In The Company Dime’s From The Field program, industry leaders contribute guideposts and other commentary for publication to the business travel audience. We task these advisors to focus on opinion, analysis and education rather than marketing. You are encouraged to contribute to the dialogue by commenting on these posts. Want to go a step further and become an advisor? Email us for more details. Participation is complimentary, but does come with some requirements. We thank all participants. Learn more about them here …
Simon Barker is co-founder and CEO of Conferma. He is responsible for developing and executing the company’s strategic vision to optimize B2B payment processes through the use of innovative virtual card technology. Prior to establishing Conferma in 2004, Simon accumulated vast experience in the business travel industry during 18 years as managing director of NIS Travel Management Solutions. Simon was recognized as one of the 25 Most Influential Executives in business travel by Business Travel News for Conferma’s groundbreaking work modernizing the business travel industry’s payment processes. Connect with Simon on LinkedIn.
Tom Tulloch is executive vice president and managing director of PredictX North America. Tom's career includes over two decades of leadership and expertise in the data business. His passion is helping companies manage global travel and expense programs using a data-driven approach. Tom is widely recognized as a data expert in the travel industry. Prior to joining PredictX in 2015, he ran the data business at TRX Inc., before divesting the company to Concur/SAP in 2013. Find more information about Tom on LinkedIn.
Scott Gillespie often breaks new ground — and a bit of glass — in the corporate travel industry. He is a leading authority on travel procurement, travel friction and the total cost of travel. As managing director of tClara, Scott is developing the next generation of benchmarking for airfares and traveler friction. He is the author of a U.S. patent and has been named one of Business Travel News’ Top 25 Executives and a thought leader by Buying Business Travel. Scott writes the popular blog Gillespie’s Guide to Travel+Procurement, and speaks at travel industry conferences around the world. Scott holds an MBA from the University of Chicago. He and his family reside near Cleveland. Connect with Scott on LinkedIn.
A graduate of the University of Rochester with a degree in Philosophy, Alan Tyson quickly failed as a writer. He was, however, good at taking tests. The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis offered him a job as a computer programmer which Alan reluctantly accepted and his career in IT was off and running! Well, maybe it was more of a jog ... It wasn't that Alan couldn't program. He was actually quite talented. The problem was that he was a lousy employee. After leaving the Commerce Department, to the relief of all, he joined Control Data Corporation (the predecessor of Ceridian) where he developed one of the first microcomputer-based accounting systems. Alan later founded Databasics, a software-as-a-service provider of expense reporting and time tracking solutions, where he continues to serve as CEO. Alan is married, has a daughter and lives in Great Falls, Va. Find more info on the Databasics blog, LinkedIn page and Twitter feed.
Ted Perlstein has two decades of travel industry experience. He's held marketing, partnership and strategy leadership positions at AmTrav, Orbitz, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Travel Spike and LastMinuteTravel.com. In his role at AmTrav, Ted and his team evangelize the AmTrav service while continuously evolving the product to make managing travel easier. When not at the office, you can find Ted trying to keep up with his wife, two young children and golden retriever. Or you'll find him traveling for fun: 45+ countries and counting. Ted holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and an Electrical Engineering degree from Washington University in St. Louis. Find him on LinkedIn.
Charlene Wang leads product marketing for Coupa Expenses, part of Coupa Software, where she is responsible for understanding the expense management market landscape, product positioning and building alliances. Prior to Coupa, Charlene worked in EMC's (now Dell's) corporate strategy group and as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where she advised C-suite executives on business strategy and implementation. Charlene holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelors in Economics from Harvard. Connect with her on LinkedIn.
Charlotte Lamp Davies' 18-year career has spanned sales, marketing and event management. She worked in international media, oil and petrochemicals before moving to the travel sector where she launched Travolution for Reed Business Information. Later she worked as new business director at Conrad Advertising, a full-service agency with a sole focus on travel clients. Charlotte joined DataArt London in 2012 as a vice president of travel and hospitality for Europe, in charge of sales for the travel practice. She is a speaker at industry events, a passionate proponent of innovative travel technologies and a regular contributor of thought leadership articles for major travel trades. Find Charlotte and DataArt on Twitter.
Mark Williams is the founding partner of GoldSpring Consulting, an independent travel management consultancy. Before that he was a principal at Advito, the consulting division of BCD Travel, and worked in the Business Transformation Outsourcing practice at IBM. Mark has 25 years of experience in business travel management, beginning in the late 1980s working for WorldTravel Partners, followed by 10 years as the director of travel for Price Waterhouse and PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has a Bachelor's degree in Accountancy from Wake Forest University and a Master of Taxation degree from Georgia State University. Mark is a former president of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives. Connect with him on LinkedIn and find more information on GoldSpring on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Krissy Herman joined KesselRun Corporate Travel Solutions in August 2014 as vice president of program management. She co-founded the GBTA Ladders mentoring program and earned recognition as GBTA's Allied Member of the Year in 2014. Krissy previously chaired a Commonwealth Business Travel Group committee geared towards next-generation TMC service delivery. Prior to joining KesselRun, Krissy oversaw account management and corporate operations implementation at The Travel Team in Buffalo, N.Y. She holds a BA in Communications and an MBA from Canisius College. Connect on LinkedIn with Krissy and KesselRun.
