Platinum Plus Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors



Travel Times Newsletter

Travel Times 2017 - Issue #3 (May/June) Print

President's Report

President's Message
Written by Bernie Fautch

Wow, we started off our 2017 educational series with a bang in January, and our sensational Educational Summit will tide us over during the summer! The team that puts together the program, Bonnie Christensen, Jan Shoemaker and Leslie Ingiald should all be commended for the tireless effort they all put into creating a successful and information filled event!

We will be back on September 14th at the new Hewing Hotel in the North Loop for a meeting entitled: Future Tech: Looking at the Next Wave of Technology & How it Will Change Our World. Our keynote, Paul Hager presented at the 2016 Educational Summit and is being brought back by popular demand.

We had six scholarships awarded at Education Summit. Jeremy Schmitz, Leslie Ingiald, Heather Marigold, Valerie Barnes, Willy Gibson and Heidi Wrede were the recipients. Congratulations to each of them.

Finally, I was able to recognize three individuals for their contributions to our chapter. Ryan Comstock has done a tremendous job leading the membership committee, not only do we have a large number of members, but our number of Direct Members has grown at a very fast rate. Leslie Ingiald has worked tirelessly with the Sponsorship and Advertising committee. She and her team have continued to increase not only the number of sponsors but also the levels at which they sponsor! Finally, but definitely not least is Bonnie Christensen. She has led the Educational Summit team for the past two years and has delivered the goods. She has kicked off the Summits with dynamic and sought after speakers. Her team has added a large amount of educational content that is very diverse and she has sprinkled in sessions that break up the day. Kudos to all three deserving individuals.

We are now off for the summer season; hopefully, you will be able to spend time with family and friends in the beautiful State of Minnesota.

Bernie Fautch, President

Back to top

Ad 1


Back to top

Meeting Recap

GBTA North Central – April Meeting Recap  
Written by Valerie Barnes  

Brian J. Peters, Assistant Director, Air Service Business Development with the Metropolitan Airports Commission and Cliff Van Leuven, Federal Security Director with TSA-Minnesota, presented timely updates on their respective organizations.

The Metropolitan Airports Commission operates like a city with its own police and 9-1-1- dispatch and has a self-funding finance model that relies heavily on originating and destination passengers. The MSP Airport is Delta’s second largest hub after Atlanta and is the 16th busiest airport in North America for number of passengers. In 2017, they expect to surpass the 2005 record level of passengers of 37,604,373. Since 2008, eight airlines started service to MSP with KLM starting this March.

MSP International has earned accolades such as the Best Airport in North America in its size category from Airports Council International in 2016 and Best Airport Staff in North America, a World Airport Award from Skytrax in 2017. Not to bypass the award for America’s Best Bathroom, by Cintas.

The airport’s most recent updates include an expanded Terminal 1 international arrivals area, new auto rental facility at Terminal 2, Quick Ride Ramp and North Security Checkpoint at Terminal 1, as well as 50 new food and retail venues with 30 more to come in 2018 and 2019.

As part of the MSP reimagined campaign, big changes to come include elevator and escalator placement in Terminal 1 between ticketing, bag claim, parking and ground transportation to ease congestion. Also, by 2021 the ticketing and bag claim levels will be completely remodeled at Terminal 1. And by the summer of 2018, the new InterContinental Hotel will open adjacent to Terminal 1 with 300 rooms, a spa and meeting space. Additionally, a new 5,000-space parking ramp at Terminal 1 will begin construction this summer.

Following Brian’s presentation, Cliff Van Leuven provided updates on TSA-Minnesota. His organization services nine regional airports including Minneapolis-St. Paul. TSA-Minnesota also oversees security for mass transit systems such as the Light Rail, Freight Rail, Ports and Pipelines. He shared that 2017 Spring Break passenger levels increased over 2016, while security wait times decreased. In addition, automated screening lanes are coming to MSP. Cliff also shared a helpful packing tip to expedite the screening process is to pack your bags neatly where things are easily visible. Lastly, the TSA offers customer support to the traveling public through various channels. The TSA Contact Center answers questions via email [email protected], phone 866-289-9673 or Twitter @AskTSA.
Questions about this meeting or topic can be directed to the newsletter committee. 

