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*The following post was originally sent as an email to GBTA members.*
Dear GBTA Members,
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and were able to slow down and enjoy time with your loved ones. The year is off to a busy start and we are excited about what is to come in 2019.
GBTA Convention 2019
Registration is open for Convention, which will be held in Chicago, IL on August 3-7. This year’s Convention theme is Evolve. As travel has evolved and increasingly connected our world, so has our Association. GBTA continues to provide a platform for travel professionals to share best practices, policies and solutions to the industry’s greatest issues.
Stay tuned in the coming months for more on speakers and sessions to expect at this year’s Convention. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with industry experts and your peers —register today.
WINiT Summit 2019 - Chicago
Last year we announced our exciting acquisition of WINiT and this year WINiT Summit will be held in conjunction with Convention on Saturday, August 3. This one-day event will bring together professionals of all levels for the sole purpose of positively changing the careers and lives of women in travel-related industries. It will feature first-in-class women’s leadership content delivered by a diverse collection of speakers representing a range of industries, experiences and perspectives. More than an education experience, WINiT Summit attendees will be inspired through productive discussions about the challenges and successes women experience along their career journey.
Colonel Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.) will serve as the closing keynote speaker. She will share her experiences paving a new path and culture in the military. She has over 21 years of experience as an officer, leader and fighter pilot in the United States Air Force. She has had the honor of commanding a fighter squadron, flying as a USAF Thunderbird pilot, serving as a White House Fellow and serving as an advisor to the First Lady of the United States. Mark your calendars, you won’t want to miss this!
I have great news to share on the chapter front—every affiliate has committed to become a GBTA Chapter! Not only that, but the GBTA Board just approved a motion to add a new Chapter, the Oklahoma Chapter. For a complete list of Community member benefits, please click here.
I am excited about what lies ahead for GBTA in 2019. As always, thank you to our members for your continued support and commitment. Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts or questions you may have.
*The following post was also sent as an email to GBTA members.*
Dear GBTA Members,
With the final quarter of 2018 upon us, I wanted to provide a brief recap and an update since there is so much happening on the GBTA front.
Given some time to reflect on this summer’s Convention, it’s fair to say that we had a tremendous event this year. GBTA celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Association and the Convention, and also made history this year in a number of ways: we experienced record-breaking attendance and had over 1,350 buyers, making it the largest Convention ever and the largest gathering of business travel professionals in the world.
We fulfilled on our promise to offer more opportunities for education than ever before with eight different time slots to fill from over 170 education sessions. Sunday afternoon events also incorporated additional education sessions, vertical peer-to-peer discussions, and industry tools and roundtable discussions. GBTA Convention 2018 On Demand will allow you to access any content you would like to review again or may not have had a chance to catch while there.
We featured our highest number of executive interviews at the GBTA Broadcast Studio with 110 live interviews conducted throughout the show, including the most companies featured during Media Day with nearly 30 showcasing their breaking news. The Expo floor was buzzing as we had the largest show floor in history based on square footage and a record number of first-time exhibitors (117).
Additionally, GBTA made two very exciting announcements in San Diego. The first was GBTA’s acquisition of WINiT, strengthening GBTA’s commitment to women in the travel industry. Members of GBTA and WINiT will benefit through access to both organizations' programs and services, and the acquisition will allow GBTA to take WINiT’s mission worldwide. The second announcement was the enhanced partnership between GBTA and the Institute of Travel Management (ITM), the leading managed business travel association in the UK and Ireland. This will feature a deeper, more collaborative partnership between the organizations, which will kick off on January 31, 2019 with a London-based showcase event for the managed travel and meetings sector.
On the Sunday morning of Convention, we hosted our first-ever 5k Run & Walk to raise awareness and funding to stop human trafficking. More than 200 people registered and participated in the event. GBTA continued to raise money for the cause throughout Convention and ultimately we presented a $20,000 check on Wednesday to benefit ECPAT-USA and its efforts to end child exploitation and trafficking. My sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to this important cause.
