I’m a freelance writer, humorist and survivor of 20-plus years in the Ozarks tourism industry. I write for various publications in print and on the Web and I edit two regional tourism publications, the Lovely County Visitor and Ozarks Outdoors. When I’m not tackling the latest hiking trail or writing about cool festivals, I’m penning my weekly humor horoscope column for WisecrackZodiac.com or an essay for AnArmyofErmas.com, a nifty Bombeck-style humor website.
Most unusual aspect of your job: I giggle because I get paid to talk to lively, interesting people and learn something new every day. When the laughter becomes slightly maniacal, I take a day off.
Favorite book: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Favorite food: A crispy BLT, although I’ve never met a cupcake I didn’t like.
Favorite TV show: Big Bang Theory
Favorite movie: Airplane!
Most unique place you’ve been: Under the old gallows at the Fort Smith National Historic Site. On a dark, cloudy day it reaches a whole new level of scary.
Favorite aspect of the meetings/travel industry: The fact that every destination has something wonderful and surprising for visitors, if you know where to look.
Pet peeve: People with no imagination. And ninja spiders.
One thing about you that most people don’t know: I can be rather shy in person if I’m not on the job.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received in our industry? Treat everyone well, from your clients to hotel bellhops. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising, and it takes five positive comments to overcome one negative comment.
What’s your favorite local/regional place to take a visitor to your area? Eureka Springs’ Historic Downtown District. The entire district is on the National Register of Historic Places. Beyond the shops, galleries and restaurants, there is some amazing history. I love bringing new friends downtown and telling them stories as we tour through different historic sites.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that we’ve overlooked? I’ve talked to meeting planners and CVB execs across the country. It’s wonderful to see them work together and bring a destination’s local vibe into the meeting. I’m also impressed by the dedication and creativity of these professionals. I’ve been writing for Meetings Focusfor approximately 10 years, and I haven’t had a bad experience yet.