The importance of people, NOT filling big shoes, and trail blazing.

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by: Kurt Knackstedt, President, Association of Corporate Travel Executives.

As an ACTE member for over 15 years, I’ve seen countless people come in and out of our great association as buyers, suppliers, volunteers, staff, consultants, and so forth. There are numerous reasons why all these people came to ACTE – career growth, networking, education, broadening horizons, having fun – the list goes on. Which makes it all the more amazing when someone makes an impact on the association that transcends nearly every conceivable reason why someone would join us in the first place.

For the past eight years, ACTE has been fortunate enough to have our education strategy be led by someone who has been relentlessly focused on driving a world-class, career-changing and innovative culture around corporate travel education.

By “career-changing” I mean that she has been hugely focused on helping industry professionals become ever better and have a greater impact in their roles. By “world-class” I am being literal, in that she’s has helped us drive corporate travel leadership in every corner of the globe. And by “innovative” I’m referring to her introduction and adoption of learning and engagement techniques and technologies that previously hadn’t been seen in our industry before. Ever.

ACTE is nearly 30 years old, and thanks to the people that have come before, those that are here now, and those that are still to come, we will continue to provide the best possible experience for corporate travel professionals around the world. For the Association of Corporate Travel Executives has and always will be bigger than any one person or persons that are part of it. That being said, and as I alluded to before, it’s rare that one person can have such a major impact on our association. For having had the privilege and pleasure of being part of ACTE while this was happening, I’m forever grateful.

What am I chattering on about? For those who’ve not yet heard, our Managing Director of Global Education, Amber Kelleher, will be moving on from ACTE at the end of this month. Amber has been a leader, innovator and curator of some of the best and most engaging education events and mediums available anywhere, and she leaves ACTE with a legacy which will continue to expand and evolve.

She has paved the way for us to take global education and industry engagement to the next level, which we’re unbelievably excited about. We’re also thrilled to cheer Amber on as she takes a huge next step, by launching a new non-profit organisation to help global communities in need. Make sure to follow her on LinkedIn to track her progress! The world of corporate travel is a better place for her having been a part of it, and the world of community support is about to get a huge dose of that energy and vision.

And as opposed to finding someone to fill “un-fillable shoes,” we’re very excited to welcome a long-time industry colleague, Jill Jefferis, to take the mantle from Amber and lead our education and engagement globally. Change is always a challenge, but also an opportunity, and Amber has given us the opportunity to take our engagement to the next level, building on her amazing foundations. Following Amber’s trail blazing we’re excited to have Jill starting a new trail for us and our industry, and exciting times are ahead for all of us.

On behalf of all the members, friends, sponsors and volunteers of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, we wish Amber nothing but success, fulfilment and positive energy. Onwards and upwards Amber! You are an inspiration to us all.



Thanks for chattering.

Warm regards,

Kurt Knackstedt, President, Association of Corporate Travel Executives





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