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Travel Times Newsletter

Travel Times 2019 -Nov/Dec Print

President's Report

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

Hello Members

I am writing this as I am flying to San Antonio for a client meeting. And I am also thinking about the past 2 years. They seem to have flown by very quickly. This will be my last letter to you as I finish up my term as President and take on the Chairperson role.

I learned a lot from this position. Leadership, being able to point the ship and get everyone on board to for the lack of a better phrase and “row the boat.” Meeting protocol, Robert’s Rules of Order and keeping side conversations from side baring the meeting. Herding Cats, yes they can be herded! Just kidding team 😊 I highly recommend if you ever thought about running for the Board you do it. Nominations will be coming out the end of first quarter and you are allowed to nominate yourself.

I want to thank you all for your patience and acceptance of me in this role as I know you did not vote me into it. Being appointed did make me nervous. I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle the role. I have a lot of people to thank and would like to take a moment to do so. First, I thank Bernie Fautch who was a mentor and helped set me up for success. Second, I have been very lucky to have the best Board of Directors in the GBTA system!! They work tirelessly to make sure you, our members, receive the best education for our industry. Then thank you to the CPC Council especially Gloria Gonzalez, Samantha Bean, John Hampton, Patrick Algyer, Stacey Day and Morgan Cook. You supported me and were there when I didn’t know what to do next.

I look forward to seeing you at the Holiday Gala and Scholarship Fundraiser in December. Please give generously and thank you for your generous donations. I also hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and wish you very Happy Holiday Season.

Thank you,

Sarah Hill

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Meeting Recap

October Meeting
Written by Jennifer Vogt and Valerie Barnes
Pictured left to right: Lori Reid, Brian Beard, Kathi Hanson

Presenting to October’s meeting attendees, Brian Beard, President of Data Visualization Intelligence, discussed the Changing Role of the Travel Manager- diving into details regarding where it is headed and why. Key topics Brian
examined included the relationship between technology change and the travel management evolution.282

As many of us are aware, Travel Manager’s wear multiple hats. On any given day they could be the “firefighter”, completing tactical tasks that keep travelers safe and happy, an “auditor”, managing cards while examining travel spend, and even a “reporter”, providing the organization with up to date industry news. After detailing about 9 different jobs, Brian discussed each of these tasks and their future. With the help of technology, Travel Managers in the future will worry less about the troubleshooting, policy enforcement and planning, and focus more on data analysis and implementing new technology. Brain went on to explain how and what will change in the future.

People, process, and technology are three areas on the industry that are most likely to change. As previously mentioned, the role of the Travel Manager as well as the role of the TMC will evolve. The industry is moving from a service provider to a technology provider, phasing out the Travel Manager and replacing the job with advance booking technologies. TMCs will look into investing in these future technologies or partnering with 3rd party providers. The overall process of booking, expense reporting and the flow of travel has been and will continue to transform. Booking travel has been and will become even simpler. We are almost to the point where travel plans can be booked through a calendar planning interface. Simply add your meeting to your calendar, and the program will book any travel related necessities! While you’re on your business trip, your company may have you use your Corporate card for all expenses because expense reports will become automated with a quick review process at the end of your trip! This is all in part to the advancement of technology including the access to quality data and integration of apps and voice tools.

With these advancements, the general public does lose a bit of privacy. Studies do show that a majority of individuals are willing to give up some of their privacy for safety and convenience. A great example of this is biometrics. Not only would biometric scanners at airports make traveling through airport security to boarding your plane smoother, but this technology makes airline travel safer. Other examples that we experience in our everyday lives include the tracking of the data on our phones, computers, and internet connected devices. Within recent years, the number of devices in a household has increase dramatically allowing for a greater collection of simple data. This collection of data allows for greater personalization and technology development.

This development of new technology is increasing at an expediate rate which has also allowed the Travel Industry to evolve. A major point Brian touched on is the expansion of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Most of us remember watching the “Terminator” or “I, Robot”, and probably thought to ourselves “Is this even possible?”. Well, it is and it is the direction of the future! The advancements being made in this field allow Artificial Intelligence to have many characteristics including: Learning, Reasoning, Problem Solving, Planning, Perception and Language Processing. Currently, we see the use of Artificial Intelligence in the Travel Industry being used for data aggregation as well as chatbots and data access.

Concluding his presentation, Brian left the group with a few parting thoughts:

  • “The pace of technology change is increasing.”
  • “Almost every manual inefficient process will be replaced by technology eventually”
  • “Travel Management will continue to evolve as technology evolves”

November Meeting
Written by Jennifer Vogt
Pictured left to right: Jan Shoemaker, Caroline Palmer, Sarah Hill

Caroline Palmer, Safe Harbor Director at the Minnesota Department of Health, outlined the definition of human trafficking, what Minnesota is doing to prevent it, and who it affects. To begin, Caroline discussed who is at risk, and the simple answer is “anyone”. She went on to explain that anyone, anywhere, and any demographic can be recruited or tricked into becoming a trafficking victim. Those who have

experienced sexual abuse, are persons of color, have a history of mental or physical health issues, or simply live in poverty or homelessness are more at risk to be trafficked. Caroline continued to explain who the traffickers are, and again the answer is “anyone”. Operations can range from large scale and national networks to small scale individuals. It can simply be stated that anyone can be trafficked by anyone.

Human trafficking can be divided into two categories: Sex Trafficking and Labor Trafficking. Trafficking begins when there is a core need that is unmet, and a person of vulnerability is delivered a false promise. Powerful psychological manipulation is used by traffickers, making it difficult for the victims to leave. Traffickers will blackmail or threaten their victims, withhold money or identity documents, and normalize the situation as a defense mechanism.

