GBTA Honors Outstanding Members

GBTA Names Direct and Allied Members of the Year, Awards Special Recognition Honor

Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the voice of the global business travel industry – recently awarded four distinguished members with its Direct Member of the Year Award, Allied Member of the Year Award and Special Recognition Award at GBTA Convention 2014 in Los Angeles.

  • Direct Member of the Year Award – Claire Blades, director of Global Travel and Meetings, Symantec Corporation
  • Allied Member of the Year – Caitlin Gomez, senior director, Global & Strategic Sales, HRG North America and Krissy Herman, director of Client Engagement, The Travel Team Inc.
  • Special Recognition Award – Jeremy Gardner, vice president of Business Services at Accent on Indianapolis
“GBTA success is driven by its members and these four exceptional individuals have gone above and beyond helping make GBTA a better association for its members and contributing to continued growth and knowledge in the business travel industry,” said Donna Kelliher, GBTA president and CEO.

Claire Blades was this year’s recipient of the Direct Member of the Year Award, which is given to a buyer member who demonstrates unwavering dedication to the Association and to the travel management industry and whose actions have significantly helped to advance both. Blades has served on the GBTA North America Sustainability Committee for the past six years, serving as chair for the last four. Blades made her mark on the committee and on GBTA by working on the transition and integration of Project ICARUS into the GBTA family. She has devoted countless hours to GBTA and its members and has set the stage for the growth of corporate sustainability initiatives in North America and across the globe.

Caitlin Gomez and Krissy Herman were this year’s Allied Member of the Year Award winners. Gomez and Herman were the brain trust behind the GBTA Ladders Program. Their idea for GBTA Ladders was to develop a program to create an environment that facilitates the exchange of ideas and invigorates interest in the business travel industry among the next generation of professionals. GBTA is proud of this innovative program, one that will help develop the passion and skills of new professionals to enable them to solve some of the major challenges facing business travel today and tomorrow. Gomez and Herman’s work are great examples of leadership and innovation at its best. 

Jeremy Gardner received a Special Recognition Award, which GBTA does not frequently give out. Gardner’s reputation for hard work and valuable insights are widely known throughout the association. Gardner actively served on the GBTA Chapter Task Force, which set lofty goals over the past two years. The Chapter Task Force succeeded in reaching these goals only with the full engagement of the Chapter Presidents Council, Chapters and Affiliates throughout North America and Gardner’s dedication, determination and diligence. He was the architect of the financial modeling and the chief change agent and spokesperson for all key shareholders. 

Colleen Lerro, +1 703 236 1133,        
Gayle Kansagor, +1 202 295 8775,  

Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.