Barry Neild is the Global Editor for CNN Travel, supervising all travel-related content across CNN’s platforms. Based in London, he helms a team of staff reporters and international freelancers, working closely with CNN Travel’s teams in New York, Atlanta, Bangkok and Hong Kong.
Neild joined CNN in 2006, working for its digital news operations before switching to its Travel team in 2015. Prior to working at CNN he worked as a correspondent for the AFP news agency, reporting headline news stories from destinations including Afghanistan, Indonesia, China and Iraq.
Julia Cosgrove is the Vice President and Editor in Chief of AFAR, the critically-acclaimed travel media brand that inspires, guides, and enables travelers to have deeper, richer, and more fulfilling experiences. AFAR launched in San Francisco in 2009 with AFAR magazine and Learning AFAR, a nonprofit foundation that has funded trips abroad and in the U.S. for more than 1,000 underserved high-school students. Under Julia's leadership, AFAR is the only brand to win a Lowell Thomas Award every year since launch and the only travel brand to be a National Magazine Award finalist for General Excellence across both print and digital. Last year she made the Folio: 100 list of the most influential people in magazine and digital media. Prior to launching AFAR in 2009, Julia was a writer and editor at media companies big and small, including Time Out, BusinessWeek, and ReadyMade. A graduate of Barnard College, Julia has taught magazine writing and design at the d.school at Stanford University.
Kristian Sonnier joined the New Orleans & Company as vice president of communications & public relations in February of 2015. In his role at the NOCVB, Sonnier will focus on the strategic direction and messaging of the New Orleans tourism industry. He will create and oversee the implementation of public relations and communications strategies to brand New Orleans as the nation's premier business and leisure destination as well as position the NOCVB as one of the top CVBs in the country. He will support the president and CEO as a spokesperson for the tourism industry on all levels, supervise the day-to-day operations and management of the eight-person communications staff and manage activities of outside CVB partners.
Prior to joining the NOCVB, Sonnier worked at New Orleans-based Peter A. Mayer Advertising, Louisiana's largest full-service advertising, public relations and marketing agency, where he specialized in public relations planning, media relations management, special events and crisis communications. Over the last 16 years at Peter Mayer Advertising , Sonnier and his team serviced approximately 20 accounts per month ranging all categories including Emerald Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, GE Capital, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana, Hancock/Whitney Bank, The National World War II Museum and the Louisiana Office of Tourism, among others. He has held numerous leadership positions in the city and region, including serving on the Host Committee for Super Bowl XLVII, serving on the city's team of BP oil spill communications specialists, and working with key city and state officials on Louisiana's recovery efforts post-Hurricane Katrina and Rita. Sonnier began his career as a public relations manager at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Lake Tahoe, California.
Larry Bleiberg is a veteran journalist with magazine, newspaper, and web experience. He served on a Pulitzer Prize team, is an eight-time Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award winner, and was honored for producing the best newspaper travel section in North America. He is President-elect of the Society of American Travel Writers.
Larry writes a column for USA Today, and has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, BBC Travel, the Washington Post, Delta Sky, Afar, AARP, Westways, Southbound, CNN, and others. He helped produce several National Geographic books, and created CivilRightsTravel.com.
A freelance travel writer for more than a decade, he previously was a senior editor with Time Inc.'s Coastal Living and Travel Editor of The Dallas Morning News. He also worked in Louisville, Kentucky and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Melanie Lieberman took her first flight at the age of six months and hasn't stopped traveling since.
After pursuing an education in creative writing, literature, publishing and journalism, she was delighted to discover she could combine her passions for writing and travel into a career. Melanie has been the travel editor at The Points Guy since April 2018, when she joined the team to ramp up travel coverage. She oversees daily travel and lifestyle news, and manages destination coverage, travel features, and reports.
Prior to TPG, Melanie was an editor at Travel + Leisure magazine, and her work has appeared in Bloomberg Pursuits, Yahoo Travel, Jetsetter, Boston Common magazine, LUXE City Guides and Saveur magazine, among others.
She has been featured as a travel expert on TV segments, radio shows, podcasts and in print, including CBS Newspath, Mic.com, Cheddar, Yahoo Finance, MyDomaine, WTSP, and Wired and she has been recognized for her poetry, prose, playwriting, and journalism in various competitions and festivals.
