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Carlos Almendros

Global Travel, Meetings and Card Leader , Cisco

Professional Bio

Carlos Almendros is the Senior Global Travel, Card & Meetings Manager at Cisco Systems, Inc., a leading technology firm based in San Jose, California. With over 84,000 employees and $57 billion in annual revenue, Carlos leads a diverse team spanning four countries, focusing on delivering a world-class travel program prioritizing safety, innovation, and sustainability. He successfully kept travel budgets below 40% of pre-pandemic levels while enhancing the employee travel experience through strategic partnerships and innovative solutions. Carlos led the implementation of SAP Concur across 65 countries, streamlining processes and improving compliance. Recently, he expanded his role to oversee Cisco’s internal Meetings and Events, managing procurement activities for over 1600 events. Carlos’s commitment to excellence and continuous improvement drives his involvement in global advisory meetings and initiatives, positioning Cisco as a leader in corporate travel and procurement operations.

Platform Statement

Hear from Carlos Almendros, Global Head of Travel, Card and Meetings Management, Cisco running for GBTA At Large – Buyers

“Innovate with purpose”

As a Long term  GBTA Member and technology evangelist, I am looking to bring the art of innovation to the GBTA board and membership.

I believe now more than ever we are set to achieve amazing things for our industry. As we look to the future, we need to ask ourselves some important questions.
What are we looking for GBTA to prioritise? How do we align both Buyers and Suppliers on this journey and lastly how do do we leverage GBTA to achieve success.

Vision

I strongly support the GBTA core commitments of community, learning and advocacy and believe its key for every board member to get behind these strategic pillars, to this you have my unwavering commitment. 

So what else? I’d like us all to think about what more we can achieve together? I’d like to invite you all on a transformation journey and if elected I’ll represent your buyer voice to bring this to life

  1. Using modern retailing in our travel programmes is here, its ready, lets innovate with purpose
  2. Embracing transformative technologies will encourage new talent to our industry, lets innovate with purpose
  3. Bringing sustainable solutions will need us all to work together and use technology, lets innovate with purpose
  4. AI is coming whether we like it or not.  Lets embrace the opportunity to improve our traveller, company and our experience.  Lets innovate with purpose
  5. Relationships are changing, lets bring people together, lets innovate with purpose

Beyond my industry experience and my passion for innovating with purpose who am I? Carlos Almendros?

  • I’m a husband and father, DEI is important to me.  In fact at  Cisco, inclusion isn’t just something we do—it’s part of who we are.
    I’m a keen charity supporter, I just completed the London Marathon (I may still be feeling that in my legs!)
  • It’s now time for me to give back and help our great industry on its transformation journey

Professional Experience

I have worked as both a supplier and buyer in this industry for 25+ years.  I now have the privilege of leading travel, meetings and card across 96 countries at Cisco Systems. As you can imagine leading the programme in a company focused on a portfolio of technology innovations, this is where my travel heart lies … to Innovate with Purpose

I love mentoring and teaching and lead a team of 8 diverse employees located in the US,UK,Poland, helping them grown and develop gives me lots of satisfaction.

Some of my biggest and proudest accomplishments was creating a purposeful travel program that provided key statekholders from all parts of the business appreciate the ROI of business travel.

I am immensely proud of influencing key executives to join United Airlines Eco Skies. investing in $1M of Sustaianble Aviation Fuel (SAF) reducing 20% of the airlines
emissions.

Starting with being named ITM Buyer of the year 2024. on the GBTA masters list in 2016, I have supported a number of GBTA education events, innovation councils and supplier advisory boards.

  • ITM Buyer Exchange Knowledge Moderator 2024
  • Implementation of SAP Concur Travel & Expense 75 Countries 2018
  • ITM Travel Buyer of the Year 2023
  • GBTA The Paradox of Choice: Why Innovation is Disrupting Travel Policies and How to Adapt 2023
  • GBTA Role of Technology in the return to travel 2022
  • Implementation of SAP Concur Travel and Expense 2018 (75 Countries)
  • GBTA Honery Masters List 2016

Sabre /GetThere Travel Innovation Award 2015

My Commitement

I am honoured to be standing as a candidate for this seat and I would relish the opportunity to serve YOU, our members in the coming years. It will be a process of listening, learning, and evolving with the Association, and most importantly, you, our travel community. 

