Press Pass Logo - September 2019

Volume 37, Issue 07, October 2019

In this Issue:

From the Editor

Chris Cutler - Pretty blond sitting behind her computer desk with blurred bookshelves in Happy Fall, Y’all!

As we head into the “pumpkin spice” season, I hope everything is well on your side of the planet.

I wanted to take a minute to discuss Food, Wine, Travel Magazine and social media with you and encourage you to share links to the magazine and stories within the digital issue or from the website. Building up our readership should be important to everyone in this organization for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it gives us all more credibility. Sharing has many concrete benefits and advantages:

  • Readers see a link and click on it to get more information on your subject or you.
  • A reader sees your name and investigates other pieces you’ve written.
  • A reader identifies with the magazine and IFWTWA, and the brand becomes more important to them.
I hope, therefore, that you will go to our website and share stories or go to our digital edition and share it.

The Official IFWTWA Magazine
ISSUU (digital edition)

Speaking of the digital edition, the second one will “hit the stands,” as it were, on the same day that the conference begins. We have a great trove of hidden treasures to share with you. Thanks to everyone who has participated. Be on the lookout for information for the next issue (due to publish in January).

Before I sign off, I am still looking for volunteers to help with communications. If you are interested in helping out, please email me: [email protected]


Chris signature


a California Mutual Benefit Corporation

Oct 1, 2019

Dear Members,

The International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Assn.’s Board of Directors has authorized an amendment and restatement of the organization’s bylaws, which will be brought before the membership for endorsement for final approval. This governing document has been drafted by our attorneys of record, the For Purpose Law Group to bring the organization’s processes and procedures into compliance with provisions of the California Corporations Code that govern nonprofit organizations. In particular, provisions concerning membership, directorship, and meetings of the organization have been revised to comply with state law. We believe that these bylaws will provide clearer guidance, better protection and appropriate checks and balances for members, officers and directors of the organization.

Please note that the membership is being called to vote, as allowed in section 4.12 Action Without Meeting by Written Ballot of the current bylaws, whether to accept the total bylaw amendment and restatement. As required by section 4.09.3, this vote is restricted to qualifying Regular Members. The date of record, in accordance with section 7611(c) of the California Corporations Code, to determine qualifying Regular Members is noted as Regular Members. Each qualifying Regular Member, as defined in section 3.02.1, Regular Members shall have one total vote which they must cast within 20 days of receipt by email. As allowed in section 4.09.01, any vote may be conducted by postal mail, fax, electronic mail or telephone.

This vote shall be valid according to the current bylaws, section 8.04. These Bylaws shall become effective on their adoption. Amendment to these Bylaws shall become effective immediately on their adoption or at such later time as specified in the amendment.

8.04.1. Subject to the limitations contained in the Articles of Incorporation of the Corporation and to any provisions of law applicable to these amendments of Bylaws of a nonprofit mutual benefit corporation, these Bylaws or any of them may be altered, amended, or repealed and new Bylaws adopted by a written vote of the membership. Passage requires approval by a majority vote of those members who vote on the proposal.

Lastly, the current bylaws (in accordance with California Corporations Code) requires that valid notice be given “not less than ten (10) days” before the membership’s vote. You should expect to see your ballot via email on or about Oct 21, 2019.

IFWTWA Board of Directors


Media Trips 2020

By Linda Kissam, Interim Media Trips Chair

Thanks to team member Judi Cohen, we have our first press trip for 2020 confirmed…and it is fabulous! This is Judi’s first year as a member of the Media Trips Committee. Can you all say, “WOW?!”

American River BBQ Challenge
May 24 – May 31, 2020
American Countess

American Countess River Cruise ship on river at sunrise

Sailing from Memphis, TN to Alton, IL, ports of call include New Madrid, MO; Paducah, KY; Cape Girardeau, MO; Chester, IL; and St. Louis, MO. These cruises pit regional barbeque enthusiasts against our talented culinary teams throughout each voyage. The styles of American barbeque are varied and numerous – and guests on these special itineraries will get to taste a little piece of America – and determine the winners. The best of the best in the barbeque business create unique experiences in each port along the way.

This will be a very popular trip. Make sure your profile is 100% complete before you apply and is set to “public” view. More details about what it takes to qualify and deadlines will come to you via an all-member email invitation soon. Judi is just getting the last details worked out with the host, and then we can post the trip and take applications.

Fam Tour Invitation

by Kimberli Munkres, Associate Member


Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels - Palm tree graphic logo

I'm Kimberli Munkres, an Integrated Brand Strategist,
overseeing marketing and communications for Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels, a consortium of independently owned boutique hotels. I'm passionate about creative community building and the cofounder of the Redlands Arts Collaborative and Common Ground Conversations.

