Travel Times Newsletter

Travel Times 2017 - Issue #2 (March/April) Print

President's Report

President's Message
Written by Bernie Fautch

Our organization has been in existence for 30 years, established in 1987 as the Minnesota Corporate Travel Association. A lot has happened with our community over that time. Due to the Great Recession, the travel manager’ role has increased as companies became more concerned about meeting & travel spend. The tools that are used in our industry our totally different than ever before. The GBTA North Central Chapter is a great way to keep up on the ever changing landscape that is travel and network with travel managers and key suppliers. We strive to keep our membership educated and informed on cutting edge technology, national and local legislation and trends. We trust you find your membership investment has a strong ROI.


As we move into our 4th decade of existence, we are continually striving to bring our members valuable content; keep everyone alerted to industry trends and issues; and provide an avenue for you to meet your peers. We have one of our most popular events on the horizon, our Educational Summit. It will be held on May 11, 2017 at the new Embassy Suites in downtown Minneapolis. This all day event is informative, interactive and a great networking event! I hope to see you there.


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Meeting Recap

GBTA North Central – February Meeting Recap  
Written by Valerie Barnes  Speaker Bill Kerr

Bill Kerr, Chief Marketing Officer from TCG Consulting presented on Capturing and Reducing Rogue Spend – A Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Approach. TCG Consulting helps organizations transform, integrate, and optimize their global corporate travel, meetings, payment and expense management programs. 

Bill shared that as corporations become more and more global, so do their travel program relationships and dependencies. Program globalization breeds rogue spend due to the increased complexities and inefficiencies. He provided current statistics that show the two main sources of rogue spend: outside of approved channels at 11% and outside of policy at 29% of annual corporate travel spend.

The total cost of ownership (TCO) approach moves beyond sourcing as the main focus of savings toward an integrated holistic approach, as Bill explained. The areas of spend that provide the most opportunity for savings fall within rogue spend, card program and GL, as well as program administration and workflows, which are considered hidden spend.

To successfully reduce rogue spend with a strategic approach, TCG Consulting outlines the three main influence points: pre-trip/during booking, during trip and post-trip. Whether an organization takes a carrot or a stick approach to their policy, it provides the foundation of the systemic causes of rogue spend. By leveraging a TCO approach to rogue spend, an organization can achieve a cost take out potential from 7-35% of their total program spend.

Questions about this meeting or topic can be directed to the newsletter committee.


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GBTA North Central - Education Summit

Education Summit
Written By Bonnie Christensen

GBTA North Central Chapter 2017 Education Summit is Now Open for Registration!

Join GBTA North Central Chapter on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at Embassy Suites by Hilton Minneapolis Downtown for our annual Education Summit. 

It will be an exciting day starting with local broadcaster Joe Schmit’s high energy, high impact presentation loaded with humor. Joe will inspire and teach you how to ramp up the profound power of your influence.  Joe is presented by Elan Speakers Agency. Speed Networking is back by popular demand along with several other engaging travel industry sessions.  Here’s a message from JoeClick here to view the agenda.

Invite your company and travel industry colleagues to join us.

Register today to receive your early bird discount!
Early bird registration through April 15th:  Members - $110; Non-members $135

Registration from April 16th through noon on May 8th:  Members – $135; Non-members $160
Registration from noon on May 8th:  Members and Non-members $160
Register Here:  Education Summit Registration

Embassy Suites by Hilton Minneapolis Downtown

12 6th Street South, Minneapolis, MN 55402


$149 Room Block Rate available at Embassy Suites until May 1, 2017

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Meeting Recap 2

GBTA North Central—March Meeting Recap
Written by Willy GibsonSpeaker Randy Dean

Randall Dean, MBA, The Email Sanity Expert®, gave a wonderful presentation on “Taming the Email Beast”. Randall talked about key strategies for managing both your e-mail and information overload.

According to Randall, one of the main strategies to live by is the three minute, one touch rule. Every piece of information you receive should only be touched once. No, marking an email as “unread” doesn’t give you a mulligan regarding this rule. If a task or piece of information presents itself to you, and it can be properly completed in three minutes or less, Randall suggests it be done right then and there. For tasks that will take longer than the three minutes, you should file as a task or calendar reminder to do later in order of highest priority.

Another great tip that Randall suggests is using the “Drag and Drop” method for multiple purposes. You can use any email to create a new calendar event, email contact, or a simple note/memo. By doing this, you can efficiently and effectively get the most out of every email you are sent. If there is nothing that needs to be done with an email, DELETE IT! There is no reason to keep emails you don’t need.

