The Mother Earth News Fair

I was thrilled to receive an invitation to attend the Mother Earth News Fair last month in Puyallup, WA. Bryan Welch, publisher of Mother Earth News, the fastest growing magazine in North America and also the publisher of Utney Reader, has created a major resource for sustainability and a very fun experience. Find out more about the upcoming events at

Of course, there were some wonderful innkeepers in attendance. I say “of course” because innkeepers have taken center stage in both rehabbing historic properties and creating sustainable environments—a fact that I like to ballyhoo as much as possible. I had the pleasure of running into Lisa Kivirist and John Ivenko, innkeepers at the Inn Serendipity Farm and B&B in Brownstown, WI, one of the greenest inns I know.

Lloyd Conn made a wonderful presentation on hand-built shelters and I had the pleasure of lunching with Ed Begley Jr. He presented on “Live Simply So that Others Can Simply Live.” It was empowering, humorous and received a standing ovation.

Ed was very encouraging to me about my new projects in sustainable tourism, and said “deep green eco-lodging experiences can be a wonderful educational tool for the public.” This was a thrill because I have admired Ed’s work for a long time. I am excited to be working this summer intensively on the two presentations I will be making at the World Conservation Congress in Jeju, South Korea this September. The topic is Best Practices for Developing Successful Eco-Tourism Destinations, and will be presented to a group of international scientists, environmentalists, government park and open space managers from around the world. This is challenging! Fortunately, I have a lot of friends in the industry, including of Stanley Sellengut, a pioneer in eco-tourism and founder of Maho Bay Resorts, who was kind enough to keynote at our Bed and Breakfast Fair for Fun and Profit at the Javitt’s Center in New York City. Stanley is making a video introduction for the Jeju conference. I am also liaising with Diane Edwards of the Wild Iris Inn in Portland, ME, who has also spoken at our Bed and Breakfast Fair for Fun and Profit. She also authored a wonderful article on greening your inn for our Bed and Breakfast Chronicle. I am very thankful for the helpful insight and support in putting together these presentations. What an honor to have these two proposals selected out of over 600 submissions!

Later in the fall, I will be keynoting at the Manitoba Bed and Breakfast Lodging Conference on the topics of Putting Heads in Rural Beds and Marketing Your Passion. I always enjoy speaking in Canada, a country I love, and one in which the tradition of bed and breakfast hospitality enjoys a central place in the overall lodging scheme. This has resulted in Canadian B&B owners having incredible marketing expertise and presenting the concept of B&B travel in a very organic way. I look forward to a an interactive and rich discussion on the topic of marketing, particularly as this adds another leg to my Western and Mid-Western speaking tour: Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, Michigan, and now Manitoba. It is really helpful in deepening my understanding of how geography and culture impact the tourism dynamic.

All of these wonderful opportunities to speak and learn outside of my home country of USA is helping me develop the stronger perspective on the diverse challenges that face small properties owners and how we can help. For more information about the World Conservation Congress, please click here.

I hope you all are having a beautiful and highly successful early summer.


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