Speakers at Women's Travel Fest 2017
Women’s Travel Fest is an annual conference that inspires and empowers women to travel the world.
travel, female travel, solo travel, world travel, wanderlust, women travel, traveler, global travel, sustainable travel, networking, travel writers
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Keynote Speakers

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Pauline Frommer

President, Frommer's Media

Pauline Frommer

President, Frommer’s Media LLC and Frommer’s Guidebooks

About

Pauline Frommer is the Co-President of Frommer Media LLC (owner of the Frommer’s Guidebooks and Frommers.com) alongside her father Arthur Frommer. She hosts a nationally syndicated radio show on travel and writes a weekly column syndicated internationally by King Features. She presented weekly travel features for CNN’s Headline News for several years and has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, the NBC Evening News, the O’Reilly Factor and every local news show you can name.

An award-winning journalist, Frommer has won several Lowell Thomas medals from the American Society of Travel Writers; Frommer’s guidebook to New York City was named “Best Guidebook of the Year” two years in a row by the North American Travel Journalists Association (her current guide” Frommer’s EasyGuide to New York City” has been the best-seller to NYC for the last three years running).

In addition, she’s written books on Washington, DC, Las Vegas and Hawaii, as well as contributing to “The Experts Guide to Babies”. Over the years, Frommer has served as Travel Editor for MSNBC.com and Editor-In-Chief for Frommers.com. Pauline is the proud mother of two very well-traveled daughters and married to Columbia University professor Mahlon Stewart.

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Cassie de Pecol

First Documented Woman to Visit Every Country in the World

Cassie de Pecol

First Documented Woman to Visit Every Country in the World

About

Cassie de Pecol is on a mission to be the first documented woman to travel to all 196 sovereign nations in the world, and the fastest person on record to do so. 
All her life Cassie knew she wanted to be an inspiration, but the question was how? She was raised in rural Washington, Connecticut. In August of 2009 she and her brother took off to travel to Europe and after a month of exploring Belgium, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland, they parted ways. Cassie continued on with what would be two years of travel across four continents with only $2,000 in her bank account. She slept in train stations, lived off of bread, swept floors and hitch hiked her way through the Middle East, Africa, South America and Asia while pursuing Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality through independently gained internships.
Still though, she felt as though she had a fire burning inside of her, even after having lived through such a unique upbringing and complex group of adult years through college, work and travel. Her dream since High School was to see every country on earth, and it wasn’t until her 25th birthday that she realized her life-long dream was in plain sight, just waiting for her to make a move. There was no better time to pursue her goal of seeing every country on earth. So, she spent one month sweating over a wall map and planning her itinerary for what would be, Expedition 196, a quest to visit all 193 Sovereign Nations plus Taiwan, Kosovo and Palestine, making it 196, to become the First Documented Woman to do so as well as the Fastest Person to break a Guinness World Record. More importantly, her Mission encompasses educating the youth and women throughout the global university sector on the importance of women’s achievement, the two pillars of responsible tourism (sustainability and regeneration) and peace through tourism and economics with criteria set fourth by the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism, Skal International and the Institute for Economics and Peace. She plants the national tree of these countries alongside the students, Mayors and Ministers of Tourism in Peace Parks in order to offset her carbon footprint, and she also collects water samples to test for the presence of microplastics for the organization, Adventure Scientists. An educational documentary and book series is the end result, while also pursuing motivational speaking and developing a universal student internship program.
“Throw yourself into the fire of your own fears and devote your life and every part of yourself to that specific quest”, words of wisdom that fuel Cassie throughout her journey.

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Shannon Kaiser

Best-Selling Author, Adventures For Your Soul

Shannon Kaiser

Best-Selling Author, Adventures for Your Soul & Find Your Happy

About

Shannon Kaiser has been named “Top 100 Women to Watch in Wellness” by Mind Body Green along side Cameron Diaz and Gweneth Paltrow, and “a thought leader on the rise” by Café TruthShannon is the best-selling author of Adventures for Your Soul, and Find Your Happy.
Her website Playwiththeworld.com, was named “Top 75 Personal Development Websites,” and “Top 100 Self Help Blogs” by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. She’s an inspirational author, international life coach and travel writer, who left her job in advertising several years ago to follow her heart and become a writer. She’s the Travel Editor of the award winning wellness magazine Healing Lifestyles & Spas, and her work has been recognized in media outlets across the globe including Huffington Post Travel, Health Magazine, Matador, Australian Vogue, Women’s Health, Spirituality & Health, Wanderlust and Entrepreneur magazine. Everything Shannon does is to help you connect to your true self and unapologetically live your authentic purpose.
For more on Shannon’s empowering work visit PlayWithTheWorld.comFacebook, and Twitter.

