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Meeting/Event Information

Q2 Chapter Meeting- Chicago BTA Travel Innovation Talk!

June 05, 2018
7:30 AM CDT to 12:00 PM CDT
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The Ritz-Carlton Chicago
160 East Pearson
Chicago, IL 60611

Q2 June 5, Ritz-Carlton Chicago, 160 E Pearson, Chicago, 7:30a – 12p


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

Update your LinkedIn photo – Complimentary photo shoot from Brian Fitz Photography

When: Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Where:  Ritz Carlton Chicago, 160 E Pearson St, Chicago, IL 60611


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.




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 (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 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



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$100.00 Member registration
$120.00 after 05:00 pm June 2
$75.00 Earlybird rate before May 19

$140.00 Guest Registration
$160.00 after 05:00 pm June 2
$130.00 Earlybird rate before May 19

$0.00 Allied Prepaid Registration

$0.00 Direct Prepaid Registration