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Travel Times Newsletter

Travel Times 2019 -Mar/Apr Print

President's Report

President's Message
Written by Sarah HillSarah Hill - Delta KLM Air France Alitalia

Hello All,

Happy Spring! I hope you are enjoying non-polar vortex weather we have been having. Although our first 60 degree day came later than average I have been enjoying watching the snow melt away. I am hoping that it will also melt away the bad start to the year some of us have been having.

For those of you who haven’t heard my step-father passed away in January from that evil monster cancer. He was my mentor in sales and helped me prep my resume and interview skills to get hired at Northwest Airlines and eventually Delta Air Lines which has kept me interested and on my toes over 13 years! He will be missed and I thank all who reached out to offer their condolences.

I also have another sad piece of news for you. Board Member and Sponsorship Liaison Brad Jensen’s wife My husband Jay and I became very good friends with Brad and Jen and would frequently entertain clients and dine out at the newest restaurants in the area. We even met in London one evening after we had our first regional meeting with the Virgin Atlantic team post Joint Venture. I made reservations at a well renowned Indian restaurant, completely forgetting about Jen’s Crohn’s; and the three of us had great food while Jen had a bowl of rice. In her reserved style she never mentioned it and was a trooper. Those of you who are friends with Brad on FaceBook can see a beautiful letter he wrote to her. It is so touching and so Brad. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

On a more positive note, I am looking forward to our Education Summit this May. We have some fresh eyes looking at this event and I am excited to see how it all comes together. It is sounding like great opportunities for our members to showcase themselves and learn of new opportunities in the travel industry. Don’t miss the early bird pricing!! Also be looking for the Chapter Scholarship Applications coming out. So many opportunities to learn and expand ones knowledge in this ever-changing industry is priceless!

Thank you,

Sarah Hill


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Meeting Recap

GBTA North Central –March Monthly Recap
Written by Hazel Vokral
Pictured left to right: Brian Peters, Assistant Director of MAC; Naomi Pesky,VP Strategy & Stakeholder Engagement of MAC; Brian Petersen,TSA


MAC/MSP And TSA Updates

Brian Peters, Assistance Director, Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC) introduced Naomi Pesky, VP Strategy & Stakeholder Engagement of MAC.

MAC is a public corporation of the State and formed in 1943. It can own and operate airports within a 35-mile radius of downtown Minneapolis/St. Paul and is funded by rents and fees paid by airport users, not by generated tax dollars. MAC does have legislative purposes.

The MAC consists of board members, 13 of whom are appointed by the Governor of MN; one appointed by St. Paul; and one by Minneapolis.

Its mission is connecting you to the world.  An example of this would be creating jobs at MSP, economic impact; business opportunities around the world.

MAC’s vision is: Providing Your Best Airport Experience.

The MAC Airport System operates seven airports; MSP and six reliever airports; St. Paul Downtown Airport, St. Cloud Airport, Flying Cloud Airport, Anoka County-Blaine Airport, Cryatal Airport, Airlke Airport and Lake Elmo Airport. MSP accounts for more than 407,000 aircraft landing and takeoffs per year; employs over 600 employees which include fire department, police, building inspection, planning and maintenance.

MSP is the 17th busiest airport in the USA. The cost of enplanement is at the bottom quartile.

MSP Airport is growing: Passenger levels are record high at around 38M

  • Jet Blue 3 x daily MSP to BOS A320
  • Aer Lingus effective July 1, 2019 daily MSP/DUB (Dublin, Ireland) offering 30+ connecting cities in Europe
  • Sun Country – added 8 cities and will serve 49 destinations from MSP
  • Delta Air Lines:
    • MSP/ICN (Seoul) starting April 1, 2019 offering 80+ connecting cities in Asia with their alliance partner Korean Air
    • MSP/MEX (Mexico City) daily offering 40 connecting cities with their partner AeroMexico
    • MSP/PVG (Shanghai, China) pending DOT approval June 2020; connecting to 70 destinations with their alliance partner China Eastern

45 additional routes with 11 airlines since January 2017 providing 60 competitive routes out of 167 markets served

Naomi talked about MAC’s partnership with RASP (Regional Air Service Partnership). This is an organization made up of CEOs that have a stake in air service. They help identify route opportunities with MAC, forecast needs (their names are not shared with the airlines). The need and forecast information is then discussed with various carriers to bring new nonstop routes to MSP. MSP/DUB was a direct result of this work.

