November 2017 Print

President's Report

Dear Chicago Business Travel Association Members,

Thank you to those who attended and supported the recent charity events from the past few weeks. There was great turnout at both the Greater Chicago Food Depository event and the 4th Annual Walk for the Bear event benefiting Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. It’s because of your efforts that I’m proud to be part of such a generous and hardworking organization.

The Q4 Holiday event will be held on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at the WALDORF ASTORIA CHICAGO from 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Please register and join us as we support Bear Necessities one more time! What a great way to end the year. Save the date for our Q1 2018 Meeting, and keep checking back on our website as more events are announced for next year.

Lastly, make sure to check out the article in this newsletter from our contributing writer, Leslie Evans Thorne! She was excited to present at our Q3 Meeting, and we're equally as excited to have her knowledge and insight presented to our members!



Wayne Urbanek
Chicago Chapter of the Global Business Travel Association

Back to top

Charity Update

The Chicago Business Travel Association has collaborated with Bear Necessities for the past five years!   During our tenure we have raised $125,000 for Bear Necessities in their efforts to fund cutting-edge research to end pediatric cancer, and provide immediate needs and support for children and families batting the disease.   This year will mark our sixth and final year with Bear Necessities.    

Please join us to make our final year a record breaker!  As in previous years, we will be hosting a raffle, silent auction and live auction during our networking cocktail reception.    We will  have electornic (mobile) bidding on BidPal for  auction items, so even if you are not able to attend the event you can still support Bear Necessities.  

Get ready for these great packages at our Charity event!

  • 2 roundtrip business class tickets on United Airlines
  • 2 Roundtrip first class tickets on Delta Airlines
  • 2 vouchers with American Airlines for 50,000 pts each
  • 4 tickets to Chicago Bulls vs. Memphis Grizzlies
  • 2 night stay at Conrad Chicago with Waldorf signature spa service
  • Amazon Kindle Fire 
  • $250 Joe's Seafood Giftcard


It's not too late to make your donation today! All proceeds benefit our charity partner, Bear Necessities. All donations can be sent to Sarah Gralton at 


THANK YOU to our sponsors for making this event possible:


Silver Meeting Sponsor



Nickel Sponsor


 Venue Sponsor


Back to top

Calendar of Events


Q4 Holiday Charity Chapter Meeting

December 07, 2017
3:30 PM CST to 7:30 PM CST

Waldorf Astoria Chicago
11 E Walton St
Chicago, IL 60611

**nearly sold out - register today!**

Read More



Q1 Meeting

March 05, 2018
7:30 AM CST to 11:30 AM CST

Swissotel Chicago
323 E Upper Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601

Save the date!

Read More

Back to top

Welcome New Members

New in 2017:

Michael  Albers, American Airlines Zach Alpert, Terri  Barton, Acendas Travel Allie  Cimo, Viceroy Chicago Steve Miller, A-1 Airport Limousine Service, Inc Malorie  Packard, AMEX Global Business Travel Michelle  Pepper, Walsh Group Elizabeth  Peterson, Sysmex America, Inc. Cathy  Sharpe, ITW Joan  Tanner, Acendas Travel

New Since Last Newsletter:

Stacie Amorose, West Monroe Partners

Michelle Bearman, Two Roads Hospitality

Megan Biddix, West Monroe Partners

Antonietta Dankel

Dan Drews

Scott Fischer, AmTrav

Engin Ozdemir, Turkish Airlines

Claudia Podgorny, Rotary International

Susan Poole, HRG North America

Denise Richardson, CI Azumano

Erica Thomas, Hampton Inn & Homewood Suites West Loop

Diane Turner, Hyatt Regency Schaumburg

Jeffrey Urban, American Express Global Business Travel


Thank you all for joining, and members please look to make them all feel very welcome!

Back to top

In Case You Missed It

Chicago BTA members volunteered in late October at the Greater Chicago Food Despository where they bagged over 7,200 pounds of pasta! Great job and THANK YOU for your hard work and dedication to our charity partners!

We will continue to post volunteer opportunities on CBTA's website under the Events Tab, so be sure to check back throughout the upcoming year for more chances to help out!

Check out the photo gallery HERE 



Back to top

Leslie Evans Thorne,

The Power of Reflection:

How To Boost Your Effectiveness


By Leslie Thorne


How can you make sure that you are going to have a great year in 2018?

Take time to stop and reflect.


The end of the year presents a great opportunity to take time out to reflect on what’s working and what’s not in your worklife. Look back over your year. Ask yourself: what worked, what didn’t and what do I want to do differently next year?


Here’s what I do when reflecting back on my year.


  1.    Celebrate successes.

Make sure you acknowledge your successes. If you follow me, you know that I counsel you to keep track weekly, and then monthly, of your successes. It makes it fun at the end of the year to look at these lists and really celebrate your wins, big and small. Some of them you will have forgotten and it’s really great to be able to see all of them. Cherish your successes, no matter how small. And then ask yourself: what can I do to build on these successes next year? (Write down your thoughts.)


  1.    Learn from your failures.

You’ll want to look at “failures” or at least the things that could have gone better. Recently I heard a speaker talk about how the key to his success was his ability to embrace failure. He said that he failed so many times, he lost count. But, the “failures” led to his successes. He actually thinks of “failures” as “iterations” or simply a series of improvements that eventually led to success. I like that definition of “failure.”


Go back and look at what didn’t work. Ask yourself: is there anything I could have done differently that would have produced success? What did I learn? What can I do differently next time? (Write these down as well.) You’ll want to make sure to integrate these learnings in your efforts next year.


  1.    Set learning goals.

You know that if you are not learning, you are falling behind. In today’s world of rapid change, you need to be a continuous learner.

Ask yourself: what did I learn this year? Did I meet my learning goals? How much was I willing to invest in my learning? Was I able to implement everything I learned? What do I need to learn next year to take me to the next level? What are my learning goals? What am I willing to invest this year? (Write down what you learned this year and create a learning plan for next year, with a budget for your learning.)


  1.    Plan out milestones for next year.

To be truly effective, you’ll want to plan for the things that really matter to you. Do you want to write a book? By when? Do you want to change jobs? Create a new business? Find a partner? Take a trip? These milestones don’t need to be exclusively business-related. In fact, I think it’s better when you are able to see how your business and personal goals connect and support each other.


Once you’ve written down your goals, make time for their completion. Take out a yearly calendar and block off dates for your accomplishments. This way you can measure your progress during the year.


  1.    Make time for reflection.

You’ll want to schedule time for reflection. It’s important to sit back and look at your worklife and ask: what’s working? What’s not working? How can you be getting better results?


I used to be an executive coach for senior executives in New York City. The greatest gift I was able to give to them was permission to take the time to be reflective. Don’t wait for an executive coach to come into your life. Do it for yourself. Take time to reflect on your worklife and make small tweaks throughout the year. I promise you it will make a difference.

Back to top

Follow the Conversation


Back to top