ASTA Corporate Advisory Forum 2019 Speakers
Chief Executive Officer, ABC Global Services
Eric has more than 25 years of travel industry expertise in corporate and leisure travel distribution, meetings and incentives and a strong track record applying innovative marketing and technology strategies to help industry professionals work more effectively and efficiently.
As CEO of ABC Global Services, Eric overseas ABC’s industry leading Premier Hotel Program with 50,000 hotel relationships; ezBookPro which provides an online booking platform for agents around the world; hotelCONNEX providing strategic hotel sourcing to large and mid-market clients in North America; and Global Meetings & Incentives a leading full service meeting and incentive company.
Prior to becoming CEO of ABC Global Services, Eric was Senior Vice President of Thomas Cook North America’s Leisure Distribution business which included Thomas Cook’s retail, ecommerce, meeting and incentive and financial services businesses.
Eric also held senior-level positions with American Express in its Supplier Relations Group and was Vice President of its U.S. Consulting Services business.
Business Partnership and Travel Manager, State of California
Bill Amaral has been in the travel industry for over 40 years. In 2013, he re-joined the State of California, Department of General Services, Statewide Travel Program as the Business Partnership and Travel Manager. Since 2013 the program has experienced explosive growth—a 693% increase in travel spend and still growing. Currently, Bill is managing the statewide implementation of virtual payments for the State’s transient lodging spend.
Bill worked in the private sector as the VP of Government and Corporate Sales for the TravelStore, as a Travel Manager for Intel Corporation and Level One Communications, Inc. Earlier in his career, Bill worked for Pan American World Airways, Inc., as a member of the international in-flight service team.
Bill was the founder of the Sacramento Business Travel Association and served as Past President. Bill received the Business Travel Professional Service Award given by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and served on the Association's Board of Directors. In 2018 Bill received the Business Travel News Best Practitioner Award and serves on the GBTA Payment Solutions Committee.
Channel Integrations Lead, Airbnb
Sonia Anderson's travel career started 30,000 feet in the air as a Flight Attendant for Eos Airlines. From the moment she stepped on the plane, she was hooked by the industry and has since spent the past 13 years working in corporate travel in various capacities. On the agency side, she implemented and managed customer programs while working for both HRG and BCD Travel. On the buyer side, she helped build a travel program from the bottom up for Cognizant Technologies, a NJ-based Fortune 500 IT consulting company.
Sonia joined the the Airbnb for Work team in 2016, initially to establish and manage the Strategic Account program. More recently she has been using the technical knowledge she's picked up along the way to drive the strategy and operations for Channel Distribution Partnerships, launching their first online booking tool partnership with Concur Travel in Aug 2018.
Senior Vice President, BCD Travel
Kathy’s ability to substantially improve travel programs for companies begins with her clear understanding of business objectives and corporate cultures. Throughout 36 years in travel management, she’s helped clients find solutions to every imaginable challenge in building and maintaining effective air, hotel, ground transportation and meetings programs. A former travel agency owner who led the growth of her Ohio-based business from an annual turnover of $3 million to $300 million, Kathy understands the importance of strong partnerships. As one of the earliest adopters of modern meetings technologies and the onsite travel service concept, she knows the importance of innovation to business success. Dedicated to industry education, Kathy enjoys presenting at major trade association events and has appeared in numerous travel segments on The Weather Channel. She resides in Atlanta.
Kathy is a proud member of GBTA, and ASTA she serves on both the GBTA Risk Committee and Industry Advisory Board, The ASTA Corporate Advisory Council, and the Canadian Corporate Travel Association.
General Manager – Americas, Conferma Pay
As the General Manager for the Americas, Fred is responsible for leading the strategic direction, business development, and supplier relationships with key global distribution systems, travel management companies and technology partners. Fred`s passion for travel technology and extensive understanding of the client experience have been a constant catalyst to delivering innovative solutions to the corporate travel community.
Fred brings over 25 years of business travel and technology experience, having held a wide array of management/leadership roles with Sabre, American Airlines, AOL and other technology start-ups.
Senior Vice President: Western Region, Corporate Brands, Flight Centre USA
Marc is primarily responsible for the operations and strategic planning of the Casto Travel, Inc., including corporate planning, sales engagements, and IT development. Casto Travel, a family company founded in 1974, was fully acquired by Flight Centre in February 2019 as a means to expand service and client reach into the Silicon Valley Bay Area. As a consequence of the acquisition Marc also represents Flight Centre client and management interests in the Western Region of the USA.