Speakers

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Alyssa Ramos

Blogger, My Life's a Movie

Alyssa Ramos

Blogger & Influencer, My Life’s a Movie

About

Alyssa Ramos is the solo female traveler behind the blog My Life’s a Movie, and notoriously known “badass” Instagrammer of the account @MyLifesATravelMovie. She is best known for her extreme solo travels, ambitious attitude towards life, dedicated following, and token back-of-head selfies that show the place, not the face. Alyssa has been to 51 countries so far, where she most enjoys adventure and interacting with locals. She also runs a charitable foundation called Heartsleeves.org, and a travel savings and makings program called The Wanderlust Workers.

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Daria Rebenok

Co-founder and CEO of Grabr

Daria Rebenok

Co-founder and CEO of Grabr

About

As the co-founder and CEO of Grabr, the world’s first peer-to-peer delivery network, Daria Rebenok is involved in all aspects of the startup’s rapidly expanding business and actively leverages her greater expertise in strategy and marketing.
A self proclaimed “travel fanatic” and advocate for the share economy, Daria takes great pride in Grabr’s ability to establish a connection between globetrotters who want to enjoy the items they love from around the world even when they can’t travel themselves. Grabr’s mission and community is direct reflection of her passion for travel, sense of adventure, and belief in the positive affect an individual can have on another. Originally from Moscow, Russia, Daria grew up with a fascination for the world and foreign languages — learning English, Spanish, German, and Italian in addition to her already native tongue by the age of 20.

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Cailin O'Neil

Travel Blogger & Snapchat Influencer

Cailin O'Neil

Travel, video and food blogger & social media influencer

About

Cailin O’Neil is an award winning travel, video, and food blogger and has been doing so for the past 7 years. With a background in the film and TV industry she has traveled the world to over 50 countries sharing her travels and stories on her blog, youtube and social media channels. In the past year Caitlin has also taken on using Snapchat to share content and has become an expert on the topic speaking at conferences around the world all while becoming quite the influencer on the platform.

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Sarah Dodd

World Traveler, Motivational Speaker & Writer

Sarah Dodd

World Traveler, Motivational Speaker & Writer

About

Sarah Dodd is a bilingual (English/Spanish) motivational speaker and solo traveler, who is on a wild adventure around the globe.

 

She is also the founder of the bilingual website, The Nomadic Dreamer, and has a weekly radio program called “Motivation with The Nomadic Dreamer,” where she brings an uplifting message from different places around the world.

 

She’s a TEDx speaker, a writer and a risk taker who had to overcome some serious hurdles before living her dream. Ever since she was young, Sarah always had the dream to travel, but given her financial situation, she put her wanderlust on hold.  She focused on her studies and paid her way through college, until she finally earned her nursing degree.

 

In 2013 she moved to Spain, without knowing a single word of Spanish, just a few years later she gave a talk at the largest TEDx conference in Spain in Spanish.

 

Sarah’s mission in her travel is to spread a message of friendship and connection between countries and cultures through her travels around the globe. She has an exciting year of traveling ahead through South America, Europe and north Asia, where she will connect with schools, universities, non profits, tourism boards and companies in order to share and inspire in all that she has learned in her experiences around the world.

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Nneya Richards

Fashion Maven, Founding Contributing Editor at Teen Vogue

Nneya Richards

Founder of N’ A Perfect World

About

A born and raised New Yorker and global citizen, Nneya Richards is a fashion maven, starting at 15 years old as a founding contributing editor of TeenVOGUE magazine and is currently a fashion stylist & consultant and travel blogger at ‘N A Perfect World as well as an ambassador for the non-profit fashion organization, Glam4Good.
A frequent contributor to travel and fashion publications like Vogue Italia, Fathom Away, StyleCaster, TheTig.com her passion for cultural exploration – fluent in Spanish and Italian and having lived and travelled abroad extensively – and desire to see more faces and perspectives of people of colour in the travel industry led Nneya to launch ’N A Perfect World… a curated intersection of travel, food, fashion and geopolitics inspired by the global-citizen lifestyle of the millennial. And recently launching the podcast ‘Never Date A Traveler about dating and romance on the road.
Nneya Richards matriculated at Amherst College with a Bachelor of Arts in Women & Gender Studies gaining a broad range of experience in the fashion world post college at top fashion houses including BCBG MaxAzria Group, Zac Posen and Topshop and as a fashion director at the New York Observer, as well as positions oversees with Milan-based media houses. Nneya balances her love of styling and editorial work with working with up-and-coming designers and brands from the ground up aiding in branding, public relations and tastemaker and VIP seeding.

