The PCMA Southeast Chapter is proud to spotlight one of our 500+ members from across the continent and Puerto Rico in each newsletter.
You could be next…
This month, the Spotlight is on Alexander N. R. Shreders, Global Business Manager, HRG North America.
How many years have you been in the hospitality industry?
I’ve been in the travel agency/TMC industry for over 40 years. It’s very hard to believe I’ve been around this long but I started out as a delivery person for a travel agency in Tulsa, OK when I was going to college. I’ve never left the industry!
How long have you been a PCMA member?
Since 2000. A client of mine, and good friend now – Amy Phillips – advised me I should join. It’s the best professional decision for membership I’ve ever made.
What is your current job title, name of your organization and how long have you been in this position?
I’m with HRG North America (part of Hogg Robinson Group headquartered in the UK) and I work from my home in Mountain Brook, AL. I’m a Global Business Manager for both corporate travel and Meetings Groups and Events. I’ve been with HRG since 2014.
What aspect(s) of your PCMA membership benefit you the most?
There are so many! I’m glad you say “aspects” – plural! The networking is unparalleled. What a group of travel professionals! Continuing education is superlative. There are few other travel industry organizations that offer an educational environment like PCMA. I think Deborah is a phenomenal CEO of the organization and I consider her a mentor, colleague and friend. I’m honored to know her. I have so much respect for Sherrif as well, as he has a great measure on the pulse of the industry.
What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?
Easy! A subway driver in New York City. I’m sure there’s a more formal title for the guy/girl who drives the machine through the amazing New York tunnels.
What is the most challenging part of your job and how do you handle that effectively?
I believe I have the ability walk into very challenging situations and stop things from burning out of control. I evaluate and collaborate with everyone involved to create a business plan for success. Collaborate is the key word, as it doesn’t work unless everyone believes in a partnership.
If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do with the time?
I’ve traveled to 73 countries and I’d like to travel to 73 more, with a few stops on the way to visit my favorites. Are there 73 more countries? I don’t know! At each stop, I’d do what I do today – find an interesting café and watch the world go by. Additionally, I’d find the nearest market to discover what the locals buy. I enjoy cooking and I’ve broadened my culinary experience at home. I just returned from Hong Kong so I’m now scouring cooking sites for new Chinese New Year dishes.
Please share a beneficial app or website that you use professionally or personally.
Without a doubt the app I use personally is Flight Board. LinkedIn is my website of choice. If I’m seeking advice, guidance or connections, my LinkedIn colleagues are always there.
How do you select venues, hotels and destinations for your clients?
The obvious answer is “with great care.” These choices are personal to each customer. When I was a travel agent I was constantly asked where my customers should go. I listened to what they like, what they were seeking and what special experience they desired. Today, I still apply the same principles. A good deal can be negotiated anywhere, but a memorable personal experience must be created by experts.
What would you want to do in life if you weren’t doing what you are doing now and you didn’t need to be concerned with income?
Believe it or not, I’d become an international flight attendant for a private jet company. I love all of the trappings of premium international travel. I’d enjoy sharing those experiences while serving a small group of travelers. And… I could see those additional 73 countries.