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GBTA Foundation 2023 WINiT Awards Celebrate the Changemakers Who are Transforming the Global Business Travel Industry for Women

Gala and ceremony honored an illustrious group of individuals representing a diverse range of industry experience levels, career roles, sectors and companies

Tonight GBTA WINiT, a program of the GBTA Foundation  dedicated to helping women move forward in their travel industry careers, hosted its annual  Awards Ceremony and Gala to honor the corporate and personal contributions made to advance women in the business travel industry.

The WINiT Summit also took place earlier in the day and is an event dedicated to bringing together professionals of all levels to positively impact the careers and lives of women in travel-related industries through panels, keynote speakers and networking opportunities.

More than 150 attendees gathered at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City for the Awards Ceremony and Gala that recognized the extraordinary achievements made by the 12 individual and group winners over the past year, including the two new award categories noted below.

The GBTA WINiT Award winners for 2023 are:

Pinnacle Awards

  • Outstanding Woman of the Year | Marina MacDonald, Chief Marketing, Communications and ESG Officer, Red Roof Inns
  • Most Innovative Trailblazer | Annette Cumming, Co-Founder, Chief Revenue Officer, and Head of Marketing, BTP Automation    

Leadership Awards

  • Lifetime Achievement Award | Karen Hutchings,Travel, Meetings & Events Services Leader Supply Chain Services, Ernst & Young Global Limited
  • Volunteer of the Year | Danielle Bilbao, Global Account Development & Strategic Event Planning, Accor
  • Committee of the Year | WINiT Education & Development              
  • Male Ally of the Year | Mike Daly, SVP, Sales, Serko

Individual Awards        

  • Female Mentor Coach | Leslie Andrews, Global Category Leader – Travel, JLL    
  • Male Mentor Coach | Chip Juedes, CEO, Fox World Travel 
  • DEI Leadership Award (NEW AWARD) | Emese Graham, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager, Flight Centre       
  • WatchHER: Future of the Workforce  (NEW AWARD) | Chloe Carver, Associate, Corporate Travel Practice, Acquis

Company Achievement Awards

  • Creating a Company Culture for Women to Advance and Succeed (two winners) | American Express Global Business Travel, Red Roof Inns

Top 50 Women In Travel

  • GBTA WINiT 2023 Top 50 winners | Announced by GBTA WINiT earlier this month and can be found here.

“The GBTA 2023 WINiT Awards empower women to break barriers and encourage others to reach new heights in their careers,” said Patti Huska, Chief People Officer at American Express Global Business Travel and co-host of this year’s event. “It’s important to demonstrate the positive impact a few exceptional people and organizations can have on women in the business travel industry. Thanks to their innovations, sacrifices and fearlessness, there’s a brighter future ahead.”

“While it’s true women have come a long way in the workplace, there’s still a struggle for equality and recognition among their peers,” said Laura Smith, Executive Vice President of Global Sales & Customer Experience at Hertz and WINiT Gala co-host. “Our winners represent the respected leaders and role models in our industry who have refused to accept the status quo. From seasoned professionals to up-and-comers, we commend the bold, brave trailblazers who have motivated and implemented change for the greater good.”

Launched in 2019, the GBTA WINiT Awards Program’s nomination and awarding process changed this year, with nominations reviewed by WINiT’s Selection Committee based on the information submitted, who then evaluated the top nominees for each category on a ten-point scale. Nominee scores were averaged, and the highest-scoring nominee won the award category.

Eligibility for the WINiT Awards is based on women leaders in the business travel-related industry worldwide, and the organization encourages diverse nominations of people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community and individuals with disabilities. All nominees must hold a current position in a travel-related company or organization.

Visit here to learn more about GBTA WINiT.

For more information about the GBTA Foundation, go to https://gbtafoundation.org/.


GBTA WINiT is a network of global women and men who serve as catalysts to drive change by providing support and empowering women to take the next step in their careers. The GBTA WINiT Program aims to support gender equity in the business travel industry by helping women thrive and advance throughout the lifecycle of their careers. The core programs of GBTA WINiT include mentorship, education and development, and network and community.