August 2017 Print

President's Report

Rita Wenthold


Isn’t it simply fabulous that Fall is upon us with cooler weather on the way?  The unbelievable heat of our summer ended it seems with the forceful winds of Hurricane Harvey, and were we ever fortunate in our area to escape most of the damage that hit a lot of Texas with first the winds and then the devastating floods.  And now, there’s Irma – UGH!  Too much!   With the coastal areas being hit with national disasters from fire along the Pacific coast to winds and flooding to both the South and East of us with these new hurricanes, it simply points out again that We are so very blessed.  Please support the charities that are aiding all these victims with rescue, food, water, shelter, help in rebuilding and assist all you can with the needs of public assistance in these very troubled times. 

Wow, have we ever been busy since Spring, even though we skipped having the July meeting to accommodate all those attending GBTA National in Boston and others wanting some vacation time with their families.  Over the past few months our board has supported three fundraisers, one for our chapter’s PAC contribution to GBTA and two for our chosen local community charity, the Embassy of Hope.  We appreciate all of you who attended the events as well as contributed sponsorships and donations. 

Another fun time will be on October 12th when we will work to raise funds to support our chapter scholarships for the coming year, to help members attend GBTA Leadership Q-1 2018 training in Portland, the Legislative Session in D.C., the GBTA Convention in San Diego later in the Spring, national next summer and those wanting to take the GTP exam in the fall.  Please help us with these by attending the October event at Fralo’s Bar 301 in Leon Springs as well as beginning or renewing your membership now and attending our educational meetings whenever possible.  Your support in this regard will always make us stronger as a team and well recognized for our leadership in this community.

Speaking of leadership, please be certain to cast your vote in the upcoming election for our Preside-Direct and Vice President Direct for the year beginning 2018 and ending with-2020.  If you would like to stay in the know of the chapter business and help plan these coming two years with the board, you are cordially invited to attend the four-hour planning meeting on October 5th, from 4:00 – 8:00 PM.  Please contact me if you plan on attending or would like to form or join a standing committee.

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Calendar of Events

Meeting/Event Information

2017 October Meeting

October 03, 2017
11:30 AM to 1:15 PM
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Wyndham Garden San Antonio Riverwalk
103 9th Street
San Antonio, TX 78215

For more than 24 years, Dave Krupinski has been an impact player in the Convention and Visitors Bureau, hotel and transportation industries. Currently, as Chief Operating Officer for Visit San Antonio, he helps oversee a tourism landscape that welcomes 32.5 million visitors annually. In San Antonio, the seventh-largest city in the country, Dave assists in overseeing the sales, service and marketing of a $13.4 billion hospitality industry. His versatility and deep passion for what he does includes proactive roles with the U.S. Travel Association, National Tour Association, American Bus Association and Student Youth Travel Association, along with several civic engagements in San Antonio.

Under Dave’s watch over the past three years, San Antonio has been celebrated in headline publications such as Forbes, Travel + Leisure, USA Today, Conde Nast, New York Times and Lonely Planet as one of the nation’s most desirable travel destinations. The city values its visitors: One out of every eight San Antonions is employed in the travel and hospitality sector. Dave was a powerful partner in San Antonio’s successful 2015 bid for World Heritage Site status for its historic Spanish colonial missions, including the Alamo, and has complemented the city’s ongoing and aggressive efforts to evolve its air service. He has been a spearhead in the expansion of co-op marketing and direct-to-consumer campaigns with valued hospitality partners and in the successful transition of moving the San Antonio CVB from a municipal entity to Visit San Antonio a public-private nonprofit.

Prior to coming to San Antonio, Dave served as the Vice President of Tourism for the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, where he was responsible for cultural tourism, special event and attractions development, international strategic plans, air service development and partnership development opportunities. He is a proud graduate of the University of Toledo, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Individual Studies, Hotel/Restaurant Administration. Dave and his wife, Karen, are parents to son Zachary, a businessman in San Antonio. In his spare time, Dave and his family enjoy whitewater rafting excursions and traveling to unique destinations around the country.


$25.00 San Antonio GBTA Member 
$45.00 after 5:00 pm September 27

$40.00 Non-Member 
$60.00 after 5:00 pm September 27

$25.00 All Access 
$45.00 after 5:00 pm September 27


FUNraising Event - Bar 301 Grand Opening

October 12, 2017
6:00 PM to 9:30 PM

Bar 301
23567 W. Interstate 10
San Antonio, TX 78257

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SA-GBTA Membership Update

By Mercedes Lopez


1) Current Member count-81

  • All Access Members-19
  • Direct Members-18 Direct members which puts us at 22% ratio to a goal of 25% .

Good news is that we have increased membership from our last Board meeting by 6 members.

 2) Don't forget about the Membership recruiting contest!!!!

 Our winner for April-June is:

Melissa Kim with the Marriott NW Hotel-WINNER!!! ???? Prize is $50 VISA Gift card.

Thank you to Chriselda Barrientes with United Airlines, Sarah Eury with SwRI, and Mercedes Lopez with Staybridge Suites NW Medical Center for also referring members as well!!!! 

 ***Remind the group that the next Quarter has begun for July-September. 

 Rules are: Invite both Allied and Direct members to join! When they sign up on the website, they MUST include the person's name that referred them. Otherwise, we are unable to track it.

 New Direct (Buyer) Member-3 pts

New Allied (Supplier) Member-1 pt

 We will tally the points for new members and the member with the most points wins a $50 Amazon/Visa gift card. 

There will be an end of year "Member Recruiting" award at the End of Year Party for the person with the most new recruits for the year!!!

