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Colleen Gallagher
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GBTA Launches Blue Ribbon Education Panel

Industry Leaders Developing New Education Strategy to Meet the Future Needs of Travel Professionals

Alexandria, VA (March 8, 2018) – The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the voice of the global business travel industry, is pleased to announce the launch of a Blue Ribbon Education Panel to evaluate and enhance GBTA’s educational offerings. A panel of industry leaders has been assembled to determine the relevance of education content, identify educational opportunities and optimize delivery channels with a focus on enhancing the personalized education experience for travel industry professionals.

“As the rapid pace of change in our industry continues to accelerate, it is imperative that GBTA constantly evolve its educational programming to meet the changing needs of our members and prepare them for the future of travel management,” said Christle Johnson, GBTA President. “Establishing this panel of industry experts is paramount and will ensure changes made will enhance the members’ educational experience.”

“The goal of this panel is to ensure GBTA’s educational programming takes into account the needs of all members regardless of industry tenure, position or membership type, and to truly create a career pathway designed by and for the individual member,” said Jennifer Steinke, GBTA Board Member and Chair of the Blue Ribbon Education Panel.

The members of the Blue Ribbon Education Panel include:

CHAIR – Jennifer Steinke, Wholdings                CO-CHAIR – Gus Vonderheide, Hyatt
Rita Visser – Oracle                                              Chris Jones – Delta
Gloria Gonzalez – Freeman                                  Vic Pynn – Amadeus
Cindy Shumate – Regeneron                                Cindy Allen – Team Catalyst Holdings
Jeremy Gardner – Accent Indy                             John Hampton – Enterprise
Karen Hutchings – EY                                          Kristen Koenig – World Travel
Carla Bonaventura – Shell                                    Kevin Iwamoto – Goldspring Consulting
Stephen Gheerow – Ford Foundation                   Leslie Andrews – Computer Systems Institute
Kathy Briski – Boeing                                                                      
Wendy Palmer – EPRI
Connie Smith – McCain Foods                            Christle Johnson – GBTA President
Mark Zeigler – NetApp                                        Dr. Amanda Cecil – Indiana University

The Panel held a two-day kick off meeting at the end of 2017 to begin to assess the current offerings and identify opportunity areas for new educational content or delivery methods. The Panel will continue to work together throughout 2018 to gain insight into past successes or misses; to garner an understanding of the needs of members through surveys, discussions and roundtables; and to learn best practices from experts in the field of education and professional development. Ultimately, the Panel will make recommendations to the GBTA Board of Directors on the future strategy for GBTA’s educational offerings.


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, visit

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