. It is important for travelers and Cubans to share experiences and a sense of unit0y and to understand that there is no difference between us. We are all humans living in the same world. We have different cultures and can learn from one another."
ANDY
Dedicated Team
YOUR DRIVER
"Every traveler is special and leaves a trace of themselves behind. You learn parts of his or her life, and they learn yours. Those moments I spend with travelers in my car is like traveling in time. The memories stay with me and motivate me to create more unique memories with others."
DAVID
YOUR LOCAL HOST
"Being a Host I have the opportunity to interact with my guests and in addition to making them feel at home, learn a little about their places of origin. It is important that travelers visit so they can know first-hand our reality, that although we lack many things, we are always willing to give and share the best we have. We have joy and an ability to reinvent ourselves."
IDALMA

Support for the Cuban People

With every trip, we support more than 30 Cuban entrepreneurs. Learn more about the incredible people we work with in Cuba and how travel and trips like yours have had a positive impact on them.

Social impact
Candela Culture

We take a collaborative approach to culture building. When you join Cuba Candela, you become part of the creative process of crafting an intentionally designed culture that we can all feel inspired to work within every single day. We actively choose to follow seven core credos:

  • Trust your work family
  • View problems as opportunities
  • Own your mindset
  • Find and share your light
  • Bring your full self to work
  • Empower others to contribute
  • Celebrate our successes