Welcome To Our Chapter's Newsletter!

2017-Q4 Newsletter Print

President's Report

Dear Members,            

I want to start off by thanking Debbie Graves for her amazing leadership and service to our association. With Debbie stepping into the Chairman role, I truly believe that with her guidance, I will be able to continue to lead our association through the coming years. I speak for us all when I say thank you for everything, Debbie – we greatly appreciate it!

My sincere thanks to all of our members who volunteered their time with our Chapter throughout 2017. A special recognition for Ann Ammons who has held the position of Sponsorship Chair for more than seven years and will now be passing the torch over to Shirley Randall. Ann’s hard work and dedication through the years is truly felt throughout the whole association.  Additionally, another special recognition to Kalynne Defever, who has held the positon of Public Relations Chair for more than a year and will be transitioning her role to Kerri Nelson. With Kalynne’s support, the committee helped grow our chapter’s presence within the social media space. Congratulations to Kerri and Shirley in their new roles – we look forward to seeing what you both will bring to the association over the next year!

In addition, thank you to all our members and guests who joined us for our MBTA/OVBTA Joint Education Day. We had an exceptional turnout with more than 150 members and guests! During Education Day, we held a fundraiser for the GBTA Hurricane Relief Fund to assist victims of both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma and with the help of those who donated,  we were able to raise roughly $1,550! Thank you to everyone who donated items and those who placed bids.

December brings us an opportunity to give our support to our 2017 Charity partner MCREST.  Our Education and Meeting Planning Committees are working closely together to plan a remarkable event to close out 2017 with our 50th Anniversary Celebration.  Please make sure to join us on December 7th as this is an afternoon and evening you do not want to miss!

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the Michigan Business Travel Association, please send me an email at president@michiganbta.org.

Colin Naimy
President, GBTA-Michigan Chapter 

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Highlights from Recent Events

December Meeting Recap

Special thanks to our December hosts at the Motor City Casino. What an incredible and unique setting for our annual holiday celebration! 

Shout out to Jack Reynaert, Suzanne Garland, Jean Korleski and Meredith Upward for the fun Team Trivia focused on business travel. I think we all learned a lot and had fun remembering how much our industry has changed over the years. Our members are a competitive bunch, too!

And wow, what a great silent auction!  So many great donations - thank you to everyone who donated prizes and packages and big thanks to all who bid on the wonderful items. Our partners at MCREST will surely appreciate all that we've been able to contribute over the course of this year. 

After a brief presentation from Delta Airlines District Sales Manager, Nick Demarco, guests enjoyed a delicious networking dinner to cap off a fun evening with colleagues old and new. 

Winning Trivia Team


Honoring Debbie Graves


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Treasury Report

 4th quarter financials graph


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Welcome New Members

Membership Committee Chair:

Megan Craig 
Sheraton Detroit Metro Airport Hotel


We are currently at: 169 members!

  • Jessica Bennet – Crowne Plaza Detroit Downtown Riverfront
  • Megan LaVine – Conlin Travel
  • Renda Meske – Pridgeon & Clay
  • Bruce Migdal – Hamilton Miller Hudson & Fayne
  • Andrea Pollack – The Auburn Hills Marriott Campus at Pontiac
  • Trish Robertson – Allstar Chauffeured Services
  • Becky Sultana - G6 Hospitality

Please update your MBTA profile online –
specifically your Company Name under the "Business Information" section – so that it will prominently appear on your name badge at our MBTA meetings!

Also, please remember to renew your MBTA Membership when it becomes due! Don’t forget that the GBTA All Access Pass that combines the GBTA and MBTA membership together is now an option. For more information, please check out the "Join Today" membership page at www.michiganbta.org.

Benefits of becoming a GBTA All Access Member include:

• GBTA Daily News Brief                                                 • GBTA Business Travel Magazine

• Complimentary Member Only Webinars                       • GBTA Career Center

• Eligible for Chapter Scholarships                                 • Member rate at all Chapter Network events

• Discount on GBTA Academy classes                           • Discount on GBTA Certification

• Access to GBTA Hub                                                    • GBTA Event Discounts

• GBTA On Demand


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Education - Committee Chair - Jack Reynaert - Meritor - education@michiganbta.org


The Education Committee promotes education and professional development and provides 20+ hours of travel focused education and 35+ hours of face-to-face networking.

Education Goals / Mission: Provide members with the opportunity to expand their travel industry knowledge, growing travel professionalism through educational and informational programs.  We provide members with a path to 20 hours of industry related educational opportunities per year from our local chapter meetings.  Additionally, since MBTA is a full chapter of GBTA, when an “All-Access” membership is linked to GBTA, there are countless hours of education with an opportunity leading to Industry Recognized Certification. Members also grow their knowledge by networking with peers on an ongoing basis. Our memberships’ travel industry experience ranges from: new to the industry to more than 40 years in the industry... and we have more than 100 members in our Michigan Chapter.

