Making Connections provides Business Travel News readers with access to the stories behind the newsmakers in the managed travel industry. We begin with some of the industry's power women: On the practitioner side, BTN editor-in-chief Elizabeth West talked to the women who buy and manage travel for some of the biggest players on BTN’s Corporate Travel 100. On the supplier side, we sought out senior executives at the top of their game, whose influence has gone far beyond their own corporations.

By no means is this an exhaustive inquiry into influential women in managed travel. It just scratches the surface. But it’s a start—and it’s the start of an effort that BTN will continue in upcoming issues by getting the inside stories of both women and men who innovate, influence and inspire the industry to push boundaries.

2016 Women You Should Know

Dorothy Dowling
Dorothy Dowling

A native Canadian, Dorothy Dowling took the leap to the United States looking for the next step in her career. Taking that bet ultimately led her to the upper echelons of hospitality marketing and being twice named among Forbes list of the World’s Most Influential CMOs, rising from No. 27 in 2014 to No. 18 in 2015. For the last five years, Dowling has spearheaded a $2 billion global brand refresh for Best Western Hotels & Resorts. She pegs her success, and the success of her initiatives, on the power of relationships.... KEEP READING

Christie Hicks
Christie Hicks

Christie Hicks spent 15 years in senior level positions at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, retiring in 2015 from her role as senior vice president of global sales. During that time, Hicks and her team were responsible for $7.5 billion in sales. But Hicks didn’t start at the top. She worked her way there from her first job at the Hyatt New Orleans as a sales assistant. Her rise was fast, and she was known for taking calculated risks. Here’s how she did it and what she’s doing now.... KEEP READING

Tammy Krings
Tammy Krings

An early taste of leadership during her work on the B-1 Bomber with Rockwell International in the 1980s sent Tammy Krings, founder and CEO of AllStars Travel Group, searching for an industry that she could help re-engineer. In 1995 when many wondered if travel agencies had a future, Krings started ATG. Plus, she manages a global network of partner agencies across 65 countriess. ATG is the only ISO-certified agency in the U.S., an achievement which has formed the basis of recent data quality innovations.... KEEP READING

Mick Lee
Mick Lee

Mick Lee’s first job in travel was delivering airline tickets in Hartford, Conn. in 1986. She ran from office to office in a suit and sneakers to give paper airlines tickets to business travelers waiting for the handover. These days, Lee, who has directed travel for financial services firms like Citi and Credit Suisse, oversees Women In Travel, the association she founded in 2014.... KEEP READING

Susan Lichtenstein
Susan Lichtenstein

Susan Lichtenstein, global travel procurement director for Cisco, is looking for better ways to purchase travel via a marketplace approach. Lichtenstein implemented Web 2.0 technology to Cisco travelers, including a forum, interactive website, blog, mobile booking and online training that transformed the customer experience. Her approach to alternative travel has replaced 68,000 trips with virtual meetings. “Better together” is her mantra, and she sees the industry turning toward new ideas and new strategies.... KEEP READING

Christine Ourmieres-Widener
Christine Ourmieres-Widener

Christine Ourmieres-Widener started her career in airline maintenance. She’s held multiple senior positions in the airline industry, most recently as CEO of Irish carrier City Jet, and also worked on the GDS side. In December 2014, American Express Global Business Travel approached her about taking on a new challenge at the TMC, which had recently split from the card business. She accepted.... KEEP READING

Rita Visser
Rita Visser

Rita Visser, director global travel group purchasing and executive travel services at Oracle, manages one of the largest travel programs in the United States. While her buying power gets her an audience with suppliers, she looks both inside and outside of her organization for innovation and relies on suppliers to deliver the right services. She started her career in travel straight out of college with Rosenbluth International, thinking it would fill the gap until she found her true calling. Turns out, it found her.... KEEP READING