The HQ GBTA 2022 Diary

August 31, 2022
Daniel Leon Stern

GBTA Convention 2022 returned last month for what was an incredible showcase of global business travel. For the 53rd year, 4,600 attendees arrived at the San Diego Convention Center with renewed energy and enthusiasm. The question on everyone’s mind was how we navigate business travel’s recovery, and resilience while delivering on sustainability, and diversity. 

Read on as we walk you through our GBTA 2022 journey, and the significant stops along the way!

Day One

Day one kicked off with the GBTA Media Day, and we were thrilled to announce HQ SummitGround’s integration with Lyft.  What a way to begin! The Lyft integration means US clients can enjoy ride-sharing services with billing, payments, employee expenses, and ride tracking alongside their other suppliers within HQ SummitGround.

From here, we attended The WINiT by GBTA Summit conference where our VP of Sales Susan Lichtenstein was featured on the committee panel on mentorship for female professionals in the travel industry. 

Mirroring the theme of the WINiT conference were our very own women in business in the audience: HQ’s newly appointed Chief Revenue Officer, Charity Rumery.

Charity joined HQ just in time for GBTA following her time as General Manager of the Americas for HERE Technologies and leadership roles at Cisco Systems and Stanley Healthcare.   The WINiT event was the perfect starting point for Charity and Susan for networking with other female executives and entrepreneurs.  

In the evening, the entire HQ team enjoyed the Taste of San Diego welcome reception.

Day Two 

We opened the morning with incredibly inspiring keynotes on the main stage. Most notably, Cynthia Marshall, CEO of Dallas Mavericks, about value-based leadership, and why putting people first matters most for business success. 

It was great to hear speaker after speaker discussing the exact topics intrinsic to our company mission. In particular, sustainability, transportation technology, microservices, diversity, and data management. We felt in good company! 

For the sustainability keynote, Ryan Panchadsaram, Advisor to the Chairman at Kleiner Perkins, discussed efforts to improve sustainability practices for business travel and ground mobility programs. This is precisely the essence of HQ SummitGround as our clients can track carbon emissions with sustainability reports. 

In the afternoon, we welcomed thousands of GBTA attendees to the booth for the very first time! Each attendee was greeted with cupcakes to keep sugar levels high, and our very practical, and popular, giveaway: the HQ Yeti cup. In true HQ style, the mug was in yellow, and like all things Yeti, shatterproof, insulated, and reusable.

At the end of the day, we headed over to the Bay where we hosted an invite-only cocktail evening. It was a great night where we shared a cocktail (or two), watched the sunset, and chatted with guests from Business Travel News, Carbon Inc., MCR Development, and Lyft. 

From here, it was back to the hotel ahead of day three! 

Day Three

We were up and out early on Tuesday morning as HQ’s Managing Director Jeff LaFave opened the GBTA Education Session at 8:30 am. Jeff was joined by Grace Knowlton, Director of Travel & Expense at General Atlantic, and André Silva, Global Travel at Bloomberg LP. 

Education Session highlights included: 

  • Building resilience on the road to recovery as we see MoM growth in corporate mobility 
  • Gaining equilibrium between supply and demand 
  • Establishing strong relationships between travelers and suppliers
  • Creating a comfortable, convenient, and safe travel experience for the passenger 
  • Balancing costs during periods of inflation and recession fears
  • Need for a centralized experience for ride booking, billing, and payment.   
  • Using data and insights to better understand passenger behavior


In the afternoon, it was full speed ahead at the exhibition hall as we met with even more GBTA attendees than the day before as word spread about our industry-leading ground travel solutions.

For almost four hours, we welcomed more attendees and shed light on how clients cut costs while delivering a sustainable, and quality passenger experience with HQ SummitGround.  

Once again, we had treats on hand – this time doughnuts – and enjoyed celebrating the birthday of our friend Carol Fergus, Fidelity’s Global Travel and Ground Transportation Manager.  

In the evening, Susan and Charity attended the BTN Travel Manager of the Year event of which HQ’s very own Susan was called up for a group photograph as a past winner.  It was a joy to learn how this year’s winner Kim Hammer, the Senior Director of Global Travel & Events at Visa, has moved the industry forward. 

Day Four

On the fourth, and final day, we were pleasantly surprised to greet more visitors, and we had muffins on hand for everyone!

As the conference came to a close, the team had the opportunity to explore the exhibition floor, meet with other industry professionals, and explore new opportunities for future growth. 

All of our HQ team in attendance – including HQ’s CEO and Co-Founder Amiad Solomon – reflected on the buzzing atmosphere all week and the excitement for face-to-face.

We understood that in-person cannot be underestimated, or entirely replaced by online, especially when it comes to relationship building and connection making. 

Goodbye, GBTA 2022.

And so there you have it.  Our run-through of what was a sensational week. It left us feeling motivated and inspired as we drive corporate mobility forward across the globe. We’re already counting down to GBTA Convention 2023 in Dallas, Texas!

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