Three new Directors have joined the volunteer leadership of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives. Named through an association-wide election were Steve Sitto, Global Travel Manager for Tesla, and Cindy Van der Elst, Global Leader Honeywell Meeting & Event Solutions. Susan Lichtenstein, Director of Global Travel for Cisco Systems, was appointed to the board by ACTE President Kurt Knackstedt to fill the seat vacated by Lori O’Connell, who was named the group’s treasurer in January.
“Steve Sitto, Cindy Van der Elst, and Susan Lichtenstein personify the C-suite experience that has made this association the preferred educational resource for business travel professionals around the world,” said Knackstedt. “Dedicated ACTE members and renowned business travel industry leaders, I am delighted to be working with them.”
Steve Sitto has a strong background in travel management, travel technology and strategic sourcing, where he has sourced more than $2 billion (USD) in a global travel commodities spend. He built a multi-year TMC global strategy focusing on the global and “glocal” needs of the business and the travellers. Sitto launched an internal stakeholder communication campaign and social network to better connect with and address the needs of the travellers (proving that compliance gains are linked to giving the traveller a voice in the sourcing process).
“I want to drive ACTE exposure and influence with both buyers and suppliers across the industry, government, and media,” said Sitto. “Working with this association is a great opportunity to build upon curriculum, education sessions, and ACTE’s global education agenda.”
Cindy Van der Elst has over 20 years of diversified experience working with the airlines, travel management companies, and as a corporate buyer. She has deployed and managed an EMEA travel program, plus programs in the Americas and EMEA. Van der Elst regards marketing and social media as future differentiators and enablers for companies and associations, and essential in meeting traveller needs.
“Working with ACTE on the Board-level is the perfect opportunity to drive diversity in the business travel industry, said Van der Elst. “We can enhance education for new comers to the travel industry, especially with travel education programs for young professionals in India, China, Latin America, and Africa.”
Susan Lichtenstein manages worldwide procurement operations. Her revised travel policy is credited with increasing compliance by 55 percent, while saving $207 million in travel spend. Committed to traveller experience, Lichtenstein implemented Web 2.0 technology to Cisco travellers, including a forum, interactive website, blog, mobile booking application and online training that dramatically transformed the customer experience. Her approach to alternative travel replaced 68,000 trips with virtual meetings.
“I am honored to serve on the ACTE Board of Directors,” said Lichtenstein. “‘ACTE is where decision-makers and leaders come to learn. Where innovation happens.”
Steve Sitto and Cindy Van der Elst will serve a three-year term on the ACTE Board of Directors. Susan Lichtenstein will complete the vacated term in March 2017.