GBTA Convention 2018

GBTA Announces Keynote Speakers for GBTA Convention 2018

Sports Icon and Social Justice Pioneer Billie Jean King to Deliver Monday Keynote - Shark Tank’s Kevin O’leary to Deliver Tuesday Keynote

Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the voice of the global business travel industry, announced Billie Jean King, sport icon, pioneer for social justice and entrepreneur as Monday’s featured speaker at GBTA Convention 2018, August 11-15 in San Diego. King’s keynote address will take place at Convention Arena on Monday, August 13. This session is made possible by Marriott International. Kevin O’Leary, investor on ABC’s Shark Tank, chairman of O’Shares ETF Investments Financial Group and bestselling author, will be Tuesday’s featured speaker. O’Leary’s keynote address will take place at Convention Arena on Tuesday, August 14.

“We are very pleased to welcome Billie Jean King and Kevin O’Leary to the stage at GBTA Convention 2018,” said Christle Johnson, GBTA president. “Billie Jean King epitomizes excellence, leadership and grit. She is a true icon and her experiences and vision are sure to inspire our attendees. Better known to many of you as Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank, Kevin will undoubtedly deliver an unforgettable presentation. Our attendees will benefit from his business experiences and insights on transforming adversity into opportunity.”

Named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life magazine and a 2009 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Billie Jean King has long been a pioneer for social justice. King grew up playing tennis in the California public parks and won 39 Grand Slam titles during her career. She helped form the Virginia Slims Series and founded the Women’s Tennis Association. She defeated Bobby Riggs in one of the greatest moments in sports history – the Battle of the Sexes on Sept. 20, 1973.

In 1974, King co-founded World Team Tennis (WTT), the revolutionary co-ed professional tennis league, and the Women’s Sports Foundation. In August 2006, the National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in honor of her accomplishments on and off the court. King serves on the boards of the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation and is a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

From modest beginnings to a renowned venture capitalist and star investor on ABC’s "Shark Tank", Kevin O’Leary is celebrated as one of North America’s most successful business entrepreneurs. Distinguished by his frank approach and notable financial expertise, O’Leary delivers behind-the-scenes insight on his journey to success, discussing challenges faced, risks taken, lessons learned and everything there is to know about business, money and life.

Held at the San Diego Convention Center, GBTA Convention 2018 will showcase 400+ exhibiting companies, an agenda featuring 100+ education and professional development sessions and 7,000+ attendees representing over 50 countries. Join your peers in San Diego for the 50th anniversary of The Business Travel Event of the Year® as we build upon the momentum created by the latest trends, changes and progressions in the industry.

Attendee registration is open now. More info on programs and speakers will be unveiled throughout 2018. For the latest developments and more information, please visit

Media registration is complimentary and available online. GBTA’s fourth annual Media Day on Sunday, August 12, 2018, will feature back-to-back news announcements throughout the morning from top travel companies around the world, giving media an exclusive pass to the latest travel industry news. A special cocktail reception will also take place on Monday, August 13 from 6:15-8 PM.

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