travelgirl magazine - escapes for women
who we are

you know you're a travelgirl if…
You don't mind a
gecko on the ceiling.
In fact you would rather prefer it.

Media requesting an interview with travelgirl Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Oswald, Publisher Renee Werbin or any other member of travelgirl magazine, please contact Publicist Wendy Guarisco, at The Guarisco Group, 404-355-4205/office or 404-354-6468/cell. Wendy can also be reached via e-mail:

Stephanie is currently available to talk about ways to ease the stress of holiday travel and how to pack your own "oasis" in your carry-on bag. Renee Werbin and Stephanie Oswald are the co-founders of travelgirl magazine. The concept was born in January of 2002. The first issue came out in June of 2003.

Wanted: One travelgirl intern!
Do you daydream of globetrotting while you sip your cappuccino? Are you looking for an internship that will "take you places" -- but alas, only on paper? travelgirl magazine is looking for an enthusiastic, self-starter who wants practical experience with a national women's travel and lifestyle publication. The intern will work directly with the production team, providing editorial assistance including research, writing and various other responsibilities that include both menial (but crucial) tasks and mind-blowing opportunities. The position is unpaid, but school credit is possible. Requires minimum 20-hour commitment per week, full-time is preferred.

Reply to Stephanie Oswald, Editor-in-chief at with the top 10 reasons you know you're the right candidate for the position.

Renee Werbin: Publisher

"So many times I have thought how wonderful it would be to publish a magazine with insights into a world I know so much about. travelgirl is the realization of that dream. I welcome the opportunity to share my experiences with the public as I have been doing for so many years with my clients."

Atlanta native Renee Werbin knows the ins and outs of the travel business. She has successfully navigated the industry for nearly 18 years as CEO and President of SRI Travel and Werbin LTI Tours, LTD. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies, screen legends, and CEOs from some of the most prestigious companies around the world. Her companies have organized trade missions for Governors around the globe.

Werbin's travel expertise has influenced network news organizations, multi-million dollar corporations, politicians and foreign dignitaries. She has been a guest many times on CNN, FOX and CBS. Her traveling companions have included celebrities, television crews, and publishers and editors from some of the most distinguished publications in the country. She is requested often as a keynote speaker at women's events, journalism schools, news organizations and company events, lending her expertise on travel to people across the United States.

In 2002, Renee parlayed her journalistic skills into her most recent entrepreneurial endeavor, as co-founder and publisher of travelgirl magazine. travelgirl is the culmination of her dream to share her vast knowledge of travel and her zest for life with others. Seeing our country face the tragedies of 9/11 enforced her goal to help others navigate this new world of travel. She is passionate about travel, flying weekly for business in search of a story or a new take on a previously visited destination. From Cher to Paula Zahn, Jane Seymour, Lauren Hutton, Soledad O'Brien, Carol Alt, Christina Applegate, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Liza Minnelli, Renee interviews the famous faces that grace the travelgirl covers.

Werbin is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia. She serves on nine charitable and advisory boards and has been recognized numerous times for her civic and charitable endeavors.

Renee's most cherished role is that of wife and mother. Her husband is an attorney and in her words, "the single best decision I've ever made in my entire life." Her children are her pride and joy, each an accomplished adult and Renee is proud of their dedication and integrity.(top)

Stephanie Oswald: Editor

"travelgirl is more than a magazine - it's a feeling. Our readers will have the information they need for successful, practical and pleasurable journeys in today's ever-changing world. We'll make escape simple, whether it's a spa treatment at home - or a three week exotic adventure."

In print, on the Web or on-air, Stephanie Oswald knows how to tell a travel story. As the Editor-in-Chief of travelgirl magazine and a Web Correspondent for The Weather Channel, she reports on everything from stress-relieving spa treatments and unique escapes around the world to the human side of a hurricane. She is the co-founder of travelgirl-- the first national travel magazine to launch after the events of 9/11. The bi-monthly travel and lifestyle publication was chosen by industry leader Mr. Magazine as one of the "most notable" launches of 2003.

Oswald is a native New Yorker who spent 13 years globetrotting as CNN's travel correspondent and host of the weekend program, CNN Travel Now. Her CNN reporting took her everywhere from The Great Wall of China to The Grand Canyon. She's a savvy traveler-- whether it's a business or pleasure trip, international or domestic. In 2003, she also launched a groundbreaking series called The Weather Channel Road Crew that showcased the "fun" side of weather. In 2004, she filed written and audio reports during Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne as the very first Web Correspondent for

In addition to managing the editorial side of travelgirl magazine, she currently teaches Travel Writing Skills and Successful TV Presence at the Emory University Center for Lifelong Learning in Atlanta, and is a media consultant for Atamira Communications. She has also spent time as a Hearst Fellow at the University of Colorado in Boulder, teaching various aspects of TV journalism. In her personal travels she has hiked the Inca Trail and is headed for Mt. Kilimanjaro in the near future.

