GBTA Chicago Chapter - May Newsletter 2020 Print

President's Report

GBTA Chicago Chapter Community,

As Illinois moves to the Third Phase of reopening, I hope you and yours are all doing well. I hope all of you had a great Memorial Day Weekend as we honored those heroes with our deepest gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice they made in their lives in service to our country.

Zoom Meeting Series II – Travel Awakens

As we continue with our Zoom meeting series, I am happy to say our last meeting was yet another success. We had 120 attendees who heard how travel will slowly awaken, and we heard from multiple travel sectors on their safety and cleaning procedures.  I want to thank Pat Rowe as our moderator, and to our panel for making our meeting so informative: Mike Hanna – Vice President O’Hare Operations, United Airlines, Laura Smith – Senior Vice President of Customer Experience, The Hertz Corporation, Janis Cannon – Senior Vice President of Upscale Brands, Choice Hotels International and Brett Amos  - Senior Enterprise Account Executive, Uber for Business.

We are planning our June Zoom Meeting Series III, so please stay tuned for more information.

Future GBTA - Chicago Chapter events

Speaking of upcoming events, we’re doing our best to create as many opportunities to meet and share ideas as possible (even if it’s purely virtual in the short term). Our next event will be a networking Happy Hour on June 9th via Zoom. Our Allied Council will bring members together and host small breakout groups to facilitate networking during the session. For those who participate – we will provide an opportunity to earn a small stimulus!

As for the remainder of our regularly scheduled 2020 events, no decision has been made yet on whether or not those meetings will continue as planned. However, I want to thank each and every one of you who shared their thoughts in our member survey. Your input and comfort levels are imperative to determining how we will move forward. Check out the survey results below if you’d like to read further.

I hope all of you have a great month as we kick off summer on June 20th.  Stay safe and be well.


Bonnie Brabb
President, GBTA - Chicago Chapter



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Community Outreach

Happy 50th Birthday to the GBTA Chicago Chapter! This year is our Chapter’s 50th anniversary and we understand how significant it is to celebrate these milestones.

With a heavy focus on our member’s safety we have had many conversations on how we can still volunteer with our charity partner, Lydia Home. As mentioned above it is important for people, especially children, to celebrate their birthdays and to know there are people who care about them.

It is sad to say but there are several children at Lydia Home who don’t experience opening a birthday card from loved ones. Just imagine turning 12 years old and not having a card to open on your birthday; I think we can all agree it would not be a great feeling. We saw this as an opportunity for us to extend our Chicago GBTA family to theirs and bring some cheer to the children’s birthdays.

We are inviting all of our members to participate in the Lydia Home Birthday campaign and to celebrate with us by sending a birthday card(s) to the children of Lydia Home. If you wish to participate feel free to send a card to any or all of the children listed below*. We will include a list in each newsletter of the current and upcoming month’s birthdays. The list for June and July are listed below with the children’s name, age, and gender. The cards may be sent to the address below.

*In efforts of making sure we sending cards to the children somewhat evenly we ask that you email Sam Smotzer at  [email protected]  to let her know which child you wish to send a card to before sending.

Lydia Home
4300 West Irving Park Road
Chicago, IL 6064

June Birthdays
Derrick (M)- turning 16
Eva (F)- turning 16
Jeremiah (M)- turning 11
Zaylen (M)- turning 11

July Birthdays
Kyle (M)- turning 8
Marley (M)- turning 8
Jasmine (F)- turning 19
Destiny (F)- turning 11

If you wish to learn more about how you can become involved with the Community Volunteer Committee please reach out to Sam Smotzer at [email protected] or Angela Sciortino at [email protected] .

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Our Allied Council brings you our next event!

Networking Happy Hour - Ready for the Travel Rebound

Join us on Tuesday, June 9th from 4-5p.m. CST via Zoom as our Allied Council hosts a Networking Happy Hour.

Our Allied Council will bring our members together and host small breakout groups to facilitate networking within our Chicago community. Lets have some fun and support each other as we prepare for the Travel Rebound.

We enourage outrageous travel attire, a fun background or company background, and a beverage of your choice.

For all those that participate in our networking session we will provide an opportunity to earn a small stimulus! :) All participants will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Winner must be present at the end of the session to claim the prize. 

We look forward to connecting with you! 

Registered attendees will receive a calendar invite with the Zoom meeting details the day before the meeting.

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Calendar of Events

*Scheduled in-person events for 2020 are subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions


Upcoming Zoom Meetings:

Zoom Meeting For Members: Networking Happy Hour - Ready For The Travel Rebound

June 09, 2020
4:00 PM CDT - 5:00 PM CDT

Join Us!

Read More

Register Now


Zoom Meeting Series III: Coming Soon 

The Education Committee is working on the content for the Zoom Meeting Series III to take place late June.  We ask that all members keep an eye on their inbox and reference the GBTA Chicago Chapter website for details of this meeting. Members are encouraged to send content suggestions to [email protected]


2020 in-person events

Q3 Chapter Meeting

August 21, 2020
7:30 AM CDT - 12:00 PM CDT

Renaissance Chicago O'Hare Suites Hotel
8500 W Bryn Mawr Ave
Chicago, IL 60631

Read More



Golf & Croquet Event

September 14, 2020
10:00 AM CDT - 6:30 PM CDT

Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club
1400 Poplar Creek Drive
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Read More


Q4 Holiday Charity Event

December 02, 2020
7:30 AM CST - 12:00 PM CST

The Dalcy
302 N Green St
Chicago, IL 60607

Read More

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Survey Results

Due to the current environment within the travel industry, have you been furloughed or displaced from your job?
Yes 6.78%
No 93.22%

Q3 Meeting - Would you prefer to attend in person or virtually via Zoom?
In Person 41.67%
Virtually via Zoom 58.33%

Q3 Meeting - Do you feel your company would support the time away from the office?
Yes 85%
No 15%

Q3 Meeting - To the best of your awareness, would your company financially support the event?
Yes 30.77%
No 69.23%

Golf & Croquet Event - Are you currently planning to attend in either a golf or croquet capacity?
Yes 48.33%
No 51.67%

Golf & Croquet Event - Do you feel that your company would support time away from the office?
Yes 59.32%
No 40.68%

Golf & Croquet Event - To the best of your awareness, would your company financially support the event?
Yes 28.33%
No 71.66%

Provided that in person gatherings of 100-200 people are allowed in Dec 2020, do you anticipate attending our 50th anniversary celebration at the Dalcy on Dec 2nd.
Yes 79.66%
No 20.34% 


Which Member benefits are most valued in the GBTA - Chicago Chapter?

In order of importance, membership deems these as most imporant

  1. Education
  2. Networking
  3. Professional Development
  4. Industry Research


Note: Of those who responded to our survey, 80% of responses were from Allied members (suppliers) and 20% were from Direct members (buyers).

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