ACTE Global :: Association of Corporate Travel Executives

Creating meaningful dialogue since 1988 through education, advocacy and research for the global corporate travel community.

Board of Directors Biographies: Officers

Kurt Knackstedt

Kurt Knackstedt
Chief Executive Officer
M: +61 418 598 658

In early 2015, Kurt was appointed CEO of Troovo, a newly launched technology company focused on driving greater efficiency and automation of transaction-based industries. Troovo’s approach to automation is flexible, nimble and collaborative, helping to increase customer profitability through lower operational costs. Based out of Melbourne, Australia, Troovo is working with companies around the world to help streamline transactional processing and integrate multiple data streams for maximum business productivity.

In January 2014, Kurt assumed the role of President of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE). ACTE is the leading industry body for advocacy, research and education for the global corporate travel industry.

As President, Kurt is the senior volunteer leader of ACTE and serves at the order of the Board and the membership. The President is the Chair of both the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. The President also has general supervision of all business and affairs of the Association and gives direction and inertia to the formulation and achievement of the Associations philosophy, mission, strategy and goals, and also serves as primary spokesperson. Kurt’s term runs through the end of 2016.

Prior to Troovo, Kurt was with global mining giant Rio Tinto as the Global Category Leader for Travel and Expense Management. In this role based in Singapore, Kurt led Rio Tinto’s global Travel and Expense strategy with key suppliers focusing on improving the total Rio Tinto travel experience. He had global responsibility for travel management, strategic airline, hotel and car sourcing strategies, and driving best practice in corporate card and expense management processes and systems.

Before joining Rio Tinto, Kurt was Principal of consulting, a consultancy devoted to assisting corporations, technology companies, travel suppliers and agents, and travel management companies get the most out of their technology and product solutions, supplier engagements, social media and marketing plans, and strategic development efforts.

Prior to his consultancy, Kurt was Vice President and Head of Advisory Services, Field Effectiveness, Marketing and Product Management, Asia Pacific, at American Express Business Travel in Sydney. In that role, Kurt drove a regionally-focused approach to these four core disciplines, to deliver optimum customer value and revenue growth to the business.

Prior to joining American Express, Kurt held roles at Travelport Corporate Travel Solutions as Senior Director, International Markets, responsible for strategic development, marketing, partnership activity and relationship management, based out of the UK. Prior to that he was Director of Product Management and Marketing, Asia Pacific for Travelport splitting his time between Sydney and Hong Kong. Kurt began his corporate travel industry career at Rosenbluth International in Philadelphia, USA, in product management, marketing and strategy roles, culminating in his appointment as Director, Global Marketing - Strategic Travel Services.

Kurt holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Indiana University, USA.

Kurt is based in Sydney, Australia and is a dual citizen of the USA and Australia.

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Greeley Koch

Chief Staff Officer
Greeley Koch
Executive Director
Association of Corporate Travel Executives

510 King Street, Suite 220
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States
Tel: 1-703-683-5322 ext. 204
Fax: 1-703-683-2720

Koch, was most recently Director, Strategy Development at Acquis Consulting Group, a boutique consulting firm, and is a veteran business executive with more than 20 years of experience in the corporate travel industry. He has held positions in all of the sectors that make up ACTE’s membership and interests, including government, corporate buyers and suppliers and consulting, which gives him the ability to bring together all the necessary viewpoints. Koch has held positions with the Office of the Governor of Illinois, Abbott Laboratories, Bank of America, TQ3Navigant, TRX, Inc. and most recently Acquis. Additionally, he has been an integral member of ACTE on a volunteer basis since 2000, including Chairman of the ACTE Global Centre for Research & Education and President of Board of Directors.

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Lori O’Connell

Lori O’Connell
Senior Director, Travel & Meetings

3109 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33109
United States
Tel: 1-813-351-2459

Lori is currently a Senior Director, Finance, with PricewaterhouseCoopers. She joined PwC in 2008, and has responsibility for the strategic vision and effective operations of the firm's US Travel and Meeting and Event Services programs.

Lori has been a travel industry professional for the past 28 years. She spent the first 10 years in the industry focused on leisure travel, and the past 18 have been dedicated to business travel.

Prior to joining PwC, Lori worked for several well known travel management companies, including American Express Business Travel, Carlson Wagonlit, and Rosenbluth International. She has held numerous positions, including operations, account management, and global client management.

Lori's experiences on both the supplier and buyer side have given her a holistic view of the challenges and opportunities in the business travel space, and allows her to strike the right balance between cost management and the customer experience.

Lori is very active in the business travel community. She recently served as the Vice President, Tampa Bay Business Travel Association. She has participated as a panelist during numerous industry conferences. She is a CCTE, and is also Six Sigma Green Belt certified. She has been very active in ACTE over the last several years, participating in the steering committee for the April 2011 global conference in New York, leading a session at the Executive Forum in Washington, DC in 2010, and assisting with the World Café.

On a personal note, Lori lives in Palm Harbor, Florida. She has a dog and a cat, a 20 year old son, was married to the most wonderful man imaginable in July of 2009, enjoys yoga, hiking, scuba diving, reading, and, of course, traveling to new destinations!

