2019 IFWTWA Conference Highlights

IFWTWA’s 2019 Professional Development Conference took place November 11-13 at the historic La Fonda on the Plaza hotel in Santa Fe, the City Different. Members were immersed in a choice of six workshop presentations, including ones on social media, maximizing the potential of the iPhone and Android phone, pitching brands, food and wine photography, and video storytelling. A much anticipated Tourism Marketplace, comprised of representatives from sought after destinations, allowed members to engage with area representatives for future food, wine, and travel focused stories.

Judith Fein and Paul Ross, our keynote speakers, encouraged members to think beyond the commercial story when approaching their writing, and to speak from their unique interests and experiences. A Culinary Panel comprised of local specialists, including acclaimed restaurant chefs, a cattle rancher who uses regenerative land management practices, and a founder of a social enterprise serving farmers by distributing their farm produce and who also grows a variety of crops using organic practices. 

Culinary opportunities were everywhere at this conference. La Fonda treated us to an iconic “Land of Enchantment” reception showcasing the area’s cuisine. The New Mexico Wine Growers “Viva Vino” treated our members and guests to the opportunity to learn about some of the spectacular wines of the region produced by Gruet, Noisy Water, and Vivac wineries. The following day, La Fonda showcased a BBQ lunch buffet with all the trimmings.

A highlight planned by Santa Fe Tourism was “A Taste of Santa Fe” held at the convention center where members could sample specialties from some of the best restaurants, chocolate makers, a spirits producer, and local wineries. 

Many members found our evening at the Santa Fe School of Cooking to be their personal favorite where guests of the school witnessed a cooking demonstration of local cuisine, including the Hatch chile, and then were invited to partake in a delicious dinner. 

There was time set aside to experience the beauty of Santa Fe and its myriad of shops and historic buildings, as well as memorable visits to museums, including the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the spectacular and creative Meow Wolf, and the amazing collections found at the Museums on the Hill

Thank you to all who contributed their time and talents

FWTWA extends its sincere appreciation to the IFWTWA Conference Committee, and to the Sponsor and Host organizations and businesses who participated in, and supported our Conference. 

Conference Committee: 

New Mexico City Gems
A Carless Tour of the Top Santa Fe, New Mexico City Gems

Thank you to Mary Chong, Calculated Traveller Magazine, for preparing the 2019 Conference Booklet where you can find conference participant details. 

Taos Pueblo New Mexico
Explore the Rich Culture of Taos Pueblo, New Mexico

A special thanks to our pre- and post-conference press trip coordinators/hosts:

  • Breanna Moore, PR and Communications Mgr. for Visit Albuquerque
    “Albuquerque Soars” 
  • Joanne Hudson, Public Relations Manager for Tourism Santa Fe
    “Native Flavors of Santa Fe”
  • Marissa Le, Account Executive for the Waite Company; PR and Marketing Rep for Visit Taos
    “Taos: Fiesta de la Tierra”
  • Anna Maria Gonzales, the Marketing & Communications Director for Ghost Ranch
    “Ghost Ranch – Home of Georgia O’Keeffe”

IFWTWA extends a special thanks to both our sponsors and exhibitors who contributed so much to this conference:

Destinations and Writers Meet One-on-One to discuss Travel in 2020

Travel Medford

Exhibitors and Sponsors met with enthusiastic IFWTWA travel writers to discuss their promotional needs for 2020. This was a great opportunity for destinations across the county to share what makes their town special, stories they need about upcoming events and tourist experiences.

Personal introductions and one-on-one collaboration with our professionals, both in workshops and for FAM/press trips, is a key to satisfying our mutual goals.

Read a summary of participant takeaways here:

Travel Memphis


Social Media

FWTWA members utilize Twitter, Instagram, Insta Stories, Facebook, Facebook Live and Facebook Stories in addition to social media promotion by IFWTWA and its website pages.

#IFWTWA2019  |  #SantaFeNM  |  #VisitSantaFe  |  @CityOfSantaFe  |  #NewMexicoTrue 

Balloons in Albuquerque
Expect the unexpected in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Media Placements

13 Great Spots to Get a Taste of Santa Fe

Collin Keegan is the person to know if you are interested in local spirits. Santa Fe Spirits was founded by Collin in 2010 when the apple orchards on his property produced an abundance of apples. He turned apples into hard apple cider. From there, Collin followed his dream to become the pre-eminent artisan distillery in the Southwest. Santa Fe Spirits is home to small production gin, whiskey, and vodka. Image: Santa Fe Spirits © Linda Milks

Giving Thanks for Three Sisters and the Potato

The potato, a South America native, was taken by Spanish Conquistadors back to Europe. Unfortunately, it was a little late for the pilgrim’s feast. What was on the table? The Three Sisters, corn, beans and squash. Foods celebrated and featured at the Pueblo Cultural Center located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Image: Three Sisters Harvest © Suzanne Corbett

IFWTWA Writers in Attendance:

Gary Baker
Pamela Baker
Danielle Bauter
Debbra Dunning Brouillette
Susan Cohn
John Compisi 
Linda Compisi 
Suzanne Corbett 
Chris Cutler 
Shannon DalPozzal
Christopher John Davies
Mary Ann DeSantis
Mary Farah
Joeann Fossland
Sue Frause 
Carolyn Graham 
Kris Grant 
Barbara Hansen
Andrew Harris 
M’Liss Hinshaw
Kurt Jacobson
Christina Kantzavelos
Allan Kissam

Linda Kissam
Noreen Kompanik
Susan Lanier-Graham
Elaine Masters
Deirdre Michalski
Linda Milks
Susan Montgomery
Nancy Mueller
David Nershi 
Janie Pace
Amy Piper
Shannon Player
Valerie Estelle Rogers
Peter Schroeder
Linda Stewart
Deborah Stone
Kathleen Walls
Phillip Ward
Priscilla Willis
Stacey Wittig
Risa Wyatt
Nina Yozell-Epstein

Santa Fe, New Mexico at Sunset © 2019 Tom Plant