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Tourism Research & Blogs

Other Work Experience and Skills

Computer Skills:  Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Outlook), Quicken, QuickBooks, Mindjet, WordPress, HubSpot, NVivo 7, ACT, and Adobe Photoshop CS2. Some SPSS knowledge.

Public Space Maintenance Experience:  Assisted maintenance of Austin, Texas parks and trails.

Other Marketing Experience:

  • Marketing Coordinator, Volunteer Board Member, Media Buyer and Media Planner for Edgeworks Film Festival.
  • Member of the Gatorbait Show Ski team from 1997-2001; Publicity Director 1999; Team Captain 2000; Top of the 4-tier pyramid!  Coordinated shows with other team members, marketed and promoted the team, fundraised, and exhibited team leadership skills.
  • Improved the marketing brochure for Bushwhacker Bend Winery.

Leadership Experience

  • Counselor for Peer Assistance and Leadership (PALS).  Responsible for teaching awareness, decision-making, problem-solving, and confidence skills to gifted students.
  • Worked with Youth Odyssey in the development of at-risk youth through adventure challenge programs.  Responsible for the activities of the youth and assisting with management of the trips and the students.  Voted Best Youth Counselor by the youth.
  • Trained water skiers and analyzed performance to the Gatorbait Show Ski team standards.

Work experience

Feb 2014Present

Research and Project Associate

Happy Planet Research LLC

  • Conduct extensive literature reviews and synthesize the notes for reporting and presentation purposes.
  • Participate as part of a team to conduct qualitative and quantitative research, including the development of data collection instruments (e.g. interview guides and quantitative surveys).
  • Produce reports and presentation slides based on findings.
  • Provide recommendations and ideas for the research design, planning, and implementation processes (e.g. using MindJet to create a toolkit plan).
  • Deliver project support for coordinating meetings, data collection, and site visits.
Dec 2013Present

Marketing Manager

Cycle and Travel

  • Research, organize, and publish new cycling tours.
  • Create, monitor, and maintain the Cycle and Travel website ( and Facebook media.
  • Write and publish blogs for the Cycle and Travel website using SEO strategy.
  • Research, implement, monitor, and maintain advertising (e.g. Google AdWords, Facebook, etc.)
Sep 2013Dec 2013

Project Associate

Solimar International

  • Worked with SEO research, online survey creation, and editing proposals & marketing strategies.
  • Researched and organized for the development and marketing of sustainable tourism marketing projects and events.
  • Wrote and published travel & project-related blogs and other inbound marketing material for the company website and social media.
Oct 2009Jan 2010

Ambassador Program Leader

Cultural Embrace
  • Initiated, created, and monitored the Cultural Embrace Ambassador Program to increase awareness of the tourism brand.
Apr 2004Aug 2006

Marketing Coordinator

Rover Marine, Inc.
  • Initiated, coordinated, and implemented charter cruise add-on packages to increase revenue. 
  • Increased productivity and sales through creation of an efficient database.
  • Coordinated marketing for the tourism brand through direct mail, brochures, donations, trade shows, and more.
  • Planned and coordinated all types of events, including corporate functions and weddings.
  • Designed new handbooks for operation of ticket booths, office administration, and new employees.
  • Crewed the 135-foot tall ship and sightseeing cruise boat, and handled transactions for cruises. 
  • Trained new employees.

Compliance Unit Intern

U.S. Dept. of State: Bureau of Educ. and Cultural Affairs
  • Obtained United States Federal Secret Security Clearance.
  • Active with the Chief of the Compliance Unit in investigations, research, and government regulations.
  • Revised regulations of United States Exchange Visitor programs.
  • Wrote lead article in the Department of Homeland Security’s Fraud Digest to introduce the functions of the new Compliance Unit Office.
  • Assisted in deciding outcomes on sponsor and student complaints.
Dec 2001Nov 2003

Tenant Relations Manager

Transwestern Commercial Services
  • Initiated and created promotional material and new tenant information booklets.
  • Initiated, designed and implemented a website to make information easily available to tenants.
  • Handled tenant and employee complaints and work orders for service.
  • Managed capital improvements and purchase orders.
  • Designed and coordinated tenant functions and events.
  • Re-structured the office organization system to increase efficiency.
Apr 2001Dec 2001

Marketing Coordinator

E.M. Marketing Company
  • Created marketing proposals, organized and arranged volunteers and vendors, and coordinated media buys, press releases, and sponsorships for major, well-known city events.
  • Coordinated the U.S. Cellular US Open Windsurfing Regatta – prepared announcer’s script, reported media information, worked with judges on scoring, prepared awards banquet, designed official program, and lead registration for competitors.
Aug 2000Apr 2001

Marketing and Executive Assistant

Caldwell Capital Management Group
  • Marketed new artists through the radio and
  • Researched clients needing venture capital assistance.
  • Organized the CEO’s daily schedule and tasks.
May 2000Aug 2000

WDW Intern

Walt Disney World
  • Delivered daily guest service and collaborated with multiple departments to ensure quality in high volume areas of the Fortune 50 Company.
  • Demonstrated problem-solving and decision-making skills, handled multiple tasks, and worked well under pressure.
  • Volunteered for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help make children's dreams come true.
  • Achieved a Ducktorate Degree by successfully completing the living, learning, and earning divisions of the Walt Disney World College Program, including courses led by the Disney Institute.
Aug 1997May 2000

Administrative Coordinator

Shoreline Management Company
  • Assisted the building property manager with yearly budgets and in ensuring tenant satisfaction.
  • Initiated and coordinated tenant functions and events.
  • Completed accounts payables, receivables, work order billing, semi-monthly payroll, payroll taxes, collections, and company insurance.


Oct 2013Present

Social Entrepreneurship Certificate

The George Washington University
Sep 2013Dec 2013

Inbound Marketing Certificate

HubSpot University
Aug 2009May 2010

Certificate in Project Management

University of Texas
Jan 2007Apr 2008

Master of Applied Science

Lincoln University
  • Second-Class Honours, Division I; Cumulative G.P.A.:  7.5
  • Dissertation – “Volunteer tourism:  an exploration of the perceptions and experiences of volunteer tourists and the role of authenticity in those experiences.”
  • Major Projects – Observation/Interviews of New Zealand Red Cross volunteers and the organization; tourism development and improvement project in the Kingdom of Tonga - ‘Eua Livelihoods Impact Assessment of the Role of Tourism.
Aug 1997May 2001

Bachelor of Business Administration

Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi
  • Magna Cum Laude; G.P.A. 3.84
  • Member of Beta Gamma Sigma


Dr. Joanna Fountain

Masters supervisor

Cherylyn Boyd

Tom Van Benschoten


U.S. State Department