Joakim Everstin

Head of Innovation, EMEA, Sabre

Joakim Everstin is a technology evangelist and head of innovation for Sabre’s Travel Network division.  In his role, Joakim is responsible for identifying emerging trends and technologies in travel, and overseeing the development of these into value-add products for Sabre’s customers.


Eric Hallerberg

Country Director, UK and Ireland, Sabre

As Country Director, Hallerberg leads Sabre’s travel marketplace business in the UK and Ireland, which is the largest for Sabre in the region.  He is tasked with growing the company’s customer base, and maintaining successful and trusted relationships with Sabre’s existing travel management company clients, technology partners, as well as leisure and generalist travel agencies in the UK and Ireland.

He earned a PhD in Economics from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.  He also earned dual degrees – a BA in History and a BBA in Finance – from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, spending part of his studies at University College, Oxford.



Dr Nishaal Gooroochurn

Head of Econometrics, Oxford Economics

Nishaal joined Oxford Economics as Head of Econometrics in July 2015. Prior to this, Nishaal worked for over five years at HMRC in the Knowledge, Analysis and Intelligence team where we was head of income tax economics, and computable general equilibrium (CGE) teams.


Stephen D’Alfonso

Director of Public Affairs, ABTA

Stephen is ABTA’s Director of Public Affairs, leading on all of the association’s government affairs activities and political lobbying work in Westminster and Brussels, as well as the devolved governments in Belfast, Cardiff, and Edinburgh. Stephen has been active in lobbying on issues ranging from runway capacity and the reduction of Air Passenger Duty, to the reform of the UK’s financial protection scheme for holidaymakers. Stephen joined ABTA in 2010 after spending two years in strategic communications advising on a range of policy issues.



Sandy D. Jap

Professor of Marketing, Emory University Atlanta GA

Sandy Jap is a Professor of Marketing at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. She is a co-founder of the Emory Marketing Analytics Center (MAC) and an international expert in the management of partnering relationships and business-tobusiness issues. Her research centers on the development of organizational relationships, go-to-market strategies, and e-procurement. Her current focus is the development of decision support systems for multichannel sales attribution and media optimization.. www.sandyjap.com



Jon West

Managing Director, HRS

Jon West is Managing Director of HRS, the hotel solutions provider, in the UK and Ireland. A driving force within HRS, Jon has been responsible for the transformation of the UK business into a thriving enterprise with a clear focus on corporate travel and building effective partnerships to create industry-leading solutions for travel buyers. Jon West joined HRS in 2009 from IS Solutions, where he had been for 12 years. Jon was Marketing Director at IS Solutions and was responsible for launching the internet and analytics divisions, as well as bringing clients on board.



Andy Blackwell

Principal, Blackwell Security Consulting

Andy is former Head of Security with Virgin Atlantic where he was responsible for all aspects of the airline’s security programme, including Security Management Systems (SeMS) implementation and development.  Prior to joining Virgin Atlantic, he was UK Security Manager and Lead Threat Assessor with DHL International.

Andy has a law enforcement and intelligence background, with previous service with UK Customs, British Transport Police, the National Criminal Intelligence Service and the National Drugs Intelligence Service of the Czech Republic.  Andy has been commended by the Metropolitan Police for demonstrating a high degree of professionalism and providing an exceptional level of service during a period of heightened threat against civil aviation interests.




Stephen Humphreys

Head of Sales and Marketing for the UK and Ireland, British Airways

He has responsibility for British Airways and Iberia’s global relationships with its travel management companies, corporate customers, as well as partner leisure agents and tour operators.

Stephen brings over twenty years of management experience in the travel and airline industries. He previously held senior roles with British Airways including Head of UK&I Sales & Marketing and Regional General Manager, South West Pacific.

He also held senior regional and sales positions with Qantas in Australia, before moving to New Zealand to become Managing Director of Stella Travel Services, the country’s largest travel company.

Stephen is married with eight children.



Marian McLain

Head of Third Party Distribution Global Sales, Marriott Hotels

Marian McLain is a hospitality professional with over 30 years of experience in the hotel lodging business working for Marriott International. She has held various roles throughout her career, predominantly focused in sales and marketing, both in strategic account management and property sales and marketing.

Marian is currently the Vice President, Global Sales, Intermediaries, leading the team that manages the strategic relationships with the most highly valued Group Intermediary Partners, Travel Management Companies and Consortia and Retail agencies.



Henry G. “Hank” Benedetti

Managing Director, Strategic Accounts, American Airlines

With over 20 years at American Airlines, Hank Benedetti has held roles across several divisions before becoming the Managing Director of Strategic Accounts at American Airlines. Based in American’s headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, Hank currently leads the Strategic Accounts group responsible for the sales and marketing efforts to its largest corporate and travel agency accounts.

Hank completed his Bachelor of Science in Aviation at San Jose State University. He is a member of the Business Travel News Advisory Board, American Express Middle Market Advisory Board and is a mentor in the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Ladders program.



Dr Gerard Lyons

Leading International Economist

Dr Gerard Lyons is a leading international economist. The Times has referred to him as, “One of the leading analysts of the global economy”.  Ace forecaster: twice topped the Sunday Times annual forecasting poll; rated number one global forecaster by Bloomberg (out of over 360) in 2010&11 and the month before the financial crisis was one of only two UK economists predicting a deep, imminent recession. From January 2013 to May 2016 was Chief Economic Advisor to Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London. Previously spent 27 years in senior roles in The City at Chase Manhattan, Swiss Bank, DKB and Standard Chartered. First book, ‘The Consolations of Economics’, was a Daily Telegraph Book of the Year and released as paperback by Faber & Faber in June 2015. His ebook can be downloaded from Amazon:  ‘The UK Referendum: an Easy Way to Leave the EU’.



Tim Montgomerie

Columnist for The Times

Tim Montgomerie is a columnist for The Times and writes regularly for other publications including the CapX website. He is probably best known for founding ConservativeHome.com and the Centre for Social Justice, the think tank he established with Iain Duncan Smith in 2004. He began his career at the Bank of England and is based in Washington DC for most of the presidential election year but is spending the referendum period back in the UK, in order to support the campaign to Leave the EU. Tim, a season ticket holder at Old Trafford, has awful memories of his first GTMC conference in Doha – as he saw Man City score two very late goals against QPR and win their first league title for many blue moons. He is hoping for a happier visit this year.


Ben Fowler

Ben Fowler, Research Director, Audiencenet

Ben firmly believes that great insights can change the world. He excels at asking the right questions and harnessing connected technologies to deliver fast and fascinating research. His favourite part of the research process is turning data and insights into compelling stories and impactful recommendations

Prior to joining AudienceNet as a Research Director in April 2013, Ben worked at Ipsos MORI and Future Thinking for clients ranging from Twinings Tea to Transport for London. Recent clients at AudienceNet include GTMC & HRS, Warner Music and The TENT Foundation. He is a member of the Market Research Society and a Fellow of the Royal Statistics Society