May 2017 Print

President's Report

Rita Wenthold

President, San Antonio GBTA Chapter

On July 1st 2017, our San Antonio GBTA chapter will have exactly three years of membership experience and a contiguous board of directors, largely served by the original founders formed earlier in 2014.  The number of members is fairly status quo, hovering somewhat below a hundred members most every year.  This year we hosted our first Texas Education Day and it was quite successful, so we now have a stronger bank account to head into the next four years until we host another.  Our bank account is also due to the support from our local venues to host our meetings at low or no cost to GBTA and program speakers educating us with little to no pay as well.  We are most fortunate in this regard.  However, that leads us to the question of how we best proceed into the next three to five years and acquire more members with greater diversity to foster rewarding networking and educational programs to best suit the needs of our business travelers in the local area.  Please help us to earn the recognition of the community for our organization’s effectiveness in achieving its goals.

The next few months are crucial for our continued success.  Our organization needs all of you to step up to assist with growing our membership, especially with the effort of enticing more buyers to join GBTA, for the percentage of buyers to suppliers has decreased in this three-year period. 

Please volunteer to serve on the board, for we have some key roles open, and we always welcome more talent to serve in the various committees that foster funding and growth, such as membership, fundraising, and educational scholarships.  With the turnover in our industry, it is difficult to maintain a strong basic group of volunteers to assure our board operations can thrive.

You may recall we had a recent election for officers of the board, and by your votes had filled the positions of VP Allied (Chriselda Barrientes), Secretary (Robyn Farmer) and Treasurer (Daniel Russell-Morgan).  Now, two of those three are relocating to Austin and we have a need to immediately get new volunteers to service as Secretary and Treasurer.  Thankfully, we still have Bobby White and Rhunette Mangan who had those positions prior, serving in other roles on the board, so we will have trainers and support for you if you will please step up to be appointed to fulfill the terms, ending December 31st 2019.  We also will be in the process of electing a new President and VP Direct in the fall, for terms from January 1st 2018 through December 31st 2020.

Business travel education is the purpose of our organization.  We funded scholarships this year to assure attendance at TED here in San Antonio, the Legislative session in D.C. and the GBTA national convention coming up in Boston, with two more to be granted to our members – one for Direct, one for Allied.  This is what we are about, serving our members.  Please help us to become even greater than we are today. Thank you all for making this fabulous chapter viable and healthy. 

We require your membership and participation in all our events, please host one, bring guests, sponsor clients and your peers, offer door prizes and participate with fundraising, apply for scholarships, join the board, etc.  Please be the one that makes a difference in this great TEAM. Together everyone adds to our momentum, to be better, grow and strengthen the positive impact of GBTA on business travel.

Rita Wenthold, C.P.A., MBA, CPSM, C.P.M.

President, San Antonio GBTA Chapter

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Calendar of Events



2017 Q2 Direct Meeting

June 01, 2017

11:00 AM to 12:45 PM

Homewood Suites by Hilton San Antonio Northwest
4323 Spectrum 1
San Antonio, TX 78230
2017 Q2 Direct Meeting - Embassy of Hope 


June 06, 2017
11:30 AM to 1:15 PM

Southwest Research Institute
6220 Culebra Rd
San Antonio, TX 78238

Robert Hess

Avis Budget Group

Data Analytics and Technology to Improve your Rental Car Program

Robert Hess has been with Avis Budget Group for 23 years.  He is currently Vice President of Business Development, North America.  Robert started with ABG as a Corporate Account Manager based in Phoenix, AZ.  He has held additional roles as Global Account Manager, Regional Sales Manager, Director of Sales, and Regional Vice President, in addition to his current position.  He has lived in Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania and currently resides in Chicago, IL.

Robert married his high school sweetheart and they have will be celebrating their 28th anniversary in November.  He has 3 children (including twins) who all currently attend Indiana University.  He enjoys exercising, sports, movies, concerts and the outdoors.


2017 June Q2 Allied Meeting

June 12, 2017
4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Marriott Northwest
3233 NW Loop 410 
San Antonio, TX 78213
SAT (Airport) Updates


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SA-GBTA Updates

We will have prizes as follows but not limited to: Free Hotel Room Nights, Free Day Car Rentals, Starbucks Gift Cards, Restaurant Gift Cards, Wine, Gift Baskets, Merchandise, and Much More…

100% proceeds will go to our local Chapter PAC!

Trying to stand out in Washington, D.C. is hard. Many times we are competing to get our voices heard over many other groups that have unlimited resources. However, our grassroots efforts (emails, calls and letters from voters back home) and targeted contributions to help those members of Congress who have been supportive of the business travel industry are key to making our voices heard.  

These efforts have proven to be successful over the years.        