Billie Jean King, Sports Icon, Social Justice Pioneer and Entrepreneur; Kevin O’Leary, Investor on ABC’s Shark Tank & Bestselling Author; and John Walsh, Victims' Rights Advocate and Host of Discovery ID's In Pursuit with John Walsh all wowed us from the keynote stage at Convention Arena.
I am truly so proud of all that we accomplished this year.
All Committee Summit
Recently, GBTA held its annual All Committee Summit in Denver. This is one of my favorite events every year and I continue to be impressed by the work our various Committees produce. The discussions that took part this year left me excited for what’s to come for GBTA in the year ahead. GBTA Committees play a significant role in our success and in creating innovative content tailored to specific industry sectors. Their work is invaluable. Thank you all who joined.
Committee Highlight: Sports, Media and Entertainment Committee
The Sports, Media and Entertainment Committee’s mission is to find common solutions to the unique challenges facing business travel professionals in these dynamic fields. The Committee has been successful in exposing GBTA to new audiences through peer-to-peer meetings in New York City and Los Angeles where these segments are concentrated. They have been instrumental in driving airlines to expand their specialization desks, now offering 24-7 support for sports, media and entertainment needs and are now working with hotels to do the same. Additionally, they’ve worked on standardization of airline baggage fees around specialty sports or entertainment equipment. The Committee is placing a strong focus now on expanding globally in an effort to broaden the reach and participation of the group beyond the United States.
WINiT Strategic Advisory Board
As I mentioned, GBTA announced our acquisition of WINiT at Convention. I’m sure many of you saw my email last week detailing the creation of the WINiT Strategic Advisory Board, which brings together a remarkable and diverse group of travel industry leaders. The Advisory Board will provide strategic guidance and direction for the future of WINiT as a GBTA Board of Directors initiative. I’ll have more to share soon on this front, but you can expect select WINiT programming to be integrated into our upcoming Europe Conference in Berlin.
As always, thank you to our members for your continued support and commitment. It is your involvement through attendance and personal contribution that make our Association great. I welcome the opportunity to hear from you personally regarding how we can continue to make things better. Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts or questions you may have.
*The following post was originally sent as a member email to GBTA and WINiT members.*
At Convention this August, I had the pleasure of announcing GBTA’s acquisition of WINiT, a career development network aimed at increasing visibility and advancement for women in the travel, meetings, events and exhibition industries. This move further strengthened our ongoing commitment to support women in the travel industry.
Today, I am thrilled to announce a key milestone in the post-acquisition integration process: the formation of the WINiT Strategic Advisory Board. This Advisory Board brings together a remarkable and diverse group of travel industry leaders to help expand WINiT’s mission globally. Both GBTA and former WINiT leadership are represented on this board to help foster consistency and innovation within WINiT as it evolves and grows.
The Advisory Board will provide strategic guidance and direction for the future of WINiT as a GBTA Board of Directors initiative. The members of the Advisory Board include:
Chair – Dorothy Dowling, Senior Vice President & CMO, Best Western® Hotels & Resort
Vice Chair – Michelle ‘Mick’ Lee, Founder, WINiT, Managing Director, Arrow 212
Delores Alexander, Vice President, Indirect Supply Chain, Boeing
Jodi Allen, Executive Vice President & CMO, Hertz
Michele Bryant, Global Chief Procurement Officer, Deloitte
Amanda Cecil, PhD, CMP, Senior Vice President, Professional Development and Research, GBTA
Mary Ellen George, Head of North America, Tramada Systems
Christle Johnson, Vice President, Travel & Business Services, Johnson Downie, LLC; President, GBTA
Beth Kinerk, Senior Vice President, Avis Budget Group
Melissa Maher, Senior Vice President, Global Partner Group, Expedia, Inc.
