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All On Board

Apr 1, 2012
2012 / April 2012

Globility. Say the word out loud. What comes to mind? Global community? Cultural understanding? Communication unhindered by geographic boundaries?

You won’t find globility in the dictionary — and that’s a beautiful thing because it leaves the term open to interpretation bounded only by imagination. Global Traveler Publisher and CEO Francis X. Gallagher coined the term almost a decade ago to define our mission: being open to a world of cultures and experiences. Today, globility is a way of life for those of us at Global Traveler, so it’s with great pleasure that we introduce the 20 members of Global Traveler’s first-ever Globility Board.

An elite group of highly experienced world travelers, the GT Globility Board is a direct link between Global Traveler and our readers, acting as a conduit for information about readers’ interests and insights that goes far beyond the data we garner from our own surveys and research.

Their stats are impressive. Ranging in age from 36 to 60-plus, the board is comprised of 14 men and six women (including two married couples). Twelve have advanced degrees. About half take more than 50 flights per year, with three topping out at more than 100 flights annually.

“We wanted a group of top international travelers who read and know Global Traveler to offer insight into what they expect from an airline, hotel or anything related to travel,” says Gallagher. “We are often told by outside sources what these high-flying travelers think, but we wanted a direct-from-the-source, true and clean sense of their preferences, likes and dislikes.”

Following a review process, Global Traveler invited candidates to apply for a position on the Globility Board. Candidates completed an application listing their general background and employment information, travel history and a statement detailing the reasons for their interest in becoming a board member, including what expertise they could contribute. Global Traveler then reviewed the applications and selected the top candidates to become charter members of our newly founded Globility Board.

“Travel is more than getting from point A to point B,” says Globility Board member Frank Brightwell, a Seattlebased traveler who boards more than 100 flights each year. “I’m hoping my experiences and opinions will contribute to the dialogue focused on shaping the future of business and leisure travel.”

Brightwell and his fellow board members now have an opportunity to do just that as we call on them to represent the larger Global Traveler audience by providing feedback and perspective on print and Web-based content and participating in forums led by Global Traveler partners — leading hotels, airlines and tourism boards — to gain insights into how experienced world travelers perceive their products, services and marketing initiatives.

“These members are beyond everyman,” says Gallagher. “Our readership comprises a broad spectrum of business and luxury travelers. The board is made up of frequent travelers who have a keen eye for travel, what’s best and what could be better.”

Donna Childs, founder and CEO of New Jersey-based Prisere LLC and author of Prepare for the Worst, Plan for the Best: Disaster Preparedness and Recovery for Small Businesses, sees the Globility Board as a means to represent the interests of independent business owners.

“As an entrepreneur, I recognize the importance of faceto- face meetings to build relationships, but I am also attentive to the costs associated with business travel; I seek to maximize value for dollar spent,” says Childs. “I am willing to pay for amenities that enhance my travel experience and increase remote productivity, but I want to see the value for the spend. That’s a different approach from across-theboard cost-cutting that is often in place in larger corporations.”

Jim Elliott, a self-employed business owner based in Reston, Va., concurs, citing his desire to “create a stronger voice for the small-business owner within the global travel industry.”

At 36, Benjamin de Lee is the youngest member of the Globility Board, but experience belies his age. In addition to eight domestic trips in a recent 12-month period, De Lee visited Istanbul, Moscow, Thessaloniki, Athens, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia and Vienna, flying on Delta Air Lines, Alitalia, KLM, United Airlines, Southwest, Croatian Airways and Olympic Air. Currently residing in Los Angeles, he has also lived in Asia, Africa and Europe. A lecturer at UCLA, De Lee sees the Globility Board as a way to learn and share knowledge.

“I consider myself an avid traveler, and I believe travel is an essential part of broadening one’s horizons,” says De Lee. “I want to encourage others to travel, to share my experiences and to learn from them.”

