Professional Development

Tuesday, June 5

9:15 AM – 10:30 AM

“Optimizations and Online Writing”

Patrick Rodgers

Patrick Rodgers is a Content Director at Miles Partnership, one of the country’s leading digital agencies specializing in travel and destination marketing. He has had the pleasure of working on award-winning content programs and providing strategic consultation for destinations like San Francisco, New York City and Branson, among others, on projects including content strategy, multimedia content production and content optimization. Before joining Miles, he was a writer and editor in Denver, CO and Savannah, GA who worked with a variety of magazines, alt-weeklies and publishers covering arts, culture, travel and news. He currently resides in the woods of New York’s Hudson Valley with his wife and two cats.

9:15 AM – 10:30 AM

“Press Trips” – Laurie Rowe

Laurie Rowe

Laurie has extensive experience in all facets of destination marketing. Over the past 29 years, she has held senior-level management positions in hotels, resort real estate sales and destination marketing organizations, including four years as a director of sales for the State of Georgia’s tourism division. In 2006, Laurie created Laurie Rowe Communications, Inc. (LRC), to put her skills and experience, as well as her extensive network of industry experts, to work for tourism organizations of all sizes and budgets. Starting with a handful of Georgia destinations and events, Laurie’s vision and leadership have built LRC’s client list to include some 50* destinations, festivals, events and travel regions, plus Travel South USA and the Southeast Tourism Society. Laurie has served on the board of directors for numerous industry associations and was honored at the 2013 Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference with the Larry Allen Tourism Leadership Award. A 1998 graduate herself, she later served on the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College Board of Trustees and is an instructor at the annual college, sharing her knowledge of travel media press visits, FAM trips and the fundamentals of tourism PR.

Wednesday, June 6

11:15 AM – 12:30 PM

Editors Panel

Join editors from Coastal Living and Global Traveler in an informal discussion about their needs and editorial direction.

Kimberly Krol

Kimberly Krol joined Global Traveler in 2006 as circulation and public relations executive. She attended Syracuse University, with a bachelors of science in magazine journalism, and received her Masters degree in Writing Studies from St. Joseph’s University in 2012. Krol moved into the role of managing editor in 2011. In 2016, Krol became editor in chief, and today serves as editor in chief of Global Traveler, and

A 2005 study abroad semester in London sparked Krol’s love of travel, and since then, she’s enjoyed the good fortune to travel to some of the best places in the world. Favorite experiences include hiking the Liwa Desert at sunrise in Abu Dhabi; a waterfall helicopter landing in Kaua’i; floating in the Dead Sea in Israel; exploring Chernobyl during a visit to Ukraine; and watching the bulls run in Pamplona.Krol is heavily involved with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Eastern Pennsylvania.

Tracey Minkin

Tracey Minkin is Senior Editor, Travel + Features, at Coastal Living, a luxury lifestyle print and digital brand at Meredith Corporation, which was awarded the SATW Lowell Thomas gold medal for overall excellence in travel coverage in a non-travel publication in 2016 and 2017. Minkin has spent her career as both editor for regional and national magazines and freelance writer. Her writing has been anthologized in collections and has won regional and national awards. She was a contributing author to Fodor’s The Thirteen Colonies, a historical/cultural travel guidebook. Prior to joining Coastal Living in 2014, she was the founding editor of, an all-digital news and information platform in Providence, Rhode Island. She has an MS from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Wednesday, June 6

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

“Alligators everywhere: Outdoor writing in Florida” – Sandra Friend and John Keatley

Writing about the outdoors as a destination is an extension of travel writing, but it includes a depth and complexity of research – all hidden behind the scenes – to make it easy for readers to follow in your footsteps. Weather and climate frame your time in the field, where protecting your electronics is as important as recording the lay of the landscape and the feel of the adventure. In Florida, it’s not uncommon to wade through swamps, paddle through mangrove tunnels, or to push your bike through patches of deep soft sand. And yes, alligators lurk in every body of water. In this workshop, Florida authors Sandra Friend and John Keatley share their workflow for outdoor writing, including tips and techniques to optimize your time while simultaneously building an online following. Both Actives and Associates will appreciate knowing what goes into outdoor research, and why writing about the outdoors is valuable to your audience.

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM —

“Author’s Travelogue—Writing Hyperlocal History”

Michael Gabriele

Lifelong New Jersey resident Michael Gabriele has written three books on Garden State history, all published by Arcadia Publishing/The History Press. Gabriele will discuss his journey as a book author, which began 10 years ago as part of his four-decade career as a journalist. He will discuss the process of writing for news publications compared with creating a book narrative; cultivating sources and gathering research; and working with a publisher to deliver a comprehensive manuscript (words and images). Gabriele also will stress the importance of writers taking an active role in the business aspects of marketing/communications and identifying an audience for a book project. His hyperlocal book topics explore New Jersey’s history as the one-time professional bicycling capital of the world; the culture, spirit, cuisine and mythology of the diner business; and the state’s “sense of place” as a crossroads for the evolution of folk revival music.