As anchor and correspondent for CNN Travel Now, a weekly program on worldwide destinations, travel trends and cuisine, Oswald specialized in adventure travel, filing reports from Europe, South America, Asia and the Caribbean. One series took her into the depths of Papua New Guinea for a rare and eye-opening look at the Huli Wigmen. Her reports also appeared on CNN Headline News, CNN in-flight programming for Delta Air Lines, CNN International and the CNN Airport Network.

In 1996, Oswald covered the Cultural Olympiad in Atlanta and received an Emmy for producing during the Centennial Olympic Park bombing. Her coverage of the serious side of tourism also included the impact of Great Britain's handover of Hong Kong to China and a journey highlighting the wonders of Northern Ireland. While at CNN, she also reported on travel industry issues including pilot fatigue, airline alliances and airport security.

Immediately after 9/11, she filed human interest stories on the crisis for CNN, and covered the impact on the travel industry for CNN Headline News during live studio reports.

In 1995, Stephanie was chosen to participate in the French-American Foundation Journalists Exchange Program. She has lived in both Paris and Strasbourg. During the Gulf War, Stephanie worked on CNN's international assignment desk, coordinating Saudi Arabia coverage. Before joining CNN, she was a general assignment news reporter for WCTV in Lynn, Mass. Oswald earned a journalism degree from Boston University, graduating cum laude. In addition to her love for travel, she also has a passion for music, horses, SCUBA diving and hiking. (top)

Michael Morris: President

"Since women make 75% of all travel decisions, travelgirl gives the lady of the house everything she needs to make plans for the family, adventure, romance, solo travel and her travelguy. It's a fun magazine that teaches you how to travel in a five star fashion even if your budget is only two or three stars."

Michael Morris brings the brawn to the travelgirl table, with more than 15 years of experience in investment banking and securities brokerage and a decade of experience managing and marketing his own companies.

As a 25-year resident of Atlanta, he founded and was Chief Executive Officer of GMA Partners, Inc., an investment firm providing securities brokerage services to high net worth individuals and foundations, and investment banking services to middle market clients. Projects included merger and acquisition advisory, public and private offerings and strategic sale advisory services.

In addition to GMA Partners, Michael was involved as a director in the creation, marketing and branding of several start-up companies, including Outweb, Inc., a technology consulting company; and Load N-Go at Home Depot. Previously, Mr. Morris held various financial positions with Balentine & Company, Wolf Camera, Inc. and Merrill Lynch.

Michael Morris is on the board of several multi-million dollar foundations and helps to give away more than $50 million a year to charities. His travels for business, pleasure and charity have taken him all over the United States, as well as to England, Wales, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, Israel and the Caribbean.

Michael currently serves on the board of several charitable and civic organizations including the Centers for Disease Control Foundation Board of Visitors, the Board of Visitors of the Shepherd Center, the Israel Democracy Institute and Emory University's Goizueta Business School Board of Advisors. He is also a Trustee for the Atlanta Jewish Federation and President of their Young Leadership Council.

Michael received his Masters of Business Administration from Goizueta Business School of Emory University, graduating with honors, and received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science and Economics from Vanderbilt University.(top)

Robyn Klugman: Vice President

Robyn Klugman is a fanatic about travel, business planning and making a difference. A recent Emory University graduate with a degree in Mathematics, Robyn began her career 4 years ago working in the high-tech IT industry doing Business Intelligence for KnowledgeStorm, Inc. While there, she created the first Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the company along with verifying qualified buyers of Software and matching them with appropriate sellers.

Robyn left KnowledgeStorm after only one year to join her mother at SRI Travel and fulfill her passion for globetrotting. Since then, she has been all over the United States and the Caribbean and has been to Europe several times. Her favorite destination is Istanbul, Turkey where she was mesmerized by this spectacular city divided and existing in two continents by the Bosphorus strait. As travelgirl's Business Manager, Robyn's journeys are sure to continue!(top)

Valerie Cassius: Creative Director

Valerie Cassius joined travelgirl magazine in January 2004 following a challenging and successful freelance career meeting the creative demands of a vast array of clients, including American Express, several large real estate firms and numerous financial institutions. During one project, she was responsible for the creative design of an American Express travel publication for a European market.

