Naomi Simson from the Shark Tank series will be a keynote speaker at the TravelManagers 2017 national conference in Darwin in September, along with Ben Roberts-Smith, this generation’s most decorated serving soldier in the Commonwealth. Together they will provide personal travel managers (PTMs) with insights into leadership and success, focusing on the conference theme of ONE.
Executive general manager Michael Gazal is thrilled with the calibre of keynote speakers confirmed so far for the upcoming national conference, which is also the company’s tenth.
“Naomi and Ben’s incredible stories of success and tenacity to succeed are nothing short of awe-inspiring and our PTMs are simply buzzing with excitement about this year’s conference. We are confident this will be the best TravelManagers conference to date.”
Simson is known as an entrepreneur, author, blogger and innovator, and is the founder of RedBalloon, an online experience gift retailer. She is also well known to Australian’s as being one of five ‘sharks’ on Network Ten’s Shark Tank.
Simson started her entrepreneurial journey with RedBalloon in 2001 from her front room with just $25,000 and a second-hand computer. Today it is considered one of Australia’s online business success stories, having sold more than 3 million experiences.
Gazal said that Simson’s success story will resonate with the PTMs.
“Naomi will draw parallels between the ‘one’ dream each and every PTM has in wanting to achieve their own business success and through her experiences will focus on the passion, determination and attention to detail that are critical to succeed. She will inspire and provide thought-provoking innovative ideas to maximise our partnership potential and to focus on doing what our PTMs do best, which is sell individual tailor-made travel experiences and through their personal service and knowledge, build customers for life.”
Roberts-Smith is an Australian businessman, former Australian Army soldier, and a recipient of the Victoria Cross for Australia (the highest award in the Australian honours system).
Roberts-Smith was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during a helicopter assault into Tizak in June 2010 as part of an offensive in the Shah Wali Kot region, while serving with the Special Air Service Regiment in Afghanistan. The medal, together with his Medal for Gallantry (awarded during a tour of Afghanistan in 2006), makes him the most highly decorated member of the Australian Defence Force.
As a former commander and key planner for special operations missions, Roberts-Smith has a fascinating insight into the processes and protocols that are critical in producing success in competitive environments.
“Ben will engage with our PTMs about self-belief and the success we can achieve together as a company with our common goal of ‘one’. He will provide motivation through his own awe-inspiring journey of courage, self-belief and his ability to engage and form strong alliances, which is critical for success,” said Gazal.
Early PTM registration for the three-day conference is strong, said Gazal.
“The concept theme of ‘one’ really resonates with our PTMs. The increase in personal travel manager presentations last year clearly shows the recognition that the relationship between TravelManagers and the PTMs is built on mutual respect and is a true partnership. It is to everyone’s benefit that these partnerships are successful and it makes perfect sense that our personal travel managers have significant involvement in the conference content,” said Gazal.