Member News

April Orcutt has won a Lowell Thomas Gold – for second time. The Gold Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for Personal Comment is for her essay “Frodo in Fiordland” about Hobbits saving her life on New Zealand’s Milford Track. Read it here:

Lowell Thomas Awards are among the most prestigious in travel journalism so April is especially grateful to be so honored. The awards are presented by the SATW Foundation (formerly the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation), and anyone (not just SATW members) may enter.

April had previously won another Gold Lowell Thomas Award in Personal Comment for her essay “Loneliness the Same in Any Language” about meeting a little girl on a train in France.

Diane Covington-Carter recently published an essay on It’s entitled What Happens When a Divorced, Independent Woman Looks for a New Love and is posted on the site for AARP members only. Read it here.

David Laws was featured in the September issue of Carmel Magazine and has several upcoming talks for his book Secret Monterey. He’ll be speaking October 2 at the Pacific Grove Heritage Society, November 9 at the Carmel Foundation, and having private talks at Rotary Club and several book club meetings.

Lina Broydo has published a timely piece a series of stamps with the image honoring Queen Elizabeth ll. Read it here.

John Penisten, based in Hilo, Hawai’i, is pleased to let BATW members know that his travel blog, The Hawai’i TraveLog,  is back online after a lengthy hiatus.  John has the blog online via and will be covering stories, photos and adventures from his backyard of Hawai’i and the Asia-Pacific Rim and occasionally even beyond the Pacific.  John is very grateful to BATW member David Laws for his expert assistance in getting the blog site restablished. The blog is found at

BATW member Rachel Dinbokowitz (formerly at Monterey County CVB) has joined public relations agency Mindy Bianca Public Relations (MBPR!) as the Senior Public Relations Director on July 18. In her new role, Rachel is responsible for supporting the public relations strategy and media relations efforts of 17 clients, all within the hospitality, travel and tourism space. These clients include:

  • Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama
  • Visit Mobile, Alabama
  • Greater Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley, Delaware
  • Macon, Georgia
  • Allegany County, The Mountain Side of Maryland
  • Branson, Missouri
  • Cooperstown and Otsego County, New York
  • Visit Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • Visit Jefferson Parish
  • Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Louisiana Northshore, St. Tammany Parish
  • Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou, Lafourche Parish
  • Dollywood (Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains) including its resorts, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa and Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort (under construction)
  • The Otesaga Resort Hotel (Cooperstown, NY)
  • Five Star Parks & Attractions (locations around the U.S.)
  • Silver Dollar City (Branson, MO)
  • Mardi Paws Dog Parade (Covington, LA)

Rachel is a member of the Public Relations Society of America Travel and Tourism Section and the Associate Secretary of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). If you are interested in learning more about any of Rachel’s new clients, please reach out to her at



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