The second round of speakers at TBEX North America 2020 features 8 highly accomplished professionals who will provide travel media – including content creators, influencers, bloggers and vloggers – with constructive information, tools, and innovative strategies for success in the current travel and tourism space. TBEX North America 2020 in Lafayette, Louisiana is also prepared to provide a wealth of information for industry travel and tourism providers on how to develop an effective online presence and work effectively with content creators.
Leslie Walker amassed over 25 years of experience in destination marketing, convention logistics, hospitality management and campaigns, most recently as Convention Sales Manager for the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau. But she refuses to fall into the “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” trap. Maybe late to the game (but in the game nevertheless), Leslie discovered the power and just plain good sense of working with online content creators, actively pursuing them to engage with her destination whether on their own or in great numbers. These days she’s Community Engagement Manager for a Huntsville, Alabama-based nonprofit. She has a horrible time saying “no” to those who ask her to guest blog or volunteer, does an absolutely shameful job maintaining her own neglected travel blog, and is a co-founder of Tourism WorX, a destination/content creator consultancy.
Gabby Beckford is a young travel and lifestyle entrepreneur specializing in travel, writing, marketing, and seeking opportunities (not necessarily in that order). During college, she won more than $75,000 in scholarships which allowed her to study for a year in Dubai, UAE at no personal cost, and to ultimately graduate with her Mathematics degree completely debt-free. In the two years since then, she has visited her 31st country, launched her business, Packs Light, delivered a TEDx talk, and been a featured speaker at travel conferences for HIUSA and WITS. She has helped to send young adults to countries like Russia and Azerbaijan at no cost through the funded travel opportunities she shares weekly in her newsletter of 2000+ young travelers. On her road to world domination, Gabby hopes to continue empowering others to seek risk, seize the opportunity, and see the world.
Francesca Murray is a lifestyle content creator, guidebook author, and award-winning travel expert. Her website, One Girl One World, inspires her audience to explore the world fearlessly and engage with the local culture as they travel! Francesca is a trusted voice in the travel industry, and has been featured in esteemed publications including The Washington Post, Forbes, and Essence Magazine. In 2019 Francesca was awarded two Caribbean Tourism Organization Media Awards for her outstanding coverage of the region.
Travis Levius is a freelance writer and editor, content creator (Mister Levius), and travel writing coach. After quitting his teaching job in Atlanta to pursue the unknown across the pond, Travis somehow stumbled upon a career that has landed him on Indonesian yachts, face-to-face with Easter Island’s mysterious moai, and in “Prince William and Princess Kate honeymooned here” villas in the Seychelles. His writing has appeared in several print and digital publications including Condé Nast Traveler, Vogue, CNN Travel, Forbes Travel Guide, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic Traveler.
Lesli Peterson is founder and owner of 365 Atlanta Traveler. She made her way to Atlanta over 20 years ago after living in Germany, Japan, and six U.S. states. Lesli relishes the discovery of obscure, offbeat, and uncharted places, and she’ll chat up any willing stranger to uncover a new secret locale. After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand. Lesli is happily married to her soul mate, and has two kiddos, Cooper and Elliot, plus two bonus kids.
Rob Taylor is founder and editor of 2 Travel Dads, the original LGBT Family Travel Blog. Rob and his partner Chris have discovered that traveling as a family is one thing; traveling as an LGBT family is a completely different undertaking. They trail blaze ways for other two-dad and two-mom families to visit previously overlooked destinations or places gay people might normally avoid. They share the struggles they’ve faced and the surprising gems and welcomes the’ve had along the way. Rob and Chris recently realized there were too many travel stories and tips to include in their blog. The 2Travel Dads podcast was born out of that realization and their belief that 80% of their personality is lost in the typewritten word. Their banter, opinions, and funny moments behind the mic have allowed them to better connect with the world of LGBT travel and share the places and things they love.
Nubia Younge is on a mission to inspire and encourage professionals over 35 to stop waiting for permission to chase their dreams, to get out of their comfort zone, and to explore the world. In early 2017 Nubia found herself at a crossroads. She was turning 40, just laid off from her employer, and needed to make a drastic change, and as a single mother of two, Nubia decided it wasn’t too late to reinvent herself. Later that year, she donated all her belongings and packed her suitcase to go off and see the world. Since then, Nubia has lived in Thailand, Colombia and most recently Mexico. She is a bona fide foodie, the director of a luxury travel company, and the creator and co-host of Chronicles Abroad, a travel podcast that inspires individuals to live their lives courageously.
Maria Haase is Editor-in-Chief of several online publications focused on various travel niches. A self-proclaimed serial expat, blogger turned publisher and spicy food aficionado, Maria grew up in Germany and now splits her time between the United States and Europe. The travel bug bit Maria early in life; she has lived in and traveled extensively to all corners of the world. In the past 13 years she has called three continents her home, traveled to almost 40 countries and eaten far too many sticks of mystery meats on the way. Europe holds a special place in Maria’s heart, and she chronicles her insider experiences from a locals perspective at Europe Up Close. She and her husband Greg also run San Diego Explorer, a site that shares some of their favorite local places. Maria’s mission has always been to show others her home from a local’s point of view and encourage them to discover the world through traveling and experiencing life outside their comfort zone.
Register for TBEX North America 2020 in Lafayette, Louisiana, the “Happiest City in America”, and join hundreds of travel, food and lifestyle bloggers and influencers, and tourism brands for 3 full days of education, networking, exploration and collaboration!
Please visit our TBEX North America 2020 Speakers Page for more details on conference keynotes, presenters, and panelists.