Area / Scope of Coverage / Work
Creative Travel experiences; Boutique Hotels; Palm Springs; Creative Arts Community Building

Kimberli Munkres avatarHow to Work with Me

I work with travel writers who are interested in having an authentic travel experience in Palm Springs through the boutique hotel lens. If you like the unusual, the quirky, the authentic, and the desert scene, I can connect you to the fabulous.

Fam trips are limited to May through December.   

Kimberli Munkres, IFWTWA Associate Member

Telling a story? We can help.

We are delighted to assist travel writers, bloggers, influencers, and producers with story support and ideas, photos, and itinerary development.

We are a consortium of over 75 independently owned, boutique hotels loaded with visually-appealing inspiration. From quirky to charming, mid-century modern to clothing optional, Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels has the perfect stay.

Our hoteliers are creative, entrepreneurial, and dedicated to ensuring that their guests enjoy their stay. Plus, they are easy to interview and can provide an insider’s perspective about Palm Springs.


Regional Media Invitation

by Leigh Cort, Member

Join us for a 4-day 3-night Island Paradise retreat where your mind + body can relax and your taste buds can be tempted. You will experience some of the fun & romantic island adventures that make our award-winning destination irresistible.

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort
St. Simons Island, Georgia
January 19-21, 2020 

  • #1 Most Romantic Town in America (Travel + Leisure)
  • The Happiest Seaside Town (Coastal Living)
  • The Best Beach Towns to Visit This Winter (Southern Living)
  • The South’s Best Beach Towns (Southern Living)
  • The Best Islands in the U.S. (Conde Nast)

The ageless King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort has been a gem in the crown of St. Simons Island since 1935. We are proud to share the rich legacy that has maintained a reputation for elegance and warm Southern hospitality throughout each decade. The King and Prince has been a tranquil island haven for discerning families and business travelers since 1935. Explore a relaxing way of life and a nature paradise. Our unspoiled island beauty and distinctively charming beach lifestyle is unhurried, romantic and fun!

Our Island Paradise ‘All year Long’ retreat features:

  • Welcoming Accommodations with expansive ocean views!
  • Delicious Dining at The King and Prince ECHO Restaurant ~ The island’s only oceanfront restaurant, featuring sweeping views and indoor/outdoor dining. Join our Executive Chef and team for many culinary surprises ~ From S’mores to Seafood!
  • St. Simons Island History Tours aboard Lighthouse Trolley with ‘Cap’ Fendig
  • Eco boating adventure through the famed Marshes of Glynn
  • Visit the WWII Museum at the historic Coast Guard Station
  • Dine-around to St. Simons Island at our favorite unique eateries
  • St. Simons Island Village Shopping Scavenger Hunt & prizes
  • Sunrise Beach Walk
  • Island bicycle tour under the majestic oaks with Barry's Beach Service 
  • Leisurely Island Adventures~ explore a wondrous selection of boutique shops & galleries
  • Oceanfront Yoga

Application Details

Journalists are invited to experience the romance, history, and beauty of Coastal Georgia for 3 nights: January 19-21, 2020.


  • 3 nights ~ Oceanfront Lodging
  • All Meals from Sunday evening through Wednesday morning
  • FUN and Relaxed Island Adventures
  • Trolley tours throughout your visit
  • Yoga to relax your mind & body


  • Alcoholic beverages outside of planned meals
  • Gratuities ~ dining, tours & housekeeping - $75 per person
  • Rental car or air transportation
  • Items of a personal nature

Drive Times:

  • 1 hour from Jacksonville, FL
  • 1.5 hours from Savannah, GA
  • 3 hours from Charleston, SC
  • 4 hours from Orlando, FL
  • 5 hours from Atlanta, GA

CONTACT: Leigh Cort at [email protected]

Deadline to apply: November 30, 2019

Leigh Cort avatarThe tastiest addition to WJCT’s popular First Coast Connect radio program is “Moveable Feast,” where hospitality/food publicist Leigh Cort discusses the hottest dining, tourism and hospitality trends. Moveable Feast segment airs every other week on 89.9 FM on Tuesday mornings (also 8:00 p.m. the same day of morning show).

Leigh Cort, Founder of the Women's Food Alliance, invites guests who are innovative, knowledgeable and successful in the food & hospitality industry ~ including representatives from hotels, restaurants, specialty foods, brewers, farmers, chefs, cookbook authors, confectioners, and culinary trend-setters. 


Board Notes

by Linda Kissam, President

Written reports are made available to the board in advance of each monthly meeting for review and comment by each board member.

