August 2017  

GBTA Annual Convention

What did I Miss?

July 16-19 GBTA Boston, MA at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

GBTA Convention is the world’s largest business travel event. Over 7,000 business travel professionals from around the world will be gathering in Boston this year for state-of-the-art education, exclusive networking opportunities and news on the latest innovations in the industry.

GBTA Convention 2017 marks the 49th edition of The Business Travel Event of the Year® and our theme this year, Convergence, was developed to address the latest trends, issues and guidelines that have emerged as the business travel industry has evolved.

Here are views from of two of our Direct Members who attended this year’s GBTA Convention:

Mark H. Ziegler, CCTE, GLP, GTP Senior Travel Manager Global Travel Services NetApp

It seemed to me that the convention this year was a tipping point with respect to technology.  All the many changes that are taking place and have been developing are coming to a giant head.  Mobility, artificial intelligence, distribution, startups providing ancillary services, NDC, et cetera are all ‘converging’ to forever change the travel industry.  The changes happening now seem to be even more pronounced and present than ever.  The next year or so will be exceptionally interesting.


Daryl Keiper, Sr Procurement Manager, US Travel Program at Genentech

What I find most valuable about the GBTA convention is the opportunity to meet with our key suppliers and network with other travel buyers. It's a great way to schedule meetings to meet, not only with our main supplier sales contacts, but with their more senior leaders to provide our feedback and build deeper, wider relationships. 

For me, the most valuable educational session was the Peer to Peer breakout with other Pharmaceutical companies. It's a great way to network with my peers and discuss issues that are unique to our industry (i.e. HCP's, Sunshine Act, etc.) that aren't addressed in the more general sessions.

I also enjoy walking the Expo floor to see what new technologies or companies are coming into the market. There were a couple that peaked my interest this year around improving the traveler experience for employee and non-employee travel.

Check out our Convention Social Media presence @svbta on Twitter and

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Calendar of Events

SVBTA & BABTA August Meeting

Register Now!

August 17th is the Annual Joint Chapter Dinner Meeting with BABTA.  Remember to register before August 5th for the “Early Bird Special” rate. This event is traditionally the most well attended of the year and our speaker Patrick Schwerdtfeger, Author, Speaker and Business Futurist will share his compelling views of:

Artificial Intelligence: the Coming Revolution in Corporate Travel

We are on the cusp of another technological transformation, one that will change our interactions, communications and experiences in the travel business. What will AI (artificial intelligence) or "machine learning" mean for our industry?  Who's driving innovation forward?  Who's using the technology already?  And where are the early success stories?  This session will include case histories from both inside and outside the field. Position yourself ahead of the curve, and join Patrick Schwerdtfeger on a fascinating journey to explore AI in the corporate travel industry.


Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a business futurist specializing in technology trends including artificial intelligence, Fintech, blockchain and social media. He has lectured at numerous academic institutions including Purdue and Stanford Universities, and is a regular speaker for Bloomberg TV. Patrick is the founder of Trend Mastery Inc. and host of the Strategic Business Insights video blog (with over 20,000 subscribers and four million views on YouTube). He has spoken about business trends, technology and digital marketing at hundreds of conferences in dozens of cities around the world. Patrick discussed Learned Intuition at the TEDx Sacramento event in 2012.

Patrick is the author the award-winning book Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed (2011, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). His other books include Keynote Mastery: The Personal Journey of a Professional Speaker (2016, Authority Publishing), Webify Your Business: Internet Marketing Secrets for the Self-Employed (2009) and Make Yourself Useful: Marketing in the 21st Century (2008). He has been featured by the New York Times, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Reader’s Digest, CNN Money, NPR, Fortune, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Associated Press, MONEY Magazine and Forbes, among many others.

Thank you to our event sponsor:



$85.00 SVBTA Member Ticket
$65.00 Earlybird rate before August 5

$125.00 Non-Member and Guest Ticket
$100.00 Earlybird rate before August 5

Did you know that registration is open to all of our 2017 meetings?