Michael W. McCormick, Executive Director and COO, GBTA
Traci Mercer, Senior Vice President, Lodging, Ground and Sea, Sabre Travel Network
Malaika Myers, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hyatt Hotel Corporation
Becca Rabinowitz, Head of SpotHero for Business
Dawn Repoli, Vice President, Program Development, GBTA’s WINiT Business Unit
Kristen Shovlin, Vice President, Sales Operations & Development, Delta Airlines
Scott Solombrino, President and CEO, Dav El / Boston Coach Chauffeured Transportation Network; President, GBTA Allied Leadership Council
The first in-person meeting of the Advisory Board is scheduled for November. The GBTA and WINiT teams, now in collaboration with the WINiT Strategic Advisory Board, are working diligently to finalize a strategic plan and path forward that leverages the synergies and unique attributes of both organizations for the benefit of GBTA and WINiT members. Additional announcements will be coming in November, along with the integration of select WINiT programming into GBTA Conference 2018 Berlin in partnership with VDR – Europe’s largest business travel conference.
On a closing note, today marks the 6th annual United Nations International Day of the Girl, a day dedicated to galvanizing worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate this day than taking this next step in our efforts to grow WINiT’s mission globally as we further affirm our commitment to support the lives and success of women around the world.
Exciting times are on the horizon for GBTA, WINiT and the entire travel industry as we come together to drive change and advocacy for women. I look forward to sharing this incredible journey with all of you.
Dear GBTA Members,
Convention is finally upon us! I am very excited to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of GBTA and Convention, and I am looking forward to seeing you all there.
GBTA Convention has a terrific line up once again this year. We have already announced that Convention Arena will feature sports icon Billie Jean King, and ABC’s Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary. I am happy to announce that Wednesday’s Convention Arena will feature victims’ rights and missing children advocate John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted. He was a leading force behind the founding of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. With a powerful message urging others to forge ahead despite setbacks, John Walsh inspires audiences to take steps to make the world a better place, and that every mission toward that goal is significant, no matter how great or small.
I am also happy to announce that we will feature the session Is Bigger Better?: The Impact of Industry Consolidation on Business Travel on Tuesday’s Center Stage. This session will focus on the impact of industry consolidation and discuss future trends. The panel will be moderated by Guy Langford, Deloitte’s U.S. Transportation, Hospitality & Services (TH&S) leader, and will feature David Kong, President & CEO, Best Western® Hotels & Resorts; Christine Taylor, Executive Vice President and COO, Enterprise Holdings; and, Rob Greyber, President of Egencia®.
Also, on Tuesday, we will feature Turning the Tables—Buyers Take Center Stage. Kurt Ekert, CEO of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, will moderate a panel of senior buyers providing their take on the latest trends, top opportunities and major challenges facing today’s business travel industry. Buyer panelists include Isabelle Donovan of The Boeing Company; Stephen Gheerow of the Ford Foundation, Raymond Greeve of New York Life Insurance Company and Denise Lynn Truso of Abbott.
In addition, on Monday, GBTA will also be featuring the Successful Women Leading in Business Travel and The Challenges of Security in Today’s Volatile World panels. Monday will also feature a must-see One-on-One interview with Marriott’s Arne Sorenson.
Elections will be held Monday through Tuesday, August 13-14, at GBTA Convention 2018 in San Diego. You will have an opportunity to hear from each of the candidates at the GBTA Annual meeting which will be held Monday, August 13 at 10:30am. There are four open Board positions—three Direct and one Allied. All Direct members can vote for the three Direct Member at Large positions and all Allied Members can vote for the Allied Member At Large position. The results of this election will be announced on Wednesday at Convention Arena. I encourage you to attend the Annual Meeting and listen to the candidates share their vision for the future of our Association. And of course, I also encourage everyone to vote.
5K-Awareness Run/ Walk
This year we have decided to do something different so we created the 5k Awareness Run/Walk in partnership with ECPAT-USA and made possible by American Airlines. ECPAT-USA is the leading policy organization in the United States seeking to end the exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. All proceeds will go directly to ECPAT-USA. The 5k Awareness Run/Walk will be held on Sunday, August 12 at 7:30am. Start your day off right! Grab a friend because this is a great way to catch up as well as helping to make a difference. If you can’t make the 5k, please consider making a donation onsite at the ECPAT-USA kiosk that will be located on the Expo Show Floor.
