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 [email protected].

Colin Naimy
President, GBTA-Michigan Chapter 

Back to top

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


Back to top

Treasury Report

 4th quarter financials graph


Back to top

Welcome New Members

Membership Committee Chair:

Megan Craig 
Sheraton Detroit Metro Airport Hotel

 [email protected]

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


Back to top



Education - Committee Chair - Jack Reynaert - Meritor - [email protected]


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.

Back to top


Chuck Oliver headshot

Technology - Committee Chair - Chuck Oliver - Sonesta - [email protected]

        • 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 [email protected]


Back to top



Sponsorship - Committee Chair – Shirley Randall - [email protected]

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 [email protected], 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!

Back to top


Scholarship - Committee Chair - Jamie Cotter - Travel, Inc. - [email protected]bta.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. 

Back to top

Meetings and Events

Meetings & Events - Committee Chair - Amy Gibson - Adient - [email protected]

                                                                           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 [email protected]

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


Back to top


Charity - Committee Chair - Kathy Mastin - La-Z-Boy, Incorporated - [email protected]

 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


Back to top

Public Relations

Public Relations – Committee Chair – Kerri Nelson – Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest – [email protected]

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. 

Back to top

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 


Back to top

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: [email protected]               E-mail: [email protected]


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: [email protected]        E-mail: [email protected]


Lisa Hoehn

Treasurer – Past President – 2009-2013

Lisa M. Hoehn, GTP, CCTE


Phone: 248-735-7426

E-mail: [email protected]

Back to top

Classified Ads


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 currently seeking a Corporate Travel Account Manager to be responsible for managing a portfolio of accounts. This position will be based out of our Ann Arbor, MI office with at-home ‘virtual’ days mixed into a weekly schedule.


• Establish and maintain on-going connection and involvement at the decision-making levels within new and existing business accounts; develop strong relationships, create trust, build mutual respect, and form true business partnerships
• Manage client relationships and achieve all client and Conlin Travel goals related to client retention, profitability, quality service, preferred vendor maximization, technology implementation, on-line servicing, and business development for assigned client portfolios
• Always and consistently provide excellent client service including interaction with appropriate internal/external departments to resolve client issues, complete implementations, and generate necessary reports; maintain current and accurate updates in SUGAR which is our Customer Relationship Manager tool
• Work pro-actively with our clients and provide feedback to management on account status, issues and opportunities
• Develop business plans and relationships with key clients to improve the level of performance and service of the travel program
• Identify and develop up-sell opportunities within client portfolios for new business, technology and tools
• Act as a client advocate with vendors during negotiations, service reviews, and program performance meetings; monitor contract terms, SLAs, volumes and service levels to ensure favorable contract renewals; support rebid processes when necessary
• Consult and assist in new account travel management program set-up via the implementation process
• Work in a team environment supporting management and staff, following policies, providing feedback and assisting in special projects
• Examine the company management reporting data, client travel patterns and travel policy to identify savings opportunities
• Prepare and present periodic reviews that highlight clients' travel spend and patterns, benchmarking service standards and key trends in the industry; monitor actual client performance and compare to expected performance on all vendor negotiated contracts; follow-up with both client and vendors to address any significant variances from the expectations


• B.S./B.A. Degree or equivalent experience; Business-related preferred
• Minimum 5 years in Sales / Operations / Account Management in the service industry; travel industry experience strongly preferred
• Strong presentation, consultative, analytical, and communications skills necessary and required
• Proven track record developing professional relationships
• Ability to work closely with team members, demonstrating clear and efficient communications
• Microsoft Office skills including Word, Excel, Power Point and CRM experience
• Prior success identifying, developing and implementing business plans for new and existing clients
• Must have reliable transportation for travel within the state of Michigan

All interested and qualified candidates may submit their resumes to [email protected]

Back to top