As a highly engaged person within the industry he has served at an executive level on multiple travel and other industry related boards, including Casto Travel Philippines (the leading BPO and TMC in the Philippines), the American Society of Travel Agents, the Corporate Advisory Council, and the Mayor’s Task Force for San Jose Airport. Previously he also served as the Chairman of the Board for the San Jose Visitors and Convention Bureau/ Team San Jose, Chairman on the Board for the Commonwealth Business Travel Group, board positions for Business Travel News, CTAP, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, as well as numerous hotel advisory boards. He has been a part of many speaking engagements for both trade and industry organizations, covering topics from entrepreneurship to travel industry investment portfolios.
When much younger and with less grey hair, Marc was recognized by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal as one of the "Top 40 Under 40 Business Leaders in Silicon Valley." In 2016 ASTA honored him as the inaugural recipient of the prestigious Paul M Ruden Award for Industry Champions. In 2014 he was the recipient of the Barbara O’Hara Advocacy Award by ASTA, and the same year as a “Distinguished Citizen” by the Boy Scouts of America.
As a native of California you can frequently find him out in the hills hiking with his kids, or sneaking off to the coast to play in the waves. If bored, check out his musings over at email@example.com
Chris Dane, CTIE
President, Hickory Global Partners
Chris Dane brings over 40 years of experience in the travel industry to his role as President of Hickory Global Partners. Across his career, he has consulted in a wide range of capacities for a variety of traditional and new economy travel-related entities. His roles included acting as interim COO for two dot-com travel-related start-ups and consulting on strategic planning initiatives for Sabre, Travelport, and other mega-corporations in the travel sector. Other projects have included developing and directing sales, marketing planning and implementation functions for a number of other travel-related companies. He also held key executive positions in the airline, travel agency, tour operator, and consortia sectors of the travel industry.
Prior to joining Hickory Global Partners, Mr. Dane was President of HRG/Executive Travel Associates, a subsidiary of the third largest travel management company in the world. HRG’s core business is providing cutting edge travel management and corporate services to Fortune 1000 companies worldwide.
Prior to his contributions at HRG, Mr. Dane served as President of Hickory Travel Systems, Inc. the predecessor company to Hickory Global Partners. Also as one of its founders/investors, Mr. Dane served as Executive Vice President, Operations for Vacation.com, which became largest travel agency consortia in North America. In this role, he consolidated one Canadian and seven American consortia into a single cohesive unit. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President and General Manager for Certified Vacations, where he managed Delta Air Lines Vacations, Marriott Villa Vacations and AAA Vacations.
Mr. Dane spent over 22 years in the airline industry with American Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Eastern Airlines, assuming several field and senior staff positions in Passenger Sales. He also worked at Sabre, heading up the sales, service, training, and operational functions of their largest field division.
Early in his career, Mr. Dane managed a small leisure travel agency in Pittsburgh before managing the largest commercial travel agency in Dallas-Ft. Worth.
Mr. Dane graduated from St. Louis University with a degree in Business Administration with a major in marketing. He earned his Certified Travel Consultant (CTC) from The Travel Institute in 1995, as well as served as a member of The Travel Institute’s Board of Trustees from 1996-2002. He was the first person in the travel industry to earn the Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE) designation from the Travel Institute.
President and CEO, Farelogix
Since his appointment as Farelogix President and CEO in January 2005, Jim Davidson has transformed the company’s vision and product offerings to focus on broader opportunities within travel distribution technology. Under his leadership, Farelogix solutions are in production on six continents and the company has transformed into a true global force in travel. A passionate thought leader on topics such as travel distribution, direct connect, merchandising and ancillary revenue, Jim was named one of the 25 Most Influential Executives in the Business Travel Industry by Business Travel News. He holds a BA in Business Management, a Masters of Science in Education and an MBA.
Representative Susan Davis
California's 53rd Congressional District, U.S. House of Representatives
Congresswoman Susan Davis proudly represents California's 53rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Her interest in public affairs and service grew out of her experiences as a social worker, parent, youth mentor, and military spouse. Through these life experiences, Susan developed an understanding of and deep commitment to improving her community and country.