CLICK HERE for our events listing


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CHEERS Retirees!

Here’s to Good Friends!   

It is with mixed emotions that we say Happy Retirement to our good friends; Terry Brodt, Debbie DeGrendele  and Tom Hood.

These dedicated, member-volunteer leaders are moving on to the next great adventure in their journey at just about the same time.  Their passion for our industry, community and life in general has left an indelible imprint on all of us.

Individually, with their optimism, enthusiasm and willingness to contribute their time made a major impact in the travel industry and the success of SVBTA.   With their involvement SVBTA has become stronger, larger and a very dynamic Chapter.

In addition to sharing their talents, expertise and energy with SVBTA they have also given back to others outside of our organization all of their lives. They are each very special and we want to share a little bit about them here.



Terry Brodt, Director Business Development Americas Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Former Chairman and President – Silicon Valley Business Travel Association

Terry’s final day at CWT was 30 June 2017.  He decided to retire after being at CWT, Navigant, Associated Travel and Cardillo Travel for over 42 years—a long time by anyone’s measure. 

He started in travel in 1975 with Cardillo when Gerald Ford was our US president, airlines paid travel agencies a 7% commission, there were no contracts with corporate travel departments (heck, there were few of those to begin with), virtually all correspondence and proposals were prepared on a typewriter with messy carbon paper needed for multiple copies, airline tickets were paper documents to be hand-delivered by messenger to clients and customer interaction was limited to face-to-face or over a rotary dial telephone.  Not sure how we survived with no cell phones, computer, mobile apps and email.

Airlines represented elegant travel, offering 3 or more classes of service replete with free perks galore (drink coupons, flight bags, etc.) for travel agencies to dispense. 

My how times have changed!

Terry has been a top sales person throughout his career and when asked how that has been possible…He offers the following secrets to his success:

*Maintain an enthusiastic and positive attitude when dealing with the customer.
*Listen to the customer. What they need may be hidden in their statement of what they want, and you probably have the solution.
*If you don’t ask for the business, you won’t get it!
*Keep your sales skills and knowledge base sharp and fresh.  As you demonstrate expertise and passion you will see your win percentage increase exponentially.

In closing Terry wanted to add “I sincerely thank you, not only for contributing to my success, but for the many heartwarming and genuine thoughts I’ve received since rumor of my retirement plans began leaking out.  I look forward to the challenge of starting a new chapter in my life. My plans are to travel more, golf, fish and do some emcee work for weddings, birthdays and celebrations of life. Naturally, I most look forward to spending quality time with my wife, Joan.

My very best wishes to all of you for continued success professionally and a happy life personally.  Please do stay in touch.

Tom Hood, Vice President of Sales Peninsula Visa/Passport Services

Tom Hood is a great guy to know! He is a San Jose State graduate and a native of Iowa.

According to long-time friend of 40 years Nick Nicolas, Peninsula Visa, “Tom is a tireless worker who gets the job done!  He is the kind of guy that knows everyone and everyone knows him.”

During his volunteer efforts on behalf of SVBTA he was able to run fundraising/ donation campaigns that were exceptionally successful every time. For many years he helped with the T-bag prizes and auction donations for the SVBTA Annual Golf Tournament and also for the BABTA Holiday Gala.

He is responsible for contributing greatly to these organizations with such efforts in addition to encouraging qualified members to run for office, helping new members onboard, successfully gaining new event sponsorships, holding board positions, as well as helping many across different industries to find new connections or new jobs. He is active in many associations and where ever he goes he is known for his great sense of fun but also as a serious business person who gets results with his smart and straightforward approach.

In addition to helping Peninsula Visa/ Passport Services drive success for the past 12 years he worked at Miami Air International and spent 23 years at Pan Am Airways.

Tom served as an Allied Representative on the SVBTA Board for four years and was Member of the Quarter.


