This is a long one, folks, dedicated to women in travel that I love!
My wonderful friend Katarina Kovacevic is launching a magazine called RUBY. Today, her Kickstarter campaign kicks off. I believe in Katarina so much, as a talented writer and businesswoman (and Arizona girl!). Take a minute to watch her video. I stopped reading "women's magazines" long ago - they repeat the same article over and over (How to lose weight! Must-have beauty products!) and don't appeal to me or any of the women I know around the world.
THIS appeals to me:
"RUBY is an online lifestyle publication that promotes female camaraderie, supports sisterhood, and inspires women to make a difference.
Through skillful reporting and creative storytelling, with careful attention to word choice, RUBY will create an inclusive and supportive environment with one goal in mind: To lay the foundation for future generations of confident, motivated and inspirational women who make it a point to champion their fellow female."
Inspired by Katarina, I wanted to make a list of some of the women I love in the travel industry. I've traveled around the world with many of them, and am thankful to all of them for inspiring so many people to travel - through magazine articles, blogs, TV shows, creative marketing, personal social media posts, and so much more.
TRAVEL WOMEN I LOVE
At National Geographic: Thankful to all of these ladies for a great working relationship that is often ridiculously fun too - Andrea Leitch, Leslie Magraw, Heather Wyatt, Kim Connaghan, Hilary Halstead O'Keefe, Amanda Waas, Laura Robertson, Pandora Todd, Norie Quintos, Susan O'Keefe, Carolyn Fox (no longer at NatGeo, but I wish she was!)
Paula Froelich: Editor in Chief, Yahoo Travel - I first met Paula while we were on a bike trip in England. You'll find yourself spilling your life secrets, while wanting to hear every story she tells.
Becca Hensley: Travel Writer - She writes in a way that is so wonderfully lyrical, poetic, and hilarious. It ignites all five senses. We've now been to China, Costa Rica, the Galapagos, Las Vegas, and Switzerland together.
Michaela Ruoss: Media Coordinator, North America, Switzerland Tourism - Always at the ready with great advice, a perfect book recommendation, or delicious chocolate. She's also an amazing photographer.
Catherine Karnow: National Geographic Photographer - We had the most amazing time working together last year in Ireland and San Francisco. When she tells a story or you see one of her pictures, you are spellbound.
Misty Ewing Belles: Director of PR for Virtuoso - Misty is infinitely creative and always knows just what to say. I'm waiting for her regular Today show gig.
Ashley Castle: Travel personality & TV host, AFAR Ambassador - We were meant to meet and plan adventures together after she randomly met my sister in Rome (and we are both A&M grads!).
Ruthanne Sutor Terrero: VP/Editorial Director of Questex Hospitality + Travel, including Luxury Travel Advisor & Travel Agent magazine - She has been everywhere and has a huge breadth of knowledge in travel and media.
Emma de Vadder: Travel PR pro - I've traveled with Emma to the Isles of Scilly in England and had a very memorable train ride from London to Sandringham, not to mention several awesome NYC dates.
Carrie Fitchett: International Tour Director - With Carrie, your stomach will hurt from laughing. She's incredible at pulling groups together, and making unforgettable memories for them.
Barbara Sackheim King: Travel Advisor/Founder of Great Getaways - I first met Barbara in Vegas at Virtuoso Travel Week and knew I would love her for life. She has a singular, joyful spirit that is very rare. Plus, she plans incredible trips. I'd send anyone to her.
Sonia Graupera: Luxury travel & hotel writer based in Barcelona - Sonia showed me the best five days in Barcelona. I think we toured 20 hotels together.
Jean Newman Glock: Travel Writer & Social Media for Signature Travel Network. Managed Smithsonian's travel program for 17 years - one of the best conversationalists and social media pros.
Kim Kessler: Director of PR for Four Seasons Beverly Hills - Great to hang with Kim in Costa Rica and L.A. - makes everyone she meets feel special.
Diana Castello Branco: Director of PR for Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon - In Lisbon, she made me feel like I had an instant friend and gave me the best insider tips.
Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio: Executive VP/Publisher of AFAR Media - I met Ellen in London last fall and could have talked for hours.
Nora Walsh: Travel writer - I loved knowing Nora when she worked in NYC and now love following her adventures living in Argentina.
Carla Tracy: VP at Laura Davidson PR - I loved traveling with Carla in China to the Yunnan Province and to the Three Gorges Dam.
Rachelle Lucas: TV host & Writer. Founder of The Travel Bite - The first time I met Rachelle, we were taking ski lessons in Whistler. The next time, we were eating fried dough in Budapest.