Susan attended public school in northern California. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in sociology. After college, she worked with at-risk youths in Israel and also lived on a kibbutz. Susan returned to the United States and she earned her master’s degree in social work at the University of North Carolina. When her husband Steve was stationed in Japan for his military service, Susan and their sons, Jeff and Ben, joined him. The Davis family later settled in mid-city San Diego in 1972 and Susan and Steve have lived in the same house ever since. Today, Susan and Steve are the proud grandparents of Henry, Jane, and Theo.
Prior to Congress, Susan served in the California State Assembly (1994-2000). She served three terms and focused on what would become her signature issues – education, health care, and consumer protection. She chaired the Committee on Consumer Protection, Government Efficiency, and Economic Development. In the House, as she has throughout her public service, Susan has approached legislating as a bipartisan consensus builder achieving legislative successes in education, military families and veterans support and health care.
Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Supply Management
Tom Derry is Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Supply Management, with more than 30 years of experience in leadership and general management roles for public and private companies, and in the not-for profit sector. He has executed turn-arounds at the corporate and business-unit level through a variety of means, including acquisitions, divestitures, restructuring, and business process re-engineering.
As CEO of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), Tom has a unique vantage point to observe major macroeconomic trends and the development of global supply chains through his daily contact with Fortune 500 chief procurement officers and chief supply chain officers, with government agencies and NGOs in the United States and abroad, and with leading academics. Tom has been interviewed on CNBC, Bloomberg Television, quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and dozens of other business publications. Tom has represented ISM in meetings with the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the National Security Council, the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors, and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
At ISM, Tom has overseen an increase in revenues, a reduction in costs, the introduction of new revenue streams, and the launch of new product lines. As Chief Operating Officer of the Association for Financial Professionals, Tom oversaw strategy development and execution. Tom completed two cross-border acquisitions, which became for-profit subsidiaries of AFP. He oversaw all AFP staff in London, UK and Bethesda, MD.
As General Manager of the Business Intelligence unit of LexisNexis, team led a 40-person acquisition integration team, which completed the integration ahead of plan and under budget. He also executed the strategic divestiture of another LexisNexis unit, and implemented new technologies, including web-crawling bots, to re-engineer data collection and quality processes for LexisNexis’ business data unit.
Tom is a 1986 graduate of Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service (B.S., Foreign Service).
President & Managing Partner, Travelink, American Express Travel
Michael is responsible for the financial affairs and strategic planning for Travelink as well as the general administration of business travel sales, vacation travel, marketing, and operations management. Michael's qualifications include extensive years of diverse and comprehensive business management experience. He has worked in various roles with corporations such as Wells Fargo Bank, Eaton Corporation, and Ernst and Young.
For the past 25 years, Michael has served as the President and Owner of Travelink Incorporated; co-founded in 1994 with William Haire and Donald Dixon. He champions the relationship with American Express Travel, fully leveraging one of the most powerful brands in the world. Under his leadership, Travelink has garnered many industry recognitions, including the American Express Rep Excellence award every year for the past 19 years and promotion with the elite list of travel companies recognized annually in the Travel Weekly Power List. He currently serves on the American Express Centurion Advisory Board, the ASTA CAC Executive Board, the Travel Corporation Advisory Board, and the Renasant Bank Advisory Board. In addition, Michael represents the company in the Commonwealth Business Travel Group.
Michael received his B.S./B.A. from Mars Hill College in North Carolina and his Masters of Business Administration (Executive Program) from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.
Chairman of the Board, ASTA & President & CEO, Prestige Travel Leaders
Dave Hershberger is a small business owner with a global perspective. As the owner of Prestige Travel, a Travel Leaders affiliate based out of Cincinnati, OH, Hershberger draws on over 35 years of experience and expertise in travel to successfully guide his company through a constantly evolving industry. A focus on providing a high level of customer service combined with the use of the latest technology has set Prestige Travel apart as a leader in the field, most recently recognized in 2018 by Travel Leaders as an “Agency of the Excellence”.
Hershberger has been an active participant and leader in several travel organizations over the years. This includes seven years of service on the Travel Leaders Franchise Advisory Board, time as a past chairman and current board member of the Commonwealth Business Travel Group, past board member and President of the Cincinnati SKAL Club and years as an ASTA board member and Vice Chair before stepping into his current role as Board Chair. His leadership extends into his community as well where he is an active member and past President of the Rotary Club and current member of the Little Miami Conservancy Board.
