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CWT Meetings & Events North America Adds Three Experienced Industry Professionals
Minneapolis, MN | April 03, 2009
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), a global leader specializing in business travel management, today announced the appointments of three experienced travel industry professionals to further enhance its CWT Meetings & Events organization in North America: Alex Shreders has been appointed senior director of operations in North America, while Scott Eames and Gabrielle Spanton join the company as directors of business development.
"Many organizations are increasingly focused on meetings and events (M&E) as a significant cost savings opportunity. The current economic environment has accelerated this even further, given M&E costs represent a significant portion - typically 30 to 35 percent - of a company's overall travel spend," said Tony Wagner, vice president, CWT Meetings & Events, North America. "The appointments of Alex, Scott and Gabrielle are in response to increasing client demand for strategic M&E sourcing, and will further enhance the ability of CWT Meetings & Events to assist clients in tackling this important area."
In his new role as senior director of operations, Alex Shreders is responsible for standardizing operations among all CWT Meetings & Events offices in North America to drive efficiencies and maximize productivity. Shreders brings to his position more than 35 years of travel industry experience, most recently serving as senior director for CWT's Traveler & Transaction Services line of business. In his previous role, Shreders led a team of 1,500 CWT employees to consistently achieve year-over-year productivity gains by developing new training programs and increasing the efficiency of transaction processing. Shreders began his travel industry career in 1973 with International Tours, Inc. of Tulsa, Oklahoma, joining The All Seasons Travel Group in 1985. Through acquisitions, Shreders moved to Navigant International in 2000 and to CWT in 2006. Shreders is active with the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and currently serves as Immediate Past President of the Gulf States chapter.
As a director of business development, Scott Eames is responsible for helping travel buyers in the eastern United States identify the benefits of greater visibility and control to existing M&E spend. Eames brings nearly 20 years of travel industry sales experience to his new role, including positions with American Express Business Travel and Expedia Corporate Travel. Most recently, he served in a sales role for Experient, Inc. Eames is active in a variety of industry associations including the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), Meeting Planners International (MPI), the National Business Travel Association (NBTA), and PCMA.
Gabrielle Spanton is director of business development for the western United States, as well as for companies in the energy industry. Like Eames, Spanton is responsible for helping travel buyers realize the potential savings, service and security-related benefits of an established M&E program. Spanton began her career at Qantas Airways as an account executive in 1987 and went on to spend eight years with Maritz Canada. Most recently, Spanton was an independent M&E consultant, assisting a variety of Canadian organizations with their M&E strategies. Spanton is former director of the Canadian-Australian Chamber of Commerce.
"Alex, Scott and Gabrielle each bring unique expertise to their individual roles, and their collective experience is a great addition to an already talented M&E team here in North America," Wagner added. "I know they share CWT M&E's commitment to partner with clients and tailor solutions to meet their unique program goals. Each is passionate about helping clients drive savings while improving control and increasing satisfaction."
Globally, CWT's Meetings & Events line of business supports clients with a full range of services to plan and fulfill meetings and events, including destination analysis, venue sourcing, and group air analysis and fulfillment; end-to-end event management; enterprise-wide strategic meetings management; and M&E consulting and optimization services. CWT Meetings & Events designs strategy and aligns processes to achieve savings, deliver attendee satisfaction, and assist clients in meeting their M&E business goals. The advancement of CWT Meetings & Events remains a key strategic priority as set forth in CWT's three-year development plan, CWT 2010.
About Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) is a global leader specializing in business travel management. Present in more than 150 countries, CWT serves companies of all sizes, as well as government institutions and non-governmental organizations. By leveraging both the expertise of its people and leading-edge technology, CWT helps clients derive the greatest value from their travel program in terms of savings, service, security and sustainability. The company is also committed to providing best-in-class service and assistance to travelers. CWT services and solutions comprise four lines of business: Traveler & Transaction Services, Program Optimization, Safety & Security, and Meetings & Events. CWT has more than 22,000 employees worldwide. In 2008, sales volume for wholly owned operations and joint ventures totaled US$27.8 billion. For more information, please visit www.carlsonwagonlit.com.