WINiT Case Study: Mary Ellen George

Veteran executive Mary Ellen George from WINiT donor company, HRG, endorses WINiT network as valuable channel into professional development opportunities

Opportunity

Mary Ellen George is a travel industry executive whose commitment to helping industry professionals, particularly women, achieve their goals has been a career-long passion.

She is currently Senior Vice President of Sales, North America and member of the Executive Committee for HRG North America. She has spent the duration of her impressive career working in the travel and hospitality industry. After graduating from college with degrees in Business and Hotel and Restaurant Management, she was recruited to work in the hospitality industry. Mary Ellen showed an interest in and passion for sales; building connections with people comes naturally to her which ultimately landed her a position on the Travel Management Company (TMC) side of the travel industry. Her tenacity for entrepreneurship and leadership resulted in Mary Ellen continuing to advance. Some of her career milestones include pioneering the concepts of managing commercial card payments and travel together, consolidation of global travel services, open book pricing models, online fulfillment services and multinational servicing platforms. As a result, she ultimately achieved the role of division President and also EVP of Global Sales for BCDTravel and played an integral role in the building and growing of BCD in their early days

Mary Ellen was working as Vice President of Global Business Development for American Express in 2014 when Hervé Sedky, a colleague at American Express and one of the founding members of WINiT, introduced her to WINiT.  Mary Ellen was intrigued – by the organization’s mission and rich, expansive network of industry professionals.  Although an active member of several other industry organizations, she felt WINiT offered a unique channel through which to both encourage and support other professionals as well as continue to nurture her own growth and development.

How WINiT Helped: Making Connections and Giving Back

Joining WINiT immediately broadened Mary Ellen’s network and sense of connection with the industry. Mary Ellen is an active user of social media and believes in its power to bring people and organizations together that might not otherwise meet and interact. She enjoys sharing, communicating, and blogging with WINiT members through WINiT’s various communication channels – to solve problems, learn, and build relationships.

In 2016, Mary Ellen transitioned out of her role at American Express Global Business Travel. The WINiT network became an integral tool in her job search process as she pursued a variety of opportunities.  She reconnected with former colleagues from her WorldTravel BTI/BCD days, and secured her current role.  HRG was already supporting WINiT after David Radcliffe learned about WINiT’s mission from WINiT Founder, Michelle (Mick) Lee.  WINiT’s goals and programs align with HRG’s company culture which embraces nurturing talent and career development.

“At HRG, we are happy to support WINiT and its ambitions to advance the industry by developing new talent and providing resources that enable career growth in global business travel,” Mary Ellen commented.

Benefits Realized

Through WINiT, Mary Ellen has realized a deeper connection to the industry.  As an individual and a professional, Mary Ellen has broadened her network and found another outlet through which to influence and help other industry professionals advance their careers.  She was also a speaker at WINiT Annual Summit 2016, serving as a panelist for the educational session, “Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Emotional Intelligence.” 

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