Speaker Bios - 2012

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Samantha Brown
Travel Host, Travel Channel

Samantha Brown, the inspiring and popular host of several programs on the Travel Channel, spends over 200 days traveling each year. In 2008, her adventures continued with the installment of two new Passport series. She takes viewers on short getaways with the premiere of “Samantha Brown: Passport to Great Weekends” and will then head overseas for “Samantha Brown: Passport to China”.

Sam’s childhood in New Hampshire was far from a jet set experience. Her forays out of state led her to nearby Canada or Cape Cod, Massachusetts. “I never dreamed I’d travel to so many exotic locations!” After studying musical theater and receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts at Syracuse University, Sam spent eight years in New York City pursing an acting career. Sam’s path took a dramatic turn when a production company saw her in a commercial and referred her to the Travel Channel “because she looked like the girl next door.”

Sam’s rapid and successful career in travel started with “Great Vacation Homes”, a show based in the United States and offered an insider’s view into a variety of homes and homeowners. From there, Sam was asked to host “Great Hotels,” offering the audience a unique and emotional perspective on each property.

Almost immediately, Sam’s ability to convey the feeling of a specific place – not just the basic facts – established her as an inspirational resource for prospective travelers. This distinctive style was a welcome departure from travel journalism. Her easy-going, playful personality instills trust in her viewers and encourages them to explore new places. Her programs are always shot on location, not from the armchair of a television studio. “I’m not an expert as much as a real person who people connect with. I immerse myself in the culture and invite viewers to do the same.”

Her series, “Samantha Brown: Passport To Europe,” is a perfect example of sightseeing Samantha Brown-style. By highlighting lesser-known cities, attractions, shopping and eateries, Sam opens the doors to a less regimented sort of travel, with fewer “must-sees” and more memorable discoveries. “I think it’s important to immerse oneself into a culture – get to know the people and the everyday places such as markets and local cafés. The major landmarks and museums only show one aspect of a region and its culture.”

Sam’s current passions allow viewers to travel the globe through her eyes. In “Samantha Brown: Passport to Latin America,” Sam deems the entire region “the new Europe” thanks to endless cultural attractions at affordable prices. While filming “Samantha Brown: Passport to China” Sam was awestruck by the country – “China offers such an extraordinary visual and tactile experience, with The Great Wall, Grand palaces and Giant Panda bears.”

Back in the United States, Sam is a Disney enthusiast who has filmed numerous programs at the Disney parks and resorts. “It’s the promise of happiness!”

Along with conventional travel, Sam is also fascinated by eco-tourism. Her television show on the Travel Channel,
“Samantha Brown: Passport to Green Getaways,” looks at various eco-friendly destinations in Montana, along with Mexico and Costa Rica.

In “Samantha Brown: Passport to Great Weekends,” Sam explores cities throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and Mexico. “Unlike a longer trip, a weekend away allows us to be a different person for a few days…we can be hipper, sexier, and more spontaneous than in our normal life. I’m having fun showing the audience how to put themselves in the right frame of mind for an adventure.”

When it comes to travel, Sam’s got the scoop. Viewers follow Sam’s escapades and trust her instincts. No matter where she takes you, Samantha Brown will find delicious food, fabulous shopping, architectural treasures and an authentic taste of the region you won’t find in a tourist guidebook. Sam’s knack for creating her own journey is contagious.

Mark DeCarlo
Author, A Fork On The Road
Celebrity Chef and Comedian

Mark DeCarlo has been a comedian, host, producer, and actor since becoming the all-time champion on NBC’s Sale of the Century, three months after his graduation from UCLA. He hasn’t had a real job since.

He is also a cartoon voice actor, best known as the voice of Hugh Neutron (Jimmy’s dad) on Nickelodeon’s hit series, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius. Mark appears regularly on radio stations across the country – most notably in his hometown of Chicago on Steve Cochran’s WGN Radio show, talking food, travel, and funny.

Mark hosted four seasons of the popular TV show Taste of America (2005 – 2008), following multi-season runs on The X Show, Sunday Dinner, and the FOX dating show, Studs. As an actor, he’s appeared on shows such as Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm and in films such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Mobsters and Mormons.

His new series, EconomicalECO, is a humorous look at Eco Living…for the 97 percent of the country that doesn’t gobble granola and live in a yurt. Mark continues to travel the country, performing comedy and music and eating the best food he can find. When he’s not on the road, Mark and his Cubana amore live in the Hollywood Hills in an energy-efficient eco-house…with a big-screen TV.

Pauline Frommer
Travel Writer
Creator of Pauline Frommer Guidebooks

Pauline Frommer is the creator of the Pauline Frommer guidebooks, a new series for adult budget travelers which now numbers 14 titles, from New York to Paris, from Costa Rica to Italy. Her book Pauline Frommer's London was named Best Guidebook of the Year by the Society of American Travel Writers in 2009; Pauline Frommer's New York City won that coveted award from the rival organization The North American Travel Journalists Association. She started traveling before she could speak, seeing the world at a young age with her guidebook writing parents Arthur Frommer and Hope Arthur. She went into the “family biz” over a decade and a half ago, serving first as the Editor of Frommers.com and then the travel section of MSNBC.com. Currently she writes columns for BingTravel.com, WeightWatchers.com and The Toronto Star. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including Budget Travel, the Dallas Morning News, Marie Claire, Newsweek and the book The Experts Guide to Babies. In 1999, she was awarded a Lowell Thomas Medal from the Society of American Travel Writers for her magazine work. You may recognize her face as she appears frequently on The Today Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and many local news stations. Every Sunday she hosts a call-in radio show called The Travel Show with her father; it's now heard on 130 radio stations nationwide. Pauline is blessed to be married to physical therapist Mahlon Stewart and the mother of two very well-traveled daughters, Beatrix (age 7) and Veronica (age 11).

Patricia Schultz
Travel Writer, TV Producer, Best Selling Author
1,000 Places to See Before You Die

Patricia Schultz is the author of the international bestsellers 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (now with nearly 3 million copies in print and translated into 25 languages) and 1,000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die. A veteran travel journalist with 25 years of experience, she has written for Frommer’s, Berlitz and Access travel guides, as well as BusinessWeek, Oprah and Real Simple. She also executive-produced a Travel Channel television show based on her book, 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. Most recently Patricia became a contributor to Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. Her home base is New York City.