Back to top

Legislative Summit Recap

2017 Legislative Summit Recap
Written by Gina Zappa
On April 24, 2017 a few members of our Board of Directors headed to Washington, D.C. to participate in GBTA’s annual Legislative Summit.  This is a three day event that is open to all members, and includes an evening social reception the first day, education on the second day, and the last day is spent on the Hill meeting with Minnesota-based legislators in their D.C. offices. Board at Legislative Summit

Gina Zappa, Bernie Fautch, Jan Shoemaker, and Nanci Figueroa attended this year and it was an AMAZING experience!  Everyone did an outstanding job soaking in the education, and then taking it to the Hill representing our organization and our state. Gina was asked to introduce Senator Amy Klobuchar during her education session – what an honor!  Unique this year, was an invite for the Minnesota-based attendees to attend Constituent Breakfast with Senator Al Franken, where they served Minnesota-based “Mahnomin Porridge” (click here for the Hell’s Kitchen recipe). 

We had an aggressive schedule when we took to the Hill, with appointments in the offices of Senator Franken, Betty McCollum, Jason Lewis, Erik Paulsen, Keith Ellison, and Senator Klobuchar.  Board with Senator Franken
Three topics we spoke about were:  

1.    Passenger Security Fees – The “skinny budget” that Trump is proposing to “Make America Great Again” proposes to raise the security fees passengers pay to recover 75% of the cost of TSA security operations but the numbers don’t add up; he has it buried and it’s not clearly defined where the funds would go – likely funding other issues!
2.    Cell Phones on Airplanes – was recently voted on and taken off the table, but there’s a loophole –other new web-based technologies that allow calling (Skype, Facetime, or Google Hangout).
3.    The third topic of Real ID was something our chapter (only) spoke about to our legislators – even though it’s a State issue.  Most were aware, but their hands are tied.

In front of Capitol 
I highly recommend participation in this event, on an ongoing basis.  Please know this is NOT limited to members of the Board.  If you have the time and resources available, please consider going.  It’s is an extremely unique and rewarding experience!

Back to top

GBTA North Central - Education Summit

Education Summit Recap

Silent Impact
- sponsored by United Airlines
Written by Willy Gibson

Joe Schmidt, Author and Broadcaster, kicked off the GBTA—North Central Chapter, 2017 Education Summit with an absolutely brilliant session. Joe spoke to the group about his book, Silent Impact: Influence Through Purpose, Persistence and Passion. He told countless stories all the way from his youngest years, to present day scenarios that have helped him realize the idea of having a “Silent Impact”. Joe used humor and real life stories to explain how “You make your greatest impression when you’re not trying to be impressive”. Joe Schmit with Hazel Vokral

Joe spoke about being an impact player, and how combining Purpose, Persistence and Passion can affect the people around you for the better. He told a couple stories about Joe Mauer, and how Joe has had an impact on many people throughout his life. He also touched on the fact that people need to work on being better “SHIP” builders (e.g. relationships, friendships etc.). Joe left all of us with a very good motto to live by. “90% of life is good, and 10% is not so good—don’t spend 90% of life thinking about that bad 10%”.


Real ID - sponsored by Delta Air Lines
Written by Gina Zappa

Speaker Jeff Davidman, Director of Government Affairs with Delta Air Lines spoke to us about the importance of getting the Real ID.  During the event an announcement was made that it was passing.

Governor Dayton has signed a new bill to bring Minnesota driver’s licenses in line with upgraded federal security standards, finally ensuring that Minnesotans won’t have to use passports to get through airport security.

The Minnesota House voted 120-11 on Wednesday to bring the state into compliance with the federal Real ID law; the Senate followed suit later in the evening with a 57-8 vote. It will allow Minnesota to follow the other 49 U.S. states in moving to upgrade their licensing systems.

