June 2018 Print

President's Report

Dear Chicago Business Travel Association Members:

The Q2 Chapter Meeting is just around the corner, and I couldn't be more excited for a packed agenda with great and relavent content. Be sure to arrive early to get your complimentary headshot from Brian Fitz Photography, and grab your seat - it will be a full house at The Ritz Carlton Chicago.

I encourage everyone to bring a toiletry item to donate to Stop-It Chicago at the Q2 meeting as well - another opportunity that brings big impact to a worthy cause.

Next up on the schedule after our Chapter meeting is our Member Appreciation Event taking place at Pinstripes - I hope to see you there! A few days later, a great volunteer opportunity benefitting the Wood Family Foundation is available. Join CBTA as we celebrate the end of the school year at Lawndale Community Academy on June 15th!

Wayne Urbanek
CBTA President

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Welcome New Members

Leslie  Andrews CDK Global
Becky  Bunnin Courtyard Chicago Magnificent Mile
Maria  Cesario Hampton Inn & Homewood Suites West Loop
John  Dale BCD Travel
Gillian  Gilbreth Foley & Lardner, LLP
Shannon  Mckinney Hilton Chicago/Magnificent Mile Suites
Barbara  Poczatek Emirates Airline
Jay  Sandifer Bridgestreet Global Hospitality
Lisa  Silvey Options Travel
Nick  Wambach Langham Hotels

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Our Q2 Chapter Meeting is next week!

A few reminders:

  • Bring a toiletry item or gently used clothing to donate to Stop-It Chicago - a worthy cause. We'll be collecting items at this meeting to donate.
  • Arrive early and camera-ready: Complimentary photo shoot from Brian Fitz Photographygives you an opportunity at a free professional headshot!
  • Park for FREE with SpotHero. CBTA has partnered with SpotHero to provide a FREE parking spot for this meeting with promo code CBTA2018. Apply code at checkout. More info below...
  • Check out Evenium's ConnexMe app - we will use this during the Shark Tank style panel! 
  • Register now for the meeting if you haven't already!


7:30 am - 8:00am     Registration and Breakfast // Brian Fitz Photography
8:00am - 8:30am      Business Meeting / Important Updates
8:30am – 9:30am     Airline Reporting Corporation's (ARC) John Pittman discussing NDC
9:30am – 10:30am    Innovation Talk, Shark Tank Style, Kevin Iwamoto, Moderator
10:30am –11:00am   Break
11:00am –12:00pm   Travel Buyer panel - How are they using emerging tech in their programs, challenges, opportunities.

Learn from fellow corporate travel buyers about how they are incorporating new technologies for managing travel. 

New third-party technologies are entering the marketplace at rapid speed and the question is, how does it fit into your overall program?   

Come hear from our panel of experts their thoughts on how and when you incorporate this new technology into your program.  They will address the anxiety that comes with what to buy and how to implement, all while protecting your data!

The panel will be moderated by Irina Matz - Director Product Planning, BCD Travel

Koreen Barbara – Global Travel Manager, McDonald
Mary Alice Hansen – Sr. Manager Travel and Expense, Astellas Pharma
Faye Zeidlhack – Global Travel Manager, Shire Pharmaceutical

Gain valuable insight on NDC – New Distribution Capability

John Pittman, Director, Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC) will discuss how NDC is transforming the way airline products are retailed to corporations and business travelers and how that affects you!

Watch travel startup companies present new technology to us shark tank style

Kevin Iwamoto, Sr. Consultant of GoldSpring Consulting will moderate the startup disruptors comprising of new technology companies that will showcase their products. We will use Evenium, an interaction technology company to facilitate questions and polling from the audience using our mobile phones.

  • Bizly - Business meetings and events … Bizly eases many pain points of planning business M&E by allowing users to set the parameter of an event on mobile, chat with professional meeting planners and quickly book meeting space.
  • Service- Trip disruption and savings…Service detects savings based on travel reservations. Service automatically detects flight disruptions and hotel savings opportunities based on travel reservations in your inbox. Set up take one minute.
  • Booking.com for Business… easy one stop shop hotel solution for travel buyers and business travelers 
  • Pana... the first corporate travel platform exclusively for world-class guest trips, including on-site interviews, customer visits, internships and more

Enjoy FREE PARKING for the BTA Travel Innovation Talk

Driving to the BTA Travel Innovation talk? Find and reserve a parking spot with SpotHero, the nation's leading parking reservation app and website. Simply download the free SpotHero app or visit the The Ritz-Carlton Chicago Parking Page to book your spot for the event. Even better, CBTA has partnered with SpotHero to provide a FREE parking spot with promo code CBTA2018. Apply code at checkout.