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Congratulations to Marissa Howard, Director of Sales & Marketing at the Hilton San Antonio Hill Country on winning the GTP (Global Travel Professional) scholarship! We are thrilled you have chosen to take your career to the next level!

The GTP is designed to raise industry standards, enhance work performance, and recognize individuals who demonstrate core competencies essential to the business travel management.  

The application process is as follows;

The application deadline is September 15, 2017 and the test will take place at a local testing center Oct 1-31, 2017.  Click here for the GBTA website to ‘start a new application’. The cost of the exam is $350.00.  

Once you are approved from GBTA, you’ll get an email confirmation that enables you to sign up for the test date of your choice anytime October 1-31.  The same will offers a variety of study materials such as a test content outline, study guide and more.



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Meeting Highlights

GBTA National Convention was held in Boston, MA in July 2017 this year. San Antonio had a great represntation with over 24 local attendees.

Here are a few highlights for some of our SA Chapter our attendees:

The best way to describe convention from a highlight perspective is simply amazing!  Networking with industry peers is the best resource.  Although spending time with San Antonio business travel professionals is extremely enlightening, catching up with other chapters puts all our work into perspective.  I enjoy meeting with vendors I rarely see, and learning what’s new in the market.  Convention is the best way to get everything you need, all in one place!  Thank you SAGBTA for the wonderful opportunity! ~ Lisa Maddox, NuStar Energy


National Convention was amazing. I met so many great people and visited so many vendors booths. The classes were very helpful in understanding the ever changing business travel industry. I head so much about safety and security of travelers and all the different options for lodging, flying, and transportation. I heard some great speakers and panels of experts in their fields sharing their insite too. Then the final event our chapter was able to meet Michael Phelps because our the success with the PAC challenge, just icing on the cake! ~ Melissa Kim, San Antonio Marriott NW



The Allied Quarterly meeting featured Chief of Operations of the City of San Antonio Aviation Department, Ryan Rocha. Thanks to our host NW Marriott Hotel, approximately 20 Allied members enjoyed some light refreshments while receiving an overview of City of San Antonio Aviation, air service department. Currently, SA International airport offers service to 38 destinations including Mexico and Canada and continues to grow. 


The Direct Quarterly meeting featured Kyla Moore with Avait was held at Frost & Sullivan. A roundtable discussion about best practices for travel policies were shared with the attendees from HEB, NuStar, SWRI, Catapult, Enterprise, and Frost & Sullivan. 

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Direct Member Spotlight

Eddie Martinez



Current Role and for how long at this company? Global Travel Manager – 2.5 years at Rackspace

Work history you’d like to share: Was an Apache helicopter mechanic in the military for 5.5 years and was stationed in Korea for 2 years which was amazing then. I have taken a few roles at Rackspace to which the travel role has been the most rewarding.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of and why? Globalizing travel at Rackspace as I am a team of 1 and learning the different nuances in a short period of time was tough. It has been completed and my wealth of knowledge is better for it.

Why did you join the SA-GBTA? All the free beer of course…. Isn’t that why we all join? Honestly, it was to network as I am fairly new to the travel world, I wanted to get up to speed as fast as possible. For the most part, I think I have succeeded in building an amazing network in San Antonio to be able to call anyone to get help with any issue I am currently involved in.

How do you envision SA-GBTA making a difference for you professionally? I see everyone pushing me to be the better me and not letting me get behind the curve. I love when the conversation starts like, “have you seen this new technology that this company created?” That peaks my interest so I have to research to make sure I am current and implemented the best and greatest of technologies for my travelers. Since I am always learning, I am becoming better than I was yesterday so I am a valuable asset to myself and others around me.

Are you currently on a committee/board within our chapter? Not anymore ?

What are the biggest changes you’ve experienced in regard to working with travel? Social media, as this affects how I receive information from travelers. With airlines creating disruptions with travelers or travelers see some cool thing on the internet, it becomes overwhelming.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working with travel? The people as everyone has a different background and why they are in travel. This is the most satisfying aspect of my role as I am forced to meet with new people and that completely fills my bucket.

Do you have a hero or a mentor that made a difference for you, either professionally or personally and if so, why?  No hero or mentor as I look and see everyone in a different light. I like to see the good and bad in people and understand what makes them successful and what people conceive as bad behavior. Once I get all that information, I use that to build myself to be the better me and become my own hero.

Please share a couple of the most memorable experiences in your life: The birth of my 3 girls will always be the be days of my life as I have become the person I am today because of them. Getting married to my wife has been the best decision I have made as I found someone that puts up with me and makes me smile more and more each day.

Favorite trip you’ve taken: Any place outside of the house. I am blessed with life each day so each day I can leave the house is my next favorite trip.

Favorite pastime hobby or leisure activity: Building or fixing stuff for the house or my friends. I enjoy lending a hand when I can and learning how to create more items is just fun.

If you could invite one person, living or deceased to a dinner party, who would it be and why? Jimmy Carr as of right now as I saw his comedy show and its hilarious. If you haven’t ever been around me, I enjoy laughing at myself, the world or others as laughing is the best shared experience ever. I hope some of these answers have made yall laugh as then I have done my job. ????

Where do you live / marital status/children/pets: Live Oak / Married (sorry guys & girls) / 3 / 2 dogs and a cat.

Favorite Restaurant: Anywhere that someone else is cooking for me. I enjoy food and trying something new is the best. 

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Community Service


We had a great time and raised money for the Embassy of Hope at Pinot's Palet on Aug 17th. 

Embassy of Hope is a faith-based, non-profit ministry in San Antonio, Texas.

They provide support services to children, adults, and families overcoming sexual abuse, domestic violence, and human trafficking.

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