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Mickela Mallozzi

Host And Producer Of Bare Feet With Mickela Mallozzi

Mickela Mallozzi

Host and Producer of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi

About

Mickela Mallozzi is the Emmy® Award-winning host and producer of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi, a travel series airing on PBS. From re-discovering her family’s roots in Southern Italy to dancing tango in Buenos Aires, the series covers Mickela’s adventures as she experiences the world, one dance at a time. She has been featured in The New York Times, Travel Channel, Dance Magazine, USA TODAY, and American Express.
Mickela now offers Bare Feet® Dance Tours, dance-focused itineraries based on the TV series, for travelers to join her in various destinations around the globe. Follow Mickela at @TravelBareFeet or go to TravelBareFeet.com for more information.

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Megan McDonough

Writer, blogger, and content strategist

Megan McDonough

San Francisco-based writer, blogger and content strategist

About

She runs Bohemian Trails, an award-winning blog designed for the savvy and stylish traveler and contributes to a number of media outlets—Business Insider, WIRED, Budget Travel, Fodor’s and AFAR among others. Her lust for adventure began during a semester working for a fashion agency in London followed by a two-year stint at a record label in New York. Since then, her cultural escapades have taken her through Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Americas and the Caribbean.

 

She has two passports (United States and Ireland), is married to an Argentine entrepreneur and considers herself a citizen of the world. Megan has worked with a number of brands to better harness the power of social media and strategic copy. Some of her credits include Hearst, Condé Nast, The New York Times, Sonia’s Travels, Wind-up Records and Driver Digital. Bohemian Trails was awarded a Travel + Leisure SMITTY for Best Use of Social Media by an Independent Travel Photo-Journalist/Videographer and is currently ranked among the Top 50 Travel Blogs in the world.

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Gillian Morris

CEO, Hitlist

Gillian Morris

CEO & Founder, Hitlist

About

Gillian Morris is the co-founder and CEO of Hitlist, an app that alerts you when there are cheap flights for your dream trips. TIME named Hitlist one of the 50 Best Apps of 2016 and the app has been recognized as a ‘Best New App’ by the app store in 83 countries. Investors include the founders of jetBlue and the former Chairman of Orbitz.

Before entering the start-up world, Gillian worked as a consultant, journalist, and educator in Turkey, China, the Gulf states, and Syria. Her work has appeared in/on the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Buzzfeed, CNN, CNBC, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and LifeHacker.

Gillian’s work in emerging markets has made her a passionate advocate for entrepreneurship and private sector investment in the developing world. She is a proud mentor with the School of Leadership Afghanistan and Gaza Sky Geeks.
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Juliana Broste

Travel Video Journalist, Filmmaker, Producer

Juliana Broste

Travel Video Journalist

About

Emmy Award Winning Travel Video Journalist, On-Air Talent, Host, Writer, Producer, Filmmaker, Videographer, Photographer, Editor. Creates entertaining original travel and lifestyle content for television, web, and social media / marketing campaigns.

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Deidre Mathis

Author, World Traveler, Entrepreneur

Deidre Mathis

Author, World Traveler, Entrepreneur

About

Deidre Mathis could be caught jumping from towers in New Zealand, bathing rescue elephants in Thailand, zip lining in a Mexican jungle or skydiving in the States. When she’s not trekking the globe, she is well known as a budget world traveler, author, and public speaker. Deidre is well-known as a budget world traveler, author, and public speaker. She has traveled to more than 36 countries, 6 continents, and she has lived abroad in 3 of those countries. Her first book, Wanderlust: For the Young, Broke Professional has been supported in countries such as the U.A.E., China, and Australia.

This acclaimed book has been featured twice in BLACK ENTERPRISE, and she has received recognition in USA TODAY as a Modern Woman.  Other publications that have featured this book and Deidre’s inspiring story on a local and national level include Parlour Magazine, The Houston Chronicle, and Houstonia magazine.
Deidre is no stranger to television coverage, making appearances as the “go to” for travel advice and tips.  She has graced the screens of Great Day Houston, First Coast Living, WBTV CBS, Houston Living and other shows as a budget travel expert.  Women’s travel conferences and colleges and universities have welcomed Deidre as an expert keynote speaker in the area of travel.
Mathis’ claim to fame came about in 2013, when fed up with the daunting task of working a full-time job that did not fulfill her personal or professional goals, and after graduating with her master’s degree in 2013, she quit her job to embark on a travel gap year where she lived on her 12-12-12 model: 12 countries in 12 months for less than $12,000.
Deidre is excited about her latest project, the grand opening of her international hostel, Wanderlust Houston: A Texas Hostel.  This hostel will open in Houston, TX, this summer. This hostel opening will make her a history maker, as she will be the first African-American female U.S. hostel owner. The hostel will be a safe, clean, budget-friendly accommodation option for travelers all over the world.  She recently successfully completed a crowdfunding campaign where over 80 people came together to help her secure initial funding for this business endeavor.
Deidre has a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Florida A&M University, a master’s degree in corporate communications from Bowie State University and a graduate certificate in tourism management from George Washington University.
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Lavinia Spalding

