January 2018 Print

President's Report

Dear Chicago Business Travel Association Members:

Welcome to 2018! We’re already in full swing thanks to our Executive Board, Allied Council, and committee members working hard to make sure this year’s events are better than ever.

We're excited to continue educating and engaging our community through events with meaningful and relevant content, guest speaker panels, and networking opportunities to strengthen our ever-changing industry.

At our Q1 Chapter Meeting a number of speakers will be talking to us about the latest trends and hot topics. Marc Anderson from Choose Chicago will discuss 2018 Chicago conventions and what they're doing to promote the city. Luke Bencie is returning by popular demand to talk about traveler safety. Viviane Vincente Bencie is also here to educate us on international protcol and ettiquette. Join us at that meeting on March 5th by registering here.

Engagement and networking are so important to our industry, and CBTA thrives on the efforts of our members, sponsors, and volunteers. If you want to become more involved, it’s not too late. Contact any of the board members listed here, and learn about the many committee and sponsorship opportunities available.

I look forward to another great year with you all!

Wayne Urbanek
CBTA President

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Welcome New Members

Richard Anderson

American Airlines

Tom  Bez

Enterprise Holdings

Anne Dycus

Adtalem Global Education Inc.

Andrew Dzurovcik

Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago

Lisa  Kirk

St. Jane Hotel

Iliana  Lara


Mary Ann  McNulty

The BTN Group

Gregory  Onorato

Ground Link

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Community Outreach

Introducing CBTA’s New Committee: Community Outreach

We are excited to announce a new sector at CBTA, the Community Outreach Committee!  The goal and purpose of Community Outreach is to provide fun and engaging events for our members while positively impacting our community at large on a variety of charitable outlets in the Chicagoland area throughout the year.

Please reach out to Cynthia Dirksen, cynthia.dirksen@marriott.com 312.359.7024 or Angela Sciortino  angela.sciortino@choicehotels.com 312.371.0206 if you are interested in joining the committee and/or if you have any recommendations of charitable events you would like to see CBTA participate in.

We are looking forward to a great 2018 and making an impact on our community!

Our first event will be with The Greater Food Depository, Friday, March 23rd:

Please join us for a Volunteer Day at The Greater Food Depository on Friday, March 23. We have 20 open spots on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please use the below link to register.  You will need to create a User ID and Password if you have not previously registered.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository regularly needs volunteers to help with repacking donated food and other products. The repack session is a great introduction to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the work they do  and the need that we have in Cook County. A lot of the food they receive at the warehouse comes in bulk quantities and volunteers are scheduled to help them break it down into more manageable sizes. In a repack session we might be sorting produce, looking over a shipment of bread, or repacking bulk dry goods (pasta, rice, beans) into smaller quantities. Together, we can properly and efficiently distribute quality food to participating food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in Cook County, while networking with our CBTA friends and colleagues as well.


Registration Link: https://volunteers.chicagosfoodbank.org/index.php?section=indGpRegistrations&action=profile_conditional&fwID=15020


Friday, March 23, 2018
9:00 AM to 11:45 AM

The Greater Food Depository
4100 W Ann Lurie Place
Chicago, IL 6063
Pulaski exit off the Stevenson Expressway.  Public Transportation – Orange Line towards Midway Airport.

Volunteers will be working in an active warehouse, and everyone must be registered in order to volunteer in the warehouse. The amount of food we are able to repackage is dependent on the number of scheduled volunteers.  Thank you for your dedication to our mission of making sure no one goes hungry!

After our shift, join us for pizza (payment will be on own and will not be covered by the Chicago BTA) at Giordano’s at 5159 S Pulaski. 


Any questions please contact Angela Sciortino at 312-371-0206 or angela.sciortino@choicehotels.com.


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Upcoming Meetings

Join us for our Q1 March 5, 2018 meeting at the Swissotel Chicago, 7:30a – 12p.  


Meeting Agenda:

7:30am - 8:00am       Registration and Breakfast
8:00am - 8:30am       CBTA President Welcome - Business Meeting / Important Updates
8:30am – 9:00am       Government regulations that’s shaping our business travel policies – Government Committee
9:00am – 9:30am       Guest Speaker - Marc Anderson EVP, Choose Chicago 
10:00am -10:30am    Networking Break
10:30am – 11:15am  Guest Speaker Viviane Bencie – International Protocol and Ethics
11:15am – 12:00pm  Guest Speaker Luke Bencie – Putting Traveler Safety First




Marc Anderson, Executive Vice President, Choose Chicago  will discuss what 2018 conventions are in store for Chicago and what Choose Chicago is doing to promote business to Chicago.

A lifelong Chicagoan, Marc Anderson is a 25-year passionate advocate of the hotel, tourism and hospitality industry. He has served as Executive Vice President at Choose Chicago (Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau) since 2016.

As Executive Vice President, Marc leverages a comprehensive sales and marketing plan to increase business and leisure visitation to Chicago. Chicago's convention sales and services team has the industry's largest hotel room night production goal of any city Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) of more than 2.6 million room nights per year.

He is on the Board of Directors for the United States Travel Association (USTA). 


Back by popular demand, Luke Bencie, Managing Director of Security Management International (SMI) will discuss Putting Traveler Safety First.

Luke has been a consultant to the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, Fortune 500 companies, as well as foreign governments.  He has worked in over 100 countries and has trained thousands of police, intelligence and military officers in the U.S. and abroad in the fields of counterterrorism, counterintelligence, crisis management and operational surveillance.

Luke has lectured at the Pentagon, regarding the latest espionage threats facing military personnel during their overseas deployments as well as various international intelligence organizations. He is the author of “Among Enemies: Counter-Espionage for the Business Traveler” and “The Clandestine Consultant: Kings, Sheiks, Warlord and Dictators.”

