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GBTA and VDR announce speaker Debra Searle MVO MBE to launch GBTA Conference 2014

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the voice of the global business travel industry and German business travel association VDR – today announced that Debra Searle MVO MBE, a prominent business influencer, professional adventurer and World Championship medallist will be sharing her extraordinary life experiences at the GBTA Conference 2014 in Berlin, which this year incorporates VDR’s autumn symposium.

Delegates will hear how Debra’s steely determination and courage carried her solo across the Atlantic after her fellow oarsman, then husband Andrew Veal, developed an uncontrollable fear of the ocean and was forced to abandon their planned adventure. Debra, a novice rower at the time decided to continue alone and over the following three-plus months rowed 3000 miles across the Atlantic battling against 30-foot waves, sharks, and force eight squalls in a 23-foot plywood boat.

“We are delighted to have Debra Searle speaking at this year’s GBTA Conference,” said Catherine McGavock, GBTA’s Regional Director for EMEA. “Debra’s inspirational message of ‘Choosing Your Attitude’ when confronting adversity is relevant to our delegates as they face the challenges of technological and behavioural changes that are disrupting the business travel industry today. Debra’s ethos proves that with a positive outlook and a focus on influencing elements within your control, people are able to achieve extraordinary things. She is the perfect speaker to help move us from a celebration of the anniversary of a moving world event like the fall of the Berlin wall to how we face the business challenges we will discuss in the following two days.”

The event brings together GBTA’s annual conference in Europe with German partner association VDR’s autumn symposium to create Europe’s foremost business travel conference, expected to attract more than 700 delegates from more than 20 countries.

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