2020-2021 Western Chapter Candidates


Eric Lindberg

After joining SATW in 2000, I quickly learned the value of membership: networking, professional development, and especially the lasting friendships and industry connections. As I learned more about SATW, I began to understand the dedication and remarkable efforts of dedicated volunteers who make this a successful organization. As my own involvement grew, I began volunteering as well. I was Chair of the Photographers Committee for seven years, and I spent four years as Chair of the Muster Photography Competition.


Having served as First Vice Chair of the Western Chapter for four years, I’m currently in my first term as Chair of the Western Chapter. I’m now looking forward to serving in my second term as Chair of our Western Chapter. As a writer and photographer who has worked extensively with Actives and Associates, I understand the needs and concerns of both sides. I am passionate about SATW, and serving as Chapter Chair is how I can give back to the society. I will continue to do my best to represent all members of our Western Chapter.

First Vice Chair

Julie Bielenberg

I’ve been a member of SATW since 2015. Based in Denver, I focus on agritourism, dude ranches, family travel and the Caribbean. I’m usually on a farm or field in some form. From slow food to slow flowers, I’ve never been one to claim that I can get it all done in one day; too many adventures to be had. I write about 75 stories a year for a dozen or so outlets.


Carol Waller

I am honored to throw my hat in the ring again to continue to serve as your SATW Western Chapter Board Secretary. It has been rewarding to participate in this role for the last two years and I promise that I will continue to do my very best to continue to make positive contributions to our Chapter through my work as Secretary, and an officer on the Western Chapter Board.


It’s obvious that the travel industry and SATW are facing unprecedented changes, which affect us all at various levels. We face many daunting challenges, but also need to make sure that we seek out the new opportunities that lie ahead. I am committed to working together with our Western Chapter leaders and members to ensure that we are adapting to our new realities with a focus on meeting the needs of our Western Chapter members. Thank you for your consideration and for your vote.


Sherry Spitsnaugle

When I was first accepted into SATW – some two decades ago—I dreamed, that night, that I took a press trip to the moon. It’s not hard to interpret that one. SATW offered unlimited opportunities, connections, adventures, and journeys. As a travel journalist, I feel fortunate to be part of an organization that values its members and lives its mission. There are many of you whose work I admire and whose friendship I cherish–more than you’ll ever know.


Contributing to SATW as a volunteer has been far more fun than effort. Since 2011, I have had the pleasure of working with Peter Fitzsimmons and a crew of eagle-eyed editors to proof the SATW directory; I also loved photographing events, as a volunteer, at our national conference in El Paso. For me, participating in PhotoQuest at that meeting was a highlight of 2019. As a rookie, nerves got to me the first night: I panicked and thought my camera was broken but had simply forgotten to remove the lens cap. Several pros—who, more importantly, are nice human beings—gave me a pep talk to boost my confidence. Multiply that story times thousands, and it’s easy to get an idea of how many of us benefit every day from our SATW relationships.


Today, as I write this from my home in Denver, the world feels upside down due to COVID-19. Yet, this morning, I felt encouraged when I tuned into the SATW webinar, “Survival Tips with President-Elect Larry Bleiberg.” He offered ideas, inspiration, and information, and finished by telling us, “Our strength will come from each other.” I would be honored to serve as Active-at-Large and will give my all to the organization.

Marlene Goldman

Though Rich Grant’s hat may be a few sizes to big for me to fill physically, I am throwing my hat in the ring for the Active at Large board member position. In the face of all that is happening with the travel industry, more than ever associates and actives need each other’s support. It’s also a time when content providers can demonstrate their importance with an array of stories, videos, photos, broadcasts, blog posts and more.


As an Active at Large, I would welcome the responsibility of being Clip Folder Chair–monitoring and organizing the digital clips from our members, proving our positive results for the destinations we visit. It would also be an honor to represent the Western Chapter at the annual convention as well as council meetings. In the face of living life through Zoom recently, the importance of connecting in person with fellow SATW members is even more apparent.


I have been a member of SATW since 2001, attending many of the meetings, and I always learn from the professional development as well as the vast pool of experience our members boast. This is a time when our community of travel professionals needs most to come together, as we wait to be able to meet and explore again, sharing our experiences and stories.