On the Road to WITS Speakers: Empowering Women Travelers Like It’s Their Job!

Char J. Stoever
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This March we can’t wait to connect you with travel-industry innovators at the 2016 Women in Travel Summit (WITS) in Irvine, California! Whether you are starting your first company or building a strong micro-niche, you’ll learn so much at the only travel summit for women. Get the latest travel industry insight from our keynote speakers and bloggers, and network with sponsors!

Can’t wait until March? Thanks to our chapter organizers, Travel Massive, and WITS 2016, we have been hosting the On the Road to WITS happy hour series throughout the U.S. and Canada. The goal? Give you the chance to network with other influential women travelers and feel more connected to our global sisterhood of travelers!

Our On the Road to WITS speakers are smart, powerful women, and all have noticed challenges that women travelers face. Think: deciding if and how to travel, not knowing our rights, and needing a hand to boost our blogs.

And as smart, powerful women who love helping others, these speakers dedicate their careers to solving the issues that other travelers face.

On the Road to WITS speakers empower women to see travel as life-changing and accessible. Find out why they’re passionate about their work!

Jen Briggs gets that the individual matters.

On the Road to WITS

Seattle speaker: Jen Briggs.

Jen Briggs is a life coach/marketing consultant, who does life and business coaching for super-smart, sassy, creative women. She specializes in work-life balance; self care; and authentic, effective marketing strategies. She believes that travel lets us disconnect from our uber-connected world. Travel allows us new perspectives and promotes the freedom that is essential for adventurous women.

Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Why do you feel passionately about creating differentiated products in crowded markets?

I feel passionately about understanding the unique value of ourselves and our businesses. Understanding who we are at our very essence empowers us to articulate that value to the outside world in an authentic way.

Helen Belokon gets travelers what they deserve!

On the Road to WITS

Houston speaker: Helen Belokon

Helen’s career began in the airline industry and evolved into entrepreneurship, which later led her to start Flightbucks.

Follow Flightbucks on Twitter and Facebook.

Flightbucks helps passengers get cash compensation for delayed or cancelled European flights. What made you passionate about this work?

I’m confident that both travel-industry professionals and travelers themselves need to know about their rights! We educate people and also handle all the work for them. Flightbucks helps people get the money they didn’t even know they could get. Out of hundreds of passengers that we have helped so far, almost no one knew about their rights to cash compensation until they heard about us. I love the fact we don’t even sell anything but rather help people and get rewarded for it.

People often share with us how Flightbucks helped them. The stories range from as simple as buying something they couldn’t otherwise afford to paying medical bills. Some people say they re-invest in their future travels or use this money to give back to the community or a charity. We help people get up to $500 a passenger which is $2,000+ for a family. That kind of money could really help someone out!

Flynn Coleman champions the social side of travel.

On the Road to WITS

San Francisco speaker: Flynn Coleman

Flynn Coleman is an international human rights attorney, a mindfulness and creativity teacher, an author, a TEDx speaker, a Huffington Post writer, an adventure traveler, a social entrepreneur, and a founder and CEO of Malena. Her wanderlust has taken her from distributing school supplies in Guatemala, to huffing up Mount Kilimanjaro with her dad, to zodiac boating in Alaska with her mom.

Connect with her on TwitterInstagram, and Linkedin.

Why are you are passionate about the simple ways to sneak social impact into our travels?

I’m passionate about always traveling with a sense of wonder and curiosity, and I try to live by the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.:

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

Social impact is critical to my deepest-held beliefs. My core value is that we are all equally and intrinsically valuable, and we all have a voice that matters and a story to tell. So for me, adventures to understand places and people, to laugh, sing, and dance with them, and to make their lives better, their futures brighter, and to advocate for their voices and stories, are my joy in life and my life’s work as a human rights activist. I learn so much from the resilience, courage, creativity, kindness, and compassion I see in my friends around the world, near and far, who show me how to be brave, and that we can solve the world’s toughest problems, together.

