Suzanne Horner Named in BTN's 25 Most Influential List

Gray Dawes CEO honoured in 2023 review

Leading the Way

Each year, the leading industry news source Business Travel News (BTN) publishes its list of the 25 most influential figures in business travel. The list features inspirational individuals who, through their hard work and advocacy, have made a positive difference within the industry. We were therefore thrilled to discover that our very own Suzanne Horner, CEO of Gray Dawes since 2011, had cemented her place on the list for 2023 alongside other business travel titans.

Making Waves on the Global Stage

Suzanne last appeared on BTN’s 25 Most Influential list back in 2019 – a worthy debut in which she was described as a “glass-ceiling smasher” after being elected Chair of the Business Travel Association (BTA).

“It was known as an old boys’ club.” she told BTN at the time.

“I wanted to become the first female chair.”

Her inclusion on the 2023 list is no less deserved. Over the last few years, Suzanne has spearheaded Gray Dawes’ dramatic growth, fuelled by an investment in staff and a pursuit of wise acquisitions. Such determination has seen Gray Dawes to climb BTN Europe’s annual rundown of largest Travel Management Companies (TMCs) – ranking as the 13th largest TMC in the UK in 2023.

The influence of Gray Dawes has also reached US and Australian shores. We acquired Australian outfit MP Travel in January of this year and then, just three months later, completed a takeover of Florida-based Express Travel. These acquisitions not only allowed us to establish an “always on”, follow-the-sun operation but served as a marker of our lofty, global ambitions.

 

Among Suzanne’s other achievements in her role at Gray Dawes is overseeing the company’s pursuit and early adoption of the New Distribution Capability (NDC). The groundbreaking standard has allowed customers to save an average of £86 per booking versus EDIFACT based fares, a figure that rises to a staggering £253 for non-restricted NDC far types. Since adopting the standard, Gray Dawes’ is considered to be the biggest booker of British Airways NDC content in the UK.

Work With the BTA Executive Board

Suzanne’s influence in the business travel world is not just confined to her work at Gray Dawes. As chair of BTA’s Executive Board, she has been vocal about her role in fostering the next generation of talent in