Committee Highlight: Payment Solutions Committee
The Payment Solutions Committee’s mission is to provide strategic direction for business travel payment. The committee provides leadership to members and the global business travel community through education, strategic direction and universal standards, as it relates to travel payment.
The committee is driven to define the barriers centered on virtual card use and establish standardized processes to enable great acceptance across the industry by engaging with all of the key stakeholders in the travel ecosystem. The Committee will be hosting several events at Convention on Sunday, August 12 for a Travel Payments Tool Kit session and a Roundtable Discussion. They are also several educational sessions on Virtual Payments being offered at Convention. Please check our website for those dates, times and session descriptions.
GBTA Research has been very busy! Below is list of newly released research. Please check it out. It is available to all members free of charge and is located in the GBTA Hub.
Simple Meetings: This first-of-its-kind study looks at simple meetings, which are small, company-held meetings with replicable requirements. The study found that half of company-held meetings are simple meetings that are often not managed or measured which cost companies savings and satisfaction.
Business Travel Dining Trends: Did you know that there are clear generational differences when it comes to business traveler dining, payment and expense options? This new study reveals generational differences as well as insights into healthy eating and technology and dining. This study has fascinating insights into your travelers and their dining habits.
Safety Concerns for Women Travelers: This research revealed travel buyers are concerned about female business traveler safety, however, only 18 percent of travel policies specifically address female safety. To learn more about what concerns women travelers, check out this important study.
Global Travel Forecast: Travel prices are expected to rise sharply in 2019, with hotels going up 3.7% and flights 2.6%, driven by a growing global economy and rising oil prices, according to our research.
Global BTI: This study will be released at Convention. Stay tuned for that announcement.
As always, thank you to our members for your continued support and commitment. Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts or questions you may have. I hope to see many of you in San Diego over the course of this coming week.
*The following post was also sent as an email to GBTA Members.*
Everyone is working hard to get ready for Convention. Can you believe we are less than two months away from celebrating the 50th Anniversary of GBTA? Below is a brief update on what we are working on.
We recently announced more of our Center Stage sessions. I am pleased to announce that Turning the Tables—Buyers Take Center Stage panel will kick off Tuesday morning. This will be a great panel and interesting change of pace as we usually put a supplier in the hot seat, but this year we are really turning the tables. Carlson Wagonlit Travel CEO Kurt Ekert will moderate a panel of senior buyers providing their take on the latest trends, top opportunities and major challenges facing today’s business travel industry.
We have also added a special session to Monday’s Center Stage line-up. In a One on One with Arne Sorenson, the Marriott President and CEO will take the stage to share his outlook on the future of hospitality. In this candid interview, Sorenson will talk about the progress of the Marriott Starwood merger while talking about how hotel brands are changing to cater to today’s travelers.
The GBTA mobile app is available to all GBTA attendees. Access everything you need to know about Convention. You can enhance your experience in San Diego by using the app to create a personal schedule, access speaker details, exhibitor lists and an Expo map and so much more. Click here to download today.
Committee Highlight: Sports, Media and Entertainment
The Sports, Media and Entertainment Committee’s mission is to find common solutions to the unique challenges facing business travel professionals in these dynamic fields. This year the Committee hosted two Peer-to-Peer sessions, in New York City and L.A., where buyer members shared best practices. The sessions have led to great improvements such as successful negotiations with several airlines regarding the media bag rate as well as 24/7 support desks specifically assigned to handle the unique requirements of those in the sport, media and entertainment industries. United has even started a specific group dedicated to Sports to handle those requirements. From the hotel side, the Committee has been working closely with many hotels to keep costs down for yearly planned events.
