The Travel & Words Conference is produced by a group of travel media and industry professionals who live and work in the Northwest and volunteer their time and skills.
The goals of the Travel & Words conference are to:
- Explore changes and trends in the freelance travel writing world.
- Facilitate mutually productive networking between destination marketers and freelance writers.
- Support travel and tourism industry professionals who highlight destinations, attractions and all season recreation in Washington, Oregon Idaho, Montana, Alaska and British Columbia.
- Educate participants about the use of social media and online forums in marketing one’s brand related to travel writing.
- Expose freelance writers to potential editorial markets, including print and new media.
- Address best practices of interest to travel writers, bloggers, editors and destination marketers.
Travel & Words Conference Board of Directors
Dave Peterson, President/CEO, Explorer Media and Marketing
Dave is from a consumer marketing background and has worked for brands like Stouffers, WD-40, Toro and Sunset Magazine, a Time Inc company. Originally hailing from the Midwest Dave moved out to the Northwest in 1998 as the regional mgr for Sunset and has been curious about the region ever since. After a 14 year career with Sunset, Dave purchased Northwest Travel Magazine from Spooner Industries and has given the brand a fresh print and digital look. Its presence has increased from 600 newsstands to 1250, doubled readers per copy to 7 with an overall audience of 300,000. Recently, they have launched a digital travel network including several Northwest travel and lifestyle websites.
Allen Cox, Conference Chair
Allen Cox serves as co-chair of Northwest Travel Writers Conference. He is Editor-in-Chief of Northwest Travel Magazine, author of two guidebooks on day hiking, and a freelance travel and lifestyle journalist whose work had appeared in dozens of regional and national publications. In addition, he presently serves as VP, board member and Awards Committee Chair for International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association.
Tamara Muldoon, Conference Planner
Tamara is a freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in a number of print publications and on many websites. She primarily writes about travel and Pacific Northwest lifestyle. Her favorite photography subjects are travel destinations, landscape, food and lifestyle. Before becoming a freelance writer, Tamara worked in the hospitality and tourism industry. Over the span of her 20+ year career she worked for hotels, a tour operator, a cruise line, a botanical garden attraction and a conference management company. When she is not writing Tamara enjoys traveling, gardening, cooking, music and reading. You can see samples of her work at tamaramuldoon.com.
Carrie is a freelance writer focusing on Pacific Northwest destinations, family travel, hand crafted libations, culinary adventures and the United Kingdom. She often travels with her husband Erik and their young son Finn, both of whom share her love of adventure. Carrie writes for both print and online media including Northwest Travel & Life Magazine, CIDERCRAFT Magazine, Red Tricycle Portland, Best of the Northwest and EuropeUpClose. Visit her website at carrieuffindell.com.
Mattie John Bamman is a culinary travel writer focused on the Pacific Northwest, Italy, and the Balkans. Wine, wilderness and words brought him to Portland, Oregon, where he serves as editor of Eater Portland and regularly contributes to culinary and travel publications, including Edible Portland, Northwest Travel & Life Magazine and Eater.com. Mattie began his travel writing career while living in Italy and writing and updating travel guides for Northstar Travel Media, as well as writing for the travel blog, EuropeUpClose.com. He interned at ZYZZYVA literary journal and McSweeney’s publishing house.
Cassandra Overby is a Seattle-based freelance writer who loves to travel, hike and explore the outdoors. She’s the founder of Explore on Foot, a company that promotes walking-based travel, and the author of “Exploring Europe on Foot,” which will be published in August 2018 by Mountaineers Books. Read more of her writing and connect with her at cassandraoverby.com and facebook.com/exploreonfoot.
Sheryl Kelsh, President, Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce
Sheryl is the President and CEO of the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce; she has been with that organization since 2005. Prior to that, she has held various management positions within other organizations. Chehalem Valley sits at the crossroads of several wine regions in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and supports a diverse collection of tourism attractions, from food and wine to arts and culture, outdoor recreation, history and much more. Sheryl excels at supporting tourism and commerce in a region with many stakeholders.
Ron is a longtime Oregon resident and intrepid world traveler. Currently, he is Editor in Chief of the publication Meeting News Northwest, a sister publication to Northwest Travel & Life Magazine. He writes about the topics and locations for the meeting and events industry in the Northwest and Mountain West. As a freelance writer, he has written travel and business articles for a variety of publications and websites.