Series Editor: Best Women's Travel Writing

Lavinia Spalding

Editor, Best Women’s Travel Writing

About

Lavinia Spalding is series editor of The Best Women’s Travel Writing, and author of two books: Writing Away: A Creative Guide to Awakening the Journal-Writing Traveler, and With a Measure of Grace, the Story and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant. Her work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including Sunset magazine, Yoga Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco magazine, The Guardian UK, Tin House, Post Road, Inkwell Journal, Overnight Buses, Off Assignment, and Every Day with Rachael Ray, and has been anthologized in The Best Travel Writing Volumes 9 and 10 (Travelers’ Tales), Days Like This (Independent Bookstore Day), and An Innocent Abroad (Lonely Planet). Lavinia also introduced the e-book edition of Edith Wharton’s classic travelogue, A Motor-Flight Through France. She recently moved to New Orleans, where she is working on becoming an expert on all things oyster.  

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Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

Founder of The Globetrotting Teacher Travel Blog

Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

About

Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie is the Founder of The Globetrotting Teacher Travel Blog and an Award Travel Coach who helps others earn and use miles and points to reach their travel goals.

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Kelly Lewis

Founder Of Go! Girl Guides, Women's Travel Fest And Damesly

Kelly Lewis

About

Kelly Lewis is the founder of the Women’s Travel Fest and Damesly. She’s also the founder of Go! Girl Guides, which publishes the world’s first series of travel guidebooks for women.

She’s a travel journalist with over 10 years of experience, and has worked her way across the world, including one stint where she lived on a ship that sailed around the world while working with Semester at Sea. She loves to travel and lives to help other women experience the world.

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Alyson Kilday

Co-Founder of Hop & Jaunt and Damesly

Alyson Kilday

Co-Founder Hop & Jaunt and Damesly

About

Co-Founder/CEO of Hop & Jaunt, an independent creative agency based in New Orleans. Alyson Kilday has over 10 years of experience bringing to life brands and projects for both multi-nationals and startups.

Creative, energetic, and global would be the three words used to describe her the most. She’s passionate about the work, the projects she’s involved with, and the clients she gets to work with. Always on the lookout for new projects to bring to life.

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Courtney Scott

Travel Blogger, Filmmaker at Courtney Scott, Co-Founder of Girls Meet Globe.

Courtney Scott

Travel Blogger, Filmmaker at Courtney Scott, Co-Founder of Girls Meet Globe

About

Once confined to a New York City cubicle, Courtney Scott dreamed of a life less regular. In 2007, with a one-way ticket in hand, she quit her job, moved to Italy and started a blog while teaching English to support her dream. At that time there were only a few dozen female travel blogs out there. She got to know the industry from its inception and hasn’t looked back since. Now she travels for a living as a travel blogger, filmmaker and leading on-air travel expert. Courtney has been featured in over 400 travel interviews including national broadcast segments on CNN, The Today Show, ABC as well as interviews with Refinery 29, Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
 
In 2015, she co-founded Girls Meet Globe, an Instagram community founded on the idea that “one woman can make a difference, but together we can conquer the world.” What began as an experiment has evolved into a destination where nearly 100,000 women come to get inspiration from the most epic girls trips in the world.
 
This will be Courtney’s third year as a Women’s Travel Fest panelist! Follow her travels on Instagram!
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Marcia DeSanctis

Author, 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go

Marcia De Sanctis

Best-Selling Author “100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go”

About

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Scott Eddy

Mega-Influencer

Scott Eddy

Scott is one of the top 10 luxury travel influencers, who routinely works with brands all around the world.

About

From Miami, Scott spent 10 years working on Wall Street before becoming one of the top 10 luxury travel influencers in the industry. Today, @MrScottEddy is at the top of his game, working with brands from all around the world.

This is is his second time speaking at Women’s Travel Fest.

Recommend a Speaker

Interested in becoming a speaker? Don’t see someone on this list that you’d like to recommend? Let us know!

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