SpotHero has a “For Business” offering which will help you provide easy parking for your drivers and great savings for your entire company. Learn more about Spothero for Business.




Learn more about all of our panelists below:

John Pittman
Director of Strategic Accounts, Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC)
John Pittman is director of strategic accounts at the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), where he and his team manage ARC’s relationship with key travel agencies and corporate travel departments. Before coming to ARC, Pittman served as senior vice president at The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), where for 20 years he was responsible for regulatory/industry affairs, market research, marketing, and consumer affairs. Pittman, who is fluent in German, holds a Bachelor of Arts in German and Political Science from James Madison University and a Master of Business Administration from Wilmington College.

About ARC
The Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) is the premier driver of air travel intelligence and commerce in the travel industry with leading business solutions, travel agency accreditation services, process and financial management tools and high-quality data. In 2017, ARC settled $88.5 billion worth of airline ticket transactions for more than 7,000 travel agencies with 12,000 points of sale. Established in 1984, ARC is an ISO 27001 certified company headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, with offices in Louisville, Kentucky, Tampa, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico. For more information, please visit www.arccorp.com and www.twitter.com/arctalk.


Innovation Talk Panelists:

Moderator: Kevin Iwamoto

Senior Consultant, GoldSpring Consulting

Kevin Iwamoto, Senior Consultant at GoldSpring Consulting, an independent travel management consultancy, brings more than 30 years of experience in corporate travel and meetings/events management.

Iwamoto is a former President & CEO of the Board of Directors for the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).  He has served on numerous corporate and association boards, most recently as a Board member for the US Council for the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Foundation.

Iwamoto has won almost every major industry award in both business travel and the meetings and events industries. Recent accolades include the 2016 MPI Rise Award for Meetings Industry Leadership and the Changemakers Award for MeetingsNet in June 2016, where he was also featured on the magazine’s cover.  He also maintains a popular award-winning industry blog (Gold Magellan Award for Best Industry Blog from Travel Weekly), published though Meetings & Conventions on-line.

Prior to joining GoldSpring Consulting, Iwamoto was Vice President of Industry Strategy for Lanyon, senior global category manager in the Hewlett-Packard (HP) Global Travel & Meetings Team. He has also served as a senior travel account manager with the Walt Disney Company, as well as a corporate sales manager with Northwest Airlines.

Iwamoto holds a bachelor of arts degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii, a Global Travel Professional (GTP) designation from GBTA and a Global Leadership Professional (GLP) Masters designation from the Wharton School of Business.

Michael Schneider is the founder and CEO of Service, a company that saves consumers money automatically via a connection to their inbox. Currently, Service is active in the travel space - if your hotel room drops in price after you book it, Service will rebook you at the lower rate. If your flight is delayed or cancelled, Service will file a claim with the airline for compensation.

Prior to Service, Schneider was the co-founder and CEO of Mobile Roadie, one of the world’s most successful mobile app platforms, with clients such as Disney, the World Economic Forum, Madonna and the Rolling Stones. Schneider is active in the Los Angeles tech community, having served on the board ofthe Young Entrepreneurs Organization, advising the Southern California Entrepreneurship Academy and speaking regularly at his alma mater - the University of Southern California.

Fast Facts

  • At the age of 15, Schneider founded Video Game Central, where he sold new and used video games online at the advent of the digital age

A serial entrepreneur, Schneider has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Los Angeles County SBA “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” award, and was named one of the “Top 20 in their 20s” by the Los Angeles Business Journal

Brandon Wong
Head of Customer Success
Brandon Wong is the Head of Customer Success at Pana, the first corporate travel platform exclusively for world-class guest trips, including on-site interviews, customer visits, internships and more.
Over the past two years, he's spent countless hours working directly with travel managers and their travelers to understand their evolving needs and build solutions to make their lives easier and more productive.
Brandon is the recipient of multiple awards and fellowships.

