“We’re in a position
to do more
new markets. When
Amex GBT shared
the news about the
there were a lot of
traction and a lot of
goals, I’m always thinking about what innovative things I can bring to the table that year.
This is one of the reasons I go out to conferences and feel it’s important to stay connected
through events. If I wasn’t out there, I wouldn’t
learn about all these innovative things and how
they could benefit Discovery.
DO YOU HAVE ANY MENTORS OR PARTICULAR
PEOPLE YOU HAVE LOOKED UP TO DURING THE
COURSE OF YOUR CAREER?
I can’t name just one person. I’ve done a lot
of observing over the years. It doesn’t matter who they are or what they are doing or
what business they are in; when you observe
people—the good and the bad—you see how
they are behaving and reacting to things and
you learn from that. That’s basically what I’ve
done and what I still do. I learn from my team
YOU’VE BEEN DOING SOME INTERESTING THINGS
WITH YOUR TRAVEL PROGRAM. TELL ME ABOUT
WHAT DISCOVERY HAS BEEN DOING WITH
CONFERMA AND CITI.
We are implementing our virtual card authorization solution through Citi and Conferma,
and we are going to be ready to test by the
end of May. It’s been a long wait to get to
where we are today in the implementation.
I’m very excited about it because the opportunities, once we get it rolled out, will be endless. Our initial goal is to automate the [hotel]
direct billing process and, on the back end,
automate the reconciliation process. That will
take a lot of manual labor out of the process.
WHAT CHANGES IN THE INDUSTRY ARE MOTIVATING YOU TO ADVANCE DISCOVERY’S TRAVEL
I’m very excited about [International Air Transport Association’s] New Distribution Capability
and what it can do to give more options and
opportunities to our travelers, although there is
a lot of work that needs to be done and a lot of
airlines and technology vendors yet to be certified on NDC.
YOU MENTIONED CONFERENCES AS ONE WAY YOU
STAY ON TOP OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGY. WHAT
HAPPENS WHEN YOU SEE SOMETHING YOU LIKE
BUT IT’S UNTESTED?
It’s always interesting to learn about all these
new technology and service entrants in the
industry. But just because I hear about something doesn’t mean I understand it. I pick up
the phone and make a call and find someone
I can speak to about that new product or service and ask them a lot of questions to see if
it will fit in the Discovery world. I don’t wait.
I engage with them and make a decision on
whether or not we should move forward. It
does take time to weigh the cost and return on
investment, but once we make that decision,
we are full speed ahead.
WHEN YOU EXPLORE WORKING WITH NEW TECHNOLOGY ENTRANTS, DO YOU FIND THEY CAN
INCORPORATE PRODUCT CUSTOMIZATIONS THAT
WILL EARN YOUR BUSINESS?
Freebird is an example. I was so excited and
went to my manager and said, “We’re doing
this.” I immediately asked Freebird for another
demo. I then made a couple of recommendations, and then they were like, “Oh yeah, that’s
an easy fix.” They were really willing. I get really excited about new technology. I think Discovery has taught me to be this way.
Roxana Bressy took over at KDS from Dean
Forbes in December, following American
Express Global Business Travel’s acquisition
of the T&E provider. While Forbes was the
face of the company, Bressy ran KDS in the
background, first as EVP of operations and
later as CFO. Speaking with BTN payment
and expense editor JoAnn DeLuna, Bressy
described herself, as have others, as Forbes’
“right hand.” When he stepped down, she
was the obvious choice to lead KDS into its
future with Amex GBT.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT NOT JUST RUNNING
BUT NOW ALSO BEING THE FACE OF KDS?
In my professional and personal life, I say, “
Everything is possible.” It’s just a question of willingness. I love to learn and do a lot of things
[simultaneously], so I’m very happy to be in this
position. As a woman, it’s important.
HOW DID YOU WIND UP AT KDS?
I’ve [primarily] worked at technology companies. I worked for [computer software com-pany] Mercury Interactive, which in 2005
was acquired by HP. Then I went to a French
startup and after that worked [as CFO and
HR director] for Nobel Biocare medical device
[manufacturer] for three years. I came back to
technology and software as soon as I had the
opportunity. Working for a startup software
company wasn’t new, [but] travel was. I needed to learn a lot of things when I joined in September 2011, immediately after Dean’s nomination. He hired me as EVP of operations, and
then I became CFO.
WHAT STRENGTHS DO YOU BRING TO THE ROLE
I’ve worked as CFO. I have HR [experience]
and project management [skills], which are all
transferable [skills] for my responsibilities. I
was customer facing and responsible for some
of our bigger accounts and the legal contracts.
Women You Should Know