As co-founder and CEO of Chrome River, Alan Rich guides software design with an acute focus on business function. He has worked with numerous organizations to implement innovative technology and provide expertise in financial management systems. Previously Alan co-founded Elite Information Group, a provider of several financial and practice management applications for law firms and professional services markets. He also held the position of chief strategist at Thomson Elite. Alan holds a B.A. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.Phil in economics from Nuffield College, Oxford University. Find more info on Alan's LinkedIn page and Chrome River's LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages.
Grasp Technologies VP and chief sales officer Dave M. Lukas is a serial entrepreneur, best-selling author, investor and founder of the Misfit Entrepreneur podcast. His companies have been on the Inc. 5000 list multiple times. He has been featured on radio, TV, and many top business publications such as Forbes, Inc., Yahoo! Finance, BTN and BTE. Dave is the author of the Amazon best-seller "The Ten Year Career, The Fast Track to Retiring Young, Wealthy and Fulfilled." Through his 12 Minute Trading System, he has mentored and trained thousands of students worldwide. Dave lives with his wife and daughter in Columbus, Ohio. Find Grasp on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Caroline Strachan is managing partner at Festive Road. Her work experience can be summarized as 10 years the meetings and events supplier, 10 years the travel buyer (at Cisco, Yahoo and AstraZeneca) and more recently as VP global consulting at American Express Global Business Travel. Caroline has also held a number of industry leadership positions including ITM chairman and GBTA Europe president, and has received a number of awards in recognition of her services to the industry. Caroline is often called "the most credible business travel expert" in the industry, further supported by being published as one of three "industry influencers" in the Buying Business Travel 2016 Hotlist. Find more of Caroline's information on LinkedIn.
Mary Ellen George is a highly regarded travel industry leader with a proven track record in building and launching profitable travel enterprises for Fortune Global 500 companies. As head of North America for Tramada, Mary Ellen is leading this Australian software company in the United States. Her past experience includes time on HRG's North America executive committee leading the region's commercial team; with American Express Global Business Travel in a global business development role; and with BCD Travel's global management board in general management, consulting and sales leadership roles. Connect with Mary Ellen on LinkedIn.
Mat Orrego has worked in the software and travel industry for 20 years as CEO of Cornerstone Information Systems. A graduate of Indiana University Kelly School of Business, Mat co-founded the application and data management company. He is also an avid investor in a variety of enterprises including technology, manufacturing and services businesses. In 2012 Mat co-founded Runuplabs.com, a technology accelerator for the travel industry. He has invested in and advised startup companies such as trekkable.com, peopleocity.com and Desti.com. Mat lives in Bloomington, Ind., with his wife Beverly. Connect on LinkedIn with Mat and Cornerstone Information Systems.
Rajiv Rajian is head of global business travel for Amadeus. He leads the global business travel portfolio worldwide with a focus on serving the needs of global travel management companies. He oversees a team dedicated to delivering the technology and services to Amadeus' corporate travel partners to transform the corporate traveler journey. Connect with Rajiv on LinkedIn. Find more information about Amadeus on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
Mike Koetting is EVP of supplier and TMC services at SAP Concur. Based in Eden Prairie, Minn., he joined Concur in 2010. Mike is one of the architects of Concur's TripLink solution and is responsible for Concur's relationships with travel suppliers, GDSs and TMCs. He also leads Concur's TMC Services business unit. Prior to joining Concur Mike held a variety of senior positions at Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Maritz Corporate Travel. He began his career as a CPA with Price Waterhouse. Mike is also a seven-time Ironman and altruistic kidney donor. Find him on LinkedIn.
Steve Glenn founded Executive Travel 31 years ago and was a pioneer of online travel fulfillment, virtual agents and zero online fees. He serves as the company's chairman of the board and CEO. During his career Steve has served as president, officer or director at more than 20 organizations around the state of Nebraska and the nation. As a serial entrepreneur, he started more than 40 companies. Steve was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by the University of Nebraska – Lincoln College of Business Administration, and Business Owner of the Year by the Lincoln Independent Business Association. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from the UNL College of Business Administration in 1979. Connect with Steve on LinkedIn.
Erika Moore has approximately 20 years of travel industry leadership experience in the United States and Latin America. As VP and GM for Travelport, she leads the company's U.S. commercial organization. Before joining Travelport in 2010, she served as SVP for international sales at Aeromexico. Erika has been a speaker at the World Economic Forum, Consejo Nacjional Empresarial Turístico and the Phocuswright Conference. She graduated from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México with a degree in Economics. Erika lives in Atlanta and enjoys spending time with her husband and beautiful daughter. Find her on LinkedIn and Twitter. Additional Travelport information is available on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Yael Klein is executive director of marketing for AirPlus International. She has extensive experience in the international credit card business, including the past 17 years with AirPlus. After years of success in German international key account management and global sales management, Yael took over the position of managing director AirPlus UK in 2007. In that role she contributed greatly to the development of the British market. Most recently she was CEO and president of AirPlus Inc., as well as head of the Americas. Connect with Yael on LinkedIn.
