I am honored to take on the role of your GBTA President and CEO, and look forward to our next steps together. As presented at Convention, our goals include:
- Expanding GBTA’s global outreach;
- Doubling our membership size from 6,000 to 12,000; and
- Continuing to be the leading voice in business travel everywhere!
However, to accomplish these goals we need the help, support and involvement of every GBTA member.
It was great seeing so many of you at GBTA Convention 2013 – and what a Convention it was! We had 1,531 travel buyers and 6,469 attendees total, making for a busy show floor and what many told me was the most successful convention ever in terms of buyer activity. Close to 80 education sessions took place in front of standing-room only crowds eager to learn the latest industry trends and insights. Jewel, former First Lady Laura Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton each captured the attention of the general session crowds with their entertaining wit, insightful stories and captivating life experiences. By all accounts, Convention was a tremendous success and I can’t wait to see how we can top it in Los Angeles in 2014.
During GBTA Executive Director and COO Mike McCormick’s speech at Convention, he issued a challenge to all of us to double GBTA’s membership. We all need to spread the word and invite friends and colleagues to join. A large part of our continued growth strategy is increasing value and benefits for all members. I want to expand our education programs and access to them globally, reaching more members in more regions of the world with industry best practices and the latest relevant global trends in managed business travel.
Going forward, I plan to communicate with you openly and frequently about the happenings at GBTA. Communication is a two-way street though, so I welcome your input and insight into how we can work together to further GBTA’s goals. Please email me anytime at [email protected].
As part of that commitment, I would like to announce the formation of a coalition team to work on GBTA membership requirements and governance changes. I will communicate our team leaders and a project definition by August 30, 2013. I want to take the bylaw discussions of the past and elevate them into the discourse of the future. As Hillary Clinton reminded us during her speech, “we have to move beyond politics and personal competition, and we have to trust each other even when we disagree”.
I am excited about the future of our GBTA!