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Spotlight on Mary Kohler, 2021 WINiT Top 50 Women in Travel Recipient

Mary Kohler Headshot

As Sr. Director, Global Client Group, Mary leads a global client team, providing global integrated solutions both on-line and off-line to help Fortune 500 companies manage and optimize their travel investment through consultation on process and purchasing savings, innovative solutions and traveler experience. Mary possesses thirty years of successful management in employee, customer and supplier relations, operations, sales and consulting with a proven track record for developing strategies, driving change and building strong business partnerships. Known for being an innovative problem solver with a proven record of delivering on a promise, Mary is a transformation leader who leaves no stone unturned to uncover new opportunities.

In addition to making the WINiT Top 50 list, Mary was named a finalist for WINiT 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award, 2005 American Express Hall of Fame inductee and recipient of 10 President Club/Pacesetter Awards.

What do you love about being in business travel?

The globally diverse group of people that I am so honored to have built lasting relationships with, most notably my clients, suppliers, employees, colleagues, and leadership. I am truly energized and inspired by so many and work tirelessly to exceed their expectations as they do mine.

Who or what inspires you to continue working hard, even on the most challenging days?

American Express president and vice chairman Ed Gilligan left a strong legacy for so many of us who had the great fortune to work with. He led with a moral compass, exemplified by his integrity, passion, family values, fairness, personal responsibility, and kindness to all. He embraced diversity as a source of innovation, inclusion, and competitive advantage.  All these values are embodied by American Express Global Business Travel leadership, the organization, and myself and they are what inspire me to continue to work hard and set the bar high for me both personally and professionally.

What advice would you give to women just starting their careers in business travel?

The same advice that I continue to give to my daughters:  to own your career! Once you’ve figured out what you want, go for it as you’re unstoppable!!! Exuberate confidence, play to your strengths and invest in mentor-mentee relationships as so many of my learnings are from my own mentors and mentees. Sharing experiences keeps me energized and all in!