In response to human trafficking, the Minnesota Department of Health has created the Safe Harbor network. The Safe Harbor network works within the community to provide services and offer presentations and referrals regarding human trafficking. Beginning in 2005, Minnesota passed their first Anti-Trafficking Law. Within five years that law was amended to increase penalties, and in 2011 the Safe Harbor Law as enacted. Minnesota’s Safe Harbor Law ensures young people who are sexually exploited are treated as victims and survivors, not criminals. The “No Wrong Doors” model was also created during this time which allows youth victims to receive trauma-informed care and services that are responsive to their individual needs. Because of Minnesota’s Safe Harbor Law, sexually exploited youth 17 years and under can no longer be criminalized for engaging in prostitution and those 24 years and under are eligible for specialized services to heal and recover.

To educate and work toward a solution, Safe Harbor has partnered with the Minnesota Lodging Association. Prevention training is now a yearly requirement for every person operating and working at a hotel in the state of Minnesota. This no-cost training focuses on the identification, reporting and response to suspected sex trafficking. During Caroline’s presentation, she mentions potential indicators of sex trafficking. A few signs that hotels can watch for are guests with a local address that have frequent history of short stays, those who wish to pay for the room(s) with cash, a “Do Not Disturb” sign up at all times but with frequent housekeeping requests, and people monitoring hallways and/or common areas. Indicators that are consistent with victims include signs of physical abuse, guests who appear to be fearful or nervous, minors dressing inappropriately for their age or setting, and those in the company of significantly older males or females, sometimes referring to them as their significant other. While each of these factors individually may not be worrisome, grouped together can lead to a greater cause of suspension. Hotel managers should establish a protocol for responding to suspected sex trafficking and contact local law enforcement if sex trafficking is suspected on the property.

Concluding her presentation, Caroline reminded the group that those who report suspected sex trafficking, in good faith, are immune from civil liability.



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Committee Updates

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

We are always looking for members to feature in the Travel Times newsletter. If you’d be willing to share some information about your company, your role, and yourself – please send an email to [email protected]. It’s a great way to share information with fellow GBTA North Central members.

As always, The best way to keep in touch with the Chapter is to follow us on social media.  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.



Technology Commitee

Written By Andy Chaussee


If any committee members have questions about StarChapter we can help – [email protected]



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Membership Information

Don't forget to renew your membership!

We are always looking to increase our direct member presence in our monthly meetings! If you are interested in attending a meeting or have someone you would like to refer, please reach out to Megan Boosalis for more information @ [email protected]

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.
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]

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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:


Holiday Gala



The Westin Edina Galleria 3201 Galleria Edina, MN

Monthly Meeting






Sheraton Bloomington Hotel 5601 West 78th Street Bloomington, MN

Monthly Meeting

February  13th

InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront
11 Kellogg Blvd East St. Paul,


Monthly Meeting

Keynote: John Ayo, Chief Balancing Officer

Topic: From Travel Hell to Travel Well: Inside Secrets to Staying Energized, Healthy and Balanced When You Travel


Thursday March 12th

Cambria Hotel
8001 28th Ave. So.
Bloomington, MN

Monthly Meeting

Thursday April 9th

Doubletree by Hilton Minneapolis-Park Place
1500 Park Place Boulevard
St. Louis Park, MN

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Special Mention

What’s a Business PAC?
As we have started another PAC Challenge year (2019/20), I thought it may be helpful to review exactly what a PAC is.  A PAC is a vehicle through which association and other types of non-profits can support federal candidates who agree with their positions on critical issues.  Through a PAC, an association can contribute funds to the campaign committees of federal candidates.
The Business Travel PAC is GBTA’s PAC.  The PAC is bi-partisan and supports candidates for federal office (members of the Senate and House of Representatives) who support business travel issues.  As you know, we are proud to have Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) as one who has supported our business travel PAC. 
Now that you know what a PAC is, here’s some common FAQ’s:

  • Who can GBTA’s Business Travel PAC solicit?
    • GBTA can only solicit contributions from its U.S. members. Contributions from members outside the U.S. cannot be accepted.
  • Can I post online PAC events?
    • No, posting a fundraiser on social media opens it up to the general public.
  • Can my company support the PAC?
    • No, Business Travel PAC can only accept contributions from individuals.
  • Is a contribution to the PAC tax-deductible?
    • No. Unlike a gift to the Foundation, a contribution to the GBTA PAC is non-deductible.

If you have further questions or interest in donating and/or helping with NCBTA’s PAC fundraising, please reach out to Kari Bigot, Allied Representative ([email protected]) and PAC Liaison or Martha Telander, PAC Chair ([email protected]).

Holiday Gala
Written by Bonnie Parlin and Jan Shoemaker

Don’t forget to register and mark your calendars for the Holiday
Gala and Scholarship Fundraiser on Thursday, December 12th. This fun event will be from 4:00-7:30 at the Westin Galleria Edina. The theme for this year’s gala is “Fire & Ice”. There will be themed food and beverages so make sure you bring your appetite! Dress appropriately for indoor and outdoor fun - wear ski resort chic apparel to go along with the ice theme. Outside, there will be igloos, heaters and an ice bar (weather permitting).

We are looking for silent auction items – if you’d like to provide something for the auction, please contact Sandy Swenson at [email protected]. We are also looking for donations for the Wall of Wine. If you’d like to donate for this, please contact Sharon Rosenthal at [email protected].

The charity for this year’s gala will be the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery. Please visit to view their current donation wish list.

Remember, money raised from the silent auction and Wall of Wine are used for chapter scholarships. You can bring donation items along with you to the gala. If you have any questions regarding the gala, please contact Greg Bashaw at [email protected].

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Advertise with GBTA - North Central Chapter


Advertise with Us   

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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