Naomi spoke about MSP Re-imagined:

  • InterContinental Hotel which opened July 30, 2018, is managed by Graves Hospitality and connects directly with T1 via Skyway
  • The MAC is in Phase 2 of its renovation program bringing 80 new shops
  • Airport remodeling will be complete by 2020 and will provide:
    • Improved flow between levels in T1
    • Silver Parking Ramp which will have 5,000 more spaces


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Chapter President's Council

Upcoming Chapter President's Council in May
Written by Bernie Fautch

The GBTA - North Central Chapter will be hosting the Chapter President's Council on May 10th, 2019. This is an opportunity to show industry leaders our great community! What an opportunity to promote your company to a large cross section of leaders.

The CPC meeting will be held in conjunction with our Education Summit, so anticipate seeing a few new faces at this showcase event.  We are looking for a few sponsors while they are in town. Thursday evening, after the Education Summit being held at the Renaissance Depot Hotel, we want to take this group to a venue that encapsulates the Great North, so if you have a venue that can accommodate around 50, we would like to hear from you. Delta Air Lines will be sponsoring this event. 

They are meeting on Friday and there are sponsorship opportunities for breakfast and breakouts. Pricing will follow shortly. United Airlines is sponsoring lunch. 

Thanks in advance for your consideration. Please email [email protected] with questions, or to grab a sponsorship opportunity.

Companies the CPC team represents...

Delta Air Lines
Nationwide Insurance
CHG Healthcare
Frost & Sullivan
Ford Foundation
Vitesse Worldwide

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Committee Updates

Membership Committee
Written by Megan Boosalis

Did You Know?

  • 91 of our 129 North Central Chapter Members have purchased a Membership and Meetings package and regularly attend monthly meetings.

  • Our chapter consists of 12 board liaisons, and 35 total board and committee members. 

    Community Direct Membership, $175, this membership requires a $75 fee to attend any meeting.

    Community Allied Membership, $175, this membership requires a $75 fee to attend any meeting.

    Membership & Meetings (formerly All-Inclusive), $395, this membership includes pre-paid regularly scheduled monthly meetings including the Scholarship Fundraising Event but excludes Education Summit.

    GTBA All-Access Membership, $495 Direct and $545 Allied, the All Access membership does not include the meeting package. If you would like to prepay for your meetings you also need to purchase the meeting package for an additional $220.

If you have any questions about membership types or pricing, please don’t hesitate to contact Megan Boosalis @ [email protected]

A BIG welcome to the following newest members.

Sheldon C Johnson: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

Mary Suerth: Delta Air Lines

Susan Sommervold: Graduate Minneapolis

Jaimie Anderson: AC Hotel Bloomington

Kathryn Lynn: InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront

Sean Bloomer: DVI

Tylar Lundeen: Radisson Hotel Minneapolis Saint Paul

Frank Perone: Donaldson Company

Dustin Dalbey: Delta Hotels Minneapolis North East





Marketing & Communications (PR, Social Media & Newsletter) Committee
Written By Valerie Barnes

We want to send a heartfelt Thank You to Hazel Vokral with United Airlines for her volunteerism and commitment to our chapter and committee.  This is the last newsletter with her involvement.  We will miss her and wish her much happiness and fun adventures in her retirement.

We are always looking for ways to keep our members engaged with the chapter as well as engaging with new and potential members.  Please follow us on Facebook, [email protected] and LinkedIn.  Stay connected with our posts on upcoming meeting information and events and reposts of industry trends and member company news.


