2021-2022 Digital Publishers Council Candidates


Mary Jo Manzanares

I’m a traveler, content creator, and digital publisher, and I’ve been a member of SATW since 2014. Since joining, I’ve served on the Professional Development Committee, was the Co-Chair of Professional Development for the El Paso Convention, and currently serve as the Co-Chair of the new Digital Publishers Council and as Parliamentarian for the Board of Directors.


While travel seems to be looming on the horizon, our business and careers are likely still playing catch up. We’ve stepped back; we’ve pivoted; we’ve looked at new revenue streams. Most importantly, we’re still here. And while our business models and plans may be different, we all share a common goal of sustaining successful travel communication careers and businesses. As an Association, we still have significant challenges ahead of us as we emerge from the pandemic – both professionally and practically.


Now is the time to double down on understanding and meeting member needs, and those needs may have changed over the last year. Membership in SATW should provide a solid return on investment. We need to remove barriers from membership involvement and tap into the strength of our diversity. We can keep an eye on the budget while still expanding on successful initiatives and can let go of processes and projects that no longer serve us well. And we must do it all while focusing on our core mission – inspiring travel through responsible journalism. I’m up to the task. I think you’re up to the task, too. As a representative voice of DPC, I’m ready to roll up my sleeve and get to work. I ask for your support and your vote.

First Vice Chair

Doreen Pendgracs

Hi everyone. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to reach out and introduce myself to those who don’t (yet) know me. I’ve always been a joiner and an active volunteer of groups I belong to. (I even wrote a book about volunteerism!) If we don’t work together to make things better, they won’t get better. So I’d like to put my experience and enthusiasm to work for the Digital Publishers Council (DPC) and serve you as First Vice-President.


Active members are the strength of our organization, and by helping one another and the organization as a whole, we all win. I’m past president of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), am a founding co-chair of the Canadian Freelance Guild (CFG), and a member of the North American Travel Writers Association, (NATJA) so I have a lot of accumulated insight and experience to share. I began freelance writing in 1993 and have written for a wide variety of publications. I have an award-winning site with a blog covering experiential travel, chocolate travel (my niche), lifestyle and the writing life. I’m the author/co-author of four books to date and am currently working on my fifth: “Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate Adventures.”


I feel so blessed to be living my passions through the various opportunities presented to me via my work. It doesn’t get any better than that! In addition to my online writing and social presence, I’ve coordinated, planned and hosted many events in association with my work and volunteer roles. This includes chairing the national committee for planning PWAC conferences and PWAC’s presence at industry events, hosting chocolate-themed dinners and events, chocolate and wine pairings, and chocolate tastings—in person and on Zoom. I look forward to serving the DPC and to sharing ideas with you.

Lina Stock

Lina Stock is the founder of a multi-award-winning travel blog and has been a professional content creator, blogger, and digital publisher for 8 years. She’s been a member of SATW since 2017 and undertook a leading role in the creation of the Digital Publishers Council that included acting as a crucial bridge for partnerships held by the merged PTBA that will benefit DPC members into the future.


She brings a depth of knowledge in the digital industry, marketing, and campaign partnerships with her that provides a balanced view of what the industry needs to advance and grow in today’s landscape. She understands the challenges that our industry faces and how to navigate them towards success. Electing her to serve as 1st Vice Chair for the DPC will offer the opportunity for her to utilize her knowledge and skills to ensure events are organized and held that will benefit the members of the DPC professionally. As she has done in her previous role as the co-chair of the DPC, she will continue to advocate for digital publishers and their important place in the travel media landscape.


With the past year being such a large hit to our industry and community, 2022 will be a year of rebuilding and new opportunity for our members. With her strong leadership, experience in the field, and understanding of how our roles benefit the travel industry, she is ready to serve in a roll that will help everyone in the council elevate into the future.

Second Vice Chair

Kimberly Tate

I’m running for a position on the Digital Publisher’s Council to bring my knowledge of the digital publishing world to SATW. With nine years of experience running a blog and social channels, I will assist SATW in supporting those who run their own publishing businesses. Travel content has evolved, with blogs and social media being important elements in both the travel decision making and travel booking processes. I look forward to serving SATW and its digital members.


Kirsten Maxwell

I have been interested in working with SATW for a couple of years, and think it is finally time to put my name out there to help with the Digital Publishers Council. Using my experience as a content creator and editor for the last 7 years, I hope to help the DPC grow as part of SATW.