MICHAELA GUZY is an American media executive, entrepreneur, speaker and on-air show host. She is the executive producer for two original award-winning series, Michaela’s Map and OhThePeopleYouMeet. Her recent episode on Sierra Leone featuring Dr. Jane Goodall was a finalist in the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival and has been shown in private screenings at CORE Club in NYC, The VUE Cinema in London and she interviewed actor Irdis Elba following her screening in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Based in New York City, she is also an adjunct professor at New York University School of Professional Studies, where she teaches a course called, "Travel Storytelling: Creating Video Content". Recently featured on BravoTV’s Tour Group’s talking head travel series, Michaela is often asked to appear as an industry expert and public speaker, from curating conversations, moderating panels and conducting interactive workshops to giving inspiring keynote presentations for industry partners such as World Travel Market London, International Luxury Travel Market and The New York Times Travel Show to name a few. She contributes to publications and websites around the world, from Travesias in Mexico to Arianna Huffington’s THRIVE Global. Her Michaela’s Map: Australia series has been featured on American Airlines in-flight entertainment. She appears as a sustainable, transformative travel & authentic human connection expert on morning and evening news across the country. Her content is #trending on every channel, so please pack a bag, and journey on with Michaela:
Nick Wayland pioneered the technology that created global newswire service TravMedia in 1999, and ATE, IPW, Brand USA and SATW press rooms and trade platforms.
TravMedia delivers the world's travel news to more than 25,000 registered travel journalists in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the United Kingdom, Middle East, United States, Canada, Germany/Austria/Switzerland, South Africa, and new in 2014, Brazil. Nick understands the needs of media from his own experience as travel editor of Courier Newspapers for ten years and regular ski contributor to Australia's Sun Herald and Melbourne's Age Newspaper.
His knowledge of the travel industry and his contributions to the market segment are extensive. He is an active member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers and former committee member and co-founded the website. He is an annual judge for the Gourmet Travel Annual Awards and the Australian Hotel Management Awards. His company sponsors the annual ONE Travel Conference Travel Writer award for outstanding work in promoting U.S. travel, the Australian Society of Travel Writers Awards dinner and the British Guild of Travel Writers Awards dinner.
TravMedia are also members of the U.S. Travel Association, with the company powering the online press room for IPW, the most important travel trade convention on U.S. soil. The online press room for the Society of American Travel Writers is now in its fourth year, and TravMedia introduced an appointment setting tool for the Association last year. TravMedia moved into Canada in 2013 with a partnership with the Canadian Tourism Commission for GoMedia Canada Marketplace.
Sister company TravTrade provides the same connectivity and paperless communication for trade shows around the world, through U.S. Travel Associations Online Marketplace at IPW, Brand USA Pavlions at international trade shows , the Australian Tourism Exchange, AIME, and Luxperience, to name a few. Brand USA's extremely successful Megafam trips for travel agents from the UK and Australia in 2013 were powered by TravTrade.
Nick regularly assists tourism colleagues with functions to bring together travel and tourism partners and media, works with international rep firms of major U.S. companies to increase media reach, speaks on the topics of media trends and new technologies, and looks for new ways to connect travel journalists with public relations professionals. His most recent technology allows TravMedia clients to connect and follow travel journalists and buyers, read published articles and provide tailored information for upcoming efforts. Nick splits his time between his Sydney, London and New York offices, and by design never spends an entire cold winter or a hot summer anywhere.
Sommer Mathis is editor-in-chief of Atlas Obscura, the definitive guide to the world's hidden wonders. Previously, she was the founding editor of CityLab, and editor-in-chief of DCist. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Washingtonian magazine, Architect magazine, and The Guardian. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Elizabeth Harryman is the Travel Editor of Westways, which has won six major Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism awards and has a circulation of more than 4 million. Westways is the magazine of the Auto Club of Southern California, and Elizabeth also coordinates travel coverage for six other AAA magazines that reach markets from New England to Hawai‘i. With her husband, Paul Lasley, she also cohosts two daily radio shows that are broadcast to a million listeners in 145 countries on the American Forces Network and are podcast at www.ontravel.com and on iTunes. As freelancers, Elizabeth and Paul wrote a travel-and-dining column that ran for 10 years in the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald, and other newspapers, and they are former travel correspondents for NBC’s Today show.
Travel journalist specialising in Australian travel.
Contributes to a variety of outlets including Tatler UK, AFAR, BBC, News.com.au, Fairfax, Jetstar Australia, SKY News and so on. Previously Tourism Australia's contributing editor, overseeing production of editorial for Australia.com, which enjoys a monthly readership of 1.6 million and @australia social features; has also held the editorship of Australia's biggest selling travel magazine, Australian Traveller for several years, during which she was shortlisted for both Editor of the Year and Magazine Of The Year at the Australian Magazine Awards.
At 23 she was Australia's then-youngest magazine editor, turning Healthy Food Guide into the nation's fastest growing magazine (2008).
Co-founder of The Travel Bootcamp and the Modern Travel Media Summit.
She is also an experienced public speaker with some television presenting experience; has appeared on CNN as well as all major local networks.
Georgia is also member of multi-award-winning Story(ation), Australia's specialist travel content agency, producing content on behalf of brands including Tourism and Events Queensland, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia and Spirit of Tasmania in addition to Tourism Australia. Story(ation) is ranked as one of Business Review Weekly's 100 Fast Starters in 2017 and its work has won global recognition, most notably at the US Content Marketing Awards, the UK's CMA International Content Marketing Awards, US Content Council Pearl Awards and locally at the 2017 Mumbrella Publish Awards.