This month we share the September meeting reports to give you a closer look into the operations of your Board of Directors. Reports recap the prior month's committee accomplishments plus identify any emergent concerns. Board meetings occur on the 2nd Monday of every month via teleconference.

If you are interested in volunteering for any of our committees or want to know more about becoming a board member, please contact us. IFWTWA is a nonprofit mutual benefit corporation run by volunteers so your time and talents are very much appreciated when offered. 

2019 Committee Volunteer Opportunities

Chair: Cori Solomon

After three months as membership chair, we have gained the following in terms of our Membership.

  • Total Membership as of August 1st = 209 members
    • Regular Members = 184
    • Associate Members = 19
    • Emeritus Members = 6

In August, we have gained four new associate members, including one reinstate associate member and one new Regular members. 

Of the three travel-related organizations, we are the only one that spells out wine. We have something the others do not have. It is a focus I’d like to explore more.

Associate Members
I am very concerned about our Associate Membership. Although we have 19 Associate members, we cannot promote them properly because Associates have not filled out there profiles or bios on our website. My goal is to introduce our Associates the same way as our regular members and periodically remind people on FB about our Associate members. I cannot do this if Associates do not fill out their profiles. I also feel we should look harder at the individual needs of the Associates. If the Associate wants us to upload their profile from the information they give to us as I stated earlier in my report, we should do so.

More volunteers are needed to help accomplish the stated membership committee goals. Please contact Cori if interested.

Linda Milks, Chair

Letters have been sent to each and every IFWTWA member encouraging them to come to the conference.

The deadline for trips was extended to September 5. At this time, the following is the sign-up for the pre- and post-trips: Santa Fe – 9; Albuquerque – 7; Ghost Ranch – 3; Taos – 9. Keep in mind that many of our members put down a first and second choice so that there may not be that many signed up for Santa Fe after Taos takes those who applied.

For registration, we have 29 paid members booked, 7 comped members who are presenters for the conference, 11 paying guests, 5 comped sponsors and 3 comped marketplace exhibitors. There is a possibility of 14 sponsors attending the conference and possibly 14 marketplace exhibitors. It looks like at this time we have 75 attendees. I am hoping we pick up a few people towards the end.

The next advertising we will do on Facebook will be focused on the list of sponsors and exhibitors attending. We have a wide range which should attract members.

2019 IFWTWA Conference Sponsors & Marketplace Exhibitors graphic of logos

Christine Cutler, Chair

After our three-month summer hiatus, Press Pass went out on September 1 with a new masthead and format. I liked the addition of introducing new members and think we might want to highlight a few older members each month, too. I welcome your thoughts on this.

I would like to commend Adrianne for getting everything done this month. We had two last-minute submissions, and she was able to add them to the newsletter by publish date.

Food, Wine, Travel has more than 11,000 impressions on Issuu in the first month. If everyone who pitched me a story for the next digital issue actually submits and has the article accepted, we should have a great magazine. I want to upload and publish it to meet the beginning of the conference. We have had more submissions to the website in the last two months than we had in any two-month period since I took over in January.

That said, we need to build readership. We need to get people to share so we get more reads. It's not an easy thing to do, of course, as we cannot force people to do so. I'll add something to the next Press Pass to try to help.

I developed a rate card and media sheet.

IFWTWA 2019 Board of Directors graphic

Susan Montgomery, Treasurer

Concerning the Financials ending August 31, 2019, we are on track with the budget, except for Membership Income; however, that is improving and I expect it will come closer to the budgeted amount by the end of the year when renewals start coming in.

Linda Kissam, President

We spent the majority of our September meeting time on reviewing the bylaws.

Each board member was sent a copy of the new bylaws crafted by our attorney and asked to review and submit changes. The bylaws were approved by the Board. They will now be sent out to the membership via an all-member email for final approval. Please see the first notice of intent to approve the new bylaws in this Press Pass.

Allan Cox has submitted his resignation from the Board effective December 31, 2019. I dread this, but understand he has things to do and places to go. I am grateful for the one additional year he put in (2019) to assist Linda M with the conference. Allen is a rock star in every way possible. Professionally and personally he is someone I have come to turn to for so many things. Thank you Allen for everything.

Tom Westerhof, Chair

Promotions for Cori Solomon and the membership drive are still only halfway complete. The Facebook promotion resulted in almost 22,000 people reached with almost 1700 engagements. The last half of the membership drive from the marketing budget will be spent on another Facebook promotion as well as one on Instagram. That will begin this week.

