Former United Senior VP and Recipient of GBTA’s ICON Award To Lead Association Forward
Alexandria, VA — The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has named travel industry leader Dave Hilfman as its interim Executive Director.
Hilfman, who retired from United Airlines as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales in 2018, will step into the interim role effective immediately. Well known to GBTA members, sponsors and leaders as a tireless advocate for business travel, Hilfman was honored in 2017 with GBTA’s prestigious ICON Award, which recognizes leaders whose contributions further advance the corporate travel industry. Named one of the 25 Most Influential Travel Executives three times by Business Travel News, Hilfman in 2018 also earned a Travel Weekly Lifetime Achievement Award at the media outlet’s Readers Choice Awards ceremony.
“Dave Hilfman is exactly what our industry needs at this moment,” said Bhart Sarin, President of the GBTA Board. “Dave’s passion for business travel and for GBTA are matched only by his integrity, positive nature and way with people. We are thrilled that Dave has agreed to step up and lead the association forward and we cannot wait to get started.”
Hilfman, who began his career in the travel industry with Eastern Airlines in 1981, rose through the ranks at Continental Airlines before its merger with United in 2010. As a United Senior VP, Hilfman directed a team of more than 800 who managed sales, relationships and revenue with corporations, travel companies and supplier partners worldwide. Dave is a proud founding board member of Women In Travel (WINiT) and the non-profit Golfer’s Against Cancer organization.
“As someone who built a four-decade career in business travel and who believes with all his heart in the mission of GBTA, its people and its partners, this was an opportunity I could hardly refuse,” said Hilfman.
“When you see what the travel industry is up against right now – both in terms of a worldwide pandemic and a global economic slowdown – this is a pivotal moment for all of us and for GBTA. I’ve never shied away from a challenge and I’m looking forward to helping my many, many dear friends and colleagues meet these challenges with creativity, collaboration and commitment.”
About the Global Business Travel Association:
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA’s 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA delivers world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. To learn how business travel drives lasting business growth, visit www.gbta.org.
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