I promise to continue this mission by being your global voice, so that we can “Innovate TOGETHER with purpose”

Contact Information:
Carlos Almendroswww.linkedin.com/in/carlosalmendros

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Michelle Amos

Global Travel Manager, Smartsheet

Professional Bio

With over 12 years of extensive experience in the business travel industry, Michelle Amos brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. Having been actively involved in the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) as both an Allied and Direct member, Michelle has contributed significantly to the industry’s advancement.

As a seasoned Program Manager within a leading Travel Management Company (TMC), she  has spearheaded numerous successful initiatives, ensuring streamlined and efficient travel solutions for clients across various sectors. With a keen eye for detail and a proactive approach, and earned the trust and confidence of clients and colleagues alike.

As a Global Travel Manager, Michelle has demonstrated exemplary leadership and strategic vision, navigating complex international travel landscapes.

Her commitment and passion of the travel is demonstrated by Michelle’s dedicated involvement in the GBTA Puget Sound Chapter. Having served on the Executive Board for multiple terms, including Secretary, Vice President, and President, she has played a pivotal role in shaping the chapter’s direction and fostering a collaborative community of travel professionals.

Additionally, she has actively participated in mentoring programs, including Ladders as a mentee in the 2022 and 2023 seasons.  Michelle is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of industry leaders, contributing to the ongoing growth and innovation within corporate travel.

Driven by a passion for community, further education and collaboration, Michelle continues to strive to make significant contributions to the business travel industry and leave a lasting impact on organizations and individuals for future generations.

Platform Statement

Please visit https://www.michelleamos4gbta2024.com/ for a fun and lively information – get to know Michelle as if she was sitting in the middle seat next to you on a plane!

As election season approaches, the spirit of “Community” resonates deeply. Just as elected officials collaborate across party lines for the greater good; buyers and suppliers need to unite to achieve our shared goals.

It is my passion for GBTA and the corporate travel industry at large, that made me decide to accept my nominations and run for the GBTA Board of Directors Direct at Large Seat.

Vision and Goal:

For me, my vision and goals for GBTA is three fold: community, education and industry initiatives. 

My three goals as one of the Direct at Large is to amplify the voices of local chapters, facilitate the development of educational content, and support GBTA Foundation’s People & Planet initiatives. Through collaboration and dedication, we will ensure the continued success of our association and industry. By focusing on community, education, and industry initiatives, we will propel GBTA forward and “Thrive in 2025” and beyond!

 Community:

The community of GBTA is global and local.  A sense of belonging in a neighborhood.

GBTA’s global reach opens opportunities to connect across the globe; and the local chapters provide connections close to home.  Together, we cultivate a thriving community; where members feel a strong sense of belonging and support. 

Professional development programs such as WINiT and Ladders, in tandem with Local Chapters foster this community. They serve as opportunities for continued personal and professional growth; while building lifelong relationships.    The furthering educational programs such as the GLP, CCTE and other programs afford us the opportunity to learn from each other and grow together. 

It is critical we continue to focus on a sense of community, belonging, connection opportunities through GBTA networking and development programs in conjunction with supporting our local chapters. 

Education:

Knowledge Is Power!  Focusing on further development of the educational opportunities GBTA and Chapters provide members, will only continue to make us stronger. 

Education empowers our members to be more impactful in their jobs, their professional and personal relationships and the far reaches of their community.  Education will continue to help nurture talent and foster growth.

I will advocate for a focus on delivering content that is insightful, innovative and supports continued development of industry and professional skills.

Industry Initiatives:

The world is changing faster than the cruising speed of an aircraft.  Our industry has the opportunity to focus on inclusivity strategies and make our industry an exciting place for the next generation.   Focus, strategies and execution on sustainability are crucial for the impact and legacy our industry has on the plant for future generations.

Collaboration will allow us to execute on the GBTA Foundation’s People and Planet initiatives. With the support of GBTA, GBTA members and local chapters will be able to positively impact their communities through multiple programs supporting sustainability efforts and diversity opportunities.

