Travel Times Newsletter

Travel Times 2018 - Issue #2 (March/April) Print

President's Report

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

Dear Members

I don’t know about you but I am itching for Spring to well…Spring! Mother Nature seems to be teasing us with a day here and there but nothing consistent yet. I hope you had a wonderful Easter or Passover.

I want to ask all to check your email settings as we are concerned that our announcements and informative emails are not getting to everyone. We send out our Monthly Meeting notices 21, 14 & 10 days before the meeting. We try not to email you too many times but if you are not getting these please ask your IT Department to whitelist the so you are able to receive emails from us. If you have any questions please reach out to 

Last letter I told you I would update you on January’s GBTA Leadership Summit. Unfortunately, only two of us were able to go due to the SuperBowl LII being here and many of our new board members had to stay and work. So Brad Jensen and I represented the Chapter. The planning team changed things up this year and we did not have as many breakout sessions as usual. This was a disappointment to us both as we felt better connections would have been made and more best practices shared in the breakouts. We did get a primer on Robert’s Rules of Order, How to go from Group to Team, Social Media Updates and GBTA Updates.

The Board of Director nominations process is complete and if nominated I will be contacting you shortly if I haven’t already. Please consider running if nominated, it is a great opportunity to get to know the Chapter and contribute to our success.

Next will be Scholarship Application announcements. This is an underutilized benefit you have as a member. These monies can be used to further your education in the travel industry. Watch for the email soon. If you do not see it please contact the email above.

Education Summit Early bird registration is open. This has been a great way to get the latest cutting edge information about our industry and spectacular networking. Keynote Speaker, Chris Heeter, Leadership Speaker, Wilderness Guide and Poet will captivate you with her humor and candor about travel management issues which I am personally looking forward to. Other speakers include a panel discussion on small meetings and groups, new distribution capability and Women In Travel (WINiT). Gina Zappa is spearheading a new idea for Upgraded Seating as part of the PAC Fundraiser. For a mere $25 attendees get the premier experience for Education Summit and a fabulous swag bag too. Please consider this option when registering.

Thank you,

Sarah Hill, President

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Meeting Recap

GBTA North Central – February Meeting Recap  
Written by Kristin Deur  

Steve Glenn is the CEO of Executive Travel, which is a travel planning company that puts the future of travel management in the traveler’s hands. During February’s meeting, Steve touched on the seven disruptive technologies that could make Travel Management Companies (TMCs) dinosaurs in three years. The first thing that Steve discussed was the six D’s of exponential technology. Once a technology becomes digitalized, it then falls into a hype and then into the deception stage. This stage then leads the new technology to its disruptive stage. While in this stage the new technology can be a disruption to other markets that already exist. The last three stages of exponential technology all talk about how the technology continues to evolve and get ahead of what the consumer is wanting so that they can introduce newer technologies before we as the consumer really know that we need it.

Bernie Fautch and Steve Glenn

Steve also discussed the seven disruptive exponential technologies that will be disrupting the travel industry. Some of these we currently use in our everyday lives, like voice recognition. Steve addressed how voice recognition and artificial Intelligence will start to handle some of the complexities and progressive TMCs will embrace it to improve their service and productivity. However, there will be a time that artificial intelligence will start to do what the travel agent does. Then there is cryptocurrency, which we are starting to utilize more. Digital currency will change the distribution business models by decreasing friction throughout the supply chain. Then there are self-driving vehicles. Who would have thought that by 2020 there could be 10 million of these kinds of cars on the road? The last few disruptors are big data, infinite computing, sensors, and networks.

There is good news for the TMCs though! TMCs have unprecedented access to data and a personal relationship with their customers. They are also agile and adapt early which help them to stay profitable. Steve did mention some of the challenges that TMCs face. They are focusing on an operational efficiency and not disruption. He also listed the big five that will spend massive dollars to disrupt and demonetize TMCs (Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple). Lastly, Steve left us with a few takeaways. For an industry that works on 1 – 2% profits, even minor revenue disruptions can have catastrophic or positive results. Steve also left us with “revenue and risk go hand in hand”.


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Engagement Challenge

Question Marks

GBTA North Central Travel Times Newsletter Engagement Challenge

Answer this question to be entered into a drawing for a GREAT prize from GBTA North Central!

Question: What do these four people have in common:

1. Jeremy Schmitz, UnitedHealth Group

2. Bonnie Christensen, Donaldson

3. Lisa Dupla, Carlson Wagonlit Travel

4. Sarah Hill, Delta Air Lines

If you know the answer or want to participate by taking a guess, please send your response via email to All responses will go into a drawing and one lucky person will receive a GREAT prize for participation! All entries must be received by April 27th. Good luck!

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Meeting Recap 2

GBTA North Central – March Meeting Recap  
Written by Kristin Deur  

Jerry Koehler, March 2018 SPeaker

Jerry Koehler, Director TSA Pre√® Marketing and Branding, came all the way from Washington D.C. to talk to us about the new things that have been going on with TSA not only nationally but internationally. The first things that Jerry discussed were TSA’s mission, vision and TSA Pre√®. The mission that TSA lives by is to protect the Nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce. With everything that has happened in the country the vision of TSA was modified a little. TSA’s new vision is to provide the most effective transportation security in the most efficient way as a high performing counterterrorism organization. With the addition of TSA Pre√® its goal is to contribute to the mission by identifying low-risk travelers, and delivering a better security experience while increasing aviation security and operational efficiencies.

