2020-2021 Associate-at-Large Candidates (1 seat)

Vickie Ashford

Vickie Ashford

If elected to serve as SATW’s Associate-At-Large, I plan to make every effort to promote a viable working relationship between the 700+journalists and over 300 associate members. I will continue, as I have since joining SATW in 2011, place great emphasis on growing the organization’s membership. This of course will involve constant involvement with the current membership officer. I am proud to serve on the newly formed diversity committee, an arm of SATW.


Just as I was as a candidate for Associate-At-Large several years ago, I am still very passionate concerning the subject of diversity within the organization. I can report that the diversity committee is everything the name implies, but is not limited to black and brown members’ inclusivity, but that of LGBTQ along with various ethnicities and members with disabilities.

Lauralee Dobbins

Diversity. Inclusion. Representation.


These hot issues are a large part of why I’m a candidate for SATW Associate at Large.


Just as editors and freelancers have both common interests and separate needs, so too do solo practitioners and their colleagues from agencies and DMOs. While we all face similar challenges in qualifying media for sponsorship, navigating the world of influencers and straddling the broad, blurry line between PR and marketing, solo practitioners do these things alone, without colleagues or staff to inform and advise. Many of us more closely identify with freelancers in terms of income, and the need to produce good work, keep the books, handle IT issues, conduct research, identify and hire vendors, market ourselves and dust the office.


Associates come to this organization from a variety of perspectives and with a broad range of resources and needs. Solo practitioners, small agencies, large agencies, DMOs and brands all need to have their voices heard. As your Associate at Large, my mission would be to advocate for all associates from the perspective of a solo practitioner.


As background, I have spent my entire career in hospitality/tourism-related PR, beginning in the early days of Atlantic City’s casino industry as the PR manager for Harrah’s. After more than a decade, I formed my own small agency working for casinos, Atlantic City attractions and non-profits. Later, I joined a hotel-focused firm outside DC, before returning to New Jersey and my solo practitioner roots. Property, agency, sole practitioner, even destination advocate – – I’ve been where you are. Inclusion and representation are part of every conversation today, and you can rest assured that I will represent all associates, regardless of size, while ensuring that my solo cohorts have a voice in SATW. I’d appreciate your vote.