For emails that you send consistently that have a similar format or information, Randall suggests using email signatures or draft emails to not re-create the wheel. You can also use “canned responses” if Gmail is your poison. When using your tablet or mobile device, you can save commonly used messages/texts using Evernote.

Though it may seem counter-intuitive, there is no glamour in being a “Blinger”. Randall suggests turning off sound notifications to all emails. It is human nature to react to a new message being sent, but if you’re not aware of every message coming in, you are less likely to constantly be checking your inbox. If there are certain people that need messages read ASAP, Randall says turn on a different notification sound for those people.

Randall also touched on the eliminating or minimizing spam while at work. He used the phrase “Divide and Conquer”, as a reminder that personal things should be done using personal emails. Make sure you have an additional email other than your work email. Another great tip Randall gave was using “Shift_Delete” on emails that are spam and junk mail. Gmail users can use the “Stop Sign” to label emails as likely junk/spam.

In closing, Randall suggested that everyone block some time on their calendar to clean out and organize their current email situation. Create folders, use the 3-minute rule, and do a weekly “gut-check” of your workspace, email etc. to ensure your organization system is running for how YOU need it to.

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Member Profile - Allied

Submitted by Wanda Baumgartner

Name: Mary Jo TheimerMary Jo Theimer
Title: Global Sales Director

Company: Fox World Travel

Experience: I have worked in the travel and hospitality industry for 17 years.

Work history: I began my career in travel as the Corporate Travel Manager at a company in WI. I left and worked as a hotel Director of Sales for one year before I began working at Fox World Travel as an Account Manager. After 5 years I had the opportunity to work as a Field Sales Manager for Choice hotels where I traveled and supported new opening hotels.  Once I grew tired of traveling every week, I went back home to Fox World Travel where I have been a Global Sales Director for the past 2 ½ years.
Travel Industry / GBTA North Central Chapter Specific:
What made you decide to work in travel?  It really happened by accident.  Travel became part of my responsibility when I worked for a large contract manufacturing company 17 years ago and I loved it.  It's in my blood now.
Why did you join the GBTA North Central Chapter? I recently took over the Minnesota market and wanted the opportunity to get to know others and stay connected.
Are you currently on a committee/board within our chapter? No 

How long have you been a member of our organization? Less than 1 year. 

What are the biggest changes you’ve experienced in regard to working with travel? Continuing to stay abreast of changes with the airlines.
What is the most rewarding aspect of working with travel? Talking to a client a year or more after I was awarded their business and having them rave about Fox. I maintain a high level of integrity and it is so important that we do what I promised.

Just for fun:
What is currently occupying your personal life? My two dogs Willy and Gracie. 

If you had to live somewhere other than Minnesota, where would you move to? Somewhere on the beach

Most memorable experience in your life: I have so many…I truly enjoy the simple things and have so many memories traveling with my friends and family. I would have to say that one of the most memorable experiences in my life was when my sister and I decided on a Thur. to drive to Michigan on the following Sat. to see a Kid Rock concert. The drive was fun and the concert was amazing. We have seen him several times since.

Favorite trip you’ve taken: Puerto Rico We didn't do the typical tourist things.  Adventured off the beaten path and found some interesting sites. I also enjoy Key West and have been there many times.

Favorite pastime hobby or leisure activity: Boating, Kayaking, and laying on the beach.

Favorite food: Watermelon and boiled dinner

Where do you live / marital status: I just bought a condo on the river in Winneconne, WI that I will share with the love of my life and my two pups.

Favorite sport: I will watch pretty much any sport but enjoy watching football the most.

Favorite drink: Red Wine and Diet Pepsi

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With Sympathy

Bennet Cyrus

For those of you who may not have heard, it is with a heavy heart we inform you of the recent passing of a community member. Bennet Cyrus, founder of Metro Travel & Tours died at the age of 70 on February 5, 2017. Bennet came to the U.S. to pursue a degree in Computer Science at the U of M. After attending his sister’s wedding in his native India, Bennet became interested in travel; actually he was really looking for a way to spend less on his next trip. This led him into the fascinating world of travel agencies. When he asked his wife, Diane, if he should make the jump to entrepreneurship, she was fully behind him and that was 35 years ago!

According to Marty Wahoske, CTC and former GBTA Board Member, Bennet was passionate about providing his clients with a very personalized customer service. His company played a unique role in managing travel for major Minnesota corporations through his company status as a provider in the category of diverse and minority owned business. Bennet also enjoyed the game of golf and especially the camaraderie at the 19th hole. Bennet has left a special legacy with both Diane and Tasha, his daughter, to continue providing exceptional customer service to their Minnesota clients.

