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OpenTravel(TM) Alliance Elects Board of Directors and Officers

The OpenTravel(TM) Alliance (OTA) is pleased to announce its’ newly elected Board of Directors bringing together a diverse group of individuals covering many sectors of the travel industry.
Members elected to of the Board of Directors include:

Rahim Amlani—Director of Product Marketing, Sidestep Inc.

Ron Anderson-Lehman—Staff Vice President, Continental Airlines, Inc.

Gary Benolkin—Enterprise Architect, American Airlines

Anne Cole—Vice President, Distribution Business Delivery, Hilton Hotels Corporation

Victoria Day—Director, Publications and Technical Communications, Air Transport Association

Claude Guay—President and CEO, Accovia

Ravi Gundimeda—Director, Application Development—Shared Services,
United Airlines

Mike Keppler, Vice President, Sales and Distribution Systems Marriott
International, Inc.

Michael H. Kistner, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer,
Best Western International

Corey Ladd—Director of Product Marketing, Sabre Holding Inc.

James R. Peters, Chief Technology Officer, Sita, Inc.

John Turato—Vice President of Technology, Cendant Car Rental Group

James White—Director of Global Automation Marketing, Hertz Corporation
The OTA Board of Directors re-elected its officers to another one-year term as follows: Mike Kistner—Chairman and President, Jim Peters, Vice Chairman, and Mike Keppler, Treasurer.

“These singularly dynamic Board members provide OTA with a unique opportunity to move the alliance into the next phase of continued leadership in the travel industry for the next five years,” said re-elected OTA Chairman and President Mike Kistner (VP & CIO, Best Western International). “As we approach this milestone we will use it as an opportunity to reflect on our successes and focus on the next set of opportunities which exist for advancing online distribution.”

Since its inception 5 years ago, the OTA and its member companies have made significant progress in driving travel technology through the development and implementation XML based industry standards. Some of the accomplishments include over 8 updates and enhancements to the OTA Specification, expansion of member and non-member support, participation and resources for the specification as well as a successful annual conference - The Advisory Forum. Over the last few years, the global adoption of the OTA specifications continues to gain momentum, ever increasing the value of joining the OTA.

In the next 12 months, the OTA will focus on a few key areas: continued drive for new members in and sponsorship of the OTA; increased development of the necessary resources to facilitate increasing adoption of the OTA specification; and semi-annual updates and expansion of the XML messages to the specification