Legislative Summit 2018
GBTA hosted its 16th annual Legislative Summit this June. Over 130 GBTA members representing 23 states attended, and called on lawmakers to pass a five-year FAA Bill ensuring a long-term plan for the future of aviation and requested the entire 9-11 Aviation Security Fee is used for airport security and passenger facilitation.
The Legislative Summit kicked off with a full day of discussions with top lawmakers, industry insiders and political strategists on key travel issues. Former Reps. Al Wynn (D-MD) and Randy Forbes (R-VA) led a discussion on navigating the partisan divide in today’s politics. Anthony Bedell, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) discussed the DOT’s current priorities, planned investments in infrastructure and the not-so-distant future featuring autonomous vehicles and drones.
GBTA also honored Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) with the GBTA Navigator Award for their efforts as strong champions for business travelers and the business travel industry. Each also gave remarks during the Summit on key issues impacting our industry.
As always, thank you to our members for your continued support and commitment. Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts or questions you may have.
Make Your Voice Heard
Determine the Future of GBTA
Absentee Ballot Request Process Now Open
*An email was sent from GBTA's Election Services firm last week to GBTA members eligible to vote detailing the absentee voting process for those who may not be able to vote onsite at Convention.*
It is time to start choosing new leadership positions for GBTA. In preparation for the upcoming voting opportunities, please take a moment to review the election materials and platform statements in the Board of Directors Election Brochure 2018.
At Convention 2018, elections with voting by electronic means will be open starting on Monday, August 13 at 11:30 am PT until Tuesday, August 14 at 6pm PT at the GBTA Convention at the San Diego Convention Center. Ballots will only be available online. Results of the elections will be announced at Convention Arena on Wednesday, August 15. Individuals must be Direct or Allied members of GBTA to be eligible to vote. Please note that to vote onsite, individuals must also be registered for Convention by July 31, 2018.
If you are unable to attend GBTA Convention 2018 and vote in person, you may request an absentee ballot. The absentee ballot request process is now open. You may reply to the email you received from Election Services Company on June 28 to request an absentee ballot or click here and write "Please send me an absentee ballot" in the body of the email. The absentee ballot will be available online only.
The Election Services Company (ESC) will respond to your email request and provide you with the website link and code to login and cast your absentee vote.
The deadline to request the absentee ballot is July 13.
The deadline to submit an absentee ballot is August 6.
The positions up for election are:
Three (3) Direct Members at Large for a term of three years
One (1) Allied Member at Large for a term of two years
We thank you in advance for your participation in shaping the future of GBTA.
NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING
Election of Directors;
Absentee Ballot Request Instructions and Timelines
Notice of Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), Inc. ("GBTA") will be held on August 13, 2018, at 10:30am in San Diego, California at the San Diego Convention Center on Center Stage in Ballroom 20.
Election of Directors
Once again, it is time to choose new leadership for GBTA. In preparation for the upcoming voting opportunities, please take a moment to review the election materials and platform statements in the Board of Directors Election Brochure 2018.
If you are a GBTA Direct or Allied Member, you may vote in this election either at the GBTA Annual Convention or by absentee ballot (instructions below).
At Convention 2018, elections with voting by electronic means will be open starting on Monday, August 13 at 11:30am PT until Tuesday, August 14 at 6pm PT at the GBTA Convention at the San Diego Convention Center. Results of the elections will be announced at Convention Arena on Wednesday, August 15, 2018. Individuals must be Direct or Allied members of GBTA to be eligible to vote. In the United States, if you are a community member in an Affiliate or Chapter, but not a global member, you will not be eligible to vote. Please note that to vote onsite, individuals must also be registered for Convention by July 31, 2018.
The open Board positions in the 2018 Election are as follows:
If you are unable to attend GBTA Convention 2018 and vote in person, you may request an absentee ballot.
You will receive information on how to request an absentee ballot on June 28 and you have until July 13 to request an absentee ballot. The ballot will contain necessary information for the Election of Directors.