“We really are last in the country, and today’s vote on the House floor and the expected vote on the Senate floor this evening and the governor’s signature will get us in line so we are no longer an outlier on this issue,” said Rep. Dennis Smith, R-Maple Grove, the author of the Real ID bill.

Its passage allows Minnesota to get an extension and continue using standard driver's licenses until October 2020.  More information can be found on this US News article, published mid-day on May 18, 2017:
    Dayton Signs Real ID Bill, Averting Travel Woes for 2018

Please let me know if you have questions, and thank you for helping raise awareness on REAL ID!


Neuroscience of Influence - sponsored by BCD Travel
Written by Heather Marigold

Janet Sperstad, CMP, is Director of the Meeting and Event Management Degree Program at Madison (Wis.) College. We all aim to convince, to sell, to communicate effectively and this is all directed to the other person's brain.    
Janet Sperstad
She discussed that there are three parts of the brain that impact who we are. The Reptilian brain is the flight and fight part of our brain. This part of the brain is about minimizing danger and sense of loss is greater than the reward. Threatening triggers are disorganization, incomplete information, darkness, not logical and sensory overload. Rewarding triggers are certainty, information, symmetry patterns and logic. The Limbic brain is composed of structures in the brain that deal with emotions (such as anger, happiness and fear) as well as memories. Finally, the Neocortex brain is the rational or thinking brain. It deals with higher functions such as sensory perception, generation of motor commands, spatial reasoning, conscious thought, and in humans, language. ... In humans it accounts for about 76% of the brain's volume.

She references Dr. David Rock's SCARF model. The SCARF model consists of five domains of human social experience: Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness.

  • Status is about our importance to others, the pecking order and seniority.
  • Certainty is being able to make decisions. Our brains love to work with odd numbers, because it provides a sense of pattern. The patterns help with predicting what will happen next.
  • Autonomy provides our sense of control over events. These are the choices we make. When we feel more autonomous, we are much more resistant to stress. Similarly, when we feel less autonomous we can perceive the same set of circumstances as much more stressful.
  • Relatedness is the sense of safety with others. Friend vs Foe. How we fit in with others, and our sense of belonging.
  • Fairness is our perception of fair exchanges between people. Not only in how we are treated, but how we perceive others are treated. In organizations where there is a sense of unfairness this can create an environment in which trust and collaboration cannot flourish.


Speed Networking - spondored by Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel & Redidence Inn by Marriott The Depot
Written by Valerie Barnes

For a second year in a row, Michael Nelson facilitated a successful Speed Networking hour.  Our version of speed dating but for networking professionals, everyone had the opportunity to meet and ask questions with several members who attended the Education Summit.  The questions were geared toward the Education Summit but allowed for some personal inquiry specific to someone's "ikigai".  We look forward to a possible repeat appearance next year!


President's Awards
Written by Emily Jost

Every year, GBTA North Central Chapter members nominate other members who go above and beyond in contributing to the association. The President then selects individuals from those nominated to receive the President's Award for Outstanding Achievement and the recipients are announced at the Education Summit. Congratulations 2017 recipients Ryan Comstock of Westin Galleria/Sheraton Bloomington, Bonnie Christensen of Donaldson Company, and Leslie Ingiald of The Grand Hotel!
Ryan Comstock  Bonnie Christensen  Leslie Ingiald

The 2017 GBTA North Central Chapter scholarships were also announced during the Education Summit. $5,000 in scholarships were awarded to six members based on merit and involvement in the industry and the chapter. The scholarships will be used towards educational opportunities that advance the recipients’ roles in travel. Congratulations 2017 recipients.Scholarship Winners

  • Heather Marigold, Sheraton Minneapolis West
  • Leslie Ingiald, The Grand Hotel 
  • Valerie Barnes, U.S. Bank
  • Willy Gibson, Residence Inn Plymouth
  • Jeremy Schmitz, UnitedHealth Group (not pictured)
  • Heidi Wrede, Carlson Wagonlit Travel (not pictured)


Embracing the Sharing Economy - sponsored by Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Written by Emily Jost 

