the Associates of NaTour Communications
NaTour Communications often partners
with other experienced professionals to provide a greater depth
of service to its clients, bringing together the best, most appropriate
talent to solve client challenges. These professionals are the
top in their field, and provide an enhanced support team for larger-scale
And now NaTour Communications is
partnering directly with sister company J2L Events LLC to organize a
variety of trade and consumer events, summits, conferences and trade
shows in any industry!
Business Consultants -- Marketing Development
Bob Barnes & Associates -- Birding and Nature Education
Tim Warren – Founder/Director
Tourism Marketing • E-Marketing • Sales • Management
• Operations • Business Strategist
25 years Business / Marketing Experience, with 10 years in Tourism
Tim Warren and Adventure Business Consultants specialize in increasing
arrivals, reducing expenses, increasing profits and creating effective
action plans for nature tourism, ecotourism and adventure travel
professionals. Tim has helped well over 100 tourism companies
and agencies promoting tourism through his consulting, trainings,
executive coaching and tourism professional development products.
Notable nature tourism, ecotourism and adventure projects include: USAID – Mongolia: The Competitiveness Initiative, Baja AirVentures,
Explore Bolivia, Eco Voyager, GreenTracks, NorthStar, Sea Kayak
Adventures, Aquatels, Alaska Log Raft Adventures, Another Land,
Panama Highlands Guest Hacienda, Austin’s Alaska Adventures
and many others.
Tim is an adventurer, outdoor writer, tourism workshop trainer
and author of “Tourism Marketing Material Success”.
Tim is on the Board of Directors of the Outdoor Writers Association
of California and a member of numerous nature conservation and
tourism organizations. An international business major in college,
Tim’s firm, based in Wine country, Northern California,
is fun to work with, solves problems and can assemble the resources
and roadmap to increase your arrivals, profits and success.
Bob Barnes -- Principal
Bob Barnes’ experience includes that in birding and field trip
leading, conference planning and production, outdoor and traditional
education, festival development and production, marketing, political
action, watershed protection, site assessment for private, Federal
and State entities, sustainable tourism and community development,
visioning, and more than 25 years of Audubon Chapter and Staff
Deborah Richie Communications
-- Interpretation and Writing
Deborah Richie Oberbillig -- Principal
Deborah Richie Oberbillig is the owner and sole proprietor of
Deborah Richie Communications, specializing in interpretive writing
and planning, as well as development of birding and nature trails,
and wildlife viewing opportunities. She has worked in the
interpretive field for 20 years, and has owned her business since
1996. Prior experience includes coordinating wildlife viewing
programs for the U.S. Forest Service; Montana Fish, Wildlife and
Parks; and The Nature Conservancy.
Deborah graduated from the University of Oregon in 1981 with a
Bachelors degree in Biology and earned her Masters in Journalism in
1988 from the University of Montana. Through her consulting
practice, Deborah has completed more than 100 projects for a wide
variety of private, municipal, county, state, and federal agencies.
Eco-Tourism International -- Economics and Financial Analysis
Ed Sanders -- Principal
Ed Sanders has a broad policy analysis background in senior U.S. Government
positions (OMB and U.S. Senate) and in private sector business
management as an international business consultant. He is a former
Vice-Chairman of the Board of The International Ecotourism Society
(TIES) and specializes in preparing market analyses, business
plans, feasibility studies, and financing proposals for ecotourism
and related conservation projects.
Great Destinotions -- Tourism Branding, Logos and Taglines
Eric Swartz -- President and Founder
Eric Swartz is president and founder of Great Destinotions, a branding agency dedicated to building,
renovating, and promoting the brand identities of towns, regions and destination marketing
organizations involved in promoting tourism, recreation and economic development. Projects
include brand auditing, brand assessment and analysis, strategic positioning, message development,
logo and tagline development, advertising, and direct response. Clients have included Tri-Valley,
CA; Russian River Valley Winegrowers Association, CA; Longview, TX; and Marathon, FL; as well as
American Express, Apple, Emory University, FedEx and Wells Fargo.
