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SAWIB08 Winner

Company: Travelocity, Southlake, Texas
Entry Submitted By: Vollmer Public Relations
Company Description: Travelocity is committed to being the traveler's champion and provides the most comprehensive and proactive guarantee in the industry. This customer-driven focus has made Travelocity one of the largest travel companies in the world with annual gross bookings of more than US $10 billion. Travelocity is owned by Sabre Holdings Corporation.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Lifetime Achievement Award

Nomination Title: Michelle Peluso, President / CEO of Travelocity

1. Describe for the judges the nominated individual's lifetime of accomplishments (up to 500 words):

• Oversaw and managed Travelocity’s continued growth in gross travel,
revenue and operating
o 2005 – Gross travel booked, $7.4B; revenue $830M; op income $27M
o 2006 – Gross travel booked, $10.1B; revenue $1.1B; op income $73M
• Over the last years, Peluso has led Travelocity’s emergence as a
global travel brand, beginning in Europe with the acquisition and integration of in May 2005, followed by the buyout of ZUJI in Asia-Pacific in
• Travelocity went from a company of 2,000 employees primarily in North
America to a team of 5,000 worldwide. Michelle now manages a nearly 24/7 global
• In 2007, Peluso led the introduction of the Travelocity brand in India and
Mexico, and recently was involved in the build-out of the company's newest
dreaming and planning tool, ExperienceFinder.
• During trips to London, Singapore and Sydney to get to know her new
teams, Michelle assured the North America business stayed on track as
Travelocity launched ambitious customer-centric programs aimed at differentiating
itself in a competitive space.
• These initiatives, under an umbrella the company refers to
as “Customer Championship,” include the Travelocity Guarantee, the Customer Bill
of Rights, the VIP loyalty program, and a new dreaming and planning travel tool
still in BETA known as ExperienceFinder. Travelocity was awarded the 2008 1to1
Impact Award for the Customer Championship program and it’s Proactive Problem
Prevention Initiative.
• Michelle helped Travelocity become the first online travel company to
address global warming through its GoZero program in August 2006, an initiative
that has now been emulated by all other online sites. As a result, approximately
8,200 trees are in the process of being planted in the Bogue Chitto National
Wildlife Refuge, which is north of New Orleans. Through their efforts with The
Conservation Fund, Travelocity has planted over 18,000 trees in wildlife refuges in
Louisiana, Texas and Kansas that will offset millions of pounds of carbon over
their lifetime.
• Additionally, she launched Change Ambassadors in September 2006 -
a program encouraging travelers to volunteer on trips (“voluntourism”).
has teamed up with top volunteer organizations in the country to provide easy-to-
access information about volunteer vacations on
• Key components of the Change Ambassadors program are consumer
and employee grants that will be awarded to people who wish to help others
through volunteering, but do not have the financial means to take a volunteer
vacation. The company awards two $5,000 grants per quarter to customers and
one $5,000 grant per quarter to employees.
• Michelle played a key role in Sabre Holdings transition from a publicly
traded company into the world of private equity in late 2006.
• She continues to serve on the boards of Technoserve, which provides
business advice and access to both markets and capital to businesspeople in
developing countries, and Christa House, a not-for-profit home for the dying poor,
particularly those at end-stage AIDS located in West Babylon, New York. She is
also on the North America Board for Pembroke College, Oxford University.

2. List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, []:

The Dallas Morning News -

USA Today -

ForbesLife Executive Woman -

BusinessWeek Online –

The New York Times -

Providence Journal -

Fortune -

BusinessWeek Online -

Washington Post -

BusinessWeek Online -

New York Times - Magazine -

Investor's Business Daily –

3. Provide a brief biography of the nominated individual (up to 100 words):

Peluso became president and CEO of Travelocity in December 2003. Prior,
Peluso served as Travelocity’s COO and senior VP of product strategy and
distribution. Tapped as an executive to watch by Forbes and The Wall Street
Journal, Peluso has been featured in several "40 under 40" lists, including Crain's
list in 2008, and was named a 2008 Young Global Leader by the World Economic
Forum. She received her master’s degree in economics, philosophy and politics
from Pembroke College at Oxford University where she was a Thoroun Scholar,
and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of