Meeting/Event Information

NCBTA 2018 Tech Day & Evening Carolina Hurricane's Game

February 01, 2018
8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
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Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Cary
131 Columbus Avenue
Cary, NC 27518
Venue Website

A Day of Learning Focused on
Today's Emerging Travel Technology
Followed by an evening of Networking at the Carolina Hurricanes Game


8am-9am                   Breakfast

9am-9:15am              Welcome and speaker intro New Board recognition

9:15am-10:45am       Johnny Thorsen – The Tech Guru

10:45-11am               Break

11am – 11:30am        Valerie Layman – Yapta

11:30am-12:00pm      Digital Icebreaker Game / Team building activity

12:00pm-1:00pm        Lunch

1:00pm-2:00pm          Chris Llorente with Concur – “Hipmunk”

2pm-2:30pm               TripBam

2:30pm-2:45pm          Break

2:45pm-3:30pm          Panel Discussion led by Johnny – “Travel Disruptors challenging the status quo”

and on the panel we will have:





-Travel Manager

3:30pm-4pm            NCBTA WRAP/ Future event announcements

6pm                         Join NCBTA Networking at the Carolinas Hurricanes Hockey Game


 Keynote Speaker: Johnny Thorsen


Mr. Johnny Thorsen has been Vice President of Travel Strategy and Partnerships at Mezi since May 15th, 2017. Mr. Thorsen Co-Founded conTgo limited and served as its Chief Strategy Officer & Chief Executive Officer. He served as Senior Director at SAP Mobile Services. Mr. Thorsen is a passionate innovator and enjoys disrupting the status quo. He served as Senior Director of Strategy and Product Marketing for Concur Risk Messaging, regularly speaking with industry leaders about duty of care for corporate travel as well as Concur Risk Messaging’s future product roadmap. Since the launch of the Mobile Travel Assistant in 2007 he has been at the forefront of the mobile travel technology revolution and the development of solutions that add value to travellers whilst they are travelling. He has 20 years of travel technology experience gained working with Travelport, GetThere and HRG combined with his strategic vision have enabled him to identify trends and opportunities in their infancy. As the driving force behind conTgo’s rapid innovation and product development, he was named as one of the “25 Most Influential Executives of 2010” by Business Travel News. Mr. Thorsen has held international assignments in Asia-Pacific, the UK and Scandinavia.




Valerie Layman, Yapta Chief Product & Services Officer

Valerie brings over 20 years of experience developing and executing product and software strategies to help companies manage and grow their business in both the emerging and Fortune 500 markets. Valerie has spent over 8 years focused specifically in the emerging online travel technology space. Prior to leading Yapta’s product management and client management teams, Valerie served as Director of Product Management at Orbitz’ corporate travel division, leading the efforts to bring a consumer product into the managed corporate travel market.  While at Orbitz, Valerie was also responsible for the delivery of Orbitz’ key strategic differentiator, direct-connects to airline suppliers. Prior to her work at Orbitz, Valerie spent 9 years as a process and delivery consultant for Accenture, leading strategy and solution planning initiatives as well as managing complex application development efforts. Valerie has a BS in Marketing and an MBA from Kansas State University.


Chris Llorente, Sr. Director of Business Development at SAP Concur

Chris Llorente is the Sr. Director of Business Development at SAP Concur. He is responsible for the Solutions Providers channel which focuses on bridging technology gaps for customers and partners. During his 6 year tenure at SAP Concur, he has held several positions including sales, partner business manager and various leadership roles.  Prior to joining SAP Concur, Chris spent seven years at World Travel Service – a leading travel management company in the U.S. Chris resides in North Carolina and is married with two children.


Steve Reynolds, CEO & Founder of TRIPBAM


I am currently CEO and Founder of TRIPBAM, a new hotel shopping service for travelers, corporations, and agencies. TRIPBAM shops across multiple hotels over several days to take advantage of prices changes as they occur. Based upon historical results, our system finds savings over 50% of the time and the average savings is just over $50 per night. Based upon TRIPBAM's success, I was recently named one of the top 25 most influential executives within corporate travel. I was a founding member of two technology related companies within travel.

The first, CTI, in Houston, Texas provided travel systems and services to fortune 1000 companies. The company was later purchased by American Express. The second company was Travel Technologies Group (TTG) based in Dallas, TX. The company grew to $25M in annual revenues before merging with two other companies to form TRX. TRX employed 1,600 in 14 countries and processed over 80% of the corporate travel transactions in the U.S. After TRX, I became the Regional Vice President for ACS managing the Travel and Transportation division. This region included over $250M in revenue and over 2,300 employees servicing 13 major airlines and four of the largest travel distributors across both domestic and offshore locations.

After ACS, I became Managing Director for North America for WNS Global Services and responsible for the company's revenues and profits in the U.S. WNS specializes in providing a broad set of offshore BPO services such as F&A, contact center, research and analytics to travel, retail, banking, insurance, logistics, and healthcare related companies.




Silver Event Sponsor: Yapta

AV Sponsor: Hilton Garden Inn

Book your room $129 per night for the 2018 Technology Day in Raleigh, NC. Click Here


Group Name:

NCBTA Tech Day- February

Group Code:






Hotel Name:

Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Cary

Hotel Address:

131 Columbus Avenue


Cary, North Carolina



Phone Number:



Networking at the Carolina Hurricanes Game to follow.

Network while watchinig North Carolina's own Hurricanes play hockey.  Food & drink(limited free drink tickets) available in our section of the Foothills Pub Deck. 



$55.00 Member Meeting Registration Only
$65.00 after 12:00 am January 29
$45.00 Earlybird rate before January 15

$75.00 NCBTA Non-Member or Guest Registration Meeting Only
$85.00 after 12:00 am January 29
$65.00 Earlybird rate before January 15

$120.00 Member Meeting & Networking Event Registration
$130.00 after 12:00 am January 29
$110.00 Earlybird rate before January 15

$150.00 NCBTA Non-member or Guest Meeting & Networking Event Registration
$160.00 after 12:00 am January 29
$140.00 Earlybird rate before January 15

$75.00 Member Networking Event Only Registration

$75.00 NCBTA Non-Member or Guest Networking Event Only Registration

Future Meetings

NCBTA 2018 Tech Day & Evening Carolina Hurricane's Game

February 01, 2018 from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Cary
131 Columbus Avenue
Cary, NC 27518
Venue Website

A Day of Learning Focused on Today's Emerging Travel Technology

March Morton's Steakhouse Education Dinner

March 08, 2018 from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Morton's Steakhouse Uptown Charlotte
Carillon Tower, 227 W Trade St #150
Charlotte, NC 28202
Venue Website

An Evening of Dining and Education

NCBTA Golf Outing

May 11, 2018 from 12:00 PM to 6:30 PM


Durham or Charlotte, NC

An Afternoon of Golf and Education Dinner

NCBTA Family Picnic

June 09, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM


Asheville or Pittsboro, NC

A Fun Day for Charity and Family Fun

NCBTA 2018 Education Day

July 26, 2018 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM


Charlotte, NC

A Day of Education and Evening of Networking

Oktoberfest Networking Event & Education Session

October 18, 2018 from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM


Burlington or Concord, NC

An Evening of Networking, Food, Brew & Education

NCBTA 2018 Gala & Auction w/ Education Breakfast

November 15, 2018 from 6:00 PM to 12:00 PM


RDU Area, NC

An Evening of Networking and Breakfast Education Session