When she joined Swissair in 1969, Cynthia Fontayne had already been flying for 22 years. Her first flight was at six months, her first solo at age 5. She's been on the go ever since.
She headed the airline's North American public relations department
with additional assignments in marketing and sales. She left Swissair in 1982 to start The Fontayne Group, Inc., a marketing communications consultancy headquartered in Santa Monica, California.
She is a founding Board member of the Association of Travel Marketing Executives, a former Board member of the Society of American Travel Writers, past chairman of the North American Airline PR Association and a member of the Industry Council of the Pacific Asia Travel Association. In 1988, she was named a Senior Associate of the Tourism Policy Forum at George Washington University under the aegis of the World Tourism Organization. She also is a member of the Public Relations Society of America's Counsellors Academy and Travel and Tourism Section
While at Vassar, from which she was graduated with a B.A. in
sociology, she studied with future new media guru Ted Nelson,
then a professor of sociology at the College. She was in the room
when he first introduced the word "hypertext" in a lecture. Her first Computer Experience was a Ted Project on an IBM 360 Counter- Sorter. So it's only natural that the interactive world would hold great appeal to her. Its hold on her was complete when hyperfiction pioneer Michael Joyce, currently a professor of English at Vassar, showed her how to use a mouse.
The Fontayne Group as a company became involved in New Media
in the early 1990s, with Cynthia leading the charge. She and the firm have been assisting clients in understanding and exploiting these exciting opportunities. Cynthia has conducted numerous seminars and presentations on the Internet and Web for ATME, SATW and Infocom. She has addressed the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization on strategic communications planning and on media relations using the Internet and World Wide Web in Cairo and Madrid.
Cynthia speaks French and Italian but limits her public speaking to English which she embellishes with expansive hand gestures. Her frequent travels allow her to grow her collections of art stamps, old travel and etiquette books, antique postcards and paper, folk art animals, world music and floaty pens. She gathers vintage linens, aprons, kitchenware, pottery, Depression Glass -- and other oddments too wonderful to be thrown in the Great American Dustbin -- for her modest antiques + collectibles business. She keeps the Fire-King jadite, Lu-Ray and Vernon pastel china, old linens and matte glaze pottery she finds all to herself. She currently is house hunting in the California wine country, Sonoma County, so she has a place to stash all her stuff.
She still never leaves home without her laptop and a