Eric has been a branding and marketing professional for more than 30 years on both the client
and agency side. He started his career as an advertising copywriter, and worked as a
grants writer and TV writer/producer (TravelTime) before serving in senior marketing and
communications management positions at SPRINT, Ziff Communications, and The Thomson
Corporation. He founded his agency in 1996. Eric is a recipient of a writing award from
the Council for The Advancement and Support of Education, and has been featured in
BusinessWeek.com, Meetings & Conventions Magazine, and USA Today. Eric earned his A.B.
in Communication & Public Policy from U.C. Berkeley and his M.A. in Communications from
The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
Institute for Integrated Rural Tourism -- Rural and Community Tourism
Todd Comen -- Managing Director
Todd Comen is Managing Director of the Institute For Integrated
Rural Tourism and an Associate Professor of Business and Hospitality
Management at Johnson State College in Vermont. Professor Comen earned
a Master's Degree from Cornell University in Hotel Administration and a
Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Lewis and Clark College in Portland,
Oregon. His love for rural tourism began in 1982 with the development and
operation of a small country inn on a farm in northern California. His
experience in creating an agricultural tourist attraction at The Apple
Works in Wisconsin and years of living on small farms raising crops and
small farm animals, has given Professor Comen a keen sense of emerging
opportunities for reinventing rural economies, invigorating rural cultures,
and for weaving natural area protection into an overall rural tourism strategy.
Since 1989, Todd has combined research and the study of tourism and
hospitality with his practical experience in operations to bring a non-traditional
approach to consulting, workshops and courses on hospitality and tourism management.
Courses and workshops cover a variety of topics relevant to rural and ecotourism
including rural tourism product and infrastructure planning and development,
marketing, ecotourism, and quality management of hospitality organizations.
Recent research and workshop engagements have taken him to the Dominican
Republic, Costa Rica, Romania, Poland, Belarus, Honduras and Italy. He has
worked with a variety of NGO’s as a tourism consultant including CHF International,
Partners of the Americas and The Institute For Sustainable Communities. Professor
Comen has developed a new strategy for rural economic development and poverty
alleviation called Integrated Rural Tourism. His Institute for Integrated Rural
Tourism offers leadership, research, consulting and educational programming to
people interested in weaving low impact tourism into the economy of their community.
A handbook will soon be available to help community members and entrepreneurs
apply the lessons Professor Comen has learned over the past 25 years. The book,
“Integrated Rural Tourism: Weaving Low-Impact Rural and Eco Tourism into the
Economic Fabric of Rural Communities" is now available.
Management -- Business and Market Analysis
Carol Patterson -- Principal
Carol Patterson is the founder of Kalahari Management. She is
the author of several books including The Business of Ecotourism
and publishes the quarterly newsletter, EcoTourism Management.
Kalahari Management assists communities in developing their nature
tourism potential. Recent projects include Pennsylvania’s
Susquehanna River birding and wildlife trail, and development
of nature trails in Michigan's eastern upper peninsula. Kalahari
Management also conducts assessments of nature tourism facilities
and businesses. Communities in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Arkansas,
Michigan, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario have benefited
from these reviews.
Carol has degrees in Business Administration, Economics and
Geography, and holds a Certified Management Accountant Designation.
In 1991 she was named Merit Winner in the Pannel Kerr Forster
Research Award competition. She teaches recreation and tourism
geography classes for the University of Calgary and is a judge
for the Ecotourism Showcase awards presented annually at the Educational
Learning Conference. She also serves on the board of Watchable
Website Design, Digital Content Creation and Marketing
Mike McCarney, Partner
Legitify founder Mike McCarney began his internet marketing and
website management career in 1998 when he co- founded WildernessWeb,
an internet marketing service for outdoor adventure guides and
ecotour operators. In less than two years Mike and his partner
had developed an innovative service and successful business. As
a chosen growth strategy, Wilderness Web was acquired by the naturalist.com
network. After serving as VP of Ecotravel for Naturalist for one
year, Mike went on to found his own web service company, Veat.Net
in order to build upon his experience and pursue new opportunities.