Hospitality Committee
Written by Mary Cole

I’ve been overseeing this committee now for the past several months and wanted to give a shout-out to the FABULOUS team that pulls the monthly attendees list, prints out name badges, organizes the hospitality table and greets our members and guests with a warm smile each month. While this can be quite a fete each month with last minute changes, additions and adjustments, they do it with professionalism and respect – I am privileged to work with fine group of travel industry veterans!

Thank you for ALL you do – Kathi Hedstrom, Mahlon Reed, Bailey Beckman, Anne Lawler and Carey DeVillers – you guys ROCK!

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Chapter Internship Open Position

Open Position for North Central Chapter Internship
Written by Valerie Barnes

The Chapter Intern position is to provide an individual interested in the travel industry the opportunity to work alongside various travel-related professionals. The Intern will gain exposure to the structure of the organization and will contribute to the success of all committees. This individual is expected to bring a new perspective to each team/project and will be encouraged to make suggestions on how the chapter can further develop.

This internship is an unpaid position; however, the intern will receive free chapter membership during the duration of the internship.  This membership grants access to the chapter website and monthly meetings free of charge.  The Intern schedule is flexible and number of expected hours/week. The commitment would be for Fall Semester 2019 and could be extended through Spring Semester 2020.

At the start of each new intern position, a committee board liaison will be selected to provide oversight and guidance to the position as well as a liaison between the chapter and the school (if applicable).  The board liaison will be responsible for communications to the board and other committees on tasks/projects that can be assigned to the intern.  This includes monitoring hours tracked to the chapter that have been agreed upon for membership reimbursement or that may be required by the school.

• Follows requirements set by their school if credits are achieved through the internship
• Assists all committees and board members with a la carte projects on an as needed basis
• Attends Monthly Board/Chapter Meetings and Events as school schedule permits
• Engagement across all committees to include attendance in committee meetings
• Meets with Committee Board Liaison to review credit commitment status on a monthly basis at minimum

Chapter Committees include:  Advertising & Sponsorships, Marketing & Communications, Education Summit, Governance, Hospitality, Membership, Monthly Meetings, Newsletter, Scholarships, Special Events, and Technology.

Please contact the Chapter for more information at [email protected]



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Member Profile - Allied

Written by Wanda Baumgartner
Kathryn Billig

Experience: I have worked in the Hospitality Industry for almost 8 years. I made an industry change into Hospitality and am so thrilled that I did. I have worked in luxury/boutique hotels, starting with Kimpton, as well as experience with Marriott/Starwood at a Sheraton, and moved back to IHG with my current position as Business Travel Sales Manager at The InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront Hotel. I enjoy IHG’s approach to Hospitality and enjoy the personalization that I can offer with Business Travel Sales.

Work history: I have worked in quite a few industries from Retail Management, Mortgage Processing, Telecommunications, and of course, Hospitality. I started by working at the former Kimpton, The Grand Hotel Minneapolis (now Hyatt), and the Sheraton Midtown Minneapolis, and currently, The InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront.

Travel Industry / GBTA North Central Chapter Specific:

What made you decide to work in travel?  In my younger years, I was involved in a youth non-profit organization called Jobs Daughters International. We traveled quite a bit and I attended national and international conventions as part of that. I learned to have an appreciation for event planning and the Travel Industry from a young age.

Why did you join the GBTA North Central Chapter? As the Business Travel Sales Manager at my hotel property, it is important for me to understand travel trends, business changes within my immediate area, and sales tactics that may need to be changed. Having current and relevant information is crucial if I wish to stay on top of what my Business Travelers want and need.

Are you currently on a committee/board within our chapter? I am not currently serving on a committee, but intend to join one. I have been eyeballing the list and intend to reach out and join within the next few months. So I am open.

How long have you been a member of our organization?  My hotel has been a member of GBTA for years, but personally, I joined in February, 2019. So, I am quite new to GBTA. I look forward to learning and experiencing everything that I can!

What are the biggest changes you’ve experienced in regard to working with travel? The technology and booking preferences at each hotel location. Business Travelers in different markets have different desires and needs when it comes to their travel preferences. Understanding those differences has been interesting.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working with travel? Getting to know my regular travelers. They are such fascinating people! Many of my regular guests stay for weeks at a time and are looking for connection while they travel. My goal is to connect with them and become that “friend” that they can turn to when they need someone.