Ron Shah
Ron Shah is a veteran entrepreneur, seasoned venture capitalist and former on-air contributor for CNBC. He is currently Founder and CEO of Bizly, which is on a mission to bring transparency and efficiency to online event bookings. Bizly is now the mandated small meetings solution for several companies in the Fortune 500 and has a comprehensive network of hotels, restaurant private dining, activities and unique venues. 
Ron is involved in several non-profit and charitable endeavors: he is an active participant in the United Way board program, and serves as a board member at Smartspaces. He holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and BBA from the George Washington University.

Zach Alpert
National Account Manager
Booking.com for Business
Zach Alpert is the National TMC Account Manager for Booking.com for Business.  He has been with Booking.com since July of 2017 and has helped launch the Booking for Business program in the US and Canada.
He has been in the travel industry since 2011, helping launch Groupon Getaways as the West Coast Sales Manager and the Tour Operator Sales Manager. In 2014, he moved over to Travelzoo to become the Midwest Sales Manager. He and his family live in Evanston, IL and Zach is also a new member of CBTA. 
Booking.com for Business is a tailored offering specifically focused on business bookers and travelers to allow seamless booking and managing of business travel in the simplest, smartest and most rewarding way. More than one in five bookings made on Booking.com are made for business

Travel Manager Panel:

Moderator: Irina Matz
Director, SolutionSource Product Planning
BCD Travel

Irina Matz manages BCD Travel’s SolutionSource marketplace, connecting corporate clients to third party technology solutions. Prior to joining BCD, Irina worked in various product, marketing and business development roles at DHISCO and Sabre. Her roles included growing one of the travel industry’s first B2B app marketplaces, launching an open developer platform and managing startup & emerging venture relationships. Before her career in travel, Irina worked in the transportation industry including leading sales for a black car service and growing a trucking startup from the ground up. She has a deep passion for travel, technology and entrepreneurship.  

Koreen Barbara
Global Travel Manager
McDonald’s Corporation

Koreen Barbara is responsible for managing the McDonald’s travel program, her key focus is to deliver the right service to all employees and ensure the right technology, solutions and suppliers are available to meet the demands of the modern McDonald’s business traveler. Her career covers more than 18 years in the travel industry gaining experience and insights across the globe working in Australia, London and now Chicago. Her career began in 2001 working as a travel consultant and then making the move to London in 2003 where she spent 10 years in various senior account management roles with TMC and hotel suppliers. She has had much success in managing global and regional travel programs, delivering value, savings, new ideas and exceptional customer service.

Mary Alice Hansen
Sr Manager, Travel & Expense Reimbursement
Astellas US LLC
Mary Alice has been involved in travel for almost 20 years. As the Travel & Expense Reimbursement Senior Manager, Mary Alice has oversight of the corporate policy, the travel program, expense reporting processing, expense report payments, and corporate credit card program. Her department provides innovative solutions and end-user support to approximate 3200 employees across the Americas Region. Currently she is working with global colleagues to develop a global template and global process for managing corporate card, travel, expense, and policy initiatives.

Mary Alice holds GTP (Global Travel Professional) Certification from GBTA (Global Business Travel Assn) and is currently an active member of her local GBTA Chapter in Chicago. Mary Alice is also serving as an officer in Kan Pai Toastmasters Club.

Faye Zeidlhack
Global Travel Manager
Shire Pharmaceuticals

Faye Zeidlhack has over 30 years experience in the Travel industry from agency to Corporate Travel Management.  As an Associate Director of Global Travel, Faye has oversight of the Travel Management Company, Airline partners, Travel Policy, and the Health Care Professional Travel program. Faye works closely with many different functional areas including Finance, Procurement, Legal and Executive Office.   When Faye joined Shire in 2017, she began the implementation of a new and comprehensive global travel program for two different company cultures with different systems and requirements for 62 countries in 90 days.  Faye is currently working with Shire Meetings and Events on a new global travel solution for Health Care Professionals. 

Faye is a member of GBTA and an active member of Chicago BTA. 

Please Support: 

Please consider donating toiletry items, new/gently used women’s clothing or a gift card for human trafficking victims in need, helping us support Stop-It Chicago. Items will be collected throughout the Q2 meeting

Chicago BTA Education Committee



Gold Sponsor


Nickel Sponsor



Venue Sponsor


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Upcoming Meetings

Download this app for the Q2 Chapter Meeting!

We are thrilled to utilize Evenium’s ConnexMe interactive solution for our Shark Tank presentations at the Q2 Chapter Meeting. You will be able to respond to live polls and post comments and questions during the session. 