Dorothy Wood, president and CEO of J D & W Inc., a commercial construction company based in Virginia, counts being named to a list of the “Top 10 Women in Commercial Real Estate” among her many accolades. Her recent travel experience includes flights with Qatar Airways, Emirates, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, US Airways and Southwest to destinations including San Francisco; Seattle; Las Vegas; and Sitka, Alaska; in addition to Ukraine, Russia, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates.

“Travel is a passion for me, and I love sharing my knowledge,” says Wood. “I want to learn more so I can better advocate for the hospitality industry.”

An ex-pat from the U.K., Daniel Green brings

a bit of insider information to the Globility Board. He’s an on-air host for ShopNBC with a specialty in cooking, and he has created in-flight menus for KLM.

“I travel not just on U.S. airlines but also on European, Middle Eastern and Asian carriers,” says Green. “My experience gives me great insight into premium-cabin travel worldwide. I also have a great knowledge of airports, airlines and major hubs. I can’t wait to share stories.”

Celeste Linhard and her husband, Tom, both of Parker, Colo., met several members of the Global Traveler staff at the Global Business Traveler Association’s annual convention in Denver.

“I had an instant liking to the staff at Global Traveler,” recalls Celeste Linhard. “We discussed the Globility Board, and I thought it would be a good way to get involved in the betterment of the travel industry.”

“The opportunity to know more about the people and companies in the travel industry, where I spend a significant amount of time and money, was intriguing,” agrees Tom Linhard.

“I suspect that, like any other businesses, airlines and hotels spend a great amount of time and resources trying to woo customers and keep them coming back once they have them as customers. As a Diamond-level member with two hotel chains and a million-mile flyer with the world’s largest airline, I can share the things that I appreciate most from the people who make my travel safe and comfortable,” says Tom Linhard. “I suspect the things I appreciate the most are also important to others who travel a lot. My feedback can reinforce what travel-related businesses are already doing or prompt them to think about what they could do better.”

Jean-Christophe Murat, a business manager specializing in export sales for Sovereign Chemical Co., also sees his place on the board as a pulpit for providing “meaningful and representative feedback to travel suppliers.”

“The ability to preview and influence future trends in the airline and hotel industries will enable us to contribute to making the experience more enjoyable and ultimately more memorable,” says Murat.

A retired Episcopalian priest, Tony Noble counts his knowledge of points and rewards programs among the assets he brings to the Globility Board.

“I’m not a businessman or a wealthy person,” says Noble, rector emeritus at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Los Angeles and currently residing in Australia. “I organize all my travel, usually online, and I know a bargain when I see one. I have learned the intricacies of frequent-flyer and hotel loyalty programs.”

Los Angeles-based couple Angela and Steve White bring separate-but-equal insight to the Globility Board. Angela White is an attorney involved in the music business. Her husband, Steve, is vice president of sales and marketing for Kuhn Rikon, a Swiss company that manufactures cooking tools and gadgets.

“I hope travel industry executives will hear how frequent travelers feel about the product they offer,” says Steve White.

“We all have experiences and probably diverse areas of travel that are important to us, “says Angela White. “Sharing my experiences and having a voice that even the airlines might listen to is important to me.”

The owner of Club Papi Productions in San Francisco, Jamie Awad also sees his place on the board as a means to facilitate communication with travel providers.

“The Globility Board is an excellent opportunity to put like-minded frequent travelers in front of leading industry executives and assist in the development of new products and services,” says Awad.

The bottom line: Global Traveler’s Globility Board is a means to an end. It’s our attempt to connect real travelers with industry executives and, along the way, further tailor our editorial content to match the interests of our highly traveled and experienced readership.

Globility Board member Theresa Staskus, director of reimbursement for Therigy, sums it up best: “Businesses that focus on exceeding customers’ expectations build a foundation of success.”

The Global Traveler Globility Board enables us to understand — and ultimately exceed — your expectations.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.


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