Jerry then went into more detail about TSA Preè. In September 2011, TSA began undertaking efforts to adopt an intelligence-driven and risk-based approach to passenger screening based on specific principles. There are a variety of ways that you can apply for TSA Preè such as enrolling online at by completing the brief online form. Once the form is completed you will schedule a 10-minute in-person appointment and pay $85.00 which will cover your TSA Preè enrollment for 5 years. Mobile TSA enrollment services are also available for corporate offices, conferences, large meetings and conventions. TSA Preè provides its travelers with a unique experience with access to a TSA Preè only lane which will provide a quicker transit through airport security for those approved travelers. Not having to remove shoes, belts, laptops and other electronic devices is just another perk with TSA Preè as TSA has already assessed that these travelers are a low risk. TSA has and continues to use every marketing tool to promote these added benefits to joining TSA Preè.

Jerry also discussed the other program that TSA started for those that travel internationally. Global Entry works the same way as TSA Pre√®. The added benefit is that those travelers don’t have to wait in lines when they return to the U.S. Enrollment on Arrival is available at 28 airports and the process takes just as long as the TSA Pre√® interview. Jerry was kind enough to give us additional contact information if we have any further questions. You can chat with TSA agents on Twitter @AskTSA and on the TSA’s Facebook Messenger. The TSA Contact Center is available for questions at 1-866-289-9673 or email at


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Legislative Summit 2018

Make Your Voice Heard at GBTA Legislative Summit 2018
Submitted by Gina Zappa

Registration is now open for the 16th annual GBTA Legislative Summit. This event will be held this year from June 4 to June 6 in Washington D.C. Anyone is welcome to attend!

MN Board Member with Senator Klobuchar

Join GBTA and members of other Chapters for your opportunity to:

  • Learn how Congressional debates and outcomes could impact the industry
  • Hear perspectives from Administration Officials and Members of Congress
  • Meet one-on-one with Senators and Representatives to share opinions and advocate for policies that support the business travel industry

This is an amazing opportunity that will not disappoint!

 For more details, click here.

Photo Caption: GBTA North Central’s 2017 Legislative Summit representatives (L to R): Gina Zappa, Nanci Figueroa, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Jan Shoemaker, and Bernie Fautch.


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Committee Updates

Government Relations
Written By Gina Zappa

Each year, the Government Relations Committee is responsible for meeting the GBTA “Chapter Challenge” tasks which are a requirement to maintain our chapter partner status. The 2018 Chapter Challenge includes:

1. Appoint a member of your Chapter Affiliate to be the Government Relations Liaison - COMPLETED
2. Invite an elected official to speak at the Chapter/Affiliate meeting or host a GBTA Government Relations meeting - COMPLETED
3. Meet the Chapter PAC Fundraising Goal (30% of the membership must contribute to raising a minimum of $1,000) - IN PROGRESS
4. When requested by GBTA or the Government Relations Committee, ask your members to contact their Senators or Representative to act - AS NEEDED

We’re on our way to complete each of the requirements above so we will be recognized as GBTA Government Relations Challenge Partners. As a bonus, if or when we achieve Partner status, GBTA North Central will also receive a few perks at the 2018 Convention in San Diego. Stay tuned for more info on our progress and bonus rewards!!!


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

Our Chapter Intern, Ryan O’Malley, will be leaving us the end of April for a permanent job in Australia with Carlson Wagonlit Travel.  We want to thank Ryan for the time and dedication he gave to our chapter and wish Ryan all the best in his new adventure Down Under!  We will be posting a chapter intern position with St. Catherine University for the Fall of 2018.  If you have a student in mind for this internship position with our chapter, please reach out to for more information.

Please stay connected with the North Central Chapter on all of our social media platforms.  You can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @gbtancc and join us on our LinkedIn company page


2018 Education Summit Committee
Written By Bonnie Christensen

Join GBTA North Central Chapter on Thursday, May 17, 2018, at The Marquette Hotel in their Windows on Minnesota Meeting Space on the 50th floor of the IDS Center for our annual Education Summit. This year's event promises to be an inspiring day of personal and travel education along with industry relationship building!

Our Keynote Speaker is Chris Heeter, Leadership Speaker, Wilderness Guide and Poet. Combining business expertise with hilarious stories from her sled dog team, Chris will use sled dog analogies to explore travel management issues including managing change, handling details, and dealing with a wide variety of personalities.

Other travel topics will include panels on the New Distribution Capability, Small Meeting Technologies, WINiT and more. Registration is now open on the GBTA NCC website. Sponsorship opportunities are also available, please contact


Technology Committee
Written By Bernie Fautch

The Technology Committee would like to welcome Andy Chaussee to our team! 



Written By Brad Jensen

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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Ad 3

Delta Ad


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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: Jan Spence

Topic: It's Game Time! Leadership lessons from a Former Pro Female Football Player

April 12

11:00 am to
1:30 pm

Sheraton Minneapolis West

Minnetonka, MN

Education Summit

A full day of inspiring and educational travel topics

May 17
7:30 am to
3:00 pm

Marquette Hotel, Windows on Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN

Monthly Meeting

Keynote: Michael Dominquez, MGM Resorts International
Topic: TBD

September 13

11:00 am to
1:30 pm


Monthly Meeting

Keynote: Audrey Thomas, Organized Audrey
Topic: Get the mail out of the oven: Transform your life at work and home!

October 11

11:00 am to
1:30 pm

DoubleTree by Hilton St. Paul Downtown

St Paul, MN

Monthly Meeting

Keynote: Jack Rayneart, Meritor, Inc.
Topic: Travel Management=More Trips, Within Your Budget

November 8

11:00 am to
1:30 pm

Delta by Marriott - Ramada Plaza
Minneapolis/Roseville, MN


Scholarship Gala

Thursday, November 29

4:00 pm to 7:30 pm

InterContinental Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport
5005 Glumack Drive - Terminal 1 of MSP
Minneapolis, MN


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