Experience/Qualifications:

With over 12 years of experience in the business travel industry, I bring a wealth of insight and expertise to the table. Having been a GBTA member as both an Allied and Direct, I understand the intricacies of our industry and the needs of our members. Additionally, my tenure on the GBTA Puget Sound Chapter Executive Board, including roles as Secretary, Vice President, and a two term President, has provided me with invaluable leadership experience and a deep understanding of our community. As a mentee in the Ladders program, I have experienced firsthand the transformative power of mentorship and professional development. 

My experience has afforded me the industry knowledge, connections and fortitude to be your advocate and deliver on the initiatives that are most important to YOU!

As a Community, focusing on Education and supporting the GBTA’s Foundation Initiatives – we will thrive in 2025 and beyond!!!

For more information, please visit https://www.michelleamos4gbta2024.com/

Thank you for your vote!

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Toni Hoffmann

Director People Financial Management, SIXT SE

Professional Bio

2006 – 2009: Training as a hotel specialist – Guest relation, sales, System, process optimization

2009 – 2014: Working in the Hotel Industry Marriott, Steigenberger, small luxury hotels – VIP services, guest relation, front office management, supervisor of the house

2014 – 2016 (1 year and 5 months): Travel Expense Clerk – Nordex Energy GmbH – managing travel expenses for Germany, optimizing Expense processes together with the Team, SAP FI, Customer centricity

2016 – 2019 (3 years and 5 months): Travel Manager – Nordex Energy GmbH – responsible for expense management, building a travel program incl. OBE and SAP integration for 3k employees, responsible for communication, Travel policies, Prince2 Project management

2019 – 2020 (1year and 7 Months): Senior expert travel & expense – Panasonic – rolling out SAP Concur in over 20 entities globally, managing complex corporate structure, roll out of centralized payment, responsible for communication and training. SAP Concur Advanced Configuration Administrator training, Continuous improvement for T&E

2020 – 2022 (1year and 6 Months): Senior expert International Travelmanagement – MAN Truck & Bus – Implementing multi country solution in 16 entities (OBE & TMC); working closely with all Volkswagen entities in one global project; responsible for tech communication in rgds to travel (release notes etc.), managing complex corporate structure, roll out of centralized payment, responsible for communication and training.

2022 – 2024 (1 year and 11 Months): Head of corporate travel & mobility services – SIXT SE – Building a global travel program and team from scratch. Developing travel governance (policies & processes), managing stakeholders (HR country heads), Implementing OBE´s (one solution for all countries); implementing an expense solution (one solution for all countries); Implementing a centralized payment structure; building up Service center globally

2024 – today (2 monthy) – Director People Financial Management -SIXT SE – Leading multinational teams. Responsible for global Payroll and Travel management

Platform Statement

Dear GBTA Members,

My name is Toni Hoffmann, and I am honored to be a candidate for the Buyer At Large seat. At 37 years old, I am a proud father of a son and a daughter, living in Germany. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to run for this seat and contribute to the association that has played a significant role in shaping my career and passion for the world of business travel.

I believe that the world of business travel is ripe for transformation, and I am committed to participate in this change alongside my fellow board members. My vision is to propel the business travel industry into the next generation by connecting all its facets into one cohesive system, making it easier and more accessible for all, globally. Together, we can elevate the standards and experiences within the industry, driving innovation and efficiency.

My journey in the travel industry began as a hotel professional, and over the years, I have accumulated a wealth of experience and expertise. I have successfully built and managed travel programs at companies such as Nordex Energy GmbH, Panasonic, MAN Truck & Bus, and SIXT. These roles have equipped me with a comprehensive understanding of the travel management landscape, from implementing online booking engines to overseeing global tender processes. My experiences have taught me the importance of customer-centricity, collaboration, and adaptability in driving meaningful change.

I am fully committed to serving the best interests of the GBTA’s members. If elected, I pledge to uphold principles of transparency, accountability, and responsiveness to member needs. My dedication to these values will guide my decisions and actions as a board member, ensuring that the voices of our members are heard and valued.

I urge everyone to support my candidacy and participate in the election process. Together, we can realize our vision of transforming the business travel industry for the better. Thank you for considering me for the Buyer At Large seat, and I look forward to the opportunity to serve you and our association with passion and integrity.