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Chuck Oliver headshot

Technology - Committee Chair - Chuck Oliver - Sonesta - technology@michiganbta.org

        • Website and logos have been updated to reflect and honor the chapter’s 50th anniversary!
        • Sponsors are now highlighted to promote and provide additional value for becoming a sponsor. Thank you to all of our sponsors for 2017.
        • New feature to the website: A download section which allows you to download documents for specific committees


Goals / Mission: The Technology Committee is committed to providing the association with resources to better understand technology available to travelers, as well as keeping the MBTA website up to date. We work with the various committees to optimize our Internet real estate by posting relevant documents, sites, blog entries, etc...

We are looking for a new Committee Member to help the Technology Committee grow and assist the association. It’s a great opportunity to get involved within the association. Please email Chuck at technology@michiganbta.org


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Sponsorship - Committee Chair – Shirley Randall - sponsorships@michiganbta.org

Shirley Randall

It’s a new year and the Michigan Business Travel Association (MBTA) invites you to become a sponsor for 2018.  We have various levels of sponsorships that include:


    •      Annual sponsors $250-$5,000 - receive brand recognition on banners that are displayed at all meetings and on website
    •      Golf & Holiday sponsors – signature hole, breakfast, pre-event receptions or breakout


MBTA is an active chapter, hosting six annual meetings with an estimated 75 members (buyers and suppliers) per event.  This is a great opportunity for you to showcase and promote your product and network with a receptive environment.  MBTA provides our members with educational value based on current and trending topics as they relate to travel policy, technology and services, legislation, security, benchmarking and costs that affect the business travel industry.   

Your sponsorship dollars are used to support the education topics that attract members to attend the meetings and for scholarships that are offered to members.  MBTA has grown over the years and we couldn’t do it without the help of our Sponsors.   As you are planning your budget, consider the value this organization can offer and send in your application for annual sponsorships along with payment by February 1, 2018 to receive maximum benefits.   

Pease check the website for details of the sponsorship levels and if you have any questions, contact Shirley Randall at sponsorships@mbta.org, 734-658-3604 or one of our committee members for additional details.  We look forward to your participation -- Thank you.


Thanks to all of our 2017 Sponsors!

Don't forget to add a MichiganBTA Sponsorship to your 2018 Budget!

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Scholarship - Committee Chair - Jamie Cotter - Travel, Inc. - scholarships@michiganbta.org

Jamie Cotter

There are two additional scholarship opportunities for our members. GBTA Convention Registration scholarships will be awarded to 1 Allied member and 1 Direct member. Chapter President’s Council scholarship is also available. Visit www.michiganbta.org and click on scholarships under Quick Links for more information and to apply. 

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Meetings and Events

Meetings & Events - Committee Chair - Amy Gibson - Adient - events@michiganbta.org

                                                                           Amy Gibson                                                                       

The committee is actively looking at new and exciting locations for our 2018 meeting schedule. If you are interested in hosting one of our upcoming events, please contact Amy at events@michiganbta.org

Don't Miss Out On These Future Meetings:   

  • February 15, 2018 (Thursday) 

Detroit Marriott Southfield Hotel
 27033 Northwestern Hwy. Southfield, MI 48033

  •  April 19, 2018 (Thursday)

Grand Rapids Area - Location TBD

  •  June 11, 2018 (Thursday) 

 Location TBD -- Golf Outing

  •  August 12-15, 2018 (Sunday - Wednesday)
    • San Diego, CA -- GBTA Convention
  •  September 24-25, 2018 (Monday - Tuesday) 

 Location TBD -- OVBTA/MBTA Education Day 

  •  October 25, 2018(Thursday)

 Location TBD -- October Tech Fair

  •  December 6th, 2018(Thursday)

 Location TBD -- December Holiday Meeting


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Charity - Committee Chair - Kathy Mastin - La-Z-Boy, Incorporated - charities@michiganbta.org

 Kathy Mastin

We hope you enjoyed yourself at the December 7th Holiday Charity Event.  

With all of your help, we're proud to announce we raised $8,296 for Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team (MCREST)!  Added to the $1,650 we raised at through raffle ticket sales at the Golf Outing in June, our grand total raised for MCREST this year is $9,946!  What a wonderful difference our contributions will make to the community served by MCREST.

Thank you again for another great year and for your donated silent auction items, raffle ticket prizes, and personal items for the homeless!! We thank you for bidding high and bidding often!!!!  