When he is not traveling, working, or serving his community, Hershberger enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with his family, where he has recently become a grandfather for the second time.
Director, Industry Distribution Programs, IATA
Yanik joined IATA in May 2011 where he was accountable for leading and coordinating the development of new solutions and new Industry services. He has over 25 year’s airline experience, most of which at British Airways where he began as Senior Manager Revenue Management in 1996 and then held several positions as Area Commercial Manager overseas. He has been leading the New Distribution Capability Program since July 2013 and in January 2019 he was appointed as Director, Industry Distribution Programs which includes NDC and also the ONE Order IATA program.
President & CEO, Balboa Travel, Inc.
With more than 30 years of industry experience, Denise Jackson has worked in every aspect of leisure, corporate, meeting, group and incentive travel. Today, she is responsible for all management decisions affecting over $200 million in annual sales. Her decision to implement a flat management structure across the organization has resulted in a more hands-on approach with both customers and employees.
Balboa Travel Incorporated is a full-service travel company, with comprehensive business travel solutions, including corporate travel management; online booking; leisure services; group, including meeting and incentive services; and 3rd party fulfillment programs. Balboa offers global services in 110 countries, with a primary focus on corporate travel. Established in 1969, the company ranks in the top one percent of travel agencies in the country and remains privately held.
Vice President, Business Solutions, EAB
Steven Mandelbaum is known for bringing innovative approaches to cost-effectively solve the most pressing and unique internal challenges. At EAB he leads the strategy and operations for internal technology, office space, travel, vendor relationships, and more than 100 member and employee-focused events produced each year ranging from 20 to over 3000 attendees.
Steven has touched virtually every internal process and system at EAB (formerly part of The Advisory Board Company) including customer relationship management, finance, human resources, marketing, travel, real estate management, events, and other internal systems. His solutions have focused on enhancing the employee experience coupled with cost-effective scale that saves tens of millions of dollars of expenses annually.
Steven is often called to present and facilitate at technology and travel industry conferences such as Dreamforce, ZDNet, Business Travel News, the Association of Corporate Travel Executives and the Global Business Travel Association. His efforts have earned multiple industry awards including Business Travel News’ Travel Manager of the Year, Salesforce’s Surfboard Award for Breaking the Mold and Ventana Research’s Award for Cloud Computing. He also serves on advisory boards for banks, technology providers, trade publications and airlines.
Previously Steven served as the technology director for a presidential campaign where he led one of the first efforts to conduct fundraising and connect with voters on the Internet. He has also served on the faculty at George Washington University teaching information technology to business undergraduates. Steven holds a Bachelors in Business Administration, a Masters in Information Systems, and a Jurist Doctorate.
Vice President, Corporate Sales, Carey International,Inc.
Matt McGrath leads Carey’s Corporate Sales Team which markets Carey's extensive portfolio of services to corporate travel managers, meeting planners, and other related industry partners. He is responsible for managing Carey’s local market and global sales initiatives and all related sales efforts and revenue development. Carey International, Inc. is the global leader in chauffeured services and ground transportation logistics management, providing full-service solutions for the world's most discerning travelers. Since 1921, the Carey® brand has represented uncompromising reliability and impeccable professionalism, safety, security and quality. Prior to joining Carey in 2010, Mr. McGrath spent 30 years in various sales management positions with leading Fortune 100 companies. Mr. McGrath received a B.A. degree from Princeton University.
Vice President, Global Sales Intermediaries, Marriott International
Marian McLain is a hospitality professional with over 30 years of experience in the hotel lodging business working for Marriott International. She has held various leadership roles throughout her career, predominantly focused in sales and marketing, both in strategic account management and property sales and marketing.
Marian is currently the Vice President, Global Sales, Intermediary, Retail & Leisure Sales leading the team that manages the strategic business to business relationships with the most highly valued Travel Management Companies, Group Partners, Retail Travel Agencies & Consortia as well as Wholesale accounts.
Prior to her intermediary role, she managed a team in the Marriott’s Global Sales Corporate Accounts. Earlier in her career, Marian spent 15 years as both a Director of Sales and Marketing for several of Marriott’s convention and resort hotels.
Marian earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Vermont and received her Global Leadership Designation from the Global Business Travel Association and the Wharton School.
She enjoys golf, biking and a good glass of wine and resides with her husband in Frisco, TX.
