Incentive - May 2009 - (Page 20)

INTERVIEW For the Defense The CEO and president of Maritz Travel believes good will come from today’s challenges By Andrea Doyle he first woman president and CEO of St. Louis-based Maritz Travel, Christine Duffy leads a team of 650. The company combines industry insight with the art of motivation and the science of technology to develop customized meetings, events, and incentive travel programs that deliver targeted business results. She knows better than most the importance of being visible, of rallying the troops when the going gets tough. Duffy has been one of the key figures of the meeting, event, and incentive coalition that has been formed to make the government and public more aware of the value of meetings and incentives. “In times like these, it is important to put your leader in front of your people to give it to them straight,” says Duffy. “Isn’t that what the inauguration was all about? It was a $150 million meeting where the President communicated his vision.” The American International Group (AIG) fiasco erupted as the economy soured, creating what Duffy calls the perfect storm. “The AIG impact was difficult for us as an industry, but it came on top of the economy heading into a recession,” she says. “We’ve been pushing to do something because this crisis matters so much DUFFY T to us as a company. We’ve had to reduce our workforce. There is nothing more difficult for a leader than to have to let people go, especially those who have been doing an exemplary job.” Maritz Travel, with over $500 million in total sales, reports that from October to January, it lost 20 to 25 percent in sales, a result of cancelled and downgraded programs. “When you’re this close to the situation you see the impact, the unintended consequences of people not connecting the dots,” exhorts Duffy. Connecting the dots, or creating order out of chaos, is an undertaking of historic proportions in this particular case. Duffy says she is most concerned about those companies unnecessarily restricting corporate meetings, events, and incentive travel programs. Business-related travel generates 2.4 million American jobs, $244 billion in spending, and $39 billion in tax revenue at the federal, state, and local levels. State and local governments rely on this revenue to fund basic government programs such as education, health care, and unemployment insurance. Duffy Skyrockets to the Top Duffy helped grow a Philadelphia-based travel company, McGettigan Partners, from 25 employees in 1982 to more than 500 employ- 20 | Incentive | May 2009 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Incentive - May 2009

Incentive - May 2009
Editor’s Note
Cover Story
Incentive House Roundtable
Incentive Strategies
Travel News
Up and Coming Destinations
Florida Beaches
Marvelous Mexico
Size and Style Matter in Luggage, Leather
Dining Gift Cards
Gift Cards Aid Archdiocese’s Wellness

Incentive - May 2009