Absentee ballots will be submitted electronically and must be received by August 6, 2018, which is five days prior to the start of Convention. Instructions for submission and completion will be included on the ballot. We thank you in advance for your participation in shaping the future of GBTA.
Review of Critical Dates:
June 28 - Absentee Ballots Available
July 13 - Absentee Ballot Request Deadline
July 31 - Deadline to Register for Convention if Planning to Vote Onsite
August 6 - Absentee Ballots Due to GBTA
August 13 - Annual Business Meeting
August 13 - Voting Opens Onsite at Convention
August 14 - Voting Closes
August 15 - Election Results Announced
It is time once again to make your voice heard in choosing new leadership positions for GBTA. Please take a moment to review the election materials and platform statements in the Board of Directors Election Brochure 2018.
This August, during GBTA’s annual Convention in San Diego, all Direct and Allied members will have the opportunity to take part in our election process. The open positions on this year’s ballot include three Direct Member at Large seats and one Allied Member at Large seat. In this online brochure, you will find information and platform statements from all of our participating candidates. I encourage you to take some time to review the information and get to know your candidates, so you can make an informed choice when you cast your vote.
On Monday, August 13, during the Annual Business Meeting at Convention, each candidate will deliver their campaign speech. You will be able to cast your vote for the next leadership electronically Monday, August 13 through Tuesday, August 14. In order to vote, you must be a current Allied or Direct Member of the Association. To vote onsite, you must also be registered for Convention by July 31, 2018. If you have questions about your membership status, please check with GBTA’s Member Care Team at email@example.com before July 31.
The GBTA Board of Directors serves as the governing body of the Association and is responsible for establishing the focus and direction of the Association. This is your opportunity to vote for the candidates you believe will best lead our organization, so I strongly encourage you to participate in the GBTA electoral process.
Our Association’s continued success is driven by the dedication of many member volunteers. Keep our Association strong by being an active participant and cast your vote this August 13th and 14th at Convention or via an absentee ballot by August 6th! More info on absentee ballots will be coming soon.
*This post was also sent as an email to GBTA Members.*
Please join us in congratulating the following members, who have been nominated to run for positions on the GBTA Board of Directors. Candidate platform statements will be sent to all GBTA Members in the coming weeks.
The Board consists of thirteen (13) Members comprised of the President, Vice President, Immediate Past President/Chairman of the Board, President of the Chapter Presidents' Council, President and Vice President of the Allied Leadership Council, five (5) Direct Members at large, and two (2) Allied Members at large. The Executive Director & COO also serves as an ex officio Member of the Board. Below, please find a brief description of each position and, for each position, the corresponding list of nominated members:
Direct Member at Large (3) – Direct Members at Large exercise the General Powers of the Association, as those powers are set forth in the Association’s Bylaws. Direct Member at Large serve a term of three (3) years to begin at the close of GBTA Convention 2018 through the close of GBTA Convention 2021. All GBTA Direct Members may vote for these candidates. The nominees for the three Direct Member at Large seats are:
Tricia Alsup, Travel Manager, Dollar General
Kathy Briski, Travel Category Manager, The Boeing Company
Fikile Nkala, Group Travel Coordinator, Super Group PTY Ltd
Erin L. Wilk, Global Security Travel Safety Manager, Facebook, Inc.
Allied Member at Large (1) – Allied Members at Large also exercise the General Powers of the Association, as those powers are set forth in the Association’s Bylaws. Allied Members at Large serve a term of two years to begin at the close of GBTA Convention 2018 through the close of GBTA Convention 2020. All GBTA Allied Members may vote for these candidates. The nominees for Allied Member at large are:
Jeffrey L Maurer, National Account Executive, Red Roof Inn
Keith Mendes, Founder and CEO, Kykin Associates - Travel Audit, Advisory and Corporate Services
Doug Payne, Senior Vice President - Sales, ALTOUR
Elections will be held Monday through Tuesday, August 13-14, at GBTA Convention 2018 in San Diego. Absentee ballots will be available on June 28. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is July 13. All absentee ballots are due to Election Services Corp. (ESC) by August 6. Further instructions will be sent on how to request an absentee ballot in the coming weeks. Please also note, the deadline to register for Convention if you are planning to vote onsite is July 31.