Sincerely,

Toni Hoffmann

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Paulina Möller

Global Travel Leader, IKEA (Ingka Group)

Professional Bio

I am a Global Travel Leader part of the Global Meeting and Travel Team at IKEA (Ingka Group), leading our Global Travel Management Companies (TMC) and our Travel Online Booking Tools (OBT). Prior to joining the IKEA Meeting and Travel Team five years ago I spent my time working for Amex GBT in many various roles with the last five years of these within GBC Consulting before I joined IKEA in 2019. This year I passed working over 3 decades within the Industry.

1993 – 2006    Started at Resespecialisterna, as a Travel agent and deputy Team Leader at Tetra Laval (Tetra Pak & Alfa Laval)

2006-2014      American Express business travel, Travel counselor for large global corporations

2014-2019      American Express business travel, GBC Consulting as Consultant (outsourced to Alfa Laval and Sony Mobile Communication)

2015     DBTA member for Alfa Laval

2019     Global Meeting Leader, Ingka Group (IKEA)

2019     SBTA and GBTA member

2020     Global Travel Leader, Ingka Group (IKEA)

2020     SGN member network (buyer network via SBTA)

2022     GBTA EMEA Technology Committee and Co-Chair

2022     ITM member

2023     GBTA EMEA Co-Chair of Technology Committee

2023     SBTA board member

Platform Statement

Who am I?  

My name is Paulina Möller, and I am proudly announcing my candidacy for an at-large direct buyer seat on the GBTA board. As a vibrant Swedish professional in the prime of life, I reside in Malmö with my beloved family and dogs. I am a devoted mother, cherishing a unique bond with my eldest daughter, Rebecka, who has Down syndrome. Life always challenges us and for me it’s not so much the challenge but instead it’s how I decide to deal with it.

Today I work as a Global Travel Leader part of the Global Meeting and Travel Team at Ingka Group and what is known to you as IKEA. I soon pass 5 years within my current role managing and leading our Global program with our Travel Management Companies (TMC) and our Travel Online Booking Tools (OBT).  Prior to joining the Global IKEA Meeting and Travel Team five years ago I was working for Amex GBT Consulting as an outsourced consultant enhancing and implementing travel programs for 2 global Nordic based corporations. Beside that I had many other various roles within Amex GBT since my start back in 1993. Due to organizational changes, I got the opportunity to join Ingka Group (IKEA) in 2019.With that I pass over 30 years working within this industry this year.  

Why do I candidate for GBTA board and what is my vision and goal?

I want to make sure we work with all parts of the industry to secure we as a community are fit for purpose and this can only be done by joint efforts – Togetherness

Without the GBTA members we do not have an association. We should be committed to listen carefully when they speak and put their pain points and feedback forward. With this trust and responsibility, we should use the power of our Togetherness to achieve greater things. I am committed to do my very best as always to serve the members interest and needs.

Today I advocate and use my experience and voice to educate, enhance, drive, and impact the travel agenda forward with focus on the following:

Drive and support the G in the GBTA

One of the biggest drivers for me are to support the “G” in the GBTA. The great work has already started but one of the biggest challenges getting a greater trust among my peers in the region and how can we better manage gaps and support our members. I believe we should start collaborating more cross regional.

Represent the Nordics and Europe

As a Nordic based travel buyer, I want to share the great Nordic spirit and areas where we are in the forefront such as sustainability, payment and health and wellbeing. We all should embrace and learn from each other and never underestimate the power of Togetherness. I have my heart close to technology being the co-chair of the GBTA European technology committee.

I question how I can drive the collaboration between the regions to better learn from each other and make early adopters share with the rest of us so we all can enhance our knowledge using the platforms already available to us? I believe we need even more practical knowledge sessions instead of just talking or writing about how it works. By enabling all your senses, you easily adapt to new things.

Support the accessibility and inclusive agenda of GBTA

With my 20 plus experience of having a daughter with a disability I am happy to share my experience and knowledge to our Industry, support making our meeting and travel programs being more accessible and inclusive. I live and breadth Rebeckas challenges against the whole society and I have worked hard to get her where she is today. It is my mission to spread knowledge and to “kill old myths” that aren’t true to the benefit of the many people with a disability.

How can I bring my knowledge and insights into the world of GBTA and our community? Maybe via or inclusion and culture committee.

