Independent Traveler - November 20, 2013
While many of us lament the airlines' unbundling of so many of the services once thought a routine part of your paid airfare -- a checked bag, a snack, a reliable seat assignment --…
Steve Shur is a veteran of association and issues management in Washington, DC. With nearly 20 years of experience in public affairs, government relations and issues campaigns, Steve has developed strategic public affairs programs, managed coalitions, grassroots and media campaigns at the local, state and federal levels. He has extensive experience working with the nation’s top trade and professional associations and corporations on branding and issues management in DC and across America.
Steve knows how to develop winning strategies and implement them effectively to achieve results. Whether it’s legislative or regulatory victories, building audiences online and in the field, and mobilizing them in support of issues, increasing public and media awareness or assisting companies and industries to increase market share, Steve knows how to get it done. An effective strategist, communicator, issue ambassador, spokesperson, lobbyist or media contact, Steve brings a versatile skill set to Travel Tech.
Most recently, Steve was a Partner with a successful public affairs consultancy and served as the Executive Director of the Alliance for PE Pipe, a trade association he created to promote the use of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Pipe in municipal water and sewer applications.
Steve began his career in campaign organizing and management as field operations coordinator for The Direct Impact Company. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island.
Chris Chiames serves as chairman of Travel Tech and has more than 25 years of public affairs and communications leadership experience that incorporates corporate, government, non-profit and consulting assignments. He currently serves as vice president of corporate affairs for Orbitz Worldwide and manages the government affairs and corporate communications for one of the world’s leading online travel companies, with nearly $12 billion in annual bookings across the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Much of Chiames’ career has been spent in the airline industry, where he led the media relations functions at the Air Transport Association (now Airlines for America) and later for American Airlines. At US Airways, he managed a broad portfolio that included public relations, government affairs, investor relations and consumer relations during the company’s financial restructuring, two rounds of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the eventual merger with America West Airlines. He has also managed communications assignments related to labor disruptions, industrial accidents, government investigations and criminal charges. During the 9/11 crisis, Chiames’ consulting clients included American Airlines, Orbitz, and aviation security interests. His affiliation with Orbitz goes back prior to its 2001 launch, including issues management, marketing communications and e-commerce strategies counsel.
Chiames began his public relations career as press secretary to former Congressman Tony Coelho, who served as Majority Whip in the U.S. House of Representatives. A native Californian and graduate of Fresno State University, he also holds a Master of Arts degree in Political Communication from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard.
Robin Reck grew up in the travel and tourism industry, where her father, a geographer, held a variety of positions at a major airline. At a very young age, Reck developed a keen interest in discussing the dynamics of the constantly changing industry with her father around the dining room table. Upon graduating from the University of Southern California with double degrees in International Relations and Communications, she worked for Weber Shandwick in Los Angeles, primarily for consumer, technology and public affairs clients.
Reck then moved to Powell Tate|Weber Shandwick, the D.C.-affiliate office, in 2006. Reck developed international communications programs for corporations, foreign governments and non-profit coalitions to help them achieve their public policy and communications goals in the United States and abroad. She worked on global strategic and media relations programs, with an emphasis on corporate social responsibility issues and reputation management, for clients including the Save Darfur Coalition, Colombia, Cyprus, the European Union, Pakistan, the Council for Biotechnology Information, Saudi Economic and Development Corporation, Temasek and Egyptian Cotton.
After a brief hiatus to raise her two young children, Reck joined Travel Tech in 2012.
Chris Chiames, Chairman