Sidonia Rose Swarm embraces technology to make connections.

On the Road to WITS

Chicago speaker: Sidonia Rose Swarm

As CEO of Real Dietitian, Sidonia Rose Swarm is a fervent advocate for the status of nutrition in health care and simplifying patients’ access to nutrition support.

She co-founded Stamp Travel, an app that simplifies sharing location-based travel tips with friends. When she is not Stampin’ her discoveries around the globe, you can find her adventuring in her Jeep® Wrangler, making açai bowls, or rollerblading around Miami.

Connect with her on Instagram and Twitter.

What inspired you to found Stamp Travel?

Many of our friends studied abroad and found ourselves traveling and overlapping in many of the same locations. There was no easy way to share information with friends and friends-of-friends to say,

You must eat/do/see/experience this when in _______.

We wanted to automate the process of consulting with your friends for location-based recommendations.

Lisa Ghisolf knows the value of a functioning site for a blogger’s livelihood.

On the Road to WITS

Chicago speaker: Lisa Ghisolf

Lisa Ghisolf is Gizmo Creative Factory, with more than 18 years in print, web, and email design, and 13 years in business. She’s worked with big and small agencies alike, creating print work and websites for Kraft, Clear Channel, Allstate®, and many corporations and organizations.

Instead of just putting out fires, she’s now building robust WordPress sites and training clients on website management.

Connect with her on TwitterInstagramPinterest, and Facebook.

Why do you love empowering clients with tech knowledge and running user-friendly sites?

I’ve been working with a few mommy and lifestyle bloggers and eventually some travel bloggers as clients. I’ve noticed the same issues across the board — broken, slow, or hacked sites. I’m all for clients empowering themselves, but sometimes you need to call in extra help. And bloggers are not immune to the challenges of larger corporate sites — and usually they’re far more robust in content. Once you’re on the road, it’s even more important to keep your site working well.

Ginger Kern creates powerful female leaders through transformative travel experiences.

On the Road to WITS

Denver speaker: Ginger Kern

Ginger Kern is a coach, TEDx speaker, and the Curator of Global Shapers’ Boulder Hub. After working in Europe for over 3 years and traveling to 25 countries around the world by the age of 25, Ginger wanted to bring the “traveler’s mindset” back to the United States. Since learning that only 38% of Americans have their passports, she has since founded The Passport Project to change that. Ginger’s work encourages a culture of openness, curiosity, and world-centric thinking.

Follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Your On the Road to WITS topic is “Travel Transformation.” What inspired you to take this on?

I’m inspired by the healing that’s available to each of us and how magnetic and powerful we can become — all of which is totally possible out of transformative travel. Countries hold the key to unlocking dormant parts of ourselves that we desperately need. I’ve experienced it myself multiple times, and I cannot wait to share this with other women!

Have our On the Road to WITS speakers inspired you to see travel differently? Share in the comments!

Featured image by Joyelan.

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Char J. Stoever

Author Char Stoever

Blogger Char was born in Mexico and grew up in Moses Lake, Washington. While at Wellesley College, she gravitated toward learning French and enjoyed being in language classrooms the most. After studying abroad and traveling in France, she realized how empowering it was to be a woman traveler. After graduating, she tutored at-risk high schoolers in San Antonio, Texas. She then taught at Brooke Charter School in Boston. In August 2014 she began her 27-month Peace Corps Nicaragua service as a TEFL Teacher Trainer. As the LGBTQ volunteer coordinator, she has led safe space trainings for Peace Corps Staff. She does social media marketing for the Peace Corps Nicaragua Gender and Development Committee,  and is an editor of Va Pué, the volunteer-run magazine. She also does social media work for Soma Surf Resort Nicaragua. Char enjoys cooking bacon, going running in the hills surrounding her city, blogging, and painting portraits of Nicaraguans.

More posts by Char Stoever

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