Kathy Misunas currently serves as an advisor and Board Director to various businesses, and acts as a principal of Essential Ideas, a consultancy specializing in the global travel & tourism, technology, and e-tailing fields. She most recently was CEO of AirTreks, a San Francisco-based travel company (aka High Adventure Travel), specializing in multi-continent international travel planning and fulfillment. Prior to that position, she led brandwise, a comparison shopping and purchasing Web business which offered consumers a personalized shopping experience for home durable goods as well as data and technology products for retailers and suppliers.
Previously, Ms. Misunas was CEO of Reed Travel Group, formerly part of Reed Elsevier plc, a global publishing enterprise. During her tenure at Reed, Ms. Misunas oversaw several publication businesses– as well as technology, services and marketing units. She also served on the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), a global coalition of more than 100 CEO’s from all segments of the travel and tourism industry, is a lifetime member and was a Trustee of ICTA (currently the Travel Institute), and participates in The Research Board as an alumni member.
Ms. Misunas, a CTC, started her career with American Airlines in Washington, D.C., and quickly moved into the newly created AA marketing organization which supported the sale and implementation of the Company’s SABRE computer system to the retail distribution network of travel agents and related travel suppliers. Advancing through the SABRE organization, she served in worldwide sales, service, operations, and business/product development positions. In 1988 Misunas was named an Officer of the company and President of the SABRE Travel Information Network. In that role, Ms. Misunas created a high-impact marketing team and established business locations and relationships throughout the Americas, Europe and the Pacific Rim. She was appointed President and CEO of The SABRE Group and SVP/Chief Information Officer of AMR Corporation in 1993.
A sought-after speaker and business commentator on travel and technology topics, Ms. Misunas has addressed large business audiences in North America, Europe, Asia/Pacific Rim and Latin America. She also has conducted guest lectures at major academic institutions such as Harvard, Cornell, New York University, MIT and Pennsylvania State University; and co-authored a book entitled Multi-Channel Distribution: The Essential Guide, as well as various business and academic articles.
She currently serves as board Director at Tech Data Corp in Clearwater, FL and Boingo Wireless in Los Angeles, CA. As well, she is an advisor for several businesses, councils and academic institutions. Prior Director roles in both public and private companies include Travelocity.com, Canadian Tire Corporation, Saturn Reservations Systems, ezRez Software, Imbot, and Genispace. She is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors where she holds Masters status credentials.
Long active in charitable causes, Ms. Misunas served as AMR’s Chairperson for Muscular Dystrophy, and established specific health awareness programs for women as part of her efforts at the Susan G. Komen Foundation in Dallas, TX. She volunteers with New York Cares, and actively supports various charities and mentorships.
Her passion for travel and the outdoors has taken her to many mountain summits and finish lines at marathon races around the globe.
Ms. Misunas attended Moravian College and studied French at the Alliance Francaise in Paris. Her academic background also includes advanced business curricula at American University, and Executive courses at the University of Virginia’s Darden School and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. She has also participated in board Director education at Harvard Business School and The University of Georgia. Ms. Misunas resides in New York City.
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