We will be researching and reviewing charities for 2018.  Approximagtely five will be sent to the Executive Board for review along with the charity committee's recommendation.  Look for an announcement of our selected charity partner at our February meeting.

 Happy Holidays

The Charity Committee


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Public Relations

Public Relations – Committee Chair – Kerri Nelson – Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest – publicrelations@michiganbta.org

Kerri Nelson

We say goodbye to Kalynne Defever and thank her for her leadership of this committee as she transitions to a new role within the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.  Best wishes Kalynne and thank you for all you have done for MBTA!


If you’re interested in joining us on the PR committee, please let me know – we’d love to have you!

Some of our duties include: Producing the quarterly MBTA newsletter, promoting our chapter on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other outlets and gathering nominations to recognize our Direct and Allied Members of the Quarter and for the Year.

  •          Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Like and comment on our posts!
  •          Please remember to nominate your friends and colleagues for quarterly recognition.  It’s a great way to honor those who have been consistently involved in supporting our MBTA chapter as well as those who are newer members who have stepped up and taken on leadership roles.  It can also be a great way to get to know each other better. 

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Member Recognition

MBTA Member Recognition
Join us in congratulating our 4th quarter MBTA Members

Allied Member –Ann Ammons and Direct Member – Jack Reynaert. Thanks to you both for all that you do for MBTA!


Outstanding Allied Member – Ann Ammons, Travel, Inc.

Q: What is your title and role within the travel industry?

A: Global Sales manager


Q: How did you get involved in the industry?

A: I wanted to do something part time and talked to Wil Brown, our founder and he hired me.


Q: Tell us a little about your company.

A: Travel Incorporated was found 38 year ago and I have been here 37 years. Travel Incorporated is a forward thinking TMC both in service and technology.


Q: How long have you been involved with MBTA? 

A:  9 years


Q: What was your favorite moment or experience during your time with MBTA?

A: My favorite experience is getting more sponsors year after year to help MBTA grow.


Q: How has MBTA helped you in your career?
MBTA has introduced me to so many wonderful people in the same profession.


Q: What advice do you have for someone new to the group?
Be active in the MBTA and learn from that experience.


Q: Where is your favorite place to visit for fun?
Harsens Island, Michigan, Pawley Island, South Carolina  


Outstanding Direct Member - Jack Reynaert, Meritor, inc. 


Q: What is your title and role within the travel industry?

A: Manager Global Travel / Expense / T&E Card / Corp. Jet and Meetings


Q: How did you get involved in the industry?

A:Followed in my father’s footsteps with my first travel job in the summer of 1977; with the desire to Manage Corporate Travel as my father did for 42 years at Ford Motor.


Q: Tell us a little about your company.

A: Meritor, Inc. is a global supplier of a broad portfolio of axle, brake and suspension solutions to original equipment manufacturers and the aftermarket for the transportation and industrial sectors. We serve commercial truck, trailer, bus and coach and off-highway machinery manufacturers, in addition to defense contractors. Operations in 20 countries, 5 continents, 62 locations with over 8000 employees


Q: How long have you been involved with MBTA? 

A: 41 years


Q: What was your favorite moment or experience during your time with MBTA?

A: In my prior leadership roles of President, Chairman, Treasurer, Tech Chair and now Education Chair, it truly love working with such a vast array of talent and commitment by the leaders focused on providing our members value at each and every meeting attended.


Q: How has MBTA helped you in your career?
The networking and education has provided countless opportunities to incorporate ideas and processes into positions I’ve held over the years.


Q: What advice do you have for someone new to the group?
Learn all you can from the MBTA meetings and educational sessions; participate and come prepared to ask questions. Network with your peers and the suppliers, and never stop learning.


Q: Where is your favorite place to visit for fun?
Bike Riding the Michigan Rails to Trails 


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Contact Us


President                                                   Chairperson - Past President – 2013-2017

Colin Naimy                                                 Debbie Graves, CCTE, CTC, GTP

Meritor                                                        Carlson Wagonlit

Phone:248-435-1913                                   Phone: 248 685-9613

E-mail: president@michiganbta.org               E-mail: chairperson@michiganbta.org


Jim Smith                                             Leslee Fritz

Vice President                                          Secretary                                        

Jim E. Smith, CTC                                       Leslee Fritz                               

Enterprise Holdings                                     AHC+Hospitality

Phone 517-647-5855                                  Phone 616-776-6414

E-mail: vicepresident@michiganbta.org        E-mail: secretary@michiganbta.org


Lisa Hoehn

Treasurer – Past President – 2009-2013

Lisa M. Hoehn, GTP, CCTE


Phone: 248-735-7426

E-mail: treasurer@michiganbta.org

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Classified Ads





Training Specialist

A family-owned and -operated company founded in 1959, Conlin Travel is now the largest travel management company in the state of Michigan. We believe that as the world changes and our industry advances, integrity, dependability, persistence, and honesty matter now more than ever – not just for our travelers, but for our employees, too.