Debbie DeGrendele, Global Travel Manager, GLOBALFOUNDRIES

I began my travel career as a leisure agent in the dark ages when Fam trips were plentiful.  Had red carbon on my fingers from writing airline tickets. My second year as an agent Sabre came out and began the computer age.

After several years moved over to the corporate side as an agent for CWT (Ask Mr. Foster at the time).

Moved up the ranks into Ops Management and had the Seagate account among others.  That is where I became a buyer as Seagate hired me as their Global Travel Manager.  Spent 15 years there.  Aviat Networks for 2 years then GLOBALFOUNDRIES for the last six years.

Having worked for global companies for over 20 years I was able to see much of the world and interact with many different cultures.  That was one of my favorite parts of the job.  

I have been to 21 GBTA conventions. The realm of people I have met through the years is astounding and I loved every minute of it all.

I have been a member of SVBTA since 1995.   I have been on the Golf committee for the past 20 years.   Served on the Board as Corporate Direct from 2012 to 2016, that included the membership committee.

Look forward to playing lots of golf and have joined the Seascape Golf Club here in Aptos which is my home.  I have already booked a long trip to China in September and plan to travel as much as possible.

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Annual Golf Classic


This just in!  Chris Suarez, our 2017 Golf Director (email, is calling from Cinnabar Hills Golf Club to let you know that the course is a birdie machine! How is that possible?  Did you know that this course offers “The Best Golf in Silicon Valley”

Start spreading the news…
The 24th Annual SVBTA Golf Classic is coming up Quickly!  Just 50 DAYS TO GO!
Our tournament will be held on September 19th.  We need everyone to please help make this year’s event the Best EVER.

Get Involved, you have options! 

Play Golf | Sponsor | Volunteer | Dinner Only | Donate

Fun Facts:

#1 SVBTA membership is not required to participate!
#2 The SVBTA Golf Classic is about FUN and Networking so bring your sense of humor and prepare for a wonderful day on a fabulous course followed by an elegant evening dinner event!
#3 Chris Suarez says… “It’s easy! Just close your eyes and hit the ball!”


July 2017 Cinnabar Hills YELP Review from Joe C. San Jose

I am not a huge golfer but I am a huge fan of great service at any venue. Cinnabar hills is nestled in the foothills near Calero reservoir and is by far the best local place I have been for a relaxing day of golf and quality service. I have been coming here for years and have never been disappointed. They do everything well and the course is beautiful.  More..

REGISTER NOW and contact Chris for more information about volunteering, donations or sponsorships contact

Great Sponsorship Opportunities are still AVAILABLE - GOLF HOLE SPONSORSHIPS

Attending or not, your Brand will Shine at our Auction! GOLF AUCTION DONATIONS

Questions? Contact our Golf Committee Director, Chris Suarez

Special Thanks to the Hardest Working Golf Committee We Know! We Appreciate All that You Do!

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Community Outreach

Summer Quarter Outreach: Guide Dogs for the Blind

We are so proud to continue supporting Guide Dogs for the Blind efforts this quarter. For more information about their organization please visit

We will be having a raffle again this month to build up our donation amount. This is our 3rd and final month supporting this great cause.  We are looking for raffle items to support the donation raffle. 

Kong’s Classic Dog Toy

ALSO…Special request for dog toys and dog toys called black kongs to be donated to these very special guide dogs!

Please contact Sandy Barrett,, Michele Wilson, michelle@huntertravel or Anna Sanders, with your raffle items.  

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Welcome New Members

Meet Our Latest new Members HERE

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Sponsor Opportunities

2017 Sponsorship Opportunities are now OPEN!

The Sponsorship Committee welcomes sponsorship inquires for our 2017 monthly meetings & events!

Contact for more information.


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Social Media

Please join us on the following social media sites

Twitter @svbta
LinkedIn Groups Silicon Valley Business Travel Association


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