CBTA October Newsletter Print

President's Report

Dear CBTA Members:

Q3 Meeting and Golf/Croquet
September 16th was our most anticipated meeting yet!  We had great success again this year.  First we started off with our Q3 meeting.  Julie Walker and team put together some great content and our members enjoyed the overall meeting.  The Golf and Croquet event was a great success and I am so thankful the weather turned out to be really nice!  As a result of our generous attendees and sponsors we are able to donate $10,000 to DePaul University School of Hospitality. Chicago BTA has donated over $70,000 over the course of 8 years - amazing work for all!  CBTA clearly believes in our industry future, and we so much enjoy our partnership with DePaul.

Thank you to all our sponsors for all they do.  Thank you to our Education Committee and Golf/Croquet Committee, and thank you to all our members that showed up to support our event.

Direct Round Table
If you have not reserved your seat at the Oct 9th meeting, please do so ASAP.  Availability is limited.  Happy to announce that Mary Ann McNulty will be moderating an open discussion surrounding hotel RFPs, Airline and Travel Management Company partners. Trish Rothman and team look forward to seeing you next week.

Q4 Meeting – Holiday Charity Event
Save the date – December 5th! We are all super excited about this meeting as it will be at the American Airlines Conference Center at Wrigley.  We look forward to seeing everyone.

On behalf of Chicago BTA Board, thank you for your continued support. See you in December!


Bonnie Brabb

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Calendar of Events

Future Meetings


Direct Member Round Table

October 09, 2019
10:00 AM CDT - 12:00 PM CDT

The Peninsula Chicago

108 E Superior St
Chicago, IL 60611

Calling all Direct Members!  Mary Ann McNulty will be moderating an open discussion surrounding hotel RFPs, Airline and Travel Management Company partners, as well as anything else that comes to mind! 

This event is a complimentary benefit avaliable to only Direct Members.

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Register Now


Q4 Holiday Charity Event

December 05, 2019
3:00 PM CST - 7:00 PM CST

American Airlines Conference Center at Wrigley

1101 W Waveland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60613

Charity event benefiting The Wood Family Foundation, Sponsored by American Airlines

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Register Now


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Sponsorship Opportunities

Looking for ways to promote your brand or product? Want to network with your clients & peers in the travel industry?

Consider a sponsorship with the Chicago BTA! With 2020 budget season upon us don't forget your sponsorship & marketing dollars and be sure to put them to work for you. With opportunities including product visibility, memberships, & presentation time, CBTA has a lot to offer you.

For a full listing of sponsorship opportunities please visit our site

Any questions? Contact [email protected]

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Community Outreach

The Community Outreach Committee has been working hard to find a new charity partner for 2020-2021.  If was very difficult, but we narrowed our choices down to 3 organizations and a representative from each of the Charities will present to the CBTA Board Members at our October meeting.

The Board will narrow our options to 2 organizations, and shortly after we would like you, our Members, to have the final vote on choosing the CBTA Charity partner for 2020-2021.  We will send out a survey for your input shortly after the board meeting. We appreciate and thank you in advance for voting and your support.  These are the 3 organization we are considering:

SocialWorks:  Aims to empower youth through the arts, education, and civic engagement while fostering leadership, accessibility, and positivity within Chicago. Founded in support of Chicago Public Schools.  www.socialworkschi.org

ChiGives Back: Mission is to improve the welfare of our global community via innovative charitable experiences. Vision is to inspire, empower, and influence people in our communities to give back to others. We believe in paying it forward​.  www.chigivesback.com

LYDIA Home Association: Mission is to strengthen families to care for children when families cannot. We empower kids exposed to trauma to believe in a brighter tomorrow.  (Foster home to approx.. 40 kids)​ www.lydiahome.org

We will announce our new Charity Partner at the CBTA December Q4 Meeting and Holiday Party.

Speaking of our Holiday Party, as you know, it is combined with raising money for our charity partner which this year is the Wood Family Foundation, benefiting children here in Chicago. We are asking for your generous support and donations for our opportunity drawing and auction fundraiser. Your contribution(s) will not only help the children but also give you the ability to showcase your company at our end of the year event and our online fundraising platform. Please see the attached donation form to complete and send with your donation.  We ask that you please send your donation no later than Monday, November 25th, 2019.