Last year, we went to Congress with a request for 3 items – Pass an FAA Bill before the November election, ensure it doesn’t increase Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) and ensure it includes measures to improve TSA screening and the PreCheck lines. In mid-July, the House and Senate passed a bill that met all of these asks and it was subsequently signed into law by President Obama.  Make no mistake, we were fighting major players that wanted to increase the PFC and as well as powerful voices that are against PreCheck. If we hadn’t voiced our concerns and wants for the business travel industry, the opposition would be the only voice heard.  This past Challenge was especially successful. We had a record number of Chapter Challenge Partners and raised an almost record number in contributions to the Business Travel PAC. This increased participation was how we carried the day on these legislative issues.

This year we went to Congress and asked to oppose allowing Voice Calls on commercial airplanes, as well as opposing raising the Passenger Security Fees charged per segment at our 2017 Legislative Symposium and lobby event.  We are hoping these efforts were successfully heard and we can have similar results.

So you see, the GBTA PAC and Chapter Challenge is so much more than just getting a picture or a table at convention. It is designed to maximize our voice and efforts to positively impact Congress. Because, we as an industry must be engaged in government or those decisions on laws and regulations will come back to negatively impact how you as a member of the industry does your job.

Again, thank you for all of your efforts. You ARE making a Difference!

The Importance of Advocacy – GBTA Video of Austin Government Relations Committee Chair Dianne Bradley:

2016-17 GBTA Initiative – Rules of the Road/Navigator

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SA-GBTA Membership Update

 Mercedes Lopez

Our San Antonio GBTA Membership Committee has been expanding our recruiting efforts and rolled out our Quarterly Membership Recruiting Contest running from April-June. Current GBTA Members are encouraged to participate to keep building our membership base. Our goal is 20 new Members by December. As of right now, we have 4 new Members!!!

There will be a winner every Quarter starting with the April-June time frame. At the end of the Year, the Member with the most new member referrals will qualify for the chance to be our “Recruiting Member of the Year”.

The rules are as follows: 1) New Member must register on our website and include the name of the person referring them to join our Chapter.

2)The referring member will receive (1) point for new Allied or Supplier Members. There will be (3)Points awarded for Direct or Buyer Members who join.

3) Points will be tallied at the end of each Quarter and tallied for the End of Year Award. The winner with the most points will win special Recognition at our end of the year event.


Each one of us are part of the Membership and Recruiting efforts to keep our Chapter strong and valuable and a good investment for our companies investment and time. We invite you to contribute in small ways that will not take a lot of your time. We need assistance with making reminder phone calls for events, verifying and/or prospective member information and a monthly committee conference call. That’s it! The commitment is small and the payoff can be BIG! Help us to increase awareness about SA GBTA!

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Direct Member Spotlight

Shanna Hinton

Catapult Systems

Current Role and for how long at this company?   I’m the People Mover at Catapult Systems.        

Work history you’d like to share:  I’ve worked in restaurants as manager and event coordinator, and as the inside traffic manager in marketing at a boutique firm.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of and why?  I am really proud of the travel program we have now at Catapult. I helped build it and am working every day to make it better.

Why did you join the SA-GBTA?  I love that at GBTA everyone speaks the same language that I do…Travel!!

How do you envision SA-GBTA making a difference for you professionally?  SA-GBTA has helped me professionally in so many ways. The connections I have made have turned into not only professional relationships but real friendships. Because of GBTA, when I’m faced with an issue at work I have so many ways to turn for help.

Are you currently on a committee/board within our chapter?   No, but I am part of the GBTA Ladders mentorship program.

What are the biggest changes you’ve experienced in regard to working with travel? 

What is the most rewarding aspect of working with travel?   I love to take care of people. I know traveling can be so hard, especially for those that do it every single week, so I am proud of the fact that I do everything I can to make it easier on them, and that they know they can count on me to help.

Do you have a hero or a mentor that made a difference for you, either professionally or personally and if so, why?  My parents are amazing. My dad was in the Army for thirty years, and because of that I got to travel the world. They taught me that the world is a big, beautiful place, and everyone in it has a story and should be respected.

Favorite trip you’ve taken:  Hawaii is my favorite place on the planet, and Ireland is a close second.

Favorite pastime hobby or leisure activity:  I like to drink wine, does that count?

If you could invite one person, living or deceased to a dinner party, who would it be and why?  I think I’d really like to hang out with Kurt Vonnegut. His books have sort of helped me view the world a little differently, and he is a fascinating individual.

Where do you live / marital status/children/pets:  I have a wonderful husband, a son who is about to graduate high school, and the cutest little puppy you’ve ever seen.

Favorite Restaurant:  Cappy’s.