As the sharing economy continues to grow, corporations and Travel Management Companies are looking at ways to include non-traditional transportation and accommodation suppliers in corporate travel programs. Moderator Jan Shoemaker led Jenny Bulgrin of Airbnb and Charles Frank of Lyft in a discussion about how their companies are working with TMCs, buyers, and risk management companies. Airbnb and Lyft

Those who manage their company's travel arrangements can sign the company up for Airbnb for Business. Airbnb offers Business Travel Ready listings which undergo more stringent requirements than traditional listings. They must be an entire home or apartment that is non-smoking and pet-free. They also must offer self check-in via a key lockbox, doorman, keypad, or smartlock. Airbnb partners with Concur Triplink and is working with TMCs on reporting.

Lyft for Business offers additional discounts and mechanisms to counter prime time price increases to offer savings of up to 30% compared to other services. Expensing is integrated into the Lyft for Business Portal, so employees can pay or view receipts digitally and export in bulk. They currently integrate with Concur Expense. For companies interested in incorporating Lyft into their travel program, Lyft will even help the company write it into their policy!


Road Warrior Panel
Written by Kristin Deur

Our Road Warrior panel was comprised of four different frequent travelers. From Toro we were joined by Dennis Berkowitz , 30 years of travel, and Kim Wellman, 25 years of travel. From Donaldson we were joined by Lisa Evans, 6 years of travel, and Misti Winter, 5 years of travel. This panel had great insight to the world of travel. They discussed what they do when prepping for a trip, anywhere from researching the location and reading local reviews. As well as, advice for new travelers “Expect things to go wrong. Don’t get upset with those who do not have control over the issue.” Road Warrior Panel

The panel discussed how they also appreciate being recognized for being loyal customers to the brands they are either flying with or staying with while they are traveling. They also talked about things that they look forward to and technology, such as Hilton’s new Digital Key app, where the guest can decide after a long day of travel whether they want to interact with a guest service agent. Each of the guests on the panel also talked about how their international travel hasn’t necessarily changed much because of safety concerns. They stated that each of them just have to prep their families more for their international travel.


Election Results
Written by Emily Jost

Elections concluded on several open Board of Directors positions with terms beginning on January 1, 2018. The BOD looks forward to welcoming the following members in January:Election Winners

  • Direct Representative: Valerie Barnes, U.S. Bank
  • Secretary: Nina Steiner, Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
  • Treasurer: Nanci Figueroa, Hyatt Regency Bloomington
  • Allied Representative: Willy Gibson, Residence Inn Plymouth
  • Allied Vice President: Ryan Comstock, Westin Galleria/Sheraton Bloomington (not pictured)

GBTA News - sponsored by Graves Hospitality
Written by Willy Gibson

The final session was a well put-together recap of some of the ins and outs of GBTA. Gina Zappa and Laurie Kazimer spoke to us about a variety of topics that were all full of great information for the future of GBTA.
 Gina started off the final session and spoke to us about the GBTA organization. GBTA headquarters is located in Washington D.C. The organization has 29 chapters, and 10 affiliates. There are different criteria for being either a chapter, or an affiliate. She also spoke about the different membership options, and what each level of membership allows you to do within the organization. GBTA News Gina also touched on the World’s Fair for 2023, and the efforts that are being put in to get it here in Minnesota.

Laurie continued the session in speaking about the GBTA Foundation, and how it is responsible for all of the information that is available to its members. She also spoke about the research and tools that the foundation requires to put out accurate information for all its members. The foundation delivered 77 seminars in 2016 that all varied in information pertaining to the travel industry.

Back to top

Committee Updates

Chapter Development – Membership
Written By Ryan Comstock

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 our Fall Fundraiser.
If anyone is interested in joining the Membership Committee, please contact Ryan Comstock at [email protected].

Looking forward to a great 2017!


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

Our committee members are dedicated to spreading the word about the great educational and networking opportunities the GBTA-North Central Chapter affords our members. I would like to introduce each one and the role they play in making this a great committee.

