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Cristina Chimenti

Head of Global Travel at Sky

Professional Bio

Cristina Chimenti is Head of Global Travel at Sky (part of the Comcast Group), and has been at the company since 2011, having picked up travel procurement in 2017.

Cristina covers Sky UK, Sky Italy, and Sky Germany, with a combined yearly spend of $100m across the three territories including Sky News and Sky Sport specific programmes and manages a travel population of 34,000 people. Cristina is responsible for negotiations with hotel, airlines, rail, car hire, and taxi, and serves as the main contact with Sky’s TMC.

Since 2020, Cristina has included Meetings & Events and Credit Cards in her portfolio and is always working on implementing additional innovations to drive compliance and savings in the travel category.

Previously, Cristina worked in various Finance and Project Management roles for blue-chip and public sector organisations enabling her to acquire a diverse range of skills.

In 2022 Cristina won the People Awards “Travel Buyer of the Year” and was highly commended as “Travel Manager” at the BTA. She has also won the ITM “Rising Star Travel Manager” in 2020. Previously, she was shortlisted as “CFO of the year” at the 2018 British Accountancy Awards.

Since 2020, Cristina has also been involved with ITM as a Board Director, Buyer and more recently joined 2 GBTA committees on Payments and DE&I.

Cristina is also a former board member and CFO at Women in Banking and Finance (WIBF), Glasgow Print Studio and a former chair of children’s arts charity Giant.

LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cristinachimenti/

Platform Statement

My name is Cristina Chimenti and I’m delighted to be your candidate as European Director on the Global Board of GBTA.

I’m Italian but I’ve been based in the UK, London for over 20 years and am the Head of Global Travel for Sky, the European television company part of the Comcast Group with bases in UK, Italy and Germany.

My vision for GBTA is to foster a truly Global community of Travel Industry professionals that thrives on adapting and evolving to the dynamic industry trends we all face.

My goals are to:

  1. Focus on change aligning initiatives with the Learning pillar of GBTA to enhance member’s capacity to manage change effectively
  2. Highlight start-ups aligning efforts with the Advocacy pillar of GBTA to promote innovation and growth within the travel sector and increase the diversity of our community
  3. Continue to connect aligning this endeavour with the Community pillar of GBTA to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange among members

I have a background in Finance and Project Management as well as previous Board Experience in a few non-for-profits developed since 2009. For the last 4 years I’ve been on the Board of Directors with the Institute of Travel Management (ITM) and in the last 2 years I’ve been working on the GTBA Inclusion & Culture and Payments committees.

People that have worked with me know I enjoy taking on new initiatives and projects and coming up with solutions by looking at things with a different lens.

I’m comfortable asking questions and challenging the status quo as well as getting my hands dirty and getting things done. My specialty and passion lies in Change Management.

As the Travel Industry is impacted by:

  • disrupted distribution,
  • sustainability spotlight and
  • role changes for both buyers and suppliers

I believe my experience inChange Management will be put to good use.

On the Board, I will:

  • Identify how we can develop case studies, methodologies and support for Change Management to help Buyers and Suppliers through these challenging times.
  • Work to Highlight Start-ups that can offer diverse and innovative solutions to help the industry learn and adapt faster.
  • Continue to connect our travel community in Europe and across the globe leveraging our relationships and diverse backgrounds to learn from each other.

I love my job and I’m passionate about the Travel Industry. I’m a strong believe in the power of relationships built between buyers and the supplier community and I would love to have this opportunity to give back to this amazing industry.

I believe in doing the right thing and act with honesty and transparency…and always “Believe in Better”!

Why vote for me?

I’m the perfect cultural combination to deliver a global view with a European lens; I balance passion and practicality; I bring a different perspective when we need it most. If you elect me on the Board, l will:

  • Focus on Change
  • Highlight startups, and
  • Continue to Connect

VOTE FOR ME, Cristina Chimenti.

If you have any questions and want to reach out to me, you can email me at: [email protected] 

LinkedIn profile: Cristina Chimenti | LinkedIn

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Ben Park

Executive Director of Travel & Sustainability, Parexel (Clinical Research Organization)

Professional Bio

Ben Park is a visionary leader with over 15 years of expertise in global travel and expense management as travel buyer. His strategic approach has fostered service enhancement, safety promotion, and significant savings. Overseeing a global travel program for more than 22,000 employees across 52 countries with an $80 million T&E budget, Ben has delivered substantial savings alongside high satisfaction scores.