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Board of Directors Biographies: Board Members

Todd Arthur

Todd W. Arthur
Managing Director SE APAC
HRS - Hotel Reservation Service

Todd is the Asia Pacific (APAC) Managing Director for HRS. His core responsibilities include setting the business direction, driving organic growth with new and existing customers across APAC markets, establishing strategic partnerships, and talent development. Currently, Todd leads the team based in the regional headquarter at Singapore, as well as overseeing the local operations from Bangkok, Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei and Sydney.

Prior to HRS, he served as Vice President of sales and account management for Asia Pacific at BCD Travel, where he headed up strategic growth and account development across 17 markets. Todd has more than 20 years of travel industry experience, including airline sales, management and consulting in both North America and Asia. Prior to joining BCD Travel in 2007, he directed air and hotel sourcing projects, contract management and strategic travel management for clients at Advito, the independently operated consulting subsidiary of BCD Travel. Previously, Todd was the General Manger (South China) for Finnair, responsible for strategic corporate contracts, revenue & yield and sales strategy. Prior to joining Finnair, Todd served as sales manager for Malaysia Airlines on their North American commercial team.

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Dirk Baerts

Dirk Baerts
Managing Director, Canada
Egencia Canada

6733 Mississauga Road, Suite 102
Mississauga, ON L5N 6J5
Tel: 1-905-817-8108

Dirk Baerts is managing director at Egencia Canada Corp., based in Mississauga, Ontario, where he is responsible for the company’s travel management services in Canada and for its Meetings & Incentive operations in North America.

Before his Canadian-based appointment in 2011, Dirk held the position of country manager for Egencia Belgium, based in its Brussels office for two years directly following his appointment as sales director in 2008

Prior to joining Egencia, Dirk worked in the technology industry for more than 15 years, holding several management positions at leading technology companies, in Europe, Asia and Japan.

Dirk holds an Executive M.B.A. and a Master in Commercial Engineering, both from the University of Antwerp in Belgium.

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Leigh Bochicchio

Leigh Bochicchio
Vice President, Global Talent Development
MasterCard Worldwide

2000 Purchase Street
Purchase, NY 10577-2509
United States
Tel: 1-914-249-3692
Fax: 1-914-249-4224

With over 20 years of experience in Business Travel, I’ve held a number of positions with Multinational Companies in business strategy, sales and account management, product development, Six Sigma, training and communication on both the supplier and buyer side. Over the past few years, I have been actively engaged with ACTE as a:

  • member of ACTE;
  • contributor of whitepaper content for key industry issues;
  • member of the educational steering committee for global conferences in Rome, Prague and two in Washington;
  • and a speaker at the recent global conference in Prague.

I am most passionate about education, not just the membership base but industry influencers as well.

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Roland Bunge

Middle East & Africa
Roland Bunge
Country Manager, Egypt
Carlson Wagonlit Travel

3, Isis Street, 11341
Cairo, Egypt
Tel: +20 (0)2 2417 5802
Fax: +20 (0)2 2417 5847

The business travel industry in the Middle East and Africa Region is facing unprecedented challenges in a changing global travel environment as in the rest of the world. While ACTE has been active in this region, much still needs to be done.

My personal goal in representing the Middle East and Africa Region would be to work on strategic initiatives that will enable ACTE to continuously provide added value, networking and information for our industry, our companies, and our members' abilities to accomplish their goals. I am confident that my skills and qualifications as a professional in the travel industry, combined with my responsibilities at Kanoo Travel, a well-known travel company, will foster my ability to assist ACTE in its mission of providing regional leadership for the advancement of the business travel industry.

With over 20 years of experience in the airline and travel industry, I have held positions in corporate and leisure, including distribution, sales and supplier-focused roles, in South Africa, Egypt and the Middle East. In this time, I have been:

  • Member of ACTE South Africa, and was a member of the Steering Committee to set up ACTE there
  • Member of ACTE Middle East and have been a speaker at a number of ACTE forums and conventions in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha

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Georgie Farmer

Georgie Farmer
Group Manager, Strategic Sourcing
Global Travel & Meetings
Global Procurement Group
Microsoft Corporation

Level 5, 4 Freshwater Place
Southbank, Vic 3004
Tel: +613 8320 5953

Georgie is the Global Service Delivery Manager in the recently reshaped Microsoft Travel Team, designed to create and execute Microsoft’s Travel 2015 strategy. She is responsible for managing all travel services and 3rd party tools that the Microsoft travelling community utilize. The program spans 70 countries and 50,000+ travelers.

Prior to this role Georgie managed the travel program across Asia for 4 years utilizing technology and innovative business practices to lift the program to new heights. Prior to Microsoft, Georgie was with JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. as their VP of Travel, Asia Pacific for 4 years. Before joining JPMorgan, Georgie held various sales management positions with Diners Club Australia, a division of Citigroup from 1997-2004. Working on developing travel and purchasing expense management solutions for large corporate and government clients provided her with the impetus to move from being a supplier to a buyer. These experiences provide her with a balanced view of the industry and a deep understanding of corporate travel management practices and challenges in the Asia-Pacific region. Georgie started her travel industry career with Ansett Australia, an Australian airline in 1986 and worked in various operations and sales roles.

