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ExCeL London - 24-25 February 2021
Kevin Maguire, the Global Business Travel Association's VP of the Latin America region and former BTN Travel Manager of the Year, passed away on Feb. 20, after fighting stage four brain cancer. BTN named Maguire as Travel Manager of the Year in 2012 for developing a consolidated travel program at the University of Texas at Austin's intercollegiate athletics division, including consolidating the department's ground transportation program to a single sourcing company. BTN also named Maguire as a best practitioner in 2010 and also in 2004, when he was travel manager for Tokyo Electron, for his work in collective buying. Maguire was a longtime volunteer with the GBTA before joining its staff. He served on the board for more than 20 years and held two terms as president and chairman. His friends and colleagues remember him as a generous volunteer and a tireless industry educator and advocate. Here are their words:
When I think of Kevin, it is not for his many accomplishments, his numerous awards or the high-profile volunteer leadership roles he held within the travel industry, but it is for his genuine love of travel and the relationships he built with the people who worked in the industry. Kevin was passionate about sports, travel and humanity. He made everyone he met feel special. He genuinely cared about his entire circle of family and friends. I was fortunate to have known him and truly enjoyed our collaboration at work in the LATAM region and our friendship in life. He was an ambassador.
—Mike McCormick, former GBTA executive director
To say that Kevin Maguire is a business travel industry icon is just the beginning of knowing the man, the father, the friend. His tireless work has inspired people around the world. As a travel manager at the University of Texas, he discovered a community of other travel managers who were confronted with unique program challenges. So, he led the creation of a committee at GBTA to address their needs. He led the GBTA community as president twice at a time when the association needed to grow from a national to a global organization. When he stepped down from his second administration, he not only made us laugh (which he did with droll ease), but also made us cry when he said it was his greatest challenge every day to perform at a level that would make his children, Chris and Shannon, proud. Both have followed his footsteps in the business travel industry.
Kevin became the face of GBTA in Latin America these past few years. He established the association with our southern colleagues, providing a place for education, networking and leadership. His approach was quiet, but his words were strong, full of conviction, and always supported with kindness, generosity and the biggest Texas heart you could imagine.
—Cindy Shumate, industry consultant and former GBTA board vice chair
I will always remember Kevin's quick wit, humorous sarcasm and the way he connected deeply with just about everyone he knew. We met as BTA chapter presidents more than 20 years ago, and immediately formed a close friendship that meant so much to me and the others in our tight-knit group that we affectionately called "the gang." Time passed and some of us left the industry, came back, moved into different roles—it didn't matter. Kevin was the glue that always held us together. Although we may have seen each other only a couple of times a year, the bond held strong. He was always very busy and passionate in the roles he held as a travel manager, GBTA president and other GBTA positions, but his ability to maintain literally hundreds of friendships is a testament of his character and his commitment to his colleagues, friends and family. The business travel industry was very fortunate to have Kevin as a leader and one of its most dedicated volunteers. We were all so fortunate to have him as our friend.
—Sheila Kittle, Jabil senior manager of global travel
What I remember most about Kevin was his passion for the travel industry, his genuine compassion for his colleagues, coworkers and, most of all, his friends. He always made you feel comfortable, and no matter what he was doing, he always took time out of his day to talk whenever you called him, for whatever reason. I constantly teased Kevin about being from Texas and his Texas drawl, but he was so proud to have been born and raised in Austin, Texas. And to say he was an avid super fan of Texas Longhorn football would be an understatement. He was so proud to be a Longhorn. Kevin's friendship has left a lasting impression on me. I hope I am in some way able to pass along to others what I learned from him. I will miss him.
—Gary Polito, MIT Lincoln Laboratory travel manager
I lost a great friend and the industry has lost an icon. Kevin was always there to offer support, guidance and to inspire me. He pushed me to do more in the industry and provided me and many others, amazing opportunities to give back through educating and inspiring others. He was selfless and determined. Determined to make a difference in the lives of others. His work in the sports travel space will be a huge part of his legacy. He loved the LATAM market and the high-quality industry education he brought to that market is second to none.
—Jennifer Steinke, PPD global head of travel
Kevin was a trusted partner and friend and his loss is deeply felt by me and all who knew him. When I joined GBTA years ago, Kevin was one of the first people I came in contact with. As a new global account manager, I was looking for someone who could help me “learn the business” and create my own personal network. He became my guardian angel and was always there for me. As he did with many colleagues, we became fast friends. He had an indelible impact on business travel and was one of the good guys in our industry. The truth about Kevin was he was always there for anyone who needed him – and would drive you nuts if needed anything from you! There is no doubt that his inspired vision and outstanding leadership have moved the industry forward and he has left an enduring legacy for us all. Through Kevin's leadership, the world is now a smaller place. I was lucky enough to speak to him in his final days and met my goal of making him laugh – that's what I will always remember.
—Bob Somers, Delta SVP of global sales
Kevin Maguire spent his career dedicated to bettering our industry. He was a tireless volunteer leader at NBTA (now GBTA) serving one of the longest terms as president and chair. He was passionate about people and invested a lot into people he felt could be future industry leaders. He was always generous in sharing his experience and learnings with others, mentoring many people into leadership roles. In terms of accomplishments using his experience at University of Texas, he created awareness about the uniqueness of team sports travel and established the GBTA Sports Committee. He created a working buyers consortium even though suppliers discouraged him from attempting to follow through on that initiative. He was a loyal friend to many people and will be missed by those who had the privilege of his friendship and support. I am mourning the loss of a close friend of many years who, even in passing, is teaching us that life is fleeting and there's no time to procrastinate about anything.
—Kevin Iwamoto, Bizly chief strategy officer and former GBTA president & CEO
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