Vice President, Global Commercial Products, Mastercard
Jennifer Merli is a Vice President of Global Commercial Product Management at Mastercard. As a payments industry professional with 17 years of experience, she leads the development of payment and data solutions across Mastercard’s corporate travel and wholesale travel payments business, working closely with banks, travel merchants, technology companies and corporates of all sizes to promote the growth and advancement of these segments across the globe.
Having joined Mastercard in October 2009, Jennifer has since held various positions in Commercial Products, including travel and middle market product management in the US and SME new product development globally. Prior to MasterCard, she held roles in business development, marketing, and product management at Citi and GE. Jennifer has an undergraduate bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University in New York and an MBA from Fordham Graduate School of Business.
Senior Director, Research and Corporate Innovation, BCD Travel
Miriam works on the forefront of product and service improvements that deliver value for companies of all sizes by driving effective corporate travel programs. In her role as Senior Director of Innovation and Intelligence, Miriam leads research and introduces concepts aimed at engendering a culture of innovation throughout the organization. She draws deep foundational insight into the buyer’s perspective from her eight years spent as a corporate travel manager. Her industry experience and technology savvy, combined with a provocative communication style, keeps her in high demand as a speaker, panelist and judge, including at ACTE, GBTA, and the PhoCusWright Innovation Summit. Miriam uses a curriculum she developed to teach students at Metro State University in Denver, where she is enthusiastically grooming the next generation of talent.
Founder and CEO, Cornerstone Information Systems
Mat Orrego has worked in the software and travel industry for 25 years as Founder and CEO of Cornerstone Information Systems. A graduate of Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Mat co-founded Cornerstone, an application and data management company. Today Cornerstone is a global leader of travel automation technology for companies seeking to automate their travel fulfillment, procurement and business intelligence processes.
Mat is also an avid investor in a variety of enterprises including technology, manufacturing, and services businesses. In 2012 Runuplabs.com was co-founded by Mat as a technology accelerator for the travel industry. He has invested and advised startup companies such trekkable.com, peopleocity.com and Desti.com to reach their market potential. He makes his home in Bloomington, Indiana where he and his wife Beverly enjoy the good life of living in a Midwest university town surrounded by friends and family.
Head of Global Marketing, Sabre Travel Network
Lindsay leads the Sabre Travel Network global marketing team as the Global Head of Marketing. She joined Sabre in 2015 as the Vice President of Americas and Global Accounts Marketing. She took on global responsibility for Travel Network Marketing in 2017. Lindsay and her team are responsible for marketing Sabre technology and business-relevant capabilities to address traveler trends and needs. The Travel Network Marketing team focuses on transforming the traveler experience across customer segments, driving thought leadership within the travel industry while helping Sabre customers understand how to leverage our technology and expertise to sharpen their edge.
Lindsay brings deep technology marketing experience and knowledge to the organization. Prior to joining Sabre, she was the Chief Commercial Officer for a technology start-up in the Silicon Valley. She also led the Private Sector and Retail Marketing organizations at Cisco Systems and was a strategy consultant in Cisco’s customer-facing strategy consulting team. She has held various leadership positions within the strategy and operations consulting practices of Deloitte Consulting and Accenture. Lindsay has also led Product Management and Marketing teams tasked with developing and marketing technology solutions in the Retail and CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) markets.
Lindsay holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA degree from St. Mary’s College
Representative Scott Peters
California’s 52nd Congressional District, U.S. House of Representatives
Congressman Scott Peters serves California’s 52nd Congressional District, which includes the cities of Coronado, Poway and most of northern San Diego. First elected in 2012, Scott has worked across the aisle to fix a broken Congress and stand up for San Diego’s military and veterans community. Scott Peters currently serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he advocates for investment in basic scientific research, supports the military’s goals to enhance their energy security, and fights for commonsense healthcare reforms that work for families and small business owners.
Scott Peters is a civic leader who has made improving the quality of life in San Diego his life’s work. After a 15-year career as an environmental lawyer, Scott was elected to the San Diego City Council, where he later became the City’s first City Council President. On the Council, Scott helped lead the $2 billion redevelopment of downtown San Diego, the cleanup of the city’s beaches and bays, and the completion of a number of major infrastructure projects. He also pursued greater accountability and efficiency in government through the creation of a new Council/Mayor form of government with an independent budget review function.
In 2001, the governor appointed Scott to the Commission on Tax Policy in the New Economy, and in 2002, the Speaker of the Assembly appointed Scott to the California Coastal Commission.
