GBTA Announces 2017-2019 Global Board of Directors

Alexandria, VA (August 16, 2017) – The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)—the voice of the global business travel industry, announced three newly elected members to its Board of Directors following the 2017 election during GBTA Convention 2017 in Boston. Christle Johnson, Vice President, Travel & Business Services, Johnson Downie LLC, will serve as President for a second term. Rita Visser Director, Global Travel Sourcing and GPO, Oracle, will serve as the new GBTA Vice President. Johnson and Visser were elected by GBTA Direct Members (business travel buyers), and will serve two-year terms.

Johnson has been a GBTA Member for 16 years – eight as an Allied Member followed by eight as a Direct Member – serving most recently as Board President, she has been reelected to serve another term. She also has previously served as Board Vice President, as a Board Member at Large, on the Chapter Presidents’ Council, and on various local Chapter Board positions and committees. Visser has been a GBTA Member for 12 years. She has previously served as a Board Member at Large, on various GBTA committees and as a speaker at various Chapter events.

The GBTA Allied Members elected Paul Tilstone, Managing Partner, Festive Road as an At-Large Allied Board Member. He will serve a two-year term. Tilstone has been involved with GBTA in various roles since 2005.

A membership-wide call for volunteers, including appointed leadership roles, led GBTA President Christle Johnson to reappoint Scott Solombrino, President & CEO of Dav El/Boston Coach Chauffeured Transportation Network, to serve as the Allied Leadership Council (ALC) President. Solombrino reappointed Dorothy Dowling, Chief Marketing Officer for Best Western International, to serve as the ALC Vice President. Both Solombrino and Dowling will also sit on the GBTA Board of Directors joining the recently elected 2017 Board Members.

The ALC represents GBTA’s Allied Members by acting as a voice for the Allied (supplier) community within GBTA, and also works to assure a strong Allied and GBTA relationship to address common issues facing the travel industry.

Solombrino brings a wealth of experience having served in this role under previous GBTA Presidents. Solombrino is one of just eight people to win GBTA’s Industry Icon Award in its nearly 50-year history, and is a two-time GBTA Allied Member of the year winner. He is also a four-time President and founder of the National Limousine Association as well as founder and past President of the Massachusetts Limousine Owners Association.

Since joining Best Western in 2004, Dowling has reenergized the Best Western Rewards® loyalty program, grown the brand’s market share and undertaken several groundbreaking initiatives. She was recently named as the recipient of the Silver Stevie Award in the Marketing Executive of the Year category for her 30-plus years of dedication to hospitality marketing, and for leading Best Western’s notable achievements in 2016. In addition, she serves on the North American board for the U.S. Travel Association and currently serves on, and is the former chair of, the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Americas Board and is past president of HSMAI Canada.

The GBTA Chapter Presidents’ Council (CPC) elected Gloria Gonzalez from the Freeman Company to serve as President of the Chapter Presidents’ Council. Gonzalez will return for a two-year term and will also sit on the GBTA Board of Directors. John Hampton, Enterprise Holdings, was reelected to serve as CPC’s Vice President and Samantha Bean, LTD Hospitality Group, was reelected to serve as Secretary/Treasurer.

We would like to thank all of these volunteers for their dedication and commitment to the future success of GBTA.

Contact: Colleen Lerro Gallagher, +1 703-236-1133, [email protected]

Marianne Varkiani, +1 703-236-1164, [email protected]

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 and the GBTA Foundation deliver 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,