She spent 11 years as an in-house designer and writer for Georgia Telco, a credit union servicing major telecommunications corporations such as AT&T and BellSouth. An Atlanta native who grew up in Memphis, she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Journalism and Fine Arts and also attended Parson's School of Design in New York City. Valerie's creative skills were honed during a prestigious international program she was accepted to via the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, when she spent several weeks in Rotterdam, Holland attending a specialty design school.

She has traveled to Thailand, Brazil, Panama, Israel and many European destinations, but Valerie says her wanderlust isn't satisfied yet! As Creative Director for travelgirl, she brings color and class to the pages of the publication.(top)

Gideon Lewin: Artistic Director

Gideon Lewin, travelgirl's artistic director, is a world renowned photographer. Our "Maestro" of photography is a graduate of the distinguished Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles and holds a BFA in photography and design. He began his career in California as the protege of the celebrated Richard Avedon. In 1980 he established the Gideon Lewin Studio in New York City. Lewin's career is marked by a long list of successes and he has captured some of the most famous and coveted faces in the world through his lenses. With an eye for detail and a flair for bringing out personality in his portraits, Lewin is one of the most sought-after photographers in America. (top)

Jan Butsch Schroder:
Managing Editor and Web Editor

Prior to joining travelgirl magazine in May 2004, Jan worked as the Membership Manager of the High Museum of Art, Editor of Schroder Publishing and has been a freelance newspaper columnist. Jan is the author of two books, a humor book about parenting called Just a Stage and Murphy's: 25 Years of Recipes and Memories.

Jan has won six finalist Green Eyeshade Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Golden Flame Award from the International Association of Business Communicators. She has been published in Elle magazine, Creative Loafing, Atlanta Parent, Fulton County Daily Report and Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mothers Soul.

Her travels have taken her crocodile hunting in Belize, snorkeling in San Salvador, snowshoeing in Yosemite, sailing in the British Virgin Islands and doing a whole lot of nothing on as many beaches as she could find. Highlights include watching her daughter run the Olympic Torch in Klamath Falls, Oregon, biking down Haleakala in Hawaii, and a dining with her extended family at a castle in Tuscany.

Jan is a native of Atlanta and graduated cum laude from the University of Virginia with an English degree. She is married to Chris Schroder, president of Schroder Public Relations, and is the very proud mother to two children, Catherine and Christopher. (top)

Mary Beth Bond: Adventure Editor

Marybeth Bond has written about women and travel for two decades, including 11 award-winning books for National Geographic and Travelers' Tales and most recently in the Wall Street Journal. Her bestsellers are 50 Best Girlfriends Getaways, Girlfriend Getaways Worldwide, A Woman's World, and Gutsy Women, which took her to The Oprah Winfrey show.

She joined travelgirl magazine in 2004 as the Adventure Editor after TV work as the "Smart Traveler" for CBS Evening Magazine, Oxygen, travel editor for and "Travel Expert" for Outside Radio. She is still a frequent travel expert/guest on CNN, National Public Radio, CBS, NBC, and ABC. She's a spokesperson for a variety of businesses, including AAA, Sojourns and Hilton Garden Inn.

Marybeth walked, hiked, climbed, cycled and kayaked her way through six continents and more than 70 countries from Mt. Kilimanjaro to Kilarny. She traveled alone, with her gal pals, daughters, sisters, husband and mother. (top)

Carole Jacobs: Fitness Editor

A 25-year veteran of the national magazine and book publishing business, Carole Jacobs is a former 20-year senior editor and founding travel editor with Shape and Living Fit magazines, a contributing writer for Vacations Publications, Inc., and former travel editor of M.D. Publishing.  Her freelance articles have run in hundreds of national publications, through United Press Syndicate, and in many anthologies, and she has written/ coauthored several books on women’s health, fitness, medical topics, food, and travel with Putnam, Reader’s Digest Books and John B. Wiley & Sons.  Her latest books will be published in 2009 and early 2010 by various New York publishers,  and include a biography of Tyra Banks, a longevity  guide for baby boomers, a healthy eating cookbook, and a survival guide for the 21st century.

Carole is a longtime member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, The Society of American Travel Writers, the National Association of Travel Journalists, North American Association of Ski & Snow Writers, and Food & Wine.  She has enjoying trekking, hiking, cycling, mountain biking, rock climbing, in-line skating, canoeing, kayaking, white-water rafting, horseback riding, and cross-country and downhill across the U.S.  and in more than 75 countries. Carole lives off the grid in California’s High Sierra with her husband, Thomas, in a log house they designed and built themselves.