After four years of solid growth and managing over 100 active
clients, Mike decided to blend web design, management and original
content creation to build Legitify with partner Vince LaVecchia.
Legitify designs and manages complete websites, but they can also populate any site
with words, photos, video and other creative content. Legitify
offers solutions to the problem of developing and marketing original
content for websites or any project.
LMW Design Inc.
-- Graphic Design and Advertising
Nature Tourism Planning
-- Interpretation and Writing
Laurie Musick Wright -- Principal
LMW Design founder and owner Laurie Musick Wright provides
award-winning full-service marketing and advertising services to
a diverse client base — from national publishing to banking,
ecotourism to public utilities and health care —creating
sophisticated presentations for all types of organizations.
Laurie has also created collateral and web site design for many
non-profit and civic organizations. She has more than 25 years
of professional design experience and earned a B.S. in
communication arts with a concentration in graphic arts from
Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
She is a member of the Rutland (VT) Region Chamber of Commerce.
Her creative team offers a full range of strategic advertising
and marketing services such as creative direction, art
direction, graphic design, web design, corporate identity,
communication strategies, copywriting, project management, and
media planning. Her quality work has earned awards from American
Business Communicators, the New England Society for Health Care
Communications and numerous other professional organizations.
Robert Garrison -- Principal
Robert Garrison is the owner and sole proprietor of Nature Tourism Planning,
a private consulting firm based in Sacramento, California. Bob’s
project experience has been focused on the development and marketing
of state-wide, regional and site-specific wildlife recreation
and educational facilities and programs. He is nationally recognized
for his work in developing one of the largest collaborative state
wildlife viewing programs in the nation with more than 200 viewing
sites, as well as building the nation’s largest urban fishing
program to serve the needs of ethnically diverse urban residents.
Bob works with local communities and businesses, governmental
agencies, conservation groups, and private landowners to assess,
plan, develop and market nature tourism and wildlife recreation
opportunities while protecting wildlife and habitat values. He
has completed numerous site-specific interpretive projects that
include developing visitor centers, trails, wayside exhibits,
brochures and books. Bob has published numerous public interest
articles and professional papers on wildlife viewing and nature
tourism, and regularly speaks at conferences throughout the Western
Bob received his B. S. degree in wildlife management with a minor
in interpretation from Humboldt State University in 1980. He currently
serves on the board of Watchable Wildlife, Inc.; the UC Davis
Small Farm Center’s Ag and Nature Tourism Working Group;
California Roundtable for Recreation, Parks and Tourism; and chairs
the California Watchable Wildlife Steering Committee.
Seiler Design & Advertising
-- Nature Tourism Graphic Design, Illustration and Advertising
Nancy Seiler -- Principal
Nancy L. Seiler, Interpretive Graphic Designer, has 26 years of
graphic design experience. She has successfully run her own
graphic design business for the last 19 years and in that role
has been responsible for every aspect of the business from
account representation, creative direction and marketing plans
to the contracting of outside services such as photography,
illustration, copywriting and printing. She has produced print
jobs from one to 200 pages in length, coordinating these jobs
from conception to completion. She is also a member of the
National Association of Interpretation and frequently
collaborates with Deborah Richie Oberbillig on interpretive
projects. Nancy has a Visual Communications degree from The Art
Institute of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Sugarhost Interactive, Inc.
-- Website Design and Email Marketing Services
Joe Pymm -- Principal
Since 2004, Joe Pymm has designed websites for travel events and
destinations, as well as offering email marketing services.
Travel-based clients include the New York Times, Boston Globe,
Miami Herald, Adventure Travel Trade Association, Angel-Eco
Tours and others.