OVBTA Newsletter Print

President's Report

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to 2021!

Please mark your calendars for OVBTA's Q1 meeting which will be virtual and is scheduled for March 16th at 10AM. 

 Return to Travel: Best Practices for Air Travel, Lodging and Risk Management Panel

Registration Open!



Back to top

Membership Minute


GBTA Updates 

GBTA Poll: Vaccine a Game-Changer for a Return to Travel


Nearly half of respondents say border closures and restrictions have impacted their company travel recovery efforts in 2021


GBTA finds most GBTA members and stakeholders (79%) would be “very comfortable” or “comfortable” traveling for business after receiving the Covid-19 vaccination, and almost half support mandatory testing prior to travel to ensure the safety of customers and clients when meeting face-to-face.

The latest findings come from the 16th installment of the coronavirus poll, conducted by GBTA since the onset of the pandemic to measure its impact on business travel.

Read More >>

Visit the OVBTA Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages and post your thoughts during this Pandemic crisis. We would love to hear the positive stories to motivate others.




CDC Website


John Hopkins Website






Check out the latest news and Calendar of events from GBTA


Suzanne Neufang Named Executive Director of GBTA 
New leader brings years of optimal experience to helm the unified GBTA and ACTE, and lead business travel out of the pandemic and into the future 
Alexandria, VA (February 18, 2021) The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the worldwide leader in education, research, networking, and advocacy for the business travel industry, proudly announces the hiring of Suzanne Neufang as its next Executive Director, leading the combined GBTA and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE). 
Neufang was hired after a comprehensive and exhaustive review of over 130 candidates from around the world. The months-long process was led by an independent search committee of industry leaders and staff. The search was coordinated by leading association consulting firm MCI-USA, which served as a third-party hub to screen applicants and facilitate the extensive interview process. 
“The independent search committee has provided GBTA with an exceptional leader for the future of our Association and industry. Suzanne is unquestionably the visionary to lead business travel to a complete recovery in the years ahead,” said Bhart Sarin, President of GBTA, “It will be a distinct privilege to support her as we complete our integration of GBTA and ACTE and build on the momentum of the Ready. Safe. Travel. campaign toward our annual convention in July.” 
Neufang, whose diverse executive career has included senior leadership roles with several high-profile travel and technology companies, most recently served as Senior Vice PresidentAmericas for HRS Global Hotel Solutions. Before HRS, Neufang worked for 10 years as an executive leader with Sabre Travel Network, GetThere and Travelocity and later as a divisional Chief Marketing Officer for Fortune 500 software giant Intuit. An active member of GBTA since 2005, Neufang led ACTE as Board President from 2012 to 2014 and as a Board Member from 2014 to 2018. She served as ACTE’s interim Executive Director during summer 2012. 
Neufang described the opportunity to lead GBTA as a “pinnacle career opportunity” and an important way to give back to an industry she loves, and which has offered her many opportunities. “It’s not a secret that business travel is at an historic low point as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in crises we find opportunities to be bold and to excel,” said Neufang. “Business travel has been down before and we have recovered – always coming back more technologically savvy, data-focused, and globally connected. The key questions for me are 
when we as an industry will recover, and how we as GBTA can drive economic and industry recovery to be even faster.  
“We need to emerge from this pandemic as a healthier, more transparent association, one with the strongest possible, globally-focused foundation. As an organization, I believe we can work together to provide more value, better education and research, and even more effective advocacy for our members and sponsors. I’m very much looking forward to working with the professional staff at GBTA – and the Board, members, sponsors, and regional partners – who have had a long track record of growth and success serving the business travel community.” 
Neufang will take over on February 24 from Dave Hilfman, who since July 2020 has served as the Association’s interim executive director. Hilfman will remain with GBTA in a temporary consulting role to smooth the transition. 
“It’s been a privilege serving the business travel industry in this interim role over the past eight months and I’m grateful for the opportunity,” said Hilfman, who retired from United Airlines as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales in 2018. “To be entrusted to lead the largest business travel association in the world at a truly consequential moment in our history is a true honor. I’m proud of the work we’ve done together and the significant progress made to date. My sincere thanks to the Staff, Board and members of GBTA for all their support. Stepping aside for Suzanne is easy, because she understands business travel from the buyer and supplier perspectives like few people I’ve ever met.” 
About the Global Business Travel Association: 
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA’s 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion in global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA delivers world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. To learn how business travel drives lasting business growth, visit



Back to top

Calendar of Events

Ohio Valley Business Travel Association

Virtual Meeting March 16, 2021

Return to Travel: Best Practices for Air Travel, Lodging and Risk Management Panel

As travel begins to return, both Travelers and Travel Managers will encounter a much different travel environment then they did just 12 months ago.

