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Our Leadership

CWT’s executive team features leaders from all facets of travel and technology, with combined experience of more than 200 years in travel-related roles. They’ve set a winning strategy our clients and their employees count on to help them keep moving and deliver travel management services that drive bottom-line results.


Kurt Ekert

President & Chief Executive Officer

Kurt EkertKurt Ekert was appointed President & CEO of CWT in April 2016.

He has more than twenty years’ experience in global travel, tourism and technology, with leadership and governance positions at Cendant, Continental Airlines, eNett, GTA, Orbitz Worldwide, and Travelport. Kurt also serves as Vice Chairman of the U.S. Department of Commerce Travel & Tourism Advisory Board, and is a director of Carlson Travel, Passur Aerospace, the World Travel & Tourism Council, and the UNGA Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.

He holds a B.S. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from the University of South Carolina, and saw active duty as a US army officer.

Patrick Andersen


Patrick AndersenPatrick Andersen is President, Commercial and RoomIt, and is a member of the Executive Leadership Team.

He 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


Niklas AndréenNiklas Andréen is President, Traveler Experience & Customer, and is a member of the Executive Leadership Team.

He 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


Michelle FrymireMichelle McKinney Frymire is President, Strategy & Transformation, Chief Financial Officer, and is a member of the Executive Leadership Team.

She 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 Air Lines 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.

Lauren Aste


Lauren AsteLauren Aste is Chief Legal Officer, and is a member of the Executive Leadership Team.

She joined CWT in 2007 and has more than 20 years’ experience global travel and law, with various international leadership roles in Dechert LLP and Chadbourne & Parke LLP. Lauren also serves on the board of the World Childhood Foundation USA.

She received her Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law, holds an MA from New York University Graduate School of Arts and Science, and a BA from Wellesley College. She is admitted as a Solicitor to the Supreme Court of England and Wales and is a member of the New York and Connecticut State Bars.

Catherine Maguire-Vielle

Chief Human Resources Officer

Catherine Maguire-VielleCatherine Maguire-Vielle is Chief Human Resources Officer, and is a member of the Executive Leadership Team.

Catherine joined CWT in 2006 and has 20 years’ experience of global travel and the law, having previously been Assistant General Counsel, and a Solicitor with Clifford Chance.

Catherine gained a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sheffield and completed her professional legal qualifications (LPC) at the College of Law, in York, England.

John Pelant

Chief Technology Officer

John PelantJohn Pelant is Chief Technology Officer, and is a member of the Executive Leadership Team.

He joined CWT in 1991 and has held various leadership positions, with both global and Americas remits, and is at the forefront of helping to deliver the company’s CWT 3.0 strategy. John is also a board member for the Orphaned Starfish Foundation, a member of the Defenders Circle at Thorn, and leads the CWT Responsible Business programme in the Americas.

John holds a Bachelor of Science degree from St John’s University in Minnesota.

Kelly L. Kuhn


Kelly L. KuhnKelly L. Kuhn is Special Advisor to the CWT Executive Leadership Team. In this role, she engages with key commercial clients and projects, and acts as a coach to the leadership of the company.

Kelly joined CWT in 1989 and has 30 years’ experience in global travel, including having most recently served as CWT’s Chief Customer Officer.

She holds a BA (mus) from Northwestern University.

Chris Vukelich

Strategic Advisor

Chris VukelichChris Vukelich is Strategic Advisor to the CWT Executive Leadership Team. Reporting to the President & Chief Executive Officer, he also acts as a mentor and advisor to leaders of strategic initiatives and select projects.

Chris joined CWT in 2017 and has over 40 years’ experience in global travel, hospitality and finance, with leadership positions at British Airways, Egencia, eNett, First USA Bank, Hilton International, and Travelport.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business, Management and Marketing from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh.