2016 Executive Board & Allied Council Election

Candidates for Executive Board 2016 - Voting by Direct Members Only

Candidate for President
Wayne Urbanek

Managing Director for Lighthouse Consulting Partners
Wayne Urbanek is a senior executive with more than 30 years of travel industry experience in travel technology.  Throughout his career, his primary responsibility has been travel technology products and services. 

Wayne is the Managing Director for Lighthouse Consulting Partners which provides Information Technology (IT) sourcing and procurement consulting to travel management companies (TMCs), corporate travel departments (CTDs) and other travel industry providers.  Wayne uses strategic procurement and sourcing methodology to optimize client-supplier relationships and optimize agreement performances.

Prior to his current position, Wayne held senior executive roles in travel technology companies such as Travelport, Sabre, Amadeus, Convergent Communications Services, and Official Airline Guides. His expertise is in travel technology solutions and global distribution systems (GDSs) for travel management companies (TMCs) and Fortune 500 companies with corporate travel departments (CTDs). He also led B2B marketing/sales teams for Worldspan and began his career in the airline industry where he managed travel agency sales and corporate marketing affinity programs.

He holds a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in business administration from Lynn University, and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in marketing/technology from New York Institute of Technology.  Wayne is an active member of Global Business Travel Association (GBTA 15+ years), Chicago Business Travel Association (CBTA 10+ years) where he is a Board Member and is the current President. He is an active member of American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), and Marketing Executive Network Group (MENG) and sits as an IT advisor on numerous corporate boards. 

During the last 12 years with Chicago BTA, I have served two terms as Treasurer, one term as Technology Chair, one term as Co-Chair Technology, one term as Ambassador Chair and currently serve as President.  I am committed to the success and future of the Chicago BTA Chapter.  The core attribute of Chicago BTA is education for our members.  My vision is to build on the prior leadership and continue to deliver best in class education sessions, to grow our Direct and Allied membership, and to support our non-profit benefactors.  With your vote and your help, I plan for Chicago BTA to continue to be the leader in fostering corporate travel best practices and be the leading GBTA Chapter.  Thank you.

Candidate for 1st Vice President
Bonnie Brabb

Enterprise Travel Manager, TDS, Inc.

Bonnie Brabb is currently the Enterprise Travel Manager for TDS, Inc.  As the Travel Manger, Bonnie is the business owner for all Travel and Expense, Concur and Corporate card and Pcard programs.  Bonnie has been a Direct Member of Chicago BTA for the past 5 years.  She currently serves as Treasurer for Chicago BTA.  As Treasurer, Bonnie has been able to mainstream some banking methods to the association.

Bonnie is currently working on her GLP and is expected to complete the GLP in 2018. Bonnie has been in the travel industry for over 12 years and loves everything about travel.  Bonnie is excited to learn more about the board as First Vice President and is committed to support Chicago BTA and all that it represents.

Candidate for 2nd Vice President
Rafael Grullon

Travel Services & Hotel Programs, Meetings & Travel Group
American Bar Association

Being a native of the Caribbean, my love for travel started very early in life and during my college years I took my first job as an airport agent for American Airlines where I learned international ticketing, ground customer service, supervisory skills and overall airport operations, including Premium Services, ticket sales and gate operations; expanding a 10 year run within the Santo Domingo (SDQ), San Juan (SJU) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD) stations.

In 2006, I Joined the American Bar Association as a Travel Assistant for the Meetings and Travel Department, where I learned the philosophy of the ABA’s Hotel Program and truly cultivated my unwavering passion for business travel and a commitment to excellence.   During my tenure at the ABA, I have planned logistics for domestic and international meetings and exhibits, later becoming the ABA’s Specialist for Hotel and Travel Programs.  In this current role, I am responsible for contracting, negotiating, marketing and monitoring the daily operations of the ABA Preferred Rate Hotel Programs, as well as a liaison between ABA Travelers, Travel Partners, members and staff.

Candidate for Secretary
Beth Andrew

Business Travel Sales Manager
Renaissance Blackstone Chicago

I would be honored to serve as the Secretary of Chicago BTA. Chicago BTA has benefitted me in my career as well as personally, and I want to give back to the association and its membership. I have been active in the organization for many years, and have contributed my time on the Publicity Committee, served as Treasurer, Scholarship Chair and most recently Education Chair for the past 2 years.  I was awarded Allied Member of the year for 2015.  I hope that you will allow me to step up and offer my experience to this position.

Candidate for Treasurer
Amber Mallon

Account Manager
The Hertz Corporation

It has been a pleasure to serve the Chicago BTA community as the Charity Committee Chair for the 2015-2016 term and Charity Committee Co-Chair for the 2013-2014 term.  I have been involved in the Chicago BTA Charity Committee since 2007 and it’s been a very rewarding experience to make a difference in our local community. Most recently over the past few months, I assisted the Chicago BTA Golf Committee in executing our Q3 Golf outing and I took over responsibilities for the Sponsorship Committee. With a combined Sponsorship and Charity committee we aim to provide more value and visibility to our sponsors in Q4 2016 and beyond. Thank you for your support!

Candidates for Allied Council 2016 – Voting by Allied Members Only

Candidates for Airline Representative – Terry Krstinich and Barbara Read

Terry Krstinich

National Account Manager
Virgin America

I have been in the airline industry for over 25 years.  Selling in the airline space is my passion.  I love the travel industry.  I have recently been selling for Virgin America, soon to be purchased by Alaska Airlines.  Prior to Virgin America, I spend 7 years with Qantas and 17 years with America Airlines. I have spent most of my career in Chicago, where I reside with my husband and my 2 children in the southwest suburbs.  I would be honored to continue to represent the airlines within the Allied council.

Barbara Read 

Delta Air Lines 

Sales Account Executive, Global Sales

I am honored to accept the nomination for Allied Council Airline Representative. I enjoy collaborating with travel industry professionals and find the Chicago BTA has a great mixture of talents and personalities. I am happy to bring my airline experience to the conversation in order to pursue innovation and mentor the next generation of travel professionals.   

Candidates for Hotel Representative - Nick Ditter and Esther Robson

Nick Ditter

Business Travel & Leisure Sales Manager
Thompson Chicago

I would be proud to represent Chicago BTA as Hotel Representative on the Allied Council and greatly appreciate the opportunity.  I have always had a passion for the hospitality industry and started my career as a Front Desk Agent at Fairmont Chicago.  After displaying high levels of customer service and positive interactions with guests, I was promoted to the Sales Coordinator position and then eventually to a Business Travel Sales Manager role at the Amalfi Hotel.

I pride myself on staying very organized and responding to clients as quickly as possible.  I am known to always put my clients first through transparent dialogue and adapting to the needs of each individual I comes in contact with.  I feel that one of the best parts of his position is building new relationships, and instilling excitement about the brand and product with my customers.  In 2015, I was named to the President’s Club for Two Roads Hospitality (formerly Commune Hotels & Resorts) for having one of the highest production numbers in the company.  I was also named as part of the Sales & Revenue team of the year in 2015.

I am originally from Milwaukee, WI and am a graduate from Catawba College in Salisbury, NC.  I currently reside in the Lincoln Park neighborhood with my wife, Caitlin, and cat, Stella.  You can find Caitlin and me enjoying all of the many great restaurants Chicago has to offer.  In my spare time, I am an avid beach volleyball player, a coach & player of the Thompson Chicago softball team, and a proud Dallas Cowboys fan. 

Esther Robson

Director of Business Travel Sales
The Westin Chicago River North
Sheraton Grand Chicago

I am proud to say that I have been a member of the Chicago BTA chapter since 2007.  For the past two years, I have served as Hotel Allied Council Member, as well as Co-Chair for the Charity Committee and have participated in the monthly Chicago BTA board meeting for the past five years.  Previously I held the position of Chair Person for the Charity Committee.

I joined Starwood Hotels and Resorts in July 2013 representing both The Westin River North and Sheraton Grand Chicago after 12 years with the InterContinental Chicago.  My experience in the hospitality industry has allowed me to build a strong commitment to service, which would be one of the qualities I would continue to bring as your Allied Council member.

I will do my very best to provide you with the same opportunities that have been presented to me.  You have my commitment in listening to your concerns, representing you and being your voice to the Board of Directors to the best of my ability.  Thank you for the opportunity.  

Candidate for Ground Transportation
Susan Koulianos

Business Rental Sales Manager
Enterprise Holdings 

As the current Allied Board Member for Ground Transportation, I am seeking your support to continue this position for a second term.     I realize what an honor it is to be representing the Allied members and wish to continue to bring valuable networking and educational opportunities for you.  

Candidate for Travel Management Company
Rick Casavechia

Global Sales Consultant
Adelman Travel

Chicago BTA has been extremely rewarding to my professional growth and I’m excited to become a board member.  Chairing the volunteer committee allowed me to get new members involved and more active in the association which will lead to a better overall experience for everyone.