Promotion of the pre-conference trips was coordinated with Linda Milks across all social media (SM) platforms. Focus will now turn to promoting the conference and its programs. The official hashtag will be "ifwtwa2019" and will be communicated to the membership and all conference participants. Having one hashtag will allow everyone to easily track the presence of the conference on SM, particularly Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Promotion of our SM pages will also kick off this month and run through the end of the year. This will allow for additional exposure not just for the association's daily activities but for the conference as well. No funds have been spent from the social media budget yet this year so we should see a significant impact on our numbers.

Numbers Report:

  • IFWTWA Twitter followers (managed by Tom Westerhof) – 7508 (gain of 13)
  • IFWTWA Facebook likes/followers (managed by Tom Westerhof) – 3654 (gain of 6) likes/4246 followers
  • IFWTWA Instagram followers (managed by Tom Westerhof) – 491 (gain of 10)
  • IFWTWA Pinterest followers (currently vacant) – 809/150 (gain of 9/loss of 90)
  • This committee could use additional volunteers. 

Excellence in Journalism Award Logo


Excellence in Journalism Award

Deadline: October 31

Allen Cox, Chair

Announcements are in the September Press Pass requesting A) suggestions for candidates for this year's Hospitality Education Scholarship Award and B) announcing the deadline for Excellence in Journalism Award entry submissions (Oct. 31).

Awards for both programs will be given by Dec 31, 2019. 

Marie-Annick Araujo is currently the volunteer coordinator for the Hospitality Education Scholarship Award. I am currently the coordinator (and judge) for the Excellence in Journalism Award.

The board needs to appoint a new 2020 Awards Committee Chair to replace me as coordinator of the Excellence in Journalism Award and to act as Marie-Annick's supervisor and board liaison for the Hospitality Education Scholarship Award. For the Excellence in Journalism Award coordinator/judge I recommend professional editorial experience.

Note about the Excellence in Journalism Award program: In 2018, the board decided to continue this program on a trial basis in 2019 and to make a determination based on the number of 2019 submissions whether the program will continue in 2020. The program is intended to be self-funding based on revenue from entry fees, but every year that funding source has fallen short, causing IFWTWA to supplement the award budget with an infusion of cash. The total award amount has been set at $500 per year.

This committee could use additional volunteers. 

2019 Hospitality Education Scholarship

Chef reviewing his orders on a turntable

Calling for your Nominees. Who do you recommend?
Tell us about this student >>
Deadline: October 31 

Contractor: Adrianne Morrison

Site Report: 12 months post initial launch of new website.

Member Profiles:

  • Members: 214 (was 210) +4
  • Lapsed: 44
  • Graced: 6
  • Pending new: 3
  • Prospects: 490 (was 434) +22

Public Directory:

  • Public Profiles: 127 (was 125) or 60% - Up 2 from prior month
  • Opted Out: 10 (was 7)

Site Content:

  • Home Page:
    • Ghost Ranch Painted Desert Panorama & Conference Ad/links
  • Member Landing
    • Continues to include Conference registration & schedule links
  • Media Trips:
    • All submitted media “trip results” added
    • Maine Itinerary page updated
  • Misc. Pages
    • New: September Press Pass
    • Conference Specific:
      • New page in work to honor conference sponsors & marketplace exhibitors
      • New sponsors added to both conference pages
      • Sponsor Ads – Images updated & rotate as site pages are viewed. Newly added:
        • Flagstaff
        • Paso Robles
        • Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels
        • Visit Omaha
        • Travel Costa Mesa
  • Blog:
    • 08/14/19 – The World of Travel Writing by Noreen Kompanik
    • 09/02/19 – The Feel is in the Destination, Baros Maldives by Dave Thompson
Schedule for upcoming Blog posts:
  • 09/09/19 – Conference – Big Blend Interview with La Fonda 
  • 09/23/19 – Media Results – 2018 Greece 
  • 10/01/19 – Open – [Member shout-out]
  • 10/07/19 – Open – [Conference Keynote & Workshop Speakers]
  • 10/21/19 – Open – [Media Results  2019 Willamette Oregon]
  • 11/01/19 – Open – [Conference – See you in Santa Fe]
  • 11/04/19 – Learning – [Elaine Masters photography article; aligns w/Conference Workshop]
  • 11/18/19  Open

Get to Know Our New Members

by Cori Solomon, Membership Chair

Row of wine glasses with various colored wine


Danielle Bauter AvatarDanielle Bauter
Danielle Bauter

I’m a freelance writer based in Southern California who focuses on travel as it relates to food, wine, and off-the-beaten-path destinations. I’m a graduate of UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in German, and I love studying languages including French and Spanish. My essays, interviews, reviews, and reported pieces have been published in a variety of both print and online publications, including Saveur, Wine Enthusiast, Atlas Obscura, Budget Travel, the Orange County Register, Common Good, and Ms. Magazine. I currently write a books column for Coast Magazine, which has been syndicated in the Southern California News Group newspapers, and I contribute to their travel section as well.

