Business Travel News on Tuesday night at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina recognized Visa senior director of global sourcing Kim Hamer as its 2022 Travel Manager of the Year.
Hamer was chosen by BTN editors from nominations submitted by the industry.
BTN editorial director Elizabeth West announced the winner as well as BTN’s three Best Practitioners of 2022: Siemens’ Emma Eaton, Estee Lauder Cos.’ Jami Stapelmann and Takeda’s Faye Zeidlhack.
Starting from a place of creating a human-centered business travel experience, Hamer began with a booking tool bid that would deliver on her vision. She ultimately contracted with Serko, which was slightly off the beaten path for a major global enterprise, but which she determined would be a collaborative partner to take her program into the future.
Hamer expanded the collaboration group to her agency of record CWT and United Airlines to pipe, display, book and provide service for an NDC channel at scale. She is committed to pursuing similar collaborations with other airlines. For now, she is playing through with United on shared retailing goals.
She’s creating Visa-specific, NDC-delivered bundles with the airline that consider cost, value and experience aligned with the individual traveler’s status. Seat selection, upgrades, lounge access, bags—all the elements that have been difficult to reach and time-consuming to expense and report on—are now delivered and serviced through her agency channel and online booking tool.
“Kim Hamer brought together United Airlines, Serko and CWT in a major collaborative initiative to deliver what we believe is the first New Distribution Capability-powered program at scale,” said West. “Her goal was not only to do this for their own travelers, but to forge a new pathway for the industry to a future where NDC content is supported and tailored to the needs of individual companies—and individual travelers.”
BTN on Tuesday also recognized its 2022 Best Practitioners. Each was awarded for excellence in a single practice within their overall program.
Emma Eaton, Commodity Manager, UK/IE Travel, Events & Fairs, Siemens
Emma Eaton has pursued a “social buying” strategy for Siemens that includes sourcing hotels and meeting venues that support their communities—by employing underserved individuals, by sourcing local goods and services and by reinvesting much of their own profits into the communities they serve. Eaton has worked with an organization called Social Enterprise U.K. to support her efforts. Siemens from a larger perspective has moved toward more socially aware purchasing strategies. Eaton, however, has worked beyond her company to make a difference. She is widely recognized among her peers as an industry leader who has inspired groups of travel buyers to pursue similar efforts within their own companies at the grassroots level, with a simple message that business travel buying practices can “pay back” to communities, and buyers themselves can do their part to make the world a better place.
Jami Stapelmann, Global Head of Travel and Meetings, Estee Lauder Cos.
BTN named Jami Stapelmann as a 2022 Best Practitioner for her partnership strategies that connect companies to Estee Lauder beyond their shared travel concerns. By making strategic opportunity introductions, Stapelmann initiated work to place Estee Lauder products among the company’s preferred airlines’ in-flight amenities; identified shared wellness goals that influenced an airline to include wellness programming its in-flight entertainment; and promoted shared sustainability goals that have helped Estee Lauder weather travel partnership challenges. Stapelmann is a prime example of how travel and meetings buyers can participate in their companies’ success at the most strategic levels by identifying and connecting interests that create holistic partnerships.
Faye Zeidlhack, Global Travel Manager, Takeda
BTN named Faye Zeidlhack as a 2022 Best Practitioner for her work with BCD Travel’s Life Sciences Center of Excellence to pilot and shape its patient travel offering. Zeidlhack used her business travel expertise to ensure the processes and services involved in handling patient travel for clinical trials and other patient-centered initiatives matched the real needs in the pharmaceutical industry. Her work paved the way for peer companies to benefit as well. Zeidlhack was recognized internally with an award of excellence from Takeda. In the process of piloting and developing BCD Travel’s offering, however, she has influenced crossover thinking in how the TMC can approach support and services for mobility-impaired business travelers, which is an area of business travel diversity, equity and inclusion that our industry is just beginning to contemplate.
Check businesstravelnews.com on Aug. 24 for more details of the efforts of the 2022 Travel Manager of the Year and the 2022 Best Practitioners.