The Future Landscape of Travel and Media is a webinar series led by travel and business professionals speaking on the current issues impacting their brands and marketing and financial growth initiatives.

We are bringing together leaders who will share important insights on how they are managing the challenges within their industries and specific brands, and providing up and coming professionals and entrepreneurs with the tools they need to navigate business ownership and success.

Our inaugural event is free of charge and we encourage everyone, whether from the industry or media side, to attend and join the conversation.



Future Landscape of the Travel Media & Partnerships
with Tia Troy and Bex Shapiro
10am PST / 11am MDT / 1pm EST
This session will give an insight into the experience that marketing and public relations professionals have had during these past few months of pause, what they’ve learned from the influencer landscape during this time, and their strategies for working with media moving forward.

Setting up Your Business for Success
with Nancy Kirby Kurjakovic and Deidre Mathis
11am PST / 12pm MDT / 2pm EST

This presentation aims to inform entrepreneurs and freelancers impacted by the pandemic, and provide them with tips to better prepare for economic fluctuations while trying to build and grow their business.

Moving Forward: What DMOs Have to Say
with Spencer Spellman, Christina Roberts and Nicole Gonzalez
12pm PST / 1pm MDT / 3pm EST

COVID-19 hit many businesses hard, and as our world slowly focuses on reopening and recovery, we will talk to three rural destination leaders about how they are managing and planning for the influx of travelers looking to road trip to open-air, nature-filled destinations such as theirs. We will touch on everything from how they are managing budgets and planning their message and campaigns, to what travelers can expect from them over the next few months.


Carol Cain – Moderator
Over the span of 2 decades Carol has firmly established herself in the public relations and communications field, with work ranging from community and new media outreach to project management and promotion of organizations and their partners. Her work also includes providing clients with a brand overview and improvement guidelines to appeal to ever-changing market interests and trends. Carol is led by a passion to inform, equip, and improve the media landscape from top to bottom and anywhere in between. This webinar is an extension of those efforts.

Nicole Gonzalez
Montana local, Nicole Gonzalez was raised in the small town of Augusta along the Rocky Mountain Front. Growing up in a family that has strong roots in Mexico and Scotland, an appetite for travel was instilled in her at an early age as her parents ensured that traveling and learning about her family history, as well as new cultures, was a priority. These experiences inspired her to dedicate her professional career to sharing the unmatched beauty and adventure of Montana with visitors and media. In her current role as Earned Media Specialist for Visit Montana, Gonzalez spends her days using her passion and experience to promote the state’s many travel opportunities. She also contributes to the education of future communication professionals by serving as an adjunct professor at her alma mater.

Nancy Kirby Kurjakovic
Nancy joined IncubatorWorks in 2012. Experienced in entrepreneurship, business development, and strategic planning, she successfully launched a CPA firm in the Southern Tier and built it to employ a team of 14 professionals specializing in contract CFO services for clients. Together, they provided business plan development, strategic planning, and turnaround services. A graduate of Binghamton University, Nancy has served on the boards of many local non-profit organizations. She also served on the board and executive committee of the NYS Society of Certified Public Accountants. Nancy has been named a Small Business Advocate by the Small Business Association (SBA). She is a certified Leadership Coach.

Deidre Mathis
Deidre has firmly inserted herself into the hospitality and travel industries with the creation of Wanderstay Houston, private and shared accommodations catering to budget conscious travelers. Mathis is the first Black woman to own a hostel in the United States, and she has built a multi-faceted brand that spans over a decade. Having traveled to over 44 countries on all 7 continents, Mathis fell in love with the instant community and cultural diversity hostels provided while traveling. She wanted to bring that same experience stateside, and thus the concept for Wanderstay was born. The first location opened in Houston, TX in 2018. The 2nd location is in the works to be opened summer 2021.

Christina Roberts
Christina is the Vice President of Brand Development for Finger Lakes Wine Country. Founded in 2000, Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association, Inc. is a regional, non-profit, brand marketing organization that showcases world-class travel experiences across five counties and three wine trails in Upstate New York. In her role, Christina manages the brand strategy, oversees the marketing programs, and assists the President with the administration of the organization. Christina has been a team member at Finger Lakes Wine Country since 2008 and holds a B.S. in Communications, with a focus in Public Relations, and a B.A. in Psychology from SUNY Fredonia. While she loves developing creative marketing campaigns, Christina considers her greatest work raising her five-year-old son, Harrison.

Bex Shapiro
Bex Shapiro is the Senior Editorial Manager at Intrepid Travel, the world’s largest adventure travel company and industry leader in responsible tourism. In this role she partners with content creators aligned with Intrepid’s mission of being the best travel company for the world. She also manages storytelling on Intrepid’s social channels, ensuring it reflects the company’s emphasis on sustainability and inclusivity. A Brit based in Vancouver, she is passionate about getting outdoors, eating well, and building community. And in her spare time she writes, and has been published in The Guardian, VICE, ELLE, and The Huffington Post.

Spencer Spellman
Growing up around travel, thanks to a flight attendant sister, Spencer has spent the last decade working in tourism. He started in publishing, working as Interactive Content Editor for USA Today 10Best, before starting his own business as a writer, photographer, and content strategist for travel publications and brands. His writing and photography has appeared in publications that have included the Los Angeles Times, Travel + Leisure, Sunset Magazine, and AFAR, while he worked with Expedia to launch and manage Expedia’s first consumer blog and ambassador program, Expedia Viewfinder. He now lives in Northern California wine country, where he works for Sonoma County Tourism as Director of Brand Development.

Tia Troy
A product of small-town Montana, Tia brings her spunky, quick-witted personality to the world of PR. After earning a bachelor’s degree at BYU-Idaho (where she served as the editor-in-chief of her school newspaper), Tia has spent the last 15 years in Montana and Wyoming, where she specializes in travel, tourism, hospitality and retail. In 2018, Tia founded Lightning Bug Public Relations and today represents clients throughout the two-state region, with expertise in brand content, strategy, social media, influencer marketing and earned media.