Sustainability Leadership

Since 2021, Ben has served as the global head of the environmental program for his company, including the full GHG inventory creation and CDP reporting, elevating the sustainability agenda to new heights. His passion for sustainability is evident in his work on business travel and car fleet management, making a tangible impact on the industry’s ecological footprint.

Volunteer Work and Industry Influence

Ben’s dedication to the travel industry is demonstrated through his volunteer work, notably as the chair of the GBTA Europe Advisory Board. His advisory roles have spanned conference content to supplier boards, reflecting his commitment to sharing knowledge and staying at the forefront of industry developments. Ben’s influence proves that even midsize global companies can play a pivotal role in shaping the travel sector.

GBTA Contributions

  • Chair of the GBTA Europe Advisory Board: Appointed in 2021 for a three-year term, Ben has been instrumental in steering the board’s direction.
  • GBTA Academy: Contributed to the content of and was co-instructor for the pioneering GBTA sustainability course, setting a precedent in educational content.
  • Advocacy Efforts: Ben’s tenure includes significant advocacy work in Europe, expanding to include the UK and supporting regional events through content and research.

Education

Diplom Volkswirt (Master in Economics) from Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

Professional Experience

Executive Director of Travel & Sustainability at Parexel International GmbH, Berlin, Germany, leading global T&E strategies, and the company’s sustainability program.

Awards and Recognition

GBTA Direct Member of the Year Award in 2023
BTN Best Practitioner in 2017

Industry Experience & Memberships

Ben’s extensive industry experience is complemented by his leadership and active participation in various advisory boards and associations over the last 15 years, including:

  • Delta Airlines Corporate Advisory Board
  • American Airlines Corporate Advisory Board
  • Hilton Corporate Advisory Group
  • FCm Travel Client Advisory Group
  • IATA TMAG Europe Advisory Board
  • AirPlus International Global Advisory Board
  • Business Travel Show Europe (BTN) advisory board member

Ben is also a proud member of the GBTA, VDR (German travel association), and formerly ACTE.

Connect with Ben Park on LinkedIn: Ben Park’s LinkedIn

Platform Statement

A Commitment to Growth and Advocacy

As the Chair of the GBTA Europe Advisory Board since late 2021, I have been at the forefront of driving membership value & growth, enhancing advocacy efforts within the EU, and fostering a diverse advisory board in countries & industry verticals represented. My dedication to the GBTA Academy and our pioneering sustainability course has set new educational standards for our members.

Leading the Charge in Distribution Evolution and Sustainability

In this era of transformation, I am committed to leading the advancement of our industry’s archaic distribution and sustainability initiatives. My enthusiasm for air distribution, emissions reporting, and carbon budgeting highlights my dedication to leading in a new era of distribution and the essential environmental stewardship required in business travel. Should I be honored with a position on GBTA’s Global Board, I pledge to place climate change at the pinnacle of our agenda, aiming to mitigate the business travel industry’s footprint and champion the transition among stakeholders to a revamped distribution paradigm.

Amplifying Our Voice

My advocacy work has brought me to capitol buildings in Brussels and London, where I advocated for the business travel industry’s goals and interests to be reflected in our lawmakers’ policies. If selected for GBTA’s Global Board, I pledge to continue facilitating these crucial conversations, including bringing our voice to and building connections in Brussel’s London and Washington, D.C., to ensure business travel professionals’ perspective shapes future travel regulations.

Visionary Leadership

Looking ahead, my background, experience, and strategic vision for travel management positions me to guide GBTA in telling our collective story. I am committed to highlighting the strategic value of managed travel programs and aligning our efforts with corporate profitability and sustainability goals.

**In summary, my candidacy is built upon: **

I am Ben Park, and I ask for your vote to continue our journey towards a more strategic, sustainable, and globally inclusive GBTA.

  • Belief in Community and Learning A demonstrable passion for sharing knowledge and best practice to the benefits of all in the business travel community
  • Proven Leadership: Successfully leading GBTA Europe advisory board and advocating for our industry.
  • Educational Innovation: Helping to establish the first GBTA sustainability course.
  • Environmental Advocacy: Promoting sustainable business travel practices.
  • Strategic Foresight: Anticipating and shaping the future of travel management.

Thank you for your support.