If you have any questions, please contact Angela Sciortino:  [email protected] | 312-371-0206 or Sam Smotzer: [email protected] | 847-224-5325.

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In Case You Missed It

Thank you to everyone who came out and enjoyed the wonderful Q3 Golf and Croquet Outing!  The weather was perfect and Willow Crest Golf Club set up a fun day for all! 

We are very proud to support the DePaul University - School of Hospitality Leadership and extremely happy to announce this year’s Outing raised $10,000 in proceeds which will be donated to their Scholarship Fund.  This partnership spans 8 years and has produced $70,000 in donations.  Nothing makes us more proud than being able to support tomorrow’s leaders of our industry.

DePaul Representatives at the putting green
Pictured (Left to Right): Dr. Nick Thomas - DePaul, Lizzie Doll - DePaul Student, Heather Garrity - DePaul Student, Juan Mendez - DePaul

Golf and Croquet Committee team at the Registration Desk
Pictured (Left to Right) Amber Mallon - Allied Council and Board Liaison, Tom Crocker - Chair, Golf & Croquet Event Committee, Christy Villez - CBTA Intern and DePaul Student, Gabbi Serpico - former CBTA Intern and DePaul Alumnus


Congratulations to the winning teams and cheers to the best dressed group of croquet players out there! View more event photos HERE

Fashionable Croquet Players standing outside of the Hilton Oakbrook Hills Resort - ready to play!

2019 Winning Golf foursome, presented by United
Pictured (Left to Right): Chuck Locascio - Delta, Barb Lankin - United, Steve Rak - BCD Travel, Bill Hickey - Travelex, Johnathan Mullings - United

2019 Winning Croquet Team (Beth and Mark), presented by Conference Direct
Pictured (Left to Right): Bob Kobosky - Conference Direct, Amber Mallon - Hertz, Beth Andrews - The Blackstone Hotel, Mark Molinari - The Peninsula

Best Dressed Croquet Players, presented by Conference Direct
Pictured (Left to Right): Bob Kobosky - Conference Direct, Benjamin Jellicoe - Delta, Sam Smotzer - Hertz


Special thank you to our sponsors, especially United Airlines – Event Sponsor, and Egencia – Dinner, Bar and Fundraising Platform Sponsor, and to DePaul School of Hospitality Leadership – Putting Contest Sponsor!

United Representives kicking off the tournament at hole No. 1
Pictured (Left to Right): Terrin Thomas - United, Alicia Vought - United



Thank you and see you next year!!


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Leslie Evans Thorne, YouAreFree.com

Video Letters: How to Rock the Video Letter
By Leslie Evans Thorne


Did you know that some hiring companies only want to see…video letters?

What is a video letter? It’s a video of you, talking to the company about why you are applying to them for the job.

If you approach the video like a traditional cover letter, you will not be successful. Why? Because there is more to the video letter.  You need to showcase who you are. Showcase your personality. They want to see YOU, not just hear about what you can do for them professionally. Make it entertaining, while appropriate.

Here are some guidelines to use when shooting your video letter:

(HINT: it’s easier if you script out what you want to say)

  1. Introduction – start by sharing your name and the job/role for which you are applying. Make it easy for the viewer. Be pleasant and make it fun to watch.

  2. Get personal: - the whole purpose of a video letter is to get an idea of what kind of person you are. Who are you? The hiring company – and team – wants to know who you are and whether you are the kind of person they want to spend 8 – 10 hours a day with. So include some details outside your professional world. Think about your Twitter profile. It isn’t just about business. Be real and authentic.

  3. Make the case for why the viewer should care and why they would want you to be a part of their team.

  4. Tell them what you love about the company.

  5. Explain why you are excited by this job/role/project opportunity, and specifically state what they will get if they hire you.

  6. Attach your resume. Let them know they can find more details about your background in your resume. Make sure it includes proof of your professed “value add.”

  7. CALL TO ACTION: Make sure you close with something like: “Oh and don’t forget to pick up the phone to call. I would love to have the chance to meet you and talk about how I can contribute. Bye, bye.”


Pick up your iPhone, Android and start filming! Have fun with this…the more you practice now, the better you will be when it counts.

Leslie Evans Thorne is a monthly guest contributor to the CBTA Newsletter. For more information about Leslie and her work, visit https://www.youarefree.com/

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