To access ConnexMe in advance feel free to download the app from either:

Use the event code:  CBTA2018.

Or using a web browser enter the URL: www.evenium.me/CBTA2018


Evenium provides technology for professional events. ConnexMe app allows planners and speakers to design engaging events with highly interactive presentations, meaningful collaboration, and increased networking. Evenium's Net platform simplifies event creation, promotion, and registration. Globally over ten million people in thousands of organizations use Evenium's integrated in leadership meetings, sales kickoffs, partner events, workshops, and conferences.

Assisting us on the 5th is Ben Leikach, VP of Strategic Alliances for the Americas. Ben’s career spans more than 30 years in tech, working with a diverse range of companies in B2B web communications and training, management consulting, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. He has managed business development, sales, marketing and operations in various startups, along with a 4-year stint with Oracle Worldwide Education.

Initially a biologist with the National Institutes of Health, a later move to Silicon Valley was the start of Ben's journey in tech that brought him to Evenium!

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Community Outreach

Come join CBTA as we help celebrate the end of the school year festivities at Lawndale Community Academy in partnership with the Wood Family Foundation.  We will be helping students celebrate the end of their school year by helping manage their annual carnival! There will be games, food, face painting, and more!

The carnival will be taking place on June 15th at Lawndale Community Academy - 3500 W. Douglas Blvd from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.  


If you are interested in volunteering for the event, please send Zach Alpert (zach.alpert@booking.com) an email and you will be added to our Google Doc list.  Unfortunately, the volunteer limit is going to be capped at 20, so if you're interested in participating, let us know ASAP! 


For more information on Lawndale Community Academy and The Wood Family Foundation, please check the links listed. 

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Committee Updates

Help us support Stop-It. We will be collecting items during our June 5th Q2 CBTA meeting in donation to the Stop-It facility in Chicago.

The items we will be collecting include, but are not limited to: new toiletry items, new or gently used women’s clothing, cash donations, gift cards (ex. Walgreens or women’s clothing stores, etc.).

For additional information see the attached article, visit the Stop-It website, or contact the CBTA Education Committee.  

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Calendar of Events

Q2 Chapter Meeting- Chicago BTA Travel Innovation Talk!

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

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

Join our Q2 meeting to discuss new and future technology, and don’t miss our corporate travel buyer’s panel as they discuss how they are incorporating new technologies for managing travel!

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Member Appreciation Event

June 13, 2018
4:00 PM CDT to 7:00 PM CDT

435 E Illinois St
Chicago, IL 60611

Join us!

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Lawndale Community Academy Carnival

June 15, 2018
9:30 AM CDT to 12:00 PM CDT

Lawndale Community Academy
3500 W Douglas Boulevard
Lawndale, IL

Come join CBTA as we help celebrate the end of the school year festivities at Lawndale Community Academy in partnership with the Wood Family Foundation.

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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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Golf & Croquet Outing for DePaul Scholarship Fund

September 10, 2018
12:00 PM CDT to 8:30 PM CDT

Chevy Chase Country Club
1000 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Wheeling, IL 60090

Join us!

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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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Special Events

CBTA’s Golf & Croquet Event 2018

The 2018 Q3 Golf & Croquet Event will be taking place on September 10th, 2018 immediately following the Q3 Chapter Meeting. This year we are taking our talents to the Chevy Chase Country Club in Wheeling, IL.


Chevy Chase Country Club
1000 N Milwaukee Avenue
Wheeling, IL 60090


To support students at the DePaul School of Hospitality Leadership.
DePaul School of Hospitality Leadership
and for fun!

We are looking forward to seeing all our CBTA Members out for a day of Golf or Croquet to support our partners at DePaul University. Last year we raised over $10,000 in scholarship funds for students at the DePaul School of Hospitality Leadership.

We cannot do it without our CBTA Members so register to play with friends, co-workers and customers. Your registration includes a lunch prior to the event, your round of golf, GPS guided golf cart and dinner reception after the event.  

You can register to play at: Golf & Croquet Outing Registration



We also cannot do this without the support of our sponsors! Last year we had a record number of attendees and look to see even more of our members out there on September 10th. Our event sponsorships are a great way to promote your business, engage with our members and support a great cause.

SPONSORSHIPS ARE NOW AVAILABLE (and sell out quickly): 2018 Golf Outing Sponsorship Catalog

Or contact us directly with questions at golf@chicagobta.org

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