We are looking to hire a Training Specialist to be responsible for partnering with all departments within Conlin Travel to create, administer, and deliver training programs.

In addition, this role will develop custom programs to be delivered via live facilitation, virtual, and on-demand training.


  • Design and create training manuals, online learning modules, and course materials for Corporate, Leisure and Group Agents to maximize sales and customer service objectives; create and maintain a high-engagement learning culture
  • Partner with leadership in the development of learning priorities, and create programs that support these priorities
  • Meet with all new employees within first 2 days to review company policies, guidelines, and collect new-hire paperwork
  • Deliver Conlin-specific Sabre training to existing and newly hired agents
  • Assess training needs through ongoing surveys, interviews with employees, and/or consultations with managers
  • Streamline travel policies and procedures
  • Review training materials from a variety of vendors and choose appropriate materials
  • Select and assign external instructors or vendors to conduct training
  • Perform administrative tasks such as monitoring costs, scheduling classes, setting up systems and equipment, and coordinating enrollment
  • Train existing clients on Concur Expense for Business
  • Maintain excel spreadsheet and train on agent errors and debit memos, keeping department heads informed of areas that have been reviewed
  • Conduct management training several times each year



  • Prior experience and expertise working as a company Trainer
  • Working understanding of the tasks and responsibilities of a travel agent along with knowledge of the travel industry
  • Sabre proficiency required
  • Outstanding presentation, teaching, and communication skills necessary
  • Comfortable working in a dynamic environment with multiple and shifting priorities


Interested candidates are invited to submit a cover letter and current resume to skennedy@conlintravel.com.


Essential Job Function

  • Solicit, negotiate and book new and repeat business from the Business Traveler Market through various efforts such as, outside sales calls, telemarketing, mailings, referrals, networking, etc. to maximize trip revenue to meet/exceed company goals
  • Concentrate effort in reservations; responsible for targeted revenue goals
  • Conduct sales visits and maintain good working relationship with corporate travel managers, procurement officers, business travel agents and high-end leisure agents
  • Develop a marketing strategy by analyzing historical, current and future market trends and creating selling strategies to capture the maximum amount of revenue and meet/exceed sales goals
  • Develop and conduct persuasive verbal sales presentations to prospective clients
  • Generate new ideas for new promotions, partnerships and strategic alliances to build visibility and revenue opportunities
  • Conduct site visits, outside sales calls, sales trips and entertainments on an as needed basis
  • Perform weekly calls for existing and new accounts
  • Participate in trade shows, conventions and promotional events within the industry and customer organizations
  • Notify/coordinate customer specifications with other departments and quickly, efficiently respond to customer issues, comments and problems to ensure a quality experience and enhance future sales prospects
  • Perform other duties as requested by management
  • Answer phones and place reservations for clients as needed



  • 0-3 years sales experience, preferably in the hospitality industry; preferably corporate sales
  • College degree in hospitality or business administration is preferred
  • Knowledge of CRM Systems
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office
  • Work schedule varies and may include occasionally working on holidays and weekends
  • Knowledge of travel industry, business traveler market, current market trends and economic factors


Skills & Specifications

  • Excellent communication and customer service skills
  • Pays attention to detail and able to meet deadlines
  • Passionate, hard worker and well-organized professional to prioritize and multitask
  • Ensure the necessary advance bookings needed for a successful and profitable operation for the company
  • Coordinate ongoing research of the travel industry to detect market trends and related information for development of new business traveler marketing strategies
  • Communicate both verbally and in writing to provide clear direction to the staff
  • Comply with attendance rules and be available to work on a regular basis
  • Self-starting personality with an even disposition
  • Maintain a professional appearance and manner at all times
  • Must be willing to pitch-in and help co-workers with their job duties and be a team player
  • Willingness to participate in ongoing training/learning of sales and have a positive attitude by participating in sales coaching and other training and to assist the overall company


Interested candidates are invited to submit a cover letter and updated resume to: rebecco@allstarvip.com


As Business Transient Sales Manager, you will solicit new business and retain existing customers in the Business/Transient sales market to ensure maximization of revenue in order to achieve and or exceed revenue goals. Strategically solicit new and existing account to meet / exceed revenue goals through telelphone solicitation, outside calls, site inspections and written communication. Participate in daily business review meeting, training and other sales realted meetings as required. Attend trade shows, community events and industry meetings. Preferred experience is 5+years of hotel sales, with business transient responsibilities.

Click here to apply

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

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