*This post was also distributed as an email to GBTA members.*
Can you believe that Convention is less than three months away? Time is flying by and of course GBTA is working hard to get ready for the 50th Annual GBTA Convention. Below is a brief update on what we are working on.
The 50th Annual GBTA Convention 2018 will be held this year from August 11-15 in beautiful San Diego. We recently announced two of our keynote speakers for Arena Stage.
Billie Jean King, sports icon, pioneer for social justice and entrepreneur will be a featured speaker on Monday, August 13 on Arena Stage. Billie Jean King epitomizes excellence, leadership and grit. She was named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life Magazine and was a 2009 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I have no doubt that her experience and vision will inspire our attendees.
Kevin O'Leary, investor on ABC's Shark Tank and chairman of O'Shares ETF Investments Financial Group will be the featured speaker on Tuesday, August 14 on Arena Stage. Kevin O'Leary, better known as Mr. Wonderful, is celebrated as one of North America's most successful business entrepreneurs as well as being a bestselling author. Attendees will benefit from his business experiences and insights and delight in his lively personality.
We also just announced two of our Center Stage panels this week. I am very pleased to announce our opening session, Successful Women Leading in Business Travel, will be moderated by my fellow GBTA Board member Dorothy Dowling, SVP & CMO, Best Western. It will feature three senior leaders in business travel as they give their unique perspectives on the opportunities and challenges facing the industry today. The panelists will be Jodi Allen, CMO, Hertz; Melissa Maher, SVP, Global Partners, Expedia; and, Traci Mercer, SVP, Lodging, Ground & Sea, Sabre.
Monday's second session, The Challenges of Security in Today's Volatile World, will feature top security officials discussing their roles in keeping a country's borders and infrastructure safe and secure. Kevin McAleenan, Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and David Pekoske, Administrator, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will discuss the challenges in balancing security and passenger facilitation while integrating innovative new technologies that could revolutionize the traveler experience.
Committee Highlight: Meetings Committees
GBTA's Meetings Committees provide leadership to GBTA members and the global business travel community through meetings management guidance, education and innovation. They serve as the preeminent source of knowledge, resources and strategy on the state of meetings management for the global business travel industry. The Meetings Committees are set up in the U.S. and Europe, encompassing a broad range of volunteers.
The Committees recently created a Speaker Resource Guide with a focus on key industry related topics: Strategic Meetings Management 101, Integrating Transient Travel Group Programs and Risk Management. From that, they have also created education sessions for each of those topics that are available to GBTA Chapters and Affiliates to share with their members. The Committees are also currently working on a Meetings Toolkit, based on feedback and information gathered in a 2017 survey to GBTA buyer members. The Toolkit will share best practices, basic guidelines, hints and tips in meetings planning.
At the most recent GBTA Europe Conference, the committee delivered a popular session which provided practical experience for travel managers who have taken on the responsibility to manage their organization's meeting spend and success of it.
GBTA will be unveiling a half dozen research studies between now and Convention. Some highlights include top safety concerns for women travelers. This interesting and revealing research will highlight the intrinsic dangers that female road warriors face while traveling and what travel programs do to ensure the safety of their female business travelers. The five business travel payment trends survey will reveal a few things that we already know (travel payment is going virtual) and some things that may surprise us (ride-sharing is gaining overwhelming acceptance). Additionally, GBTA will release a first-of-its-kind study to explore project-based business travel in the United States. While project-based business travel is extremely diverse, there are key underlying trends revealed in this study that marketers, suppliers and travel buyers can use to increase revenue, cut costs and improve traveler satisfaction.
As a GBTA member, you can download all GBTA research free of charge on our GBTA Hub, and use it to power your travel program and grow your career.
As always, thank you to our members for your continued support and commitment. Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts or questions you may have.