Bennet was a long standing member of our chapter and he will be missed dearly.

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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:

Event   Date Time Location

Education Summit

Keynote:  Joe Schmit presented by Elan Speaker Agency
Award winning broadcaster and author Joe Schmit will be our keynote speaker and several other educational sessions are planned.

May 11
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Embassy Suites Minneapolis Downtown

Monthly Meeting

Keynote: Paul Hager
Future Tech: Looking at the next wave of technology & how it will change our world

Thursday, September 14 11:00 am to 1:30 pm Hewing Hotel

Monthly Meeting

Keynote – Carol Margolis, Business Travel Services
Creating a Travel Program Your Travelers Will Want to Follow!

Thursday, October 12 11:00 am to 1:30 pm Millennium Hotel Minneapolis

Monthly Meeting

Keynote - Brent Foerster, Meet Minneapolis
The Twin Cites As The Next Generation of Meeting, Convention, Events and Tourism Destination

Thursday, November 9 11:00 am to 1:30 pm The Landing Hotel


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Committee Updates

Chapter Development – Membership
Written By Ryan Comstock

Please welcome Brenda Yearly and Megan Boosalis to the Chapter Development - Membership Committee. We are excited to have Brenda and Megan join our committee to assist in the continued growth of our chapter.
Please continue to help promote our chapter and refer a Direct Member. Anyone that refers a Direct Member in 2017 that joins our chapter will be entered for a chance to win a $50 gift card. A drawing will be held at Education Summit and at our December Holiday Gala.
If anyone is interested in joining the Membership Committee, please contact Ryan Comstock at

Looking forward to a great 2017!


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

To kick off 2017, we have combined the Marketing (PR and Social Media) committee with the Newsletter committee to create the Marketing and Communications committee.  We are looking for new volunteers who are interested in joining our committee to help spread the word about the great educational and networking opportunities the GBTA-North Central Chapter affords our members.  Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter @gbtancc, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest


Government Relations 
Written By Gina Zappa

The 2017 Political Action Committee (PAC) Chapter Challenge is on!  The goals we have been tasked with are to:

  • Invite an elected official to speak at a meeting or host a GBTA government relations focused meeting
  • Send a letter to its representative or senator endorsing a GBTA endorsed bill or vote 
  • Appoint a liaison to the GBTA Advocacy Committee 
  • Raise $1,000 in PAC contributions, with 30% of members contributing

Drawings for valuable raffle items will be held at the April 6th meeting and at Education Day, so please bring your checkbook or cash to help support our fundraising efforts.  Your donations are tax deductible!

Good news – our state is making progress to become Real-ID compliant. Last week a new bill went to the floor and was approved by the Senate. Next it goes to Governor Dayton… stay tuned!
Minnesota remains one of the few states that is not in compliance.  What exactly does that mean? If the new bill is not passed, on January 22, 2018, Minnesota residents will no longer be allowed to present state-issued driver's licenses as identification for air travel, but instead will be required to present alternative forms of identification such as a U.S. Passport. Not being able to use a driver's license to board an airplane for domestic travel will be extremely disruptive to anyone who travels—whether business or pleasure.  Additionally, it will have a big impact on business, as well as travel and tourism.

Please help us raise awareness by telling your State Senators and our Governor that our state needs to comply.  To make this easy, we’ve partnered with ASTA who has created a simple web form which will send an email on your behalf to your designated representative.  It takes less than a minute to complete!
Please click here to access the form… and please encourage your travelers, family, and friends to do the same.
FYI, Legislators are only in session through May 21, so we don’t have a lot of time. Please send weekly messages via the link above, if you can!  Feel free to spread the word and share this link with others!


Education Summit
Written By Bonnie Christensen

GBTA – North Central Chapter 2017 Education Summit is Now Open for Registration!  For more information click here.


Written By Leslie Ingiald

Education Summit is just around the corner, May 11th at the Embassy Suites Minneapolis. This is a great opportunity to promote your company by being a sponsor of this event. By being a sponsor your company would benefit tremendously through the ability to extend your reach throughout the membership and the many guests this event draws. This is one of the most well attended events of the year. Watch for the email announcement that will list all of the opportunities; from sponsoring a break to sponsoring a speaker.

For more details you may email Leslie Ingiald at or call 612-278-9811.


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Advertise with GBTA - North Central Chapter

Please consider advertising with GBTA North Central Chapter...
Written by Leslie Ingiald

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 Leslie Ingiald.

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