GBTA Concludes Annual Business Meeting

Association leaders highlight the work of the association and honor outstanding volunteer members

Alexandria, Virginia (December 8, 2020) The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s largest business travel association, held its Annual Business Meeting virtually, with more than 500 in attendance. This important gathering of association leadership and members is held annually and is usually part of the GBTA annual convention.


Highlights of the 2020 GBTA Annual Business Meeting include:


  • Opening remarks from Bhart A. Sarin, president of the board of directors, who reflected on lessons learned in 2020 that will position the association to emerge from this year even stronger and poised to help our members recover from the pandemic.


  • Interim Executive Director Dave Hilfman presented the association’s annual review of financials and association efforts, including GBTA’s coronavirus polling series, the Industry Forum Series and Collaboratory 2020 webinar series, the diagnostic assessment of GBTA performed by MCI-USA, the Ready.Safe.Travel. unity campaign and extensive advocacy efforts on behalf of the industry, the acquisition of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), and the search for the next GBTA executive director.


  • The announcement of new members joining the board of directors: Phillip Pena (hospitality global sales leader for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group) won the election for the Allied At-Large seat; Connie Smith (manager of Global Travel Services at McCain Foods Limited) will join in the Direct Member At-Large seat; Alison Taylor (chief customer officer of American Airlines) will serve the remainder of the term for the vacant ALC Vice Presidency; and Steve Sitto (senior manager of global travel and events for Tesla, Inc.) will serve the remainder of the vacant Direct Member At-Large term.


  • The annual presentation of the association’s top awards:


President’s Award, GBTA’s highest honor, to Gary Stevenson, director of global travel services for Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.

Direct Member of the Year Award to Mark Cuschieri, executive director for global travel at UBS

Allied Member of the Year Award to Reggie Aggarwal, CEO and founder of Cvent

Committee Member of the Year Award to Francine Sommers, coordinator of risk management and travel for the Cleveland Indians

Business Travel Service Awards to 17 dedicated GBTA members across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Latin America.


“Business travel has taken so many punches this year, but GBTA is still standing strong and has so much to be proud,” said Dave Hilfman, interim executive director of GBTA. “As the business travel industry rebounds – and I’m confident it will – we will continue to innovate, to strive, to collaborate, and to serve those who depend on the work of our outstanding association.”



David Leibowitz (NORAM), 602-317-1414, [email protected] 

Nikki Stimson (EMEA), +44(0) 7764 618199, [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 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