Secretary Candidates

Aja Hannah

I enjoyed my time serving as the secretary for the Central States Chapter and I want to continue to serve SATW. I am a great note-taker and I have experience sending newsletters to chapter members. As an active member, I attended the Bogota Conference and my local chapter’s conference. In my professional career, I have written for AAA, The Independent, and Green America.

Beverly Hurley

It seems I was born to take notes, and minutes. I’m a list maker, detail oriented person, who loves to keep records, whether these are of my family’s special memories, SATW’s history, my current work as a garden travel editor, my past work in public relations, and the list goes on. It takes such a person like me to be the SATW secretary who can sit through board meetings and take the minutes, and then summarize these down to a readable format that captures the essence of what just happened in the room where it happened. The job of taking minutes and remembering what was said by whom is an important role on the SATW board. It’s the historical record of SATW and one of the ways for members to know what the SATW board is discussing. It connects you as a member to SATW and it’s a way for the board to connect to you. I hope you consider voting for me as your next SATW secretary.

Susan Lanier-Graham

I have been a freelance writer for three decades and a digital publisher for the last ten years. During my career, I’ve had times when I felt isolated and searched for like-minded creatives who understood this crazy travel writing life. That hit me hardest in 2009 when I launched Wander With Wonder. At that time, finding information about publishing online was difficult. I felt alone trying to figure out how to balance my freelance career with creating a digital publication. That changed when I discovered SATW. I found my people—people who truly understood this crazy life we lead.

I have been a part of SATW for over a decade, and watching the organization change and grow as our industry changes is exciting. I am thrilled to be a part of that growth and look forward to meeting the challenges head-on as we evolve. SATW has opened many doors for me, and I am honored to have this opportunity to give back and help others.

Over the past two years, I’ve co-chaired the Membership Directory Committee and have been working to change how our members interact, share their accomplishments, and find resources to get their jobs done. I also believe we need to find better ways to disseminate information and I would like to make that a goal. As your secretary, I will take my commitment to each of you seriously. It is essential that we, as an organization, be open to everyone in our industry, regardless of whether they are a more traditional travel writer or someone working in new platforms that I couldn’t have imagined when, as a young college student, I sold my first travel article in 1985. What an exciting time we live in!

I would love for us as an organization to reach out to more diverse members of the travel community, welcoming those with various perspectives and experiences. Our five core values as an organization—ethical standards, diversity, respect for individuals, respect for culture, and sustainability—should be our guiding light.

I look forward to working with all members to ensure the strength of our organization is available to help tell the stories we all want and need to tell.

Christopher Mitchell

I was honoured to be asked to run for Board Secretary. I firmly believe that, if given the opportunity, I can be a genuine asset to both my fellow board members, and to SATW members at large.

I began my journey in the world of travel writing with a website 13 years ago that, at the time, was more akin to a public travel diary. However, I began to recognize the power of this endeavor when, shortly after moving to Korea in 2011, I was given a Certificate of Appointment by the Minister of Culture for my work on the site. While there, I also began writing for several magazines, and started to become familiar with the nearly unmatched feeling of seeing my name in print.

This established my deep reverence for both print and digital media. Writing for a wide array of magazines and publications has instilled in me a profound respect for the written word and responsible journalism, while running multiple successful websites with millions of visits has enabled me to clearly understand what success looks like in an ever-changing media landscape.

The role of Secretary requires someone who can take diligent notes and write succinct minutes, but it also requires someone who can offer insight on a variety of the issues that the Board and our members face, and I feel uniquely well suited for this task.

When I joined SATW, I was moved by the notion that this is an organization in motion, and that motion is led from within, by the selfless commitment of its members and leadership group. I’ve been a part of founding and finding success with the largest creator-led group in Toronto, the Toronto Blogger Collective, and I’ve had leadership roles with the Travel Media Association of Canada. But now my sights are set firmly on this potential role, and the opportunity I have to contribute.

This is a position that is underlined by a need for responsibility, integrity, and attention to detail. Whether I’ve been writing for a magazine, hiring a freelance writer or writing for one of our sites, or crafting the next edition of my weekly digital media newsletter, I’ve always focused on doing things the right way, and that, in the end, is precisely what I would aim to do as Secretary.