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CWT announces new operating structure

September 02, 2020

Left to right: Niklas Andréen, Michelle McKinney Frymire, and Patrick Andersen.

Minneapolis, 2 September 2020: CWT, the Business-to-Business-for-Employees (B2B4E) travel management platform, today announces a new operating structure aimed to accelerate innovation, transformation and growth. With immediate effect, Patrick Andersen is appointed President, Commercial & RoomIt, Niklas Andréen is appointed President, Traveler Experience & Customer, and Michelle McKinney Frymire is appointed President, Strategy & Transformation, Chief Financial Officer.

The three newly created global operating units these leaders will oversee comprise:

Commercial & RoomIt: Global Supplier Management, RoomIt, Marketing, Product, Partnerships, External Communications, and Solutions Group;

Traveler Experience & Customer: Traveler Experience, Global Sales, and Customer Engagement, including oversight of all industry verticals;

Strategy & Transformation: Finance, Technology, Talent & Performance, Enterprise Projects, and Strategy.

Along with these changes, Kelly Kuhn, an outstanding leader throughout her thirty-plus year career at CWT who has delivered market share growth and strong performance as Chief Customer Officer over the past four years, has decided to step back from her operating role to assume the newly created role of Special Advisor, while remaining on the Executive Leadership Team.

Lauren Aste, Chief Legal Officer, Catherine Maguire-Vielle, Chief Human Resources Officer, John Pelant, Chief Technology Officer, and Chris Vukelich, Strategic Advisor, remain in their roles and on the Executive Leadership Team.

CWT has taken a number of additional steps to weather the challenges of the pandemic and position for the future. The company recently announced a successful capital raise of $250M, backed by strong support from its bondholders, lenders and shareholders. Given the need to re-align resourcing in today’s market conditions but also to protect employees, operating costs have been managed mainly through temporary furloughs and pay reductions, and more recently also through voluntary programs offered by the company that have received strong interest from employees globally.

Commenting on developments, CWT President & CEO, Kurt Ekert, said: “As we navigate and emerge from the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we do so from a secure financial base, with a talented and aligned team, and looking to expand our industry leadership position. We have used the quieter lockdown period to progress a number of innovations and initiatives, with a focus on developing and delivering material value to our clients and their travelers. I commend my CWT colleagues across the world for their customer-focus and spirit.”

Notes to Editors

1. CWT Specialist Operations

CWT Energy, Resources, & Marine provides travel management solutions for many of the world's leading companies in the oil & gas, mining, offshore, marine, and alternative energies industries.

CWT Meetings & Events is CWT’s meeting & events division. It delivers innovative, high-quality projects for its clients across all industry sectors globally. Its creative know-how helps it deliver awe-inspiring events, and its logistics expertise guarantees professional meeting services, group travel, and compliance.

CWTSatoTravel is the largest provider for global corporate travel services for the US military and civilian government agencies.

CWT Solutions Group is the consultancy arm of CWT. Solutions Group drives value and growth to its clients’ businesses by helping them to extract more value from their travel and expense program through state-of-the-art technology and business travel knowhow. Its innovative approach focuses in four key areas to achieve true ROI: travel and expense strategy, data insights, supplier management, and travel services outsourcing.

RoomIt by CWT is the hotel distribution division of CWT. Every day it matches travelers with the right room at the right rate, and every minute over 125 hotel rooms get booked. It also provides travelers with the amenities and loyalty programs they want, while helping organizations control their budget and improve travel oversight.

2. CWT Executive Leadership Team (@ 2 September 2020)

  • Patrick Andersen - President, Commercial & RoomIt
  • Niklas Andréen - President, Traveler Experience & Customer
  • Lauren Aste - Chief Legal Officer
  • Kurt Ekert - President & Chief Executive Officer
  • Kelly Kuhn - Special Advisor
  • Catherine Maguire Vielle - Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Michelle McKinney Frymire - President, Strategy & Transformation, Chief Financial Officer
  • John Pelant - Chief Technology Officer
  • Chris Vukelich - Strategic Advisor

3. Presidential Appointee Biographies

Patrick Andersen, President, Commercial & RoomIt

Patrick joined CWT in 2008 and has over 30 years’ experience in global travel & logistics, with various international leadership roles at Deutsche Post Worldwide and DHL. Patrick also serves as a Non-Executive Member of the Board at Global Minnesota, and MNSNAP, and is on the Board of Overseers for the Carlson School of Management. He studied management at the London Business School.

Niklas Andréen, President, Traveler Experience & Customer

Niklas joined CWT in 2018 and has over 20 years’ experience in global travel, tourism and technology, having held various international leadership roles at Travelport and consulting positions with Accenture, Connecta and Monitor Company. He has started two businesses and served as an Advisory Board Member of the Cornell University Center for Hospitality Research. Niklas current serves as an independent board member of B&B Hotels Group, an international hotel chain. He holds an MSc in Business Administration from the Stockholm School of Economics and is a Wharton Executive Education Aresty Scholar.

Michelle McKinney Frymire, President, Strategy & Transformation, Chief Financial Officer

Michelle joined CWT in 2019 and has 18 years’ travel industry experience, with CFO roles at Starwood Vacation Ownership and Delta Technology (a division of Delta Airlines), and financial leadership roles with Continental Airlines and Delta Air Lines. In addition, she held CFO positions at several private equity portfolio companies. Michelle currently serves on the Board of Directors for Family Gateway in Dallas, Texas. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Austin College, and an MBA in finance and accounting from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas.


CWT is a Business-to-Business-for-Employees (B2B4E) travel management platform on which companies and governments rely to keep their people connected – anywhere, anytime, anyhow. Across six continents, we provide their employees with innovative technology and an efficient, safe and secure travel experience.

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