Andrew W. Menkes has a 40-year history in the travel industry. He started at TWA, founded New York-based agency Priority Travel and held various regional and executive positions at mega travel agencies. In 1997 Andy became Republic New York Corporation's first VP of global travel management where he pioneered the ARC-accredited Corporate Travel Department and corporate-direct electronic airline ticket purchases. He then formed Partnership Travel Consulting where he created the Managed Travel Index and the Travel Sourcing Index. He's also been in leadership roles for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives and the National Business Travel Association. Business Travel News in 2014 inducted Andy into its Business Travel Hall of Fame. Connect with Andy on LinkedIn.
Travel and Transport appointed Kevin O'Malley CEO in January 2015. A member of Travel and Transport’s board of directors, Kevin joined the company in 1994 as assistant controller. He has held the positions of controller, vice president, senior vice president and CFO. Before joining Travel and Transport, Kevin worked as a CPA for the public accounting firms of both Deloitte LLP and Lutz & Company. Kevin earned his BSBA in accounting from Creighton University in Omaha. Kevin serves on several boards, including those of Employee Travel Specials, Skutt Catholic High School, Jelecos and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Nebraska. He’s also an advisory board member for several companies in the travel industry. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.
Tiffany Zerby serves as the communications specialist at World Travel Inc. While pursuing her education at West Virginia University, Tiffany also studied digital media at Fernando Pessoa University in Porto, Portugal. She became a published writer, traveling to Paris to present at the Electronic Literature Organization's annual conference. She then spent years writing for the financial services industry, covering personal finance, real estate investing and retirement planning. In her free time, she loves to travel (of course) and volunteer in the community, whether locally in Philadelphia or across the globe. Connect with Tiffany on LinkedIn. Find more information about World Travel Inc. on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Suzanne Neufang is vice president of the Americas for HRS Global Hotel Solutions, a corporate lodging program optimization provider. Based in New York, Suzanne's professional background spans 20+ years in e-commerce and software-as-a-service across travel, software, telecommunications and media industries. Before joining HRS in 2015, she was chief marketing officer of Intuit's professional tax group. Prior to that, she held executive roles including president of GetThere and Sabre Virtual Meetings, and VP at Travelocity Business. Suzanne holds a Master's degree in communications from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a Bachelor's degree in broadcasting and foreign languages from Minot State University in North Dakota. Connect with her on LinkedIn. Find more information about HRS on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Tony D'Astolfo is a 35-year travel industry veteran and an accomplished executive with deep expertise in travel and technology and a passion for moving the industry forward. Prior to joining Deem as chief commercial officer, he was managing director of Phocuswright. Before that he served as chief sales officer for GroundLink. Previously, he was SVP of travel services at Deem/Rearden Commerce, where he helped build a distribution network of over 50 travel management companies and added 7,000 customers. Earlier in his career, Tony worked at GetThere as VP of sales and spent more than 19 years in leadership roles at United Airlines. Tony is a frequent speaker at travel industry conferences around the world. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
Alison Taylor is senior vice president of global sales and distribution at American Airlines. She leads a team of more than 1,000 associates building relationships with corporate and group clients and distribution partners. She previously worked for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide as SVP of global sales. In 2015 and 2016, Successful Meetings magazine named her one of the most influential people in the meetings industry, and in 2017 Business Travel News named her among the 25 most influential people in business travel. Alison is a board member of the Meeting Professionals International Foundation. She grew up in Australia and earned a business degree from Victoria University in Melbourne. Connect with her on LinkedIn.
Heni Balint is director of global meetings and events sales at Radius Travel. She has a wealth of experience in both M&E and transient travel, having spent more than 20 years in corporate travel management company roles covering both sectors. A native Australian, Heni has lived and worked in Europe, Asia/Pacific and North America, and currently resides in the United States. Her passion is working with organizations to create strategies that drive their objectives. Connect with Heni on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter. Find more Radius Travel information on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Martin Warner has 35 years' experience in travel distribution and is principal at MW Travel Consultancy Limited providing advisory services to the travel and associated industries. He is a founding partner of KuriusSolutions, a global business that develops ideas and provides solutions to travel and related industries. Martin previously had several roles at Carlson Wagonlit, including EVP, COO for Asia/Pacific and executive team member. He served in non-executive board positions for Jt-Ventures in China, Japan, India, Indonesia and South Africa, and was an executive board member of subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong. Based in London and Miami, Martin is a much sought after facilitator, moderator and speaker. Find Martin on LinkedIn.
Steve Reynolds is CEO and founder of Tripbam, a hotel shopping service changing the way companies and travel agencies procure hotel stays. Based on the company's success, Business Travel News named Tripbam the most innovative technology for corporate travel in 2014, and in 2015 recognized Steve as one of the most influential executives within corporate travel. The company in 2015 also won Phocuswright's Battleground competition. Steve previously was managing director in North America for WNS Global Services, president and EVP at TRX and president of Travel Technologies Group. Find more of Steve's info in his LinkedIn profile, on Tripbam's Twitter feed and the company's Facebook page.