A leap of faith

Beth M. Howard has been a journalist for more than 25 years specializing in personality profiles, adventure travel, and outdoor sports.  She has written for Shape, Elle, Travel & Leisure, Fitness, and many other magazines.  Her assignments have taken her sky diving, dog sledding in Alaska, scuba diving with sharks, and competing in the Eco-Challenge, a ten-day multi-sport race through Utah’s wilderness, which she and her team successfully finished.She has worked as a senior editor for Sports Traveler and a contributing editor for Sports Illustrated Women.  She has been a producer for MSN.com’s Women’s Channel and for MSNBC.com’s 2002 Winter Olympics official Web site.  For six years she freelanced for Microsoft Corporation as the content editor for Bill Gates’ annual CEO Summit.

Before becoming a journalist, Howard established herself as a successful public relations executive.  She began as a PR manager for a Hyatt Hotels mega-resort in Hawaii, which led to an account executive position at Rogers & Cowan in Los Angeles, where she launched the original hit TV series Beverly Hills, 90210.  Other high-profile PR projects have included Diedrich Coffee, Hilton Hotels, and FUEL TV (a unit of Fox), establishing an internal publicity department for the action-sports cable network.

At the age of 25, she started a gourmet coffee business in Nairobi, Kenya, living the life of a modern-day Karen Blixen.  She marketed her award-winning coffee in Kenya and the U.S.  But after convincing The New York Times to run a story on her product, she knew media was her true calling.

She received a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, graduating in three years with an emphasis on communications and environmental studies.  She has worked and lived throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.  She continues to practice speaking French, Spanish, and German, though, admittedly, she gave up on Japanese and has forgotten most of her Swahili.

Home sweet home. The house is real and in Eldon, Iowa.

From 2010 to 2014, Beth lived in Eldon, Iowa, in the famous American Gothic House, where she ran the Pitchfork Pie Stand. She is currently savoring her newfound privacy on a 1,200-acre Iowa farm where she is working on her next book, a memoir about living in the tourist attraction featured in Grant Wood’s iconic painting. Her story and her blog, “The World Needs More Pie,” has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, LA Times, New York Times, Midwest Living, and on NPR, CNN, CBS This Morning, History Channel, and many other national and international media outlets. To read these articles and see more press, click here.

To view her TedX Des Moines talk, click here.