Kim Cole: PR Director, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale - Loved a weekend spent with her and other great women in Scottsdale.
Tatum Luoma: Owner, TLC Public Relations - I really admire how she balances work and life with two little kids.
Kristen Jarnagin: Senior VP, Arizona Tourism & Lodging Association - Most people in the Arizona tourism industry are funny. Kristen is insanely funny.
Stacy Small: Founder, Elite Travel International - Stacy, a former travel journalist, is now known as one of the most innovative travel agents for her use of social media and new marketing techniques.
Laura McMurchie: VP Communications, Scottsdale CVB - She helped me get my first job at The Phoenician in Scottsdale and I'm grateful to her forever for introducing me to this crazy world of travel and media.
Valerie Lee: Director of PR, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess - One of my first bosses at The Phoenician. Her funny Facebook posts are legendary.
Kirsten Magen: VP, Blackbird PR - Another Arizona girl and the absolute best at travel recs and hosting dinner parties.
Kristen Vigrass: President, The Brandman Agency - We've traveled to the Gold Coast in Australia, Laos and Cambodia. Hilarious storyteller.
Elaine Srnka: Editorial Director, Virtuoso - Elaine (another Aggie!) oversees Virtuoso's magazines and editorial strategy and I love seeing her at Virtuoso events.
Terrie Hansen: Senior VP, Marketing, Virtuoso - I really enjoy keeping track of how Terrie and the brand use innovative marketing techniques to continue to expand.
Rebecca Widness: Founder, Widness & Company Public Relations - I worked with Rebecca when I first moved to NYC, and she turned into a friend for life.
Laura Fairweather: Manager, Corporate PR for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts - We had the best long coffee in Cannes last fall.
Anthea Gerrie: Travel & food writer - We traveled together in Italy and have met up in London and Berlin.
Alyssa Schwartz: Travel Writer - Super smart and funny - we traveled together in Laos & Cambodia.
Sandra Ramani: Travel/Lifestyle Writer - We were also in Laos & Cambodia together. I wish I had her eye for finding cool products and items from around the world.
Rebecca Soloff: Director of Sales & Marketing at The Mark Hotel - I love seeing Rebecca at events - we've hung out in Berlin and Cannes.
Kelly Nagle: Communications Manager at Santa Monica CVB - Instant friend to everyone - embodies that easygoing Southern California lifestyle.
Monica Poling: Contributing writer for TravelAge West, Founder of Travel Glitter - Love her thoughts on the trade industry, technology, and Japan.
Maisa Fernandez: Co-Founder, Globa.li (see above) - Sarah's co-founder is equally awesome and has years of travel marketing experience.
Emily Venugopal: Director of PR for The Pierre, A Taj Hotel - The best British sense of humor
Allison Sitch: VP, Global Public Relations at The Ritz-Carlton Company - We met in Cannes for a drink and I could have spent all night with her. Great stories.
Parool K. Shah: VP, Sheila Donnelly & Associates - I met Parool in D.C. when she worked with Ritz-Carlton and loved her style and passion for media.
Jules Perowne: Co-Founder of PCC (Perowne Charles Communications) - I met Jules at ILTM Americas - she has built an incredible client list as one of the best agencies in Europe.
Nancy Novogrod: Former Editor in Chief of Travel + Leisure - She gave me a shot when I barely had any experience in the industry.
Klara Glowczewska: Travel Editor, Town & Country and Former Editor in Chief of Conde Nast Traveler - I've long admired her work and really enjoyed meeting in Cannes last fall.
Tiffani Cailor: Director of PR for Four Seasons Hotel New York - First met in Costa Rica and have loved our NYC lunch and coffee dates.
Tara MacIntyre: Director of PR for Four Seasons Resort Nevis - A memorable trip to Nevis and lots of hang-time in New York. Wonderful, funny writer.
Szilvi Keszthelyi: The best guide in Budapest - Loved working with her on the Danube and in Hungary.
Wendy Lyn: Best food tour guide in Paris/Founder of The Paris Kitchen - I won't forget dancing at 2 a.m. with her and Pierre Sang Boyer at his newly opened restaurant.
Vickie Love Greenlee: Travel advisor/For Travelers Only - One of the friendliest faces I see at Virtuoso events.
Kate Birchler: Assistant VP, Tourism Marketing, Macerich - If you want to know where and how best to shop, Kate's your girl.
Stephanie Sanstead: Director of PR, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa - I first met Stephanie almost 10 years ago when we were both coordinators in Arizona!