Scott also later served as chairman of the San Diego Unified Port District – a major economic engine that supports over 40,000 high-skill, high-wage jobs for San Diegans, with $3.3 billion in direct regional economic impact.
Director of Distribution, United Airlines
Tye Radcliffe has been in the travel industry since 1997, primarily focused on leading teams and programs associated with the distribution of airline products and services. Tye joined United Airlines in 2011 and is currently Director of Distribution, where he and his team are responsible for designing, executing and optimizing the commercial agreements that govern the selling of United’s products and services in third party channels. His team is also responsible for managing programs aimed at improving the direct-channel experience for corporate travelers, and enhancing United’s host applications to improve transactability for Travel Agents and GDSs.
He is Chairman of IATA’s Passenger Standards Conference and has been directly involved in the development and ongoing pursuit to drive awareness and adoption of the IATA New Distribution Capability (NDC) messaging standard across the industry since 2012. Tye has worked for Orbitz.com, Travelport, G2 Switchworks and prior to joining United, Tye was part of Amadeus’s airline technology sales organization in the Americas. In his spare time, Tye serves as principal timpanist for Chicago’s Lakeview Orchestra and can be seen riding his Vespa throughout the city.
Head of Business Travel Agencies, Amadeus
Jay is responsible for the retention, growth, and acquisition of Managed Travel agencies within North America. The prospect and customer portfolio includes business travel agencies of local, regional, and multinational scope as well as agencies focused on marine & offshore, humanitarian, missionary, and educational travel. Jay has teams of sales, account management, and IT account management throughout the region.
Jay has previously led Amadeus’ managed travel product strategy in North America. Prior to joining Amadeus, Jay was CIO for the global network RADIUS where he oversaw build and delivery of a global service platform and data warehouse solution.
Vice President, Marketing, Pegasus
Darlene Rondeau has more than 30 years of marketing & sales leadership focused on providing solutions to increase revenue and lower costs for businesses of all sizes in the global travel industry. Her client list includes worldwide brands such as American Airlines, AT&T, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Disney, General Electric, Marriott International, Southwest Airlines and USA Today.
Currently, Ms. Rondeau is Vice President, Marketing for Pegasus Solutions. Her role is to heighten awareness of Pegasus as a market leader in the electronic processing, management, distribution, sales and marketing of hotel inventory, rates and content across different sales channels to include direct bookings via hotels’ branded websites, voice, travel agents (GDS), online travel agents (OTAs) and metasearch partners.
Ms. Rondeau is a frequent speaker at Industry events such as the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association symposium, North Texas University Hospitality School, AAHOA Annual Convention, Triptease Book Direct Conference and HSMAI. She has also served on the boards of BLLA and HSMAI Americas. Darlene has hosted hundreds of educational webinars about Digital Marketing for the Hospitality Industry, along with exclusive presentations for the world’s top hospitality chains; humbly received HSMAI DFW chapter’s Speaker of the Year Award.
Director, Global Travel Agency Sales, UATP
As the Director of Global Travel Agency Sales, Paul is responsible for the development and execution of UATP's global strategy across the travel trade, including growth of their Issuer and Merchant base among travel management companies and establishing industry partnerships to expand network charge volume.
Prior to UATP, he worked for American Express Global Corporate Payments, expanding their virtual card network within the travel industry vertical. He began his career in travel after graduating from Texas A&M University, serving as National Sales Officer for Vail Resorts and later, Director of Sales for Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority.
Director, Procurement, Qualcomm, Incorporated
Marian Tarantino has extensive experience in both Travel Agency Operations and Corporate Travel Management, including 20 years managing corporate travel in the finance organization at Qualcomm. She currently has global responsibility for the Travel Category in procurement and oversight for the company travel operations.
Marian’s primary focus is on travel cost containment, including policy design/compliance, contract negotiations and demand management. She led successful implementation of Qualcomm’s automated expense reporting system, including 17000+ employees in 35 countries.
She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication and received a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications/International Relations from San Diego State University.