Engagement, education and communication

I am working a lot with the process and power of engagement, education, and communication within my own organization. I want to ensure we as the global association secure that we focus on building relevant and up to date industry knowledge, have a fit for purpose educations and material for the many of the members of our association. We need to maintain the existing members and the younger generation who will take over. To do so we need to invest our time and resources within the organization to secure we deliver a high value back to our members.

Experience and Qualifications

Working in the travel industry working both on the TMC side, consultancy, and corporate side I gained huge valuable insights and knowledge into our full travel landscape. I am deeply devoted to this industry.

One of my strengths is that I easily can connect with new people and finds it easy to adapt to fit into new group and forums. To be successful you need other people supporting you (TOGHETHERNESS) and I am very grateful for the one I had in my surroundings and network.

Thank you for reading this far… I am soon done.

You just learned a bit about me, and I would be more than honored and grateful to get your trusted vote to be able to support and impact the GBTA initiatives.

Do you want to connect or meet up for a virtual fika?

Or just connect please reach out either via LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/paulinamoller or send me an email [email protected]

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Susan Spear

Senior Manager, Corporate Travel & Fleet, Cengage Learning 

Professional Bio

GBTA VOLUNTEERISM AND EXPERIENCE

  • Direct Member (2010 – Present)
  • GBTA Board of Directors, Director at Large (August 2022 to Present)
  • GBTA Canada Advisory Board Chair (June 2020 to Present)
  • GBTA Canada Advisory Board Member (December 2017- Present)
  • GBTA Canada Annual Conference Speaker (2022 / 2023 / 2024)
  • GBTA Canada Business Travel Workshop Series Speaker / Content Committee (2018 / 2019 / 2021 / 2022 / 2023)
  • GBTA Convention Session Moderator (2022 / 2023)
  • GBTA Board of Directors – Ex-Officio Board Member (December 2020-July 2021)
  • GBTA Ready Safe Travel Workshop Speaker / Content Committee (2021)
  • GBTA Supplier Summit Speaker (2019)
  • GBTA Canada Conference & Western Forums Volunteer (2017/2018/2019)

INDUSTRY AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 

Since Cengage established the Travel Department 18 years ago, it has been my responsibility to develop the strategic plan, formulate corporate policies and design and manage the corporate travel program. Our objective was to establish a best-in-class travel organization to support Cengage’s 4,500 employees globally. In addition to managing a travel program that spans all aspects of corporate travel from supplier management all the way through to compliance and traveler experience, I also have responsibility for Cengage’s multinational corporate fleet and Corporate Card programs.

OTHER INDUSTRY ACTIVITY AND PROFESSIONAL SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

  • Delta Air France KLM Advisory Board Member October (2020 to present)
  • EHI Fleet Management– Client Advisory Board Panel Speaker (November 2020)

Platform Statement

It is my belief that an engaged global membership is imperative to drive the success and growth of Global Business Travel Association and that should be reflected in our association’s Leadership.

As a long-time GBTA member and volunteer, I understand the importance of diverse representation as part of GBTA leadership, so that ALL members have a voice. Staying grounded and maintaining a connection with membership is critical. My mission is to ensure that the feedback of my fellow members and their input are considered for every decision.

GBTA members, are the heart of our association. History has shown us that a knowledgeable, informed business travel community has the power to propel all of us collectively towards a stronger industry. Creating connections and fostering relationships across all regions, diverse industries, and a broad spectrum of experience, is imperative to help us grow our organizations professionalism and its creditability.

Fostering member engagement is paramount to ensuring that barriers are removed that limit the value and purpose of education, resources, and member events we produce.

If re-elected to the Board of Directors, I will continue to bring my unwavering commitment to integrity and access, driven by the same strong work ethic I have demonstrated in over my current term. Simply put, my mandate will be to support and represent the objectives of all GBTA membership to advance our goals, objectives, and our collective mission.

I consider it a privilege to be nominated as a candidate for the Direct Member at Large position on the GBTA Board of Directors. I’m proud to serve as a part of GBTA’s global volunteer leadership and would be honored to continue serving in my capacity as a member of the global Board of Directors. Every member deserves to be heard, and I respectfully ask you to use your vote as your voice.

Your support is very much appreciated!

Thank you,
Sue

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