2023 Travel Managers of the Year
Business Travel News held its annual event on Tuesday night at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas to announce the winners of the 2023 Travel Managers of the Year. PwC senior managers of U.S. procurement, business services, and travel, Danielle Cavnor and Eric Gray, were honored as the recipients of this prestigious award. This marks the first time in the history of the awards, which started in 1985, that two honorees from the same company have been chosen.
2023 Best Practitioners
Alongside the Travel Managers of the Year, BTN also recognized its 2023 Best Practitioners. These individuals were acknowledged for their excellence in a specific area of their overall travel program. The winners are:
Anne Hamilton, Vice President of Global Travel & Expense Management, The Walt Disney Co.
Anne Hamilton was celebrated for her outstanding work in enabling non-employee travel at the same level as internal travel within The Walt Disney Co. By streamlining data collection, spend reconciliation, and supplier payment processes, Hamilton has greatly improved the efficiency of non-employee travel. This is particularly crucial for Disney, given its extensive production work that requires the engagement of non-employee talent across various locations worldwide.
Rafael Rosario, Global Travel Manager, Bloomberg LP
Rafael Rosario was recognized for his collaboration with Bloomberg LP’s human resources and philanthropy organizations in creating a travel program that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through specialized accessibility programs and careful consideration of individual needs, Rosario has ensured that every traveler’s requirements are met. He has also established internal communication channels and incorporated diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives into supplier contracts.
Ian Spearing, Global Innovation & Technology Leader, EY
Ian Spearing’s work in scaling EY’s travel program’s engagement with travel tech startups earned him this accolade. By utilizing a “Shark Tank”-style pitch format, Spearing has attracted innovators from around the world to present their solutions to EY. This process has helped EY identify potential partners and implement cutting-edge travel technologies to enhance their managed program.
PwC’s Innovative Travel Initiatives
Danielle Cavnor and Eric Gray, the Travel Managers of the Year, were given a challenge by PwC US to “double the business travel experience” while finding efficiencies and returning value to travelers. Despite facing obstacles caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Cavnor and Gray continued to drive innovation in travel management.
PwC US initiated a blockchain-based experiment to book air travel directly with United Airlines, leveraging transactions connected to and settled from a blockchain ledger. This approach eliminated credit card transaction fees. The experiment proved successful in early 2019.
Revamping the Corporate Travel Ecosystem
During the pandemic, Cavnor and Gray led efforts to redefine PwC US’s corporate travel ecosystem. They formed a deep partnership with Kayak.com for Business to implement an agile travel booking tool. Additionally, they collaborated with BlockSkye, a blockchain-based corporate travel innovator, to establish an independent travel management company. This company supports a direct connect and blockchain strategy, not just for PwC but also for other organizations interested in a similar approach.
Radical Transparency and Shared Data Powered by Blockchain
The travel program developed by Cavnor and Gray emphasizes radical transparency and creates a single source of data truth through blockchain technology. By using the Kayak.com for Business booking tool and BlockSkye-powered TMC, PwC US ensures that all bookings and itinerary details are stored on the blockchain. This allows reservation entities along the chain to access and share immutable trip data. The ecosystem has proven successful, supporting over 400,000 bookings with a 99.9 percent success rate.
Recognizing PwC’s Co-Leadership
BTN’s editorial director, Elizabeth West, highlighted the exceptional leadership of Danielle Cavnor and Eric Gray. Their collaboration and dedication to innovation brought together various stakeholders in the pursuit of enhancing the business travel experience. As a result, their work has set a model and defined an ecosystem that other travel programs can emulate.
Business Travel News awarded PwC senior managers, Danielle Cavnor and Eric Gray, the title of 2023 Travel Managers of the Year. Alongside them, Anne Hamilton, Rafael Rosario, and Ian Spearing were recognized as 2023 Best Practitioners for their outstanding contributions to their respective travel programs. These individuals have exemplified excellence and innovation in the field of business travel management.
For more details on the achievements of the award winners, visit businesstravelnews.com on Aug. 21.