Highlights from the CPC Leadership Summit

I was very fortunate to attend the Chapters Presidents Council (CPC) Leadership Summit in San Diego along with other members of the STLBTA Board. CPC provides the Leadership Summit as a venue for board members of chapters across the country to gather and share best practices and new ideas.   

CPC Leadership 

From left:  Mattie Stricker, Cyndi Brasken, Julie Matheny, Brian Klimanski and Karen Gudgeon

We attended workshops to strengthen our knowledge on Sponsorships, Treasury, Speakers, Social Media and Marketing. As a result of the knowledge sharing among our peers, we are bringing home new ideas to help grow and strengthen membership and will be sharing current information in the industry with the St. Louis membership.

Our time spent in San Diego was productive as the Board discussed new processes to implement, made new connections with other chapter members, networked across the industry and returned to St. Louis with an excitement to make STLBTA the best chapter!

Karen Gudgeon, Treasurer

Karen is the Travel Manager at Superior Corporate Travel with primary responsibilities of
managing and coordinating travel for all of the subsidiaries under the CIC Group, Inc.




STLBTA helps to make Holiday Wishes Come True…                          by Cyndi Brasken
My 15 year old daughter, Lynsi, has never been to a St. Louis Blues game, and is a HUGE fan of TJ Oshie.  Finding the perfect gift of Blues tickets for a weekend game was proving difficult until STLBTA came to my rescue.
STLBTA hosted their annual Holiday Appreciation event on December 10th with a wonderful array of auction items donated from our members.  In the spirit of appreciation to volunteers and sponsors, the Board arranged for attendees to be treated to a holiday atmosphere of wonderful food, live music, and a wealth of attendance prizes.  To my pleasant surprise I spied among the silent auction item two sets of hockey tickets and luckily one happened to be for a Friday night.  I wanted those tickets!!!  Imagine my surprise when I found out that other people wanted them too.  As the night progressed the bidding was getting very competitive.  I would go over to the auction table every 15 minutes or so to find that my latest bid was no longer the leading bid.   I started talking with a co-member in the chapter and he stated “I know who you are bidding against, come with me”.  Thank you Brian Klimaski for introducing me to Steve Ledbetter!  Steve and I started talking and he wanted the tickets because they included an autographed hockey stick and hat of his wife’s favorite player and I just wanted the tickets; after a brief conversation of what we wanted we decided to compromise… we would keep an eye out on the auction and combine our funds so that we could both have wonder holiday gifts.    Steve and I took turns upping the bid from others who were interested in the tickets.   Our efforts paid off as we came out on top at the end of the auction.
I can’t speak for Steve Ledbetter but Christmas morning in my house had a very excited teen screaming and crying about her present of the Blues tickets and more importantly, my husband and I are the best parents ever.  Thank you STLBTA for making a 15 year old girl so happy and for making this Mom look like a rock star!



I was given the opportunity to attend the BoardSource Leadership Forum in Washington, DC a couple of week ago.  My intent was to learn from other non-profits and bring back tools to help improve the structure and operations of our association.  Well, let me say that I was taken aback by the number of non-profits from across the country attending this forum and how large their organizations are in comparison to STLBTA. 

Making the most of the opportunity, I sat in on as many sessions that I could find appropriate.  Social media is a big topic among non-profits and I was able to pick up some ideas where we could improve our presence and usage.  One of the last sessions was on building your Board based on personality types and improving communications.  The speakers were great and had everyone laughing in the audience. 

BoardSource will continue to be a great resource for us as your leadership team guides the association forward.  This forum provided us networking opportunities, speaker resources, and ideas for improvement.  Stay tuned as we find ways to implement these new ideas and strengthen STLBTA.  Thank you for the opportunity to represent you and St. Louis in Washington, DC.

Gerri Lashley
Vice President



Gadget Rule Finally Cleared for Takeoff

“Buckle up, make sure your seat back and tray table are in their upright and locked positions, and switch your phone to airplane mode if you want to keep playing Plants vs. Zombies 2.” Those welcome words could be coming from your flight attendant on your next flight. After being delayed by the government shutdown, the FAA finally released a long-awaited report recommending loosened rules on using phones, laptops and tablets while the plane is below 10,000 feet. Kathryn has more in her story:

But… The change won’t kick in overnight — airlines have to test devices and the FAA hasn’t yet told carriers exactly how to implement the new policy. But airlines are already rushing to be the first to keep device addicts happy by letting them keep their phones and iPads on all the way from boarding to deplaning. JetBlue had hoped the FAA would approve their application yesterday, the same day the new rules were announced. Delta said it was first getting its paperwork in and American will file its application today. JetBlue and Delta’s aggressive posture may have to do with the fact that the FAA has already certified their fleets as safe to use built-in Wi-Fi during flight.
To get that certification, the airlines had to subject their fleets to electromagnetic bombardment and show that their planes and avionics can safely withstand interference from personal electronic devices, said Mary Kirby, former editor of Airline Passenger Experience Magazine.

“They did this testing when they installed those in-flight connectivity systems,” said Kirby, who’s now editor and founder of the aviation news service Runway Girl Network. “So airlines that have done that are really going to be ahead of the game.”

At the January Educational Meeting, Jennifer Steinke will share Phat Data.  As a freelance writer for Business Travel Executive Magazine, she recently published an article on Phat Data.  Click here to read more.

GTP Certification Exam

The Academy held a webinar today on the GTP Certification exam. 

The moderators shared a lot of information about the exam application and preparation process, along with resources for study, guidance on how to organize your exam study and specific information on the test itself.

GTP Certification exam information and application will be available on the GBTA website on April 2.

I don't know about anyone else, but it's been a while since I took an exam of any kind.  I would like to start a study group to meet once every couple of weeks, preferably right after the end of the work day.  If anyone is interested, please email me at  I will be out of office after today until April 9.  I will get back to anyone interested then. 

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How the effects of the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act are still being felt today.

Interesting article on the how the effects of the 1978 Air Deregulation Act are still being felt today.

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Marc Magliari with Amtrak Shares the Facts About Speed

Did you miss Marc Magliari's updates on Amtrak on February 28th?

I know this blog won't do Marc's time at the podium any justice.  In fact, Marc really didn't spend any time at the podium.  You really had to be there to see his energy.  Marc is the Regional Media Relations Manager for Amtrak and is based out of Chicago.  His duties range from crisis communications to event planning, delivering bad news and good news, all while managing service interruptions and new service starts.

Did you know Amtrak ridership experienced a 44% increase between 2000 and 2011?  It seems obvious that there's demand, but past decisions mean Amtrak needs new infrastructure.  Not only did Marc compare the time it took to travel on Amtrak to various destinations with air and bus, he share the why.  He talked about what it takes to increase speed and how speed is intricately intertwined with safety in the way Amtrak operates.  Grade crossings are not popular as they increase the risk of accidents and thus limit the speed Amtrak will allow their trains to travel.  To go the speed of 220, Amtrak would need a passenger-only train track.   

It will be interesting to see how Amtrak grows.  It's hard to not consider the cost of gas right now.  Wouldn't it make more sense to have another transportation option that is fast and economical?

By the way...if you missed this town hall social you might want to think again about missing the next one.  Gerri won a fabulous round trip ticked on Amtrak!  Congratulations!

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