Just for fun:

What is currently occupying your personal life? The love of my life, Kaleb, and my delightful fur-baby, Chaz. We enjoy experiencing the Twin Cities through breweries and Craft Cocktails, outdoor experiences and activities, and challenging ourselves with recipes and craft projects that we complete together.

If you had to live somewhere other than Minnesota, where would you move to?   That’s so tough to choose, but it would probably be in Nevada, outside Las Vegas.

Most memorable experience in your life: I mentioned the youth organization, Jobs Daughters International. This was such an incredible time in my life. The local group I was involved with was in my hometown of St. Cloud, MN. Our local group was such an amazing group of young ladies and their families. This truly made me who I am today, teaching me how to be a stronger woman, be more organized, to not be afraid of public speaking, be more responsible, plan and organize events, and to have an appreciation for other cultures and beliefs. That was an experience I would never have anywhere else and I am grateful for that time in my life.

Favorite trip you’ve taken:  In 2016, my father and I took a trip together to Washington, D.C. That was an absolute blast! Not only did we have fun together, but we travel well together and enjoyed the experiences that we chose together. We hit as many museums and great historical locations to visit as we could possibly stand. We have more to hit, so that may be a repeat trip at some point.

Favorite pastime hobby or leisure activity: I love to paint, and crochet. Seeing something beautiful come from nothing is truly amazing. It is a great way to relax as well. I also love the outdoors and enjoy walking through some of the gorgeous parks that we have in the Metro Area.

Favorite food: I love a good burger and fries.

Where do you live / marital status: I live in Apple Valley in my own home.

Favorite color: I have always loved both red and green. My grandmother used to say, I like any color, so long as it’s red.

Favorite drink: Favorite cocktail – amaretto sour (made with an egg white), Non-alcoholic – Iced tea with lemon



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Special Mention

Written by Martha Tealander

Our 2018-2019 PAC Chapter Challenge is underway!!    Please see the details below which summarizes this year’s program.   We have raised $240.00 towards our $1000.00 goal so we need your continued support to reach our goals.   To make it easy to donate….. 

Edonations is BACK!

In addition we will be doing a raffle at our April Meeting as well as at Education Summit.

Also GBTA has added additional goals:  PLEASE TAKE ACTION ON THE FOLLOWING…

Thank you for your support!

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Dates to Remember

Dates to Remember

The GBTA North Central Chapter typically meets on the second Thursday of every month. 

Here is the upcoming schedule of events:


Monthly Meeting

Keynote: Janine Stange, Founder of National Anthem Girl

Topic: Be Uncommon

April 11th


Graduate Minneapolis
615 Washington Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN

Education Summit

May 9th

Date Change!


Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot
225 3rd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN

Monthly Meeting

Sept 12th

Crowne Plaza - Aire MSP Airport – Mall of America
3 Appletree Square
Bloomington, MN

Monthly Meeting

Oct 10th

11:00AM to 1:30PM

InterContinental Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport
5005 Glumack Drive
Minneapolis, MN


Monthly Meeting

Nov 14th

11:00AM to 1:30PM


Radisson Blu Minneapolis
35 South 7th Street
Minneapolis, MN

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Advertise with GBTA - North Central Chapter

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Please consider advertising with GBTA North Central Chapter...

GBTA North Central Chapter is among the top business travel associations in the United States and is a chapter of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). GBTA - North Central Chapter members represent corporations that influence in excess of $200 million dollars in annual travel spend.

GBTA North Central Chapter's newsletter, The Travel Times, is published five times per year with distribution to over 200 of the most important contacts in the business travel industry. GBTA North Central Chapter provides the opportunity to reach these influential travel professionals by marketing your products and services through advertising in The Travel Times.

Purchase your advertising online (click here) --- once confirmed, be sure to e-mail your ad and/or logo to Brad Jensen.

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