The Travel Technology Association, or Travel Tech, is the association for online travel companies (OTCs) and global distribution systems (GDSs), and is dedicated to connecting consumers and travel providers, eliminating barriers to travel, and protecting consumers.


Steve Shur, President

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, Chairman of the Board

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.  

Philip Minardi, Director of Communications and Public Affairs

Philip Minardi serves as Director of Communications and Public Affairs for Travel Tech and has communications leadership experience in both the corporate and government arenas.

Prior to joining Travel Tech, Philip served as press secretary to U.S. Congressman Erik Paulsen (MN-03), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. During his time on the Hill, Philip led the development and implementation of traditional media and digital communications plans. As a proven spokesperson, communicator, and digital strategist, the Chicago native has managed messaging on an array of issues areas ranging from international trade to domestic tax reform. Philip got his start on the Hill in Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam’s (IL-06) communications department.

Philip began his career as a global sales consultant at Anixter Inc. focusing on enterprise wire and cable and security solutions for members of the Fortune 500 and the U.S. Government. He holds a Bachelors of Science degree from DePaul University in Marketing and Sales Leadership.

Members of the Board

Chris Chiames, Chairman

Simon Gros

David Coburn

Brent Thompson

Bruce Charendoff

Peter Millones

Jim Gibson