Leadership

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Leadership

Steve Shur

President

Steve Shur is a veteran of association and issues management in Washington, DC.  He has over 20 years of experience in association management, public affairs, government relations and issues campaigns. Under Steve’s leadership, Travel Tech has grown in both membership and staff and is leading the charge on policy and industry affairs matters at all levels of government and across the globe.  Steve serves as the chief executive officer of the association, managing the operations and also as industry spokesperson and ambassador for the leaders in travel technology.

Prior to joining Travel Tech, Steve was a partner in a public affairs consultancy and served as the executive director of several trade organizations and coalitions as well as strategic advisor to corporate and industry association clients.

Originally from South Jersey and a graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Steve resides in Northern Virginia.


Matt Kiessling

Vice President of Short-Term Rental Policy

Matthew Kiessling serves as the Vice President of Short-term Rental Policy at Travel Tech. He brings to the organization more than decade of experience in issue advocacy and political campaigns.

Prior to joining Travel Tech, Matthew was an Associate Vice President at the firm DDC Advocacy. In that role he served as a campaign and issue advocacy strategist, overseeing the execution of multi-component public affairs and advocacy campaigns for Fortune 500 companies and major trade associations. His responsibilities included management and oversight of grassroots and grasstops, coalitions, social media, strategic communications, and paid media efforts for various legislative and regulatory issues. Previously, Matthew spent three years as a department head, managing the company’s grassroots outreach and constituent mobilization offering.

Matthew began his career in political campaign and grassroots advocacy work at the state level, consulting for a range of clients on health care, energy, tax, and regulatory issues, as well as serving in various strategic and management roles on state and federal political campaigns. He has also led state and local candidate recruitment and training initiatives and been involved extensively in GOTV efforts throughout his career, leading targeted large-scale GOTV programs in each of the last five federal election cycles. Matthew attended West Virginia University where he studied English.


Mike Liptak

Vice President of Government Relations

Mike Liptak serves as Vice President of Government Relations for Travel Tech, managing a broad portfolio of public policy initiatives before the U.S. Congress, the administration, and at the state and local levels.

Prior to joining Travel Tech, Mike spent nearly five years as Director of Government Affairs for the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, where he lobbied Congress on behalf of the aggregates industry with a strong focus on transportation, tax, and small business issues.  He also spent five years with a small but aggressive consulting and lobbying firm developing strategies for policy implementation and identifying federal grant opportunities.  Mike brings to the association an extensive political background having worked on several House and Senate campaigns in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Washington.  He has worked to develop and maintain close relationships with congressional staff in countless personal offices, key committees, and in leadership.

Mike began his tenure in the nation’s capital as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (KY), the current Senate Majority Leader.  He is a native of Western Pennsylvania and a graduate of Grove City College.

Mike Reynard

Director of Communications

Mike Reynard serves as Director of Communications for Travel Tech. He is a veteran of Capitol Hill, where he spent nearly two decades working as a senior communications advisor in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. Throughout that time, Mike has developed strong working relationships with Congressional offices, national media outlets, as well as key federal and state coalitions.

Prior to joining Travel Tech, Mike served as the chief spokesman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Select Investigative Panel. He spent five years as Deputy Chief of Staff in the office of Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who currently serves as Chair of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Mike also served for ten years as Press Secretary to Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY). He is an experienced political operative, who has worked on multiple House and Senate election campaigns throughout his career.

Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Mike is a graduate of The Catholic University of America where he was a member of the men’s basketball team.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS


Amanda Pedigo, Chair

Vice President, Government & Corporate Affairs, Expedia Inc.

As Expedia’s Vice President for Government & Corporate Affairs, Amanda Pedigo leads a nationwide team of government and public affairs professionals to develop and execute public policy strategies at the Federal, State and Local levels, and coordinate advocacy efforts across Expedia’s family of travel brands.  She brings nearly two decades of experience working in technology policy, most recently holding senior positions at eBay and Intuit, as well as serving as a senior adviser on Capitol Hill. Amanda's expertise and leadership will continue to position Expedia as a leader in the travel industry and in policy debates across North America.