  • Heather Marigold, Sheraton Minneapolis West, and Kristin Deur, Doubletree St. Paul, have joined together to upload and edit the Travel Times newsletter content prior to each release. 
  • Hazel Vokral, United Airlines, provides member profiles for the newsletter.
  • Donita Matthews, SpringHill Suites & TownePlace Suites – Minneapolis West/St. Louis Park, is our resident photographer for all meetings and special events. 
  • Wanda Baumgartner, Fox World Travel, recently took on the responsibility of drafting the monthly Press Releases, while Joyce Hobbs, Southwest Airlines, edits the final copy for distribution to the local media community. 
  • Emily Jost, Radisson Blu Minneapolis, and Willy Gibson, Residence Inn Plymouth, have partnered together in a rhythm to post daily chapter news and industry updates on all of the chapter's social media channels, Facebook, Twitter @gbtancc, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest

GBTA North Central Chapter has started a LinkedIn Company page to expand our presence on LinkedIn, understand the demographics of our followers, and better track how our followers are engaging with our posts.  Find and follow our new company page by typing “GBTA North Central” in the LinkedIn search bar and clicking on “GBTA | North Central Chapter Company”.  Eventually most of our posts will be through the company page, so start following it now to be sure you don't miss future posts!

We are looking for volunteers interested in supporting our social media posts and communication. Please contact Valerie Barnes at [email protected] for more information on our committee and how you can join this great group.

Lastly, please remember to like our page on Facebook and share our posts with your friends, follow us on Pinterest and Twitter and retweet to your followers, and join us on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Written By Heidi Wrede

The hospitality team has seen many changes over the past few months with members taking on new roles. We are excited to have new members join the team because of these changes. Below are the current Hospitality Committee members.

Hospitality Committee Chairman:

Hospitality Team Members:
Nina Steiner – Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
Katy Adams – KJA Hospitality
Kathi Hedstrom - Acendas
Tim Kelsey - The Hertz Corporation
Sarah Peltier - Loews Minneapolis Hotel
Anne Lawler- Direct Travel
Amber Eustice - Carrousel Travel 


Education Summit
Written By Bonnie Christensen

Thank you to everyone who attended and helped with the 2017 GBTA-NCC Education Summit.  We hope you had a rewarding day of education and networking.  Session recaps are included in this newsletter.

Please be sure to respond to the Education Summit survey.  It will be open until June 12th.  Your feedback is valuable as we begin planning for next year’s event.

Written By Leslie Ingiald

On behalf of the Education Summit Committee and the Board of Directors, thank you to the following sponsors for their generous support of the 2017 GBTA North Central Education Summit:

Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel & Residence Inn by Marriott, The Depot
Delta Airlines
United Airlines
Hotel Landing
U.S. Bank
BCD Travel
Graves Hospitality
Elan Speakers Agency

The chapter could not do what it does without the support of our travel community. We greatly appreciate it.


Back to top

Special Mention

We answered............we're taking action!  

Thank you to everyone who responded to the April survey regarding preference for the 2017 Scholarship Fundraiser Event.  Based on feedback, we will be hosting an autumn event in either September or October. The Scholarship Fundraiser Committee is currently working on the date and venue and will send out an e-mail alert with more information as soon as it is available.  In the meantime, please think about items that you would like to donate to the silent auction! 

Back to top

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

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


Back to top

GBTA Updates

Five Things You’ll Miss if You Don’t Attend Convention

1.  Unparalleled Education Programming
     70+ Education Sessions on the topics most relevant to YOU

2.  Networking Among Thousands of Your Peers
     Nearly 7,000 attendees from 20+ countries representing the most diverse group of business travel professionals in the world

3.  World-Class Speakers
      Center Stage & Convention Arena Luncheons – Featuring Michael Phelps, former CIA Director David Petraeus, Delta CEO Ed Bastian and more!

4.  Largest Business Travel
     Expo Floor
    400+ Exhibitors showcasing the latest solutions and innovations in business travel

5.  Innovations in Travel Technology
     New This Year—Experience Innovation Row on the Expo Floor, a futuristic showcase of tech in business travel

Back to top

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.

Back to top