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Allied Member Spotlight


Brenda Trevino

Wyndham Garden Riverwalk

Current Role and for how long at this company? Director of Sales-one month this time around

Work history you’d like to share: Prior to my current role, I was previously the BT Sales Manager at the Holiday Inn Airport for 9 months, Sales Manager at the Wyndham Garden La Cantera for 3 1/2 years, Sales Admin at the Westin La Cantera for 2 years, Sales Coordinator for Hyatt Place NW for 2 years and Front Desk Agent at the Hyatt Place Riverwalk

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of and why?  I am most proud of the relationships I have built over the past 10 years in the travel industry. 

Why did you join the SA-GBTA? I joined SA-GBTA to build new relationships and learn more about the travel industry in San Antonio. 

How do you envision SA-GBTA making a difference for you professionally?  SA-GBTA has already made a huge difference in my professional career. I have been fortunate to connect with business travel executives, gain knowledge on the industry research happening in San Antonio and throughout the world, and the wonderful opportunity to help our community with the Community Outreach program.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working with travel?   Helping companies and individuals save money on travel and building long lasting relationships that develop into friendships for life. 

Do you have a hero or a mentor that made a difference for you, either professionally or personally and if so, why? I have several but my first mentor was Sofie Vasquez. She saw something in me and never gave up on training me and transitioning me from the front desk to a Sales Coordinator. She taught me the importance of building lasting relationships and taking care of both our internal and external clients. She taught me to never give up, always make the 5th call, and that everyone is a customer-they just don't know it yet!

Please share a couple of the most memorable experiences in your life: One of my most memorable experiences was at a Wyndham global conference in 2015 and I had the amazing opportunity to hear President George W Bush and Bill Clinton speak about world issues and industry topics. 

Favorite trip you’ve taken: I haven't taken many business trips, so far I have traveled to Vegas, Orlando and throughout Texas for work. 

Favorite pastime hobby or leisure activity: I am just starting to get into photography so I enjoy that now, I also enjoy bike riding, camping, and enjoying an adult beverage while relaxing in a lake, river or the ocean.

If you could invite one person, living or deceased to a dinner party, who would it be and why? I would love to have dinner with Maya Angelou-she was such a positive person and had a great outlook on life-despite all of the hardships she went through in her life. 

Where do you live / marital status/children/pets: I am born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, I have a wonderful boyfriend of 4 years-Moises Jimenez and two amazing children-EJ 17 years old and Sienna 8 years old, two rescue dogs-Buster and Rosie. 


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Community Service

Each year, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and Ford Motor Company celebrate women who are making a difference in San Antonio. The Tribute to Women Business Leaders awards honor individuals who embody leadership qualities which have driven not only their personal success, but also the success of those around them.

Congratulations to:

Christy Prescott, CEO, Corporate Travel Planners
Brenda Vickery Johnson Award for Small Business


Family violence is the #1 crime and cause of injury to women in the U.S. and is believed to be the most common, yet least reported crime in the country. The San Antonio Battered Women’s Shelter has become a model for the nation by introducing innovative programs designed to help women and children become more self-sufficient, and Christy’s Hope is pleased to help contribute resources to ensure its continued success. With over 51,000 victims served annually, the San Antonio Battered Women and Children’s Shelter is more than just a place for families to come and rest – it is a place where families support each other, and receive the care needed to heal.

The cost for the Shelter to provide their services is approximately $170 per night. The Shelter has never, nor ever will, turn anyone away. Christy’s Hope looks towards the San Antonio community to help the Shelter maintain their open arms policy, and never have to turn a family away due to lack of funding.
Since Christy’s Hope’s 1st tournament, we have raised money for the Shelter to purchase a truck to assist in moving families quickly and safely. Additionally with the funds raised, the San Antonio Battered Women’s Shelter has added a new playground, living quarters, a new dining facility, and a new laundry room. They were also able to furnish the women’s living area of the new Shelter. Recently, they made the decision to provide the women and children with computers and educational software. This past year at our 18th Annual Christy’s Hope Gala & Golf Event, we raised $330,000!! Since its inception 19 years ago, Christy’s Hope charity golf tournament has donated 100% of the proceeds to the shelter, which is now totaling over $2.4 million. This year we have raised $596,000 and counting!

Christy’s Hope is an organization that donates 100% of its proceeds to the Battered Woman and Children’s Center. The charity was founded by Christy Prescott in 1998 as she saw a need in the community. Christine Prescott is the CEO of CTP Inc. and Rennert Travel

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July 15 – 19, 2017
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Boston, MA

GBTA Convention is the world’s largest business travel event. Over 7,000 business travel professionals from around the world will be gathering in Boston this year for state-of-the-art education, exclusive networking opportunities and news on the latest innovations in the industry. 

Several San Antonio GBTA Members will be attending this year to represent our chapter and great Alamo City. We hope you can join us so register today, the educational and networking possibilities are endless! 


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