She has been a college instructor in Business and Personal Communication and has taught Introductory Travel Agency Operations. She received expert certification in Supplier Relationship Management from the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM),
Dr. Tomicah Tillemann
Co-founder and Director, Blockchain Trust Accelerator
Dr. Tomicah Tillemann is co-founder and Director of the Blockchain Trust Accelerator at New America, which works with organizations including the Rockefeller Foundation, State Department, Coca-cola, Harvard and Levi Strauss to deploy blockchain solutions in governance and social impact applications worldwide. He chairs the Global Blockchain Business Council and advises Bitfury and other leading technology companies. He previously served at the State Department and Senate Foreign Relations Committee as a speechwriter and advisor to Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Joe Biden. He was educated at Yale and Johns Hopkins and is a co-holder of four patents.
Managing Partner, Festive Road
Paul started his career 25 years ago in TMC sales, moving to CEO for the UK & Ireland’s Institute of Travel & Meetings (ITM) in 2005. He launched the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) in Europe in 2010, moving to SVP Global Development in 2012 with a brief to develop GBTA regions outside of the USA. In 2015 he launched consultancy Festive Road, www.festive-road.com. He has been twice listed as one of the world’s top 25 business travel industry influencers by the Business Travel News, USA and in 2017 he was appointed to the GBTA board as the first ever elected international director.
Katie Virtue, GTP
Business Travel Consultant, Festive Road
Katie Virtue, GTP is a business travel consultant and advocate for business travel wellness. She is a passionate strategist focused on growing and improving relationships in the business travel industry. She is energized by moving organizations forward through lateral thinking, deeper engagement and inspired insights.
Katie has shaped partnership strategies and served as a subject matter expert across various areas of indirect procurement and travel. She has created and grown travel programs spanning Car Rental, Travel Management, Meetings & Events Management, Jet Services, Ground Transportation and Corporate Housing Solutions. She works with companies to evaluate their travel needs and bring them unique insights to optimize their travel program. Many of those companies include mid-size corporations that are creating managed travel programs or looking to advance beyond simply booking and expense. She also collaborates with suppliers to make sure they achieve goals through the right approach to customer acquisition and management.
Katie as spoken at numerous events on topics related to the merging of procurement and travel strategies and she has conducted trainings for travel suppliers to improve their communication and messaging as they work to differentiate their voice.
Katie serves on the programs committee for the Ohio Valley Business Travel Association and is part of the GBTA Ladders program. She is also a fitness and nutrition coach, hockey player and loves spending time with her children.
Co-Owner & Co-President, Valerie Wilson Travel
Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg knows that to keep up with the travel industry’s continual change, as with any business, you must see opportunity everywhere and in everything. As Co-Owner and Co-President at Valerie Wilson Travel, her forward-thinking approach has helped to cement Valerie Wilson Travel as an industry leader. Her consistent success with both sales and business development has kept Valerie Wilson Travel in the spotlight as she provides oversight and leadership to the company’s corporate travel, meetings, incentives, and fulfillment divisions, its business development, and its strategic initiatives.
Her commitment to the travel industry is tremendous. She is actively engaged on the boards of several committees and brands. She is co-chair of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) Government & Political Affairs Committee and former co-chair of the Corporate Advisory Council, of which she remains a member, as well as a former member of the ASTA National Board of Directors. Jennifer sits on the advisory board of top travel brands, including Abercrombie & Kent, AccorHotels, Aman Resorts Hotels & Residences, The Chatwal Hotel, Collette, Global Community, and Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces; editorial advisory to periodicals including AFAR Travel Advisory Council, Luxury Travel Advisor, and Travel Market Report; philanthropic and civic engagements such as the Tourism Cares Hearts of Travel Awards Committee and the Education Fund of the Women’s Forum; and active in assorted alumni committees at her alma maters of Harvard Business School and Haverford College.
Jennifer’s efforts have earned her a number of honors, including the 2018 Paul Ruden Industry Ambassador Award, Luxury Travel Advisor Award of Excellence (of which she was the first recipient), the Top Humanitarian Award, and the ISTA/ASTA Barbara O’Hara Advocacy Award. Travel + Leisure has listed her as a member of the “A-List” for Business Travel for nine consecutive years. She is regularly asked to speak at both conferences and to the press as an expert in her field and has been quoted in periodicals including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler and Phocuswire.
A graduate of Haverford College with a B.A. in History and a minor in Political Science, Jennifer also received her Executive M.B.A. from the Owner/President Management Program (OPM) at Harvard Business School. She began her career in corporate sales at the Westbury Hotel in New York, NY, before joining her family business in 1991.
