Jim Werner is the Partnership Director for the Philadelphia tourism office as well as the co-owner of Fagabond.com, and LGBT travel-planning website.
What do you do?
By day, I am the Partnership Director for the Philadelphia tourism office. By night, I am the co-owner of Fagabond, a full-service LGBT travel-planning website. In my free time, I am a saxophonist in a Philadelphia Mummers band (google it.)
Why do you do it?
I was born, raised, and educated in Philly, and I still live here. I’m pretty much obsessed, so promoting it seems natural.
Starting Fagabond seemed like a logical step for me. My partner (in life, business, and travel planning) Mike and I developed the concept of the site in 2007, after planning many of our own trips using traditional websites. We felt there was a need for a full-service and trustworthy travel site for the LGBT community, by the LGBT community. So we started fagabond.com. The name of the site, descriptions and headlines are tongue-in-cheek — but you’ll find that the content is informational, accurate, and compelling for a gay person mapping out their next getaway.
What accomplishment in your career to date are you most proud of?
It’s less of an accomplishment than it was just a fun time: I appeared on the cover of Where magazine with Kevin Bacon to promote the Philadelphia Mummers Parade. In addition to getting my hair and make-up done, I got to have drinks with Kevin and dish about Philadelphia. Most importantly, my entire network — family, friends (Facebook and other), and coworkers —instantly moved 1 degree away from Bacon thanks to me.
Who has made the biggest impact on you in life so far, and why?
On a personal level it is my partner Mike. Yes, he has all the things one would look for in a mate: handsome, intelligent, and compassionate with a savings account. There plenty more reasons, but I don’t want to give him a big head.
On a professional level, it’s Meryl Levitz. She is hands-down the most inspiring leader in Philadelphia. Her encouragement helps me to do better and think bolder.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Resourceful. Pragmatic. Sarcastic. (But really, it’s more like: Gay marketing Mummer.)
What is something that not a lot of people know about you, but you wish more people could know?
I can polka anyone under the table.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be?
Ben Franklin, minus the syphilis.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?
Gregory Michael for two reasons: one, he’s a Philly native; and two, he’s easy on the eyes.
Where would you go if you had a time machine?
1980. I would introduce Basquiat to fellow Pennsylvanian Andy Warhol. The rest is neo-expressionist history.
Anything else you would you like to tell our readers?
Always travel. And always use Fagabond.com to plan.