GBTA Announces Successful Women Leading in Business Travel Panel at European Business Travel Conference

WINiT to Debut Education Sessions and Booth Presence in Berlin

he Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and German business travel buyer association VDR today announced another powerful Centre Stage session – Successful Women Leading in Business Travelscheduled for the upcoming GBTA Conference 2018 Berlin in Partnership with VDR. This conference is taking place 27-29 November in Berlin.

Three senior female leaders in business travel will share their insight on the opportunities and challenges facing the travel industry today as well some of the obstacles they faced as women ascending the ranks within the industry. The Tuesday session will be moderated by Dorothy Dowling, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Best Western Hotels and Resorts.

Panelists include:

  • Heike Birlenbach: Senior Vice President, Sales, Lufthansa Hub Airlines and Chief Commercial Officer Hub Frankfurt Lufthansa Group
  • Daniela Schade: Managing Director, AccorHotels Deutschland GmbH and COO AccorHotels Central Europe, AccorHotels
  • Emma Wilson: Vice President, Marketing, Sabre

“Given the importance of diversity to the success of any organization, it is exciting to have more women on the main stage at this and other GBTA events,” said Catherine McGavock, GBTA Regional Vice President – EMEA. “We look forward to the insights these leaders will share as they draw on their experiences along their varied pathways to success.”

“Women represent a significant majority of the travel industry workforce globally,” said Christle Johnson, GBTA President. “Ensuring all of our members have the resources and support necessary to pursue and achieve their career goals is a priority for GBTA.”

“I am delighted that WINiT will be such an active participant at this year’s conference both on the main stage and in the exhibition. Their educations sessions have been designed to promote personal development with some useful tips that the audience will be able to use back in the office,” added Hans-Ingo Biehl, VDR Executive Director and Board Member.

GBTA continues to deepen its commitment to women in travel-related industries. In August, GBTA acquired WINiT, a career development network aimed at increasing visibility and advancement for women in the travel, meetings, events and exhibition industries. WINiT will host a booth at the conference as well as the following two educational sessions:

Conflict Management: Dealing with Challenging People

Moderator:         Dawn Repoli, Vice President, Program Development, GBTA’s WINiT Business Unit

Panelist:              Odete Pimenta da Silva, Managing Director NATM, Strategic HR Specialist

Panelist:              Anja Turner, VP Global Marketing & Events at BCD Travel

Supplier Masterclass: Building Your Personal Brand – A Multi-Dimensional Approach

Moderator:         Dawn Repoli, Vice President, Program Development, GBTA’s WINiT Business Unit

Speaker:              Louise Kilgannon, Consultant, Festive Road

Speaker:              Amy Padgett, Director Supplier Marketing, TripLink SAP Concur

The conference will take place 27-29 November in Berlin, Germany at the Estrel Congress Center and will bring together more than 60 industry speakers and over 50 exhibitors from around the globe. This year’s theme, Momentum, is designed to address the rapid acceleration of change within the business travel industry.

Attendee registration remains open. For the latest developments and more information, please visit