In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys traveling with her husband and son. She is a seasoned golfer. Though her favorite destination is subject to change, her favorite golfing is in Scotland, where the unpredictable weather ensures an endlessly exciting game every round.
President & CEO
As ASTA’s president and chief executive officer Zane Kerby reports directly to the board of directors on all internal and external ASTA business and is the primary spokesperson for ASTA. Kerby moved to ASTA from a successful career with the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). Beginning in 2009 he held the position of senior vice president with responsibility for all aspects of GBTA’s global annual convention. Previously he was Deputy Executive Director, Vice President of business development and held a series of other posts of progressively greater responsibility beginning in August, 1999. Kerby earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young University. He and his wife have five children and he currently is an assistant coach of a U12 basketball team. Cycling, swimming and reading are just a few of his favorite activities.
Senior Vice President, Industry Affairs & Education
Mark joined the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) in April
2015 and as Senior Vice President Marketing, Industry Affairs &
Education has a broad focus on marketing ASTA, its sub-brands, events,
products and services. He also represents the travel agency and consumer
communities within all components of the travel industry – travel
suppliers, technology providers, coalitions and trade associations,
government entities such as the U.S. DOT (U.S. Department of
Transportation), and the TSA (Transportation Security Administration)
and more. Mark is the driving force behind much of the highly-rated
content of ASTA’s annual Global Convention and Premium Business Summits
being responsible for ASTA’s educational efforts, fostering agency
growth and learning worldwide. While monitoring industry issues and
trends, Mark advocates for, promotes and defends the agency community to
ensure the agent’s voice is heard clearly and the agent is well
represented within all components of the industry. Mark also serves on
the Board of Directors of the WTAAA – the World Travel Agents
Associations Alliance – where he functions as Vice Chair – an
organization facilitating the exchange of ideas and information to the
agency community across the globe.
A travel industry veteran with global experience in the agency, GDS,
airline and travel association communities, Mark served previously as
Vice President, Business Development at the Airlines Reporting
Corporation where he led initiatives ranging from corporate strategy,
product marketing, partnership development, new business development and
sales to corporate communications, marketing programs and brand
management. He has firsthand knowledge of the travel industry from his
time with the Sabre Corporation where he was a senior executive not only
in the U.S., but in both Europe and Asia-Pacific as well. And at United
Airlines, Mark worked on various aspects of their merger and
integration with Continental Airlines. Mark began his travel industry
career as an outside sales agent at a travel agency in the Boston area.
Having worked and succeeded for multiple years in many facets of the
travel industry, it should come as no surprise that travel is Mark’s
passion. When not focused on marketing or the plethora of issues and
education facing the agency community and our industry in general,
you’ll find him plotting and planning his next travel adventure to a new
part of the globe he’s yet to explore.
Executive Vice President, Advocacy
Since 2015, Eben Peck has served as Senior Vice President, Government
Affairs & Communications at the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), where he is responsible for ASTA’s work to protect the interests
of the travel agency community at all levels of government, within the
travel industry and before the traveling public. This includes ASTA’s
federal and state lobbying efforts, its political action committee
(ASTAPAC), industry and consumer affairs, research, and extensive media
presence. From 2012 to 2015 he served since as ASTA’s Vice President,
Government Affairs, during which time he played a key role in
legislative and regulatory “wins” that saved the industry an estimated
$465 million in new taxes, fees and other costs and worked to increase
PAC receipts by 95 percent between 2012 and 2015.
Peck joined ASTA after seven years with the Corporation of Public
Broadcasting (CPB), where he served most recently as Senior Director,
Government Affairs. At CPB, Peck was the primary liaison between CPB and
the federal government, responsible for CPB’s appropriations requests;
managing relationships with government relations offices of other
national public broadcasting organizations; and briefing the CPB Board
of Directors on federal developments.
Prior to joining CPB, Eben served for five years on the staff of U.S.
Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), acting as the Senator’s policy advisor
and representative for several legislative issues, including
transportation, homeland security, labor and appropriations. He
graduated from Colby College in Waterville, Maine with a BA in History
in 1998 and in 2009 earned his Masters in Government degree from the
Johns Hopkins University, with his thesis on Congressional earmarks,
earning honors as well as the William F. Clinger, Jr., Award for
Assessing a Topic in Institutional or Representative Government Using
Original Research and Displaying Superior Writing. >He lives in
Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife Colette, daughter Lucy and son