Please join us for an engaging discussion as our panelists review the Best Practices in Air Travel, Lodging, and Risk Management for both travelers and travel managers.

Registration Open




GBTA Convention 2021:
Unite in Solidarity for Business Travel

Join your peers at The Business Travel Event of the Year®, July 17-21 in Orlando, Florida, for exclusive education and networking around the latest industry trends, technologies, challenges, and solutions facing the business travel industry.

Registration rates increase March 1.

Register Now >>

Back to top

Legislative Action

Happy 2021! What a long strange trip its been. There is so much to say and talk about, but I want to hear from you. Send me song ideas that capture what you want to do in 2021! This is my pick for GBTA Convention in Orlando  I am always here to answer your questions, let’s kick it off by starting 2021 with a new edition of the Politics of Travel.  

KICKING IT OFF: President Biden signed a slew of Executive Orders on the first two days of his presidency. Of note for the travel industry is his support for increased testing capabilities and vaccine distribution. In win for the airlines and the flight attendants is the requirement of facial coverings in airports and on certain modes of transportation, including many trains, planes, maritime vessels and intercity buses.

International Travel: Included in Thursday's COVID-19 National Strategy Executive OrderPromote safe international travel. The United States will implement policies requiring international air travelers to produce a negative COVID-19 test prior to departing for the United States; and to comply with CDC guidelines for self-isolation and self-quarantine upon arrival. The Administration will consult with foreign governments and international organizations regarding the same. The Administration will work with foreign governments and other stakeholders to establish guidelines for and to implement public health measures for safe international travel, including at land and sea borders.” Current CDC Guidelines 

IT’S BACK: After a year’s reprieve, REAL ID enforcement is coming! The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has begun a new nationwide public awareness campaign, “Be Your REAL ID Self” to promote awareness of the REAL ID requirements and encourage the public to act before the October 1, 2021 full enforcement deadline.

Just over 8 months remain until the October 1, 2021 REAL ID full enforcement deadline. You will need a REAL ID-compliant card or acceptable alternative, such as a U.S. passport or passport card at federally regulated airports, federal facilities, and nuclear power plants.

The earliest DMV appointment I could get was three months from now.

BREXIT: A Christmas Eve deal on BREXIT left businesses scrambling. A recent GBTA EU Town Hall took place and discussed the impact BREXIT will have on EU and UK travelers. Click here to access the recording of the meeting.

I truly hope you are hanging in there in these difficult times. We as an industry have so much to overcome. Yet, the lights in the tunnel are those of a new sunrise made of vaccines and not the lights of a train bearing down on us. Keeping on! 


Shane Downey
Vice President, Government & Community Relations
[email protected]



Back to top

Sponsor Spotlight


A very special THANK-YOU! to our 2020-21 Sponsors, we could not do it without you!

Back to top

Welcome New Members


A Very big Welcome to our new members!

Back to top

Volunteer with OVBTA

Ohio Valley BTA Volunteer Opportunities

During this time of COVID-19 many members roles have changed with their companies and because of this OVBTA is looking for members who want to get involved in chapter activates as travel begins start up again and the Executive Board begins to plan for the future. This a great way to become more engaged in our local OVBTA Chapter and a great way to maximize your OVBTA membership opportunities. Many volunteers often grow into the Committee Chairman and even eventually have the great opportunity to serve on Chapter Board of Directors.

The Committees listed below need several members to join their committee. If you are interested in volunteering complete the information below and designate the committee(s) in which you are interested. The form will be shared with the Executive Board and the Committee Chair, and they will reach out to discuss and provide additional information about responsibilities and time commitment.

Email form to Wini Cloran, OVBTA Past President and Board Chairman to [email protected]    

Name: ___________________________________________________________________________

Email Address: ____________________________________________________________________

Business Phone #: __________________________________________________________________

Mobile Phone #: ___________________________________________________________________

Are you a Direct Member (Buyer) _____________

Allied Member (Supplier) ___________________

Indicate with (X) Committee/Committees where you have interest:

 Meeting Planning Committee: __________________

Program Committee: _______________________

Sponsorship/Fundraising Committee: ___________

Scholarship Committee: _____________________

Communication Committee: ___________________

Social Media: ______________________________

Website Management: _______________________

Registration: _______________________________

Back to top