Georgie is an active leader of ACTE having held the role of Regional Chair in Asia Pacific for 4 years and having relocated to Australia was appointed as the Australasia Board Member in December 2011. She believes in the need for organizations in Asia-Pacific to work together with ACTE in order to sustain continuous improvements to legacy practices and to leverage innovation in technology.

Georgie holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship.

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Yves Galimidi

Yves Galimidi
YG Consulting
Mobility, Business Travel, Meetings

Tel: +32 497 310152

As a corporate member of ACTE for more than 10 years I have been extensively involved in various volunteer activities, such as speaker, panelist and host at different ACTE forums and conferences, ACTE Country Champion in the Belgium/Luxemburg area, member of the ACTE CSR & Global Conference Steering Committees and I am currently serving as ACTE Regional Chair Europe.

I am also a dedicated member of different business travel advisory boards (TMC, hotels, and corporate payment solutions).

With 25 years of experience and expertise in the business travel industry mainly on the corporate side, as travel manager with the Inter IKEA Group and travel purchaser with global responsibilities with IKEA, I strongly believe that I can assist ACTE in achieving its missions and goals and I am more than ready to dedicate my time and my energy.

I have no doubts that ACTE is today "driving change through continuous improvement" being the leader in global education and defining best practices for the global business travel industry, which during the last few years has become a very complex and extremely challenging professional sector.

I will do my utmost during my tenure to actively contribute to the growth of ACTE and enlarge its membership base, both on the corporate side and on the supplier side. I am convinced that fostering the relations between both sides is and will remain a key element.

I also intend to enhance networking and benchmarking opportunities between ACTE members. Sharing our experiences, both good and bad, is certainly the best possible way for us to develop and advance together.

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Vivianne Martins

Vivianne Martins
Associação Brasileira de Gestores de Eventos e Viagens Corporativas (ABGEV)

Av Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2369
São Paulo
Tel: 55-1151813237

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Suzanne Neufang

ACTE Centre Chair
Suzanne Neufang
VP/Managing Director-Americas

New York, NY USA

Suzanne Neufang served as ACTE President from January 2012 until December 2013, and now continues her support in a two-year term as a board director. In March 2015 she joined HRS (Hotel Reservation Service) as VP-Americas to open HRS's US operations in New York City. In 2014 she led marketing and e-commerce at Intuit ProTax Group, a leader in small business software solutions. Prior to that, she gained a wealth of global travel experience in her 10 years at Sabre Holdings. Her roles there included President/General Manager at GetThere, and Vice President of Marketing and Products at Travelocity Corporate Solutions. She started her career in broadcasting before joining "corporate America" in a series of marketing and e-commerce roles at GTE/Verizon. She has degrees from the University of Hawaii and Minot State University.

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Lutz Stammnitz

Lutz Stammnitz
Conas Management

Bahnhofstrasse 98
D-82166 Grafelfing
Tel: +49 (172) 30 10 361

Prior to joining Conas Management, Lutz Stammnitz was Vice President of Corporate Procurement and Logistics at Siemens AG in Munich, where he was responsible for global travel management.

Following the establishment of Global Shared Services (GSS) on October 1, 2006, he became President of GSS Procurement, Mobility and Logistics (GSS PML), which included activities relating to the mobility of Siemens employees around the world, and in particular travel and fleet management, event/congress management, visa services, credit cards and travel expense reporting systems.

While at Siemens, Stammnitz also served as Deputy Manager of Global Indirect Material Strategic Procurement and Operations, as well as Vice President of Global Category Mobility Services within the company's Corporate Supply Chain Management (CSCM) unit..

Berlin-born Stammnitz previously held various management positions at Deutsches Reisebüro (DER), and was Vice President of Intercontinental Business at DERTOUR. Prior to joining Siemens, he also served as Maritim Hotels' board member with responsibility for sales and marketing.

A keen skier and golfer, Stammnitz has two daughters and lives in Munich.

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Eve White

Eve White
Vice President, Global Markets & Strategic Sales
HRG North America

Eve began her travel career as a bilingual reservations agent at Northwest Airlines (NWA) where she worked for five years, continuing to achieve positions of successive responsibility with sales roles in Cleveland, Ohio and Portland, Oregon. Following her time at NWA, Eve joined USTravel (which became BTI Americas, then WorldTravel BTI and is now BCD Travel) as a Sales Manager. Eve assumed positions of successive responsibility in the sales organization including management of Pacific Northwest Sales, nationwide mid-market sales, Southern California sales and Global sales. As the company changed, Eve grew with it to the position as Vice President of Multinational Sales at BCD before moving to HRG in 2006. At HRG she is responsible for strategic global customer solutions for US headquartered companies, mostly focusing on companies headquartered the Western United States.

Eve is fluent in French and Spanish. She is past president of the Los Angeles Business Travel Association. Eve has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California Santa Cruz. She lives in Long Beach, California with her husband. She enjoys spending time with her six grandchildren in her free time.

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