November 2017 Print

President's Report

Rita Wenthold


Happy season of thanksgiving and joy, a time for being grateful in reflection of how blessed we’ve been and so full of hope for the success of our future endeavors.  For me, this year ending is a bit nostalgic since my tenure as your founding president will be over as well with the beginning of 2018.  That said, you should all feel very proud of our chapter, for it’s been almost four years since the concept of beginning a local GBTA association started with Christy Prescott inviting a host of travel professionals in to hear Kevin Maguire from Austin speak to us about the benefits of being more involved with GBTA on a day-to-day basis, instead of simply going to national once a year.  Little did he realize, most of us had never attended national either!  Now, the San Antonio GBTA is very financially sound with a steady member base as well as respected across the nation by other chapters and affiliates, having in 2017 hosted both a Texas Education Day as well as a Chapter President’s Council meeting.  I would like to thank every one of you for all your hard-work and all that you do in support of this organization.

Our members have elected wonderful leaders.  For her next two-year term Velia Cox will begin to serve as President-Direct and Eddie Martinez as Vice-President-Direct.  You know already that Velia has been our strongest, most hard-working and inspirational second in command that any President could ever hope for and I trust Eddie will look to her for guidance in his new role.  We are happy to have him on the board again.  In their mid-tenure is Chriselda Barrientes, Vice-President Allied; as well as two who are so graciously finishing out other’s terms, our Secretary, Ellyn McLain and Treasurer, Kathy Cox.  I hope these great officers will run for reelection or another open slot at the end of their terms but also wish more of our members would come serve with the board in some capacity.  My humble thanks for making this chapter fabulous to those previously mentioned as well as the remainder of our board listed below, made up of president appointed volunteers, approved by the sitting board as directors and committee chairs.  They are continuing to do wonderful jobs and we’re blessed to have our energizing Chairman of the Board, Christy Prescott and endearing Director at Large, Bobby White.  Our board and you as members have been valuable in providing continuity and bench strength to this organization.

As your past president, I’ll happily continue to serve on the board for the following two years and work to see us continue with the great propensity for prosperity that’ll continue what we’ve started.  Again, my humble thanks to all of you for what we’ve achieved in such a short timeframe.  You’ve made a difference in my life and the lives of many in our business travel community by being involved in GBTA.  Safe travels and Happy New Year!


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Calendar of Events

Year End Dinner and Awards

December 05, 2017
5:30 PM to 9:15 PM

La Cantera Hill Country Resort & Spa
16641 La Cantera Parkway
San Antonio, TX 78256

Networking      Opportunity Drawings       Lavish Buffet       Hosted Wine              

Event Sponsor



$70.00 after November 29

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Community Service

Partnership with Rackspace, Aivs, San Antonio Pets Alive and Friends of Wharton, TX Animal Control

Some great organizations came together on September 29 to help 6 beautiful dogs get to their forever home. Rackspace partnered with Avis to get manpower and transportation to the Friends of Wharton, TX Animal Control. Utilizing a Ford transit van, it was a worthy road trip to bring them back to San Antonio, where San Antonio Pets Alive helped get them on a plane to their final destination. This was a great testament on how a few people can jump in quickly to make a HUGE impact not only for animals who would have otherwise not been given a chance, but for those will now enjoy the newest addition to their family. Thank you Avis and SAPA for the teamwork in bringing good to our communities!

Our Hope Survivor braved through childhood as a victim of human trafficking. She became homeless, found her way to a San Antonio shelter and is thriving. Years of surviving and neglect left her with severe dental problems. Each time she looked in the mirror or covered her mouth when she smiled, was a reminder of the violent assault that knocked out her teeth.

While at Community Bible Church for Mission Expo weekend, a donor with a big heart came forward and handed us a check to help our Hope Survivor. This week, she was able to visit the dentist and begin the process of restoring her smile, replacing the old experience with new positive ones.

Our first Fiesta Medal has been designed and is now ready for purchase! 2018 is a very special year at Fiesta. Tricentennial San Antonio, 300 Years of celebrating!!!

 Please share and reserve your medal today!

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Meeting Highlights

4th Quarter Allied Meeting, Monday, October 23

We had approximately 15 attendees including 4 potential members. Direct VP, Velia Cox and Allied VP, Chriselda Barrientes provided a membership over while Membership Committee Chair, Mercedes Lopez focused recruiting contest and recruiting drive which will be held in 1Q18. Special thanks to Ashley Ramirez and the Hilton Airport Hotel for hosting our meeting!  

LA LA Land in Leon Springs, Thursday, November 9th

Approximately 30 Allied and Direct members attended this fundraiser including representatives from CTP, Frost & Sullivan, SWBC, SWRI, Valero and Zachry. Guests enjoyed bites and craft drinks at the new Bar 301 in Leon Springs while listening toThe Diva forAll Seasons, Shavonne Conroy. United was the Official Airline sponsor for the event with opportunity prizes for travel to Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Central American, within the 48 contiguous states or the Caribbean. “We are proud sponsor to the SA GBTA Chapter and the scholarship opportunities to benefit the members” said United Sales Manager, Chriselda Barrientes. 

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SA-GBTA Membership Update

Membership Committee Update:

-Current membership is holding steady at 80.

-All Access-20

-We are are 18% Direct (goal is 25%) 

*Quarterly contest has gone well this year since we started in April of 2017. We had 12 new members join as a result. I feel this can be continued for Q1 and goal would be to gain 20 new members. 

Membership has aggressive but very achievable goals in 2018! Our goal is to get to 100 by the end of Q1! 

1st Quarter Recruiting contest will begin January 1st and run through March 31st. Winner to be announced at April's meeting. Winner will receive $25 gift card!!!!!!!! 

You ask, "Where can we find more members?"

 Let's Start with "Who Do you Know"....

-Other Hotel Travel Industry colleagues 

-Peers that love to be involved with current events

-Others looking to advance their careers 

-Those looking for education credits towards their GTP certification

-Those looking to earn scholarship funds to attend Texas Education Day and/or GBTA National Convention

-Those looking to be involved with community activism and volunteer activities

-Those looking to network with AWESOME travel professionals

Lastly, JOIN OUR MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE! The more the merrier! It is a very small contribution but can be a BIG PAYOFF! Contact Mercedes, Ashley Ramirez, Morgan Rushofsky or Chriselda Barrientes for more information! 

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Thank you to our 2017 Officers, Directors, Committee Chairs:

Officers –2017:

Directors/Committee Chairs and Contact Information:

  •          Chair of Temporary Committee – Texas Education Day Q-1 2017 – Velia Cox
  •          Chair of Temporary CommitteeChapter President’s Council Q4 2017 – Christy Prescott

Welcome to our 2018 Officers, Directors, Committee Chairs:

Please get involed and ask how you can join one of our many committees for 2018!

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SA-GBTA Updates

2017 Awarded $7400 in Scholarships for 2017

Texas Education Day – January 2017, San Antonio, Texas
Two (2) $300 scholarships                         

GBTA Convention – July 2017 Boston, MA
Two (2) $2,500 scholarships

GBTA Legislative Summit – April, 2017 D.C.
One (1) $1,400

GBTA GTP Certification
One (1) $400

2018 will you be the next Scholarship Winner?

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