Michael Hanson

Chief Public Policy Officer & Senior Director, Government & External Affairs, Sabre

Michael Hanson is the Chief Public Policy Officer & Senior Director of Government and External Affairs for Sabre. In this role, Michael is responsible for the company’s worldwide public policy and government outreach initiatives. He advocates for sensible legislative and regulatory solutions for the company and its customers. He is also Chairman of Sabre’s Political Action Committee. Before joining Sabre, Michael was Vice President of Government Relations for J.C. Penney, one of the nation’s largest apparel and home furnishings retailers with over 1,000 stores and over 100,000 associates around the world. Prior to J.C. Penney, Michael was a partner at the bipartisan consulting firm, C2 Group and was Chief of Staff to U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson. Michael resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two children, Sam and Hannah. Michael received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Texas at Dallas.


Kelly Kolb

Vice President, Government Affairs, Travelport

Kelly Kolb joined Travelport as Vice President for Government Affairs and Industry Affairs in May 2016. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing Travelport’s legislative and political activities, while working closely with the company’s business units. She also runs Travelport’s corporate office in Washington, D.C., as well as assists in managing several trade association relationships. Kelly was most recently Vice President of Government Affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). At RILA, she was the lead lobbyist and media spokesperson on issues related to labor and employment, supply chain security, customs, and transportation. She was also active in various advocacy coalitions, including chairing the lobbying committee of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace. Previously, Kelly was the Acting Assistant Secretary for Government Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation, a position she held after serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary within the same office. In this position, she served as the secretary’s primary advisor for all governmental matters and was responsible for developing and advancing the department’s governmental affairs strategy. Before joining the Department of Transportation in 2005, Kelly worked on Capitol Hill. She holds a B.S. degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.


Stewart Alvarez

Vice President, Commercial Development & Industry Affairs, Amadeus North America

With 28 years of travel industry experience, Stewart is currently responsible for leading efforts to expand Non-Air distribution business in the North American marketplace for Amadeus North America. He also leads the strategic business development team and serves as an extension of Amadeus’ Industry Affairs organization. During his tenure at Amadeus, he left to serve as vice president of sales and marketing for ICSAT, (International Computer Services and Advice for Travel), a world leader in software solutions which ultimately was acquired by Amadeus. He has played a direct role in airline negotiations, including the ongoing evolution of the GDS commercial model. In addition to his role at Amadeus, Stewart now serves as a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) Board of Directors, and is Chairman of Business Corps. Stewart was previously with System One (Amadeus) in a series of advancing positions in customer support, technology, sales and marketing. His career began in the travel industry in 1985, when he first joined Eastern Airlines as a sales agent.


Phyllis Wallitt

Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Priceline.com

Phyllis Wallitt is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of priceline.com.  Priceline.com, part of The Priceline Group [NASDAQ: PCLN], gives leisure travelers multiple ways to save on their airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, vacation packages and cruises.  In addition to getting compelling published prices, travelers can take advantage of priceline.com’s famous Name Your Own Price® service, which can deliver the lowest prices available, or the recently added Express Deals®, where travelers can take advantage of hotel discounts without bidding. Wallitt has been with the company since early 2008. Prior to joining Priceline, Wallitt worked for Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. She is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.


Casey Aden-Wansbury

Director of Federal Affairs & Engagement, Airbnb

As Airbnb’s Director of Federal Affairs and Engagement, Casey Aden-Wansbury leads Airbnb's federal government and national political outreach, setting strategy and leading engagement with the U.S. Congress, the executive branch, national NGO partners, and other major national stakeholders. Casey previously served as Airbnb’s Director of Global Public Affairs, where she scaled up a global policy communications team and oversaw communications for Airbnb’s regional public policy campaigns worldwide. Prior to joining Airbnb, Casey served as chief of staff to U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN), and has held a variety of communications positions for Franken, U.S. Vice President Al Gore, U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and the Children’s Defense Fund. 

Carolyn Jameson

Chief Legal Officer, Skyscanner

Carolyn Jameson is Senior Director and General Counsel of Skyscanner.  Skyscanner is an independent, leading global travel search site, providing online comparisons for thousands of flights car hire and hotels. Skyscanner has over 60 million visitors every month who use their site to find travel solutions in more than 30 different languages. Carolyn is responsible for a number of areas within Skyscanner, including all legal, public and regulatory affairs globally. Prior to joining Skyscanner Carolyn spent a number of years in a variety of legal and commercial roles within the technology sector, working for several international proprietary and open source software and semi-conductor companies. Carolyn studied law in London, initially training as a Barrister prior to working in-house.

Travel Tech Board Members


Sabre
AMADEUS
TravelportairbnbExpediaSkyscannerBooking Holdings