Candice LicenceCandice Licence
Candi and Michael ~ On the Move
Florida ~ Grenada, West Indies

I am a freelance Travel Writer and Blogger based in Grenada, West Indies. I've written a blog about US and international travel and also visiting/moving/living in Grenada, West Indies since 2014. In the past 2 years, I've written for both print and online publications and am looking to expand my professional writing.

Joeann Fossland avatarJoeann Fossland
Joeann's View

After a 40 year career as an author and speaker in the real estate field, I shifted my attention to my fierce love of travel. I have explored 4 continents, 26 countries and dozens of beaches and islands. I use my blog as a personal travelog. I am a regular (2x per month) contributor of food reviews to TheYums. I am a member of TravMedia, Travel Massive, and ITWPA

LM Archer avatarLM Archer
Washington State

L.M. Archer is a fine wine, food and lifestyle writer specializing in Burgundy, bubbles and emerging wine regions. Her works appear in numerous publications, including  Meininger Wine Business International, Wine Business Monthly, Oregon Wine Press, SevenFifty Daily, and France Today. She is also a former video correspondent for Foodable Network. A member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, TASTE Awards’ Academy of Media Tastemakers, and International Wine Writers Alliance, she is also a 2017 Professional Wine Writers Symposium Fellowship award winner. Designations include French Wine Scholar (FWS), Bourgogne  Master Level, and Champagne Master Level from the Wine Scholars Guild.

Scott Kendall avatarScott Kendall
Scott Kendall Travels

Scott is a writer, photographer, and videographer based in The Woodlands, Texas. Scott has written numerous articles covering Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, England, and France in Europe and many articles covering the Texas Hill Country, Colorado, Washington State, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York, New Orleans, Lake of the Ozarks, and other areas in the US. He has been published in EuropeUpClose, International Living, Links & Libations, MilesGeek, Touring Bird, Airguides, Travel Writer's Cafe, and other publications. His website with links to his articles can be found at and his email is [email protected]


Palm Springs Preferred Hotels Logo palm tree graphic

Stay Like a Local - Get the inside scoop on the best of Palm Springs

Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels Kimberli Munkres - California

Travel Paseo Logo graphic with colorful PASO lettering

Whet Your Palate in Paso Robles 

Travel Paseo — Danna Stroud - California

Memphis Tourism Logo, blue & white top guitar outline

Memphis is the Home of Blues, Soul & Rock 'n' Roll

Memphis Tourism — Brittney Adu - Tennessee

 Travel Costa Mesa Logo Sunset circle graphic 

Costa Mesa - City of The Arts, offers Broadway shows, concerts, world-class shopping, fine dining and top hotels in Costa Mesa, Orange County, California.

Travel Costa Mesa — Jenny Wedge - California


Association Recognitions

Blurred image of clapping hands

It’s an honor to introduce you to our new members and to give recognition to members having anniversaries. We thank our new and anniversary members for including IFWTWA on their pathway to success. Your choice to work hard, think positive, network, and use your member benefits bring you to a whole new level of achievement. Way to go! 



Irene S Levine
More Time to Travel
New York

Freelance Travel Journalist/Blogger


Terri Peterson Smith avatarTerri Peterson Smith
Terri Peterson Smith
Off the Beaten Page Travel

Award winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in travel, food and environmental topics. Terri's work has been featured in USA Today, Acura Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Continental, National Geographic Green Guide, Scientific and many others.

Her book, "Off the Beaten Page: The Best Trips for Lit Lovers, Book Clubs, and Girls on Getaways," was inspired by her voracious reading habit, love of travel, and literary field trips with my book clubs. While that book tours the U.S., her latest book, "Unique Eats and Eateries of the Twin Cities," explores both the great food and great neighborhoods of Minneapolis and St. Paul.


IFWTWA Resources: Ways to Connect with our Members and Experts

Crystal & red wine toast

Connect with fellow IFWTWA experts. Join Forums & create Social Circles on IFWTWA's website. Meet members in our private Facebook Members Group. Keep up-to-date, connect for retweets, "like" member's posts, follow each other, attend events, and work with the board of directors by volunteering on committees. It's fun to interact with your colleagues to enhance and grow both your and their professional goals. Reach out today.

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Chris Cutler
Executive Editor

Press Pass newsletter is a publication of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Assoc.
Distributed in-part via email; maintained in-full on this site for members only.

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