Letter from Christle Johnson: GBTA Announces WINiT Strategic Advisory Board

At Convention this August, I had the pleasure of announcing GBTA’s acquisition of WINiT, a career development network aimed at increasing visibility and advancement for women in the travel, meetings, events and exhibition industries. This move further strengthened our ongoing commitment to support women in the travel industry.

Today, I am thrilled to announce a key milestone in the post-acquisition integration process: the formation of the WINiT Strategic Advisory Board. This Advisory Board brings together a remarkable and diverse group of travel industry leaders to help expand WINiT’s mission globally. Both GBTA and former WINiT leadership are represented on this board to help foster consistency and innovation within WINiT as it evolves and grows.

The Advisory Board will provide strategic guidance and direction for the future of WINiT as a GBTA Board of Directors initiative.

The members of the Advisory Board include:

  • Chair – Dorothy Dowling, Senior Vice President & CMO, Best Western® Hotels & Resort
  • Vice Chair – Michelle ‘Mick’ Lee, Founder, WINiT, Managing Director, Arrow 212
  • Delores Alexander, Vice President, Indirect Supply Chain, Boeing
  • Jodi Allen, Executive Vice President & CMO, Hertz
  • Michele Bryant, Global Chief Procurement Officer, Deloitte
  • Amanda Cecil, PhD, CMP, Senior Vice President, Professional Development and Research, GBTA
  • Mary Ellen George, Head of North America, Tramada Systems
  • Christle Johnson, Vice President, Travel & Business Services Johnson Downie, LLC; President, GBTA
  • Beth Kinerk, Senior Vice President, Avis Budget Group
  • Melissa Maher, Senior Vice President, Global Partner Group, Expedia, Inc.
  • Michael W. McCormick, Executive Director and COO, GBTA
  • Traci Mercer, Senior Vice President Lodging, Ground & Sea, Sabre
  • Malaika Myers, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hyatt Hotel Corporation
  • Becca Rabinowitz, Head of SpotHero for Business
  • Dawn Repoli, Vice President, Program Development, GBTA’s WINiT Business Unit
  • Kristen Shovlin, Vice President, Sales Operations & Development, Delta Airlines
  • Scott Solombrino, President and CEO, Dav El / Boston Coach Chauffeured Transportation Network; President, GBTA Allied Leadership Council

The first in-person meeting of the Advisory Board is scheduled for November. The GBTA and WINiT teams, now in collaboration with the WINiT Strategic Advisory Board, are working diligently to finalize a strategic plan and path forward that leverages the synergies and unique attributes of both organizations for the benefit of GBTA and WINiT members. Additional announcements will be coming in November, along with the integration of select WINiT programming into GBTA Conference 2018 Berlin in partnership with VDR – Europe’s largest business travel conference.

On a closing note, today marks the 6th annual United Nations International Day of the Girl, a day dedicated to galvanizing worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate this day than taking this next step in our efforts to grow WINiT’s mission globally as we further affirm our commitment to support the lives and success of women around the world.

Exciting times are on the horizon for GBTA, WINiT and the entire travel industry as we come together to drive change and advocacy for women. I look forward to sharing this incredible journey with all of you.

Best Regards,

Christle Johnson
GBTA President



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