Message from the Office of the GBTA President – Honoring Outstanding Members

*The following blog post was originally sent as an email to GBTA Members on Friday, August  19.*

Earlier this week I sent you a note about all the happenings at GBTA Convention 2016 and what is in store for the year ahead. It is an exciting time for GBTA and given that members are the heart of this Association, I wanted to write a special note recognizing some of our most outstanding members.

During Convention, GBTA launched the hashtag, #GBTAProps, as a way to recognize outstanding members throughout the industry. We hope you join us all year long on Twitter and Facebook by using #GBTAProps to call out an individual in the business travel industry you know who has gone above and beyond and deserves recognition.


Since not everyone was able to attend Convention, I would like to take a moment to once again recognize and congratulate several honorees.

Steve Singh was the recipient of the prestigious GBTA ICON Award. This honor has only been given to seven other recipients. GBTA icons are those individuals who display particular vision and innovation, not only in their professional lives but also in their service for the organization and the GBTA Foundation.


Jim Wilkins is this year’s recipient of the GBTA Direct Member of the Year Award. This award recognizes a buyer member who demonstrates unwavering dedication and considerable success in advancing both GBTA and the travel management profession. Wilkins is an accomplished veteran in the travel industry. He was a chapter President and served on the GBTA Bylaw Coalition, where he was instrumental in refining and strengthening the organization’s governing rules and principles. His work in creating the new Indirect Member category will benefit GBTA for years to come. He currently serves on our GBTA Foundation Board of Trustees.

Jim Wilkins

Bob Somers is this year’s recipient of the GBTA Allied Member of the Year Award. This award recognizes a supplier member whose dedication, enthusiasm, and hard work have generated significant benefits for our Association and for the business travel industry. He recently served on the Foundation’s Industry Advisory Council, which acts as the Foundation’s “think tank” to identify new ideas and projects for the betterment of our industry. He was instrumental in shaping high-impact research topics and key education sessions. He is widely known as a thought leader in the industry, one who is committed to driving positive change.


Each of these honorees are true leaders in the business travel industry. They have the ability not only to think boldly and creatively about new approaches, but also to implement their vision in a meaningful and impactful manner.

I also wanted to more formally recognize and offer my congratulations to the 18 GBTA members who received the prestigious Business Travel Professional Service Award. The Business Travel Professional Service Award honors a select group of experienced travel professionals who have distinguished themselves as industry leaders. These professionals have made significant contributions to GBTA through their region or chapter. They stand out at their jobs, and they are widely recognized leaders and contributors within the industry. This award, now in its 25th year, has been extended to include regions from around the world.


Congratulations to the following honorees:

United States Recipients:

Samantha Bean, LTD Hospitality; Mary Kathleen Cole, Travel One Inc.; Valentina Hanson, Prologis; Claire Langford, Asurion; Ellen Meyer, Marathon Oil Company; Heather Pastrick, Enterprise Holdings, Inc.; DJ Prohaska, Enterprise Holdings, Inc.; Gregory Sweeney, Egencia Corporate Travel; Cyndy Thompson, Academy Sports + Outdoors; Wallis Williams, CDM Smith

Canada Recipients:

Ian Race, Vision Travel Solutions; Shelly Lewchuk, Canadian Natural Resources Limited

Latin America Recipients:

Roman Hernandez, BBVA Bancomer; Javier Rosas Best, Travel Management Consulting

Europe Recipients:

Ronan Morice, Societe Generale Group; Cathrine Lundberg, CMM Consulting

China Recipients:

Hamish Wang, Apple; Becky Cao, Marriott International Inc.

In addition, the GBTA Foundation awarded 21 recipients with the prestigious GLP Designation during Convention. The Global Leadership Professional® designation (GLP) was created to acknowledge business travel professionals who had completed the GLP Program, received their Certificate of Professional Development, and then applied that knowledge to help further the industry through a related group project. The GLP program provides essential business knowledge in the major business disciplines of leadership, finance, marketing and management.

Congratulations to the following recipients:

Teresa Amos, Hilton Worldwide; Claire Blades, Veritas Technologies LLC; Deb Cruz, BCD Travel; Joseph D’Abate, Lockheed Martin Corporation; Isabelle Donovan, The Boeing Company; Trish Earles, Halliburton; Gail Frazer, Marriott International, Inc.;  Daniele Gadbois, Carlson Wagonlit Travel; Daniel Garuti, Loomis, Sayles & Company L.P.; Jolee Goularte, Flextronics International; Deborah Graves, Carlson Wagonlit Travel; Karyn Hoye, GP Strategies Corporation; Kim Kearns, BCD Travel; Deborah McKay; Joanne McNellis Coelho, Wyndham Worldwide; Catherine Moulton, Robert W. Baird & Co.; Connie Smith, McCain Foods Limited; Mark Stansbury, Lockheed Martin Corporation; Nick Verdea, The Williams Companies, Inc.; Greg Woods, Peabody Energy; and Lisa Young, Yum! Brands, Inc.

I continue to be proud and inspired to be surrounded by so many business travel over-achievers!  Thank you for your ongoing dedication and commitment.

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