Traveler Information Services

In 2002 I was invited by Andy Keith at the Texas Dept. of Transportation to develop a touchscreen kiosk to pilot test in 4 rest areas. I had pursued getting an online tourism survey system that we called Market Match implemented in the Welcome Centers through Doris Howdeshell, who was at the time the director of the TxDOT Travel Division. She wasn't in a position to pursue, but pointed me to Andy, who had a vision. I took the Vision and added my own knowledge, and experience. This page will be dedicated to my pursuit of that Vision, with my passion for the last 17 years.

Here is the original powerpoint I developed to capture the Vision. I took a picture of an ATM and then overlaid what I envisioned, at the time I called the "Walkin', Talkin' Yellow Pages for Travelers" - today I call it the Walkin' Talkin' Green Pages.
Supporting documentation for The Recreation Park and Tourism Sciences Dept.

I will be posting a variety of documents and expanding on this page as time permits.

In 2004, the department of Transportation, at my suggestion, rolled out wifi in all of the rest areas.
See launch video, 1 minute, 41 seconds from a San Antonio TV news station.

From this page you can access the latest pdf document of what I call the Green Loaded Tablet (pdf).

My life in many regards has been shaped around travel. So my passion is derived from very early memories of traveling with my family, but mostly yearning to go to far flung places. My work experiences, and jobs prepared me, and further fed my passion and desires. At the time of this Sharing, February 2019, I have traveled pretty extensively, I suspect compared to most people, however, for me - it seems like I have traveled only a little. My desire has always been  - "to travel everywhere".

At a later date, I will expand on this portion of this story. My intent is to get the various documents presented as I have been doing much like what Sarah expounded in her crystallization essay, turning the crystal of how I see things, to assist other people to see the Vision. It seems that a major part of my job here on earth, has been interpretation - building a bridge of understanding for others. It's almost like I see this painting, of these solutions for diversification, and others are blind. I am constantly, with patience, re-casting "the story", turning the crystal, so to speak, to give others a different view that they might too understand.

My mind, almost at all times, is awash of thoughts of how these pieces fit together, the dynamics of change in the world, and how my Vision can be fit in to make a better life for us all. At this point, it seems my job is to inspire others to see too - to feel the excitement of the potential. However, most people are so tainted in the rewards being about "money", which with these stupendous technologies are there, but they have been so conditioned to be blind to the orchestration underway.

One of my earliest memories, stirring my passion to "get on the road", was when I was roguing corn in 1973 for Black Seed company in Ames, Iowa. It was a field just outside of ISU campus, near the ISU dairy farm, adjacent to the Lincoln Highway (US 30). As I tromped through the field I remember watching cars and trucks go by and just jonesing to get on the road. That dream I guess I have pursued ever since, and there has been many interesting synchronicities around that, and the actual location.

In just the last couple years I ended up staying with my childhood friend Bob Wilson on Oakwood, walking by that location which has been the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center for many years. It is now near a pond, next to the ISU Foundation. I was staying with Bob for awhile, assisting my friend Tom Dooley with his shop. Bob's house was also where I was staying when Sarah and Bob Windt successfully auditioned for the TV Show Toy Box, and I also saw the show at Bob's house (Bob got 2nd place nationally).

I remember very well, walking in to the ISU Memorial Union, past the fantastically large ISU football stadium, walking past Reiman Gardens (interestingly featuring the Banden, OR, Washed Ashore traveling exhibit) and waiting while Sarah reported how things went with the audition.

This can be a story for later. Here are some items of congruity, Mark worked at Green Hills retirement community for several years (Dad seriously considered moving there). Tom Dooley worked at the Gateway. I used to drive shuttle and charter bus there for Midwest Transportation and Midwest Coaches. Ed Osenbaugh developed a tourism software to assist managing the hotel called Co-Pilot. I also have described the dream in some detail as the Experiential Travel Show, adapting it to our family, but also fulfilling the Vision. Paul Serff of the Texas Travel Industry Association was passionate about travel being, inherently, educational - hence our project called Texas Education Vacation.

I think Mark Twain captured the nature of travel, diversity, and experience best in this quote.
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

Pay it Forward - a summary document, encapsulating the Zoom opportunities, while addressing "where's the money" and other fundamental benefits for transitioning rural places from the failed agricultural system, into abundant diversification.

While living and working in Colombia, South America, I was inspired after visiting numerous touristic attractions. Also, the gold mining project in Cajamarca, with AngloGold Ashanti, I was proposing assisting with an "agri-tourism" component, at their request. Of course, as always, the Vision has to be tied to community development. As I reflect back, my time in Colombia was one of the most pronounced in regards to "spinning" the Vision in so many ways, as to get people to see. The interesting part with Colombia, was I had to get much of the material translated to Spanish. I don't know how many different presentations and proposals I wrote.

Nonetheless, some of my most inspired work came from this time. Amazingly, it wasn't until I watched the TV show Narcos, while staying in the Casey's store in Story City, helping Tom Dooley, that I had been touring, and envisioning converting old Pablo Escobar properties around the Department of Quindio, Colombia. One of the most robust compilations was the chapter in my Vision book on tourism.

Tourism, Progress and Peace - regional strategy, presentation, I was slated to talk in Jordan, until the Egyptian uprisings occurred.

Core to my professional work, in academia, but as an Extension professor, was about tourism as a diversification strategy, blended with rural economic development. I did many various presentations about returning to a more local community based model. Rather than expending energies and monies to only attract businesses, to create jobs, and generate taxes, the sustainable model is to have resources go back into the community, investing in local people, businesses, and quality of life.

To those ends I developed many courses, white papers, and presentations to accomplish this. This idea, likely, was spawned by the movie It's a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart. The central idea of the Bailey Building and Loan, as compared to the bank owned by Potter, was to have local people's money, re-invested back into the community, primarily building infrastructure. I have likely watched that movie over 40 times in my life. And how my vision expanded this, was to actually invest in people, and making their dreams come true. This is the key emphasis of the Vision Excelerator.

From this link, are the courses to assist communities, regions and small businesses. Also, to get local banks to keep money local, rather than send off to somewhere else. I realized that Herbert Hoover must have had a similar vision when he created the Federal Home Loan Bank System, in the throes of the Great Depression, which was not caused by Hoover, but actually, by the Federal Reserve Bank (officially acknowledged by an eventual President Ben Bernanke).

Here is the presentation that I did 4 times as part of a rural development conference hosted by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines conferences conducted in 2006.

Experience Co-Evolution Group - website designated for community education, essentially consulting services.
Reverence for Life University - inspired by the work of Desmond D. Green and Col. John Prescod in Jamaica
   Original Vision - at GBCI
YIRS - Youth Inspired Rocket Science
Ames Global Summit - a meeting where an incredible Global initiative launched from a group of "Leaders who are hardly known"
13 Light Messages - Andy's personal blog page