He has twice been nominated as “Security Consultant of the Year” by the Security Excellence Awards (SEA) in London.



Viviane Vicente Bencie, Founder of Rispetto Consulting, will be discussing International Protocol and Etiquette.

Rispetto Consulting is an advisory firm designed to help individuals and organizations navigate the globalized world and enhance their leadership potential.  Her expertise, acquired over the span of more than 15 years in the international arena, combined with a certification from the Protocol School of Washington®, allow her to pursue her true passion: helping clients create a world in which professional relationships are not only desirable and profitable, but respectful and kind.

A native of Brazil, Viviane has held positions in multinational companies such as Director of International Security at ESPN, and Senior Manager of Security for South America at Motorola. Viviane also was Vice President of Operations at Security Management International (SMI).

Viviane possesses a Law degree and an MBA from Brazilian universities; a Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) in National Security and U.S. Foreign Relations Law from The George Washington University Law School. In addition to her native language of Portuguese, she speaks English, Italian and Spanish.



And that isn’t all. Stay tuned. You’ll be hearing from a government official on Government Initiatives affecting your organization and business travel!

Chicago BTA Education Committee



Thank you for our newest sponsor:




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Calendar of Events

Q1 Meeting

March 05, 2018
7:30 AM CST to 12:00 PM CST

Swissotel Chicago
323 E Upper Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601

Global Business Protocol & Etiquette, Putting Traveler Safety First, Choose Chicago- Conventions and Promoting Chicago, Goverment regulations shaping business travel policies

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Direct Member Round Table

March 22, 2018
9:00 AM CDT to 11:30 PM CDT

Cambria Magnificent Mile
166 East Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Trends, Predictions and Ideas for 2018, Speaker: Brad Seitz

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Volunteer Day at The Greater Food Depository

March 23, 2018
9:00 AM CDT to 11:45 AM CDT

The Greater Food Depository
4100 W Ann Lurie Place
Chicago, IL 60632

Join us!

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Q2 Chapter Meeting

June 05, 2018
7:30 AM CDT to 12:00 PM CDT

The Ritz-Carlton Chicago
160 East Pearson
Chicago, IL 60611

Instant check in the moment you step into the hotel lobby… Using your smart phone as a key card… Booking a new flight before your old one even gets cancelled… Technology is changing quickly. Join our Q2 meeting to discuss new and future technology!

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 Thank you to our sponsor




Q3 Chapter Meeting

September 10, 2018
7:30 AM CDT to 12:00 PM CDT

Westin Chicago North Shore
601 N Milwaukee Ave
Wheeling, IL 60090

Virtual Payment, Block Chain Technology, Expense

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Q4 Holiday & Charity Event

December 06, 2018
3:30 PM CST to 7:30 PM CST

W City Center
172 W Adams St,
Chicago, IL 60603

Support the Wood Family Foundation

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Follow the Conversation


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Leslie Evans Thorne, YouAreFree.com

New Year’s Work Resolutions: Top 10 List

By Leslie Evans Thorne


It’s the beginning of a New Year and everyone is making resolutions.

Here are some resolutions for you to consider making to have a great worklife. See which ones resonate and come up with some of your own. Enjoy!


  1.    I will proactively manage my career and work circumstances.

I will no longer blame my work conditions on a bad economy, a lousy boss, or lack of jobs. I will no longer see myself as the victim of bad circumstances. I resolve that if my work is not working for me, I will take steps to make a change.


  1.    I will seek out help if I need it.

I will not be afraid to seek out help from friends, family members, professionals, books, seminars and wherever I need to go to get this help. I will invest my time, energy and money to figure out how to get to the next professional level.


  1.    This is my year of getting unstuck.

I am going to move forward with my plans…no matter what! No more spinning and wondering what I should do next. I am committed to taking action.


  1.    I will no longer tolerate toxic working conditions that are deleterious to my well-being.

I will not tolerate abusive working conditions. I deserve to work in an environment that is supportive.


  1.    I will commit to discovering and leveraging my talents to their fullest capacity.

What do I do really well and what comes so naturally to me that work feels effortless? What am I doing when I feel “in the zone?” How can I shift my work around my talents so that I can make a bigger impact to my team and company?


  1.    I will invest in learning so that I can continue to grow and keep pace with a dynamically-changing world.

I will make a learning plan for this year, including books to read, conferences to attend, people to meet.


  1.    I will commit myself to doing work that allows me to make a contribution – whatever that means.

I pledge to measure my contributions, successes and accomplishments, as well as my failures, knowing that my failures are just iterations. I will keep track of how I’m doing on a weekly basis and measure my progress so that I can make course corrections during the year.


  1.    I will seek out new experiences and experiment with new things.

What will I try this year that I have resisted in the past? What can I do differently? Where can I challenge myself? Who can I meet? Where can I go? What have I always wanted to experience but have been putting off? This is the year!


  1.    I will value my creative capital.

I will make sure that I get a return for investing my creative capital. If I create something, I will make sure that I am compensated fairly for what I make.


       10.     I will take responsibility for my worklife.

If something isn’t working, I will change it. If something is working, I will figure out how to multiply it. This year I will be fully accountable for my results because I know that there are nothing but opportunities in today’s world. I just need to find and/or create them!

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Sponsorship Opportunities

Looking for more exposure for your company?

Consider partnering with the Chicago BTA as a sponsor. Whether you're looking to present at a meeting, attend our events, join us at the golf outing, or more, we can work with you on a package.

Check out our existing sponsorship packages here and contact us at sponsorship@chicagobta.org for more information. 

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