2019-2020 Secretary Candidates

Gary Arndt


When I ran for SATW Secretary two years ago, I wanted to help modernize the society and bring SATW up to speed with the changes that are happening in the travel industry.


As the first independent publisher (aka blogger) to sit on SATW’s board of directors, I’ve been able to provide a new voice and provide a fresh and different perspective to the board. This is something I hope to continue to do over the next two years.


SATW is starting to experience a revival. We are seeing a growth in membership, and we are also seeing a change in membership. Not only a generational change but a professional change in the types of people who are joining. SATW members are no longer fit into simple boxes of editors, freelancer, and PR professionals. We have many members who are both editors and freelancers, we have some people like myself who fit neither traditional category, and there are even a growing number of PR professionals who are travel writers, and vice versa.


SATW has to grow and change to reflect the changes in the industry and with our membership. Our society’s structure still reflects the publishing industry of 40 years ago, not the reality which our members work under in 2019.  This means moving the organization to satisfy the needs of professionals in the travel publishing industry today.


In the last two years I have sat on the board of directors, we’ve made quite a bit of progress, but we still have a lot more work to do. I want to continue to work to improve the image and standing of SATW in the travel and travel publishing industry and to help move to SATW forward.

Martha Chapman

I am honored to be a candidate for the role of SATW Secretary.  I’m a 20-year plus member of the Society, originally as an Associate and now as an Active, so I really understand “both sides” of the Society.


Over the years I have served on the National Board as your Associate-at-Large and your Active-at-Large; on the Benefits and History committees; and am currently the Secretary for the Canadian Chapter as well as editor of the Chapter newsletter.


I know that the role of the Secretary requires someone with great attention to detail, efficiency and clarity. Having served on the Board for four years I also appreciate that the Secretary’s input on discussions, changes and improvements is welcomed.


Moving forward I believe our focus should firmly be on attracting and retaining members through tangible benefits – ideally, enough to offset membership dues – and effective professional development, at least some of which should be geared to today’s growing number of self-employed members, both Active and Associate. Our organization must be able to answer the question that is in the forefront of so many current and potential members’ minds: How can I make money doing what I love to do?


Some of us remember the “good old days” of $1/word and fat travel sections in our weekend papers.  But changing times don’t mean that opportunity has dried up, as many of our members can attest.  A large part of our job in the Association is to inform members of these opportunities in both social and traditional media, and to help us all succeed through education, re-training, networking – and a growing and vibrant SATW.


I am excited about this opportunity and hope I can count on your support!