Welcome to 60 Second Interviews. Here you can find out all you need to know about some of the business travel industry's most succesful buyers, suppliers, and practitioners in just one minute.
First up is Karen Hutchings
, the new ITM Chair elect who will be taking over from Mark Cuschieri in May this year. Karen manages Ernst & Young’s global US$1.8 billion travel spend, approximately $400M in Meetings & Events spend, and has a FY14-17 cost avoidance target of US$120 million.
Name: Karen Hutchings
Firm: Ernst & Young
Position: Global Travel, Meetings & Events Leader
ITM Board Member Length: 2 months
Hobbies: I own two horses and they take up a lot of my spare time!
One Interesting fact about yourself: I have run 26 full marathons
How did you get into the business travel industry?
I always wanted to see the world when growing up, so my education was geared towards how I could do that, and after completing my A-levels, I studied bilingual travel & tourism. My first job was for an airline as an account manager and that's how it all began!
What does your role involve?
My position is to ensure I have full visibility and management of travel, meetings & events program, internal stakeholder engagement and team leadership.
What are you working on at the moment?
Currently on my radar is identifying disrupters in the marketplace, save to invest program and M&E venue sourcing RFP.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in business travel?
Go for it – there are many different elements to business travel which no one really appreciates unless they are working in it, so this can mean that a career in travel is diverse and will have longevity due to the variety of roles on offer.
Quick Fire Questions
1. What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love our industry and particularly, within my role, challenging the status quo. Also the constant innovation and looking at new ways to do things.
2. What frustrates you about the business travel industry?
What frustrates me is that some elements of the business travel industry are not keeping up to pace with the rest of world, such as booking air travel and hotels.
3. Where’s your favourite destination?
4. If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 things would you take with you?
A baseball cap, my animals (horses: Bobby & Brenda, and two sheep: Hendricks & Tonique) and, last but by no means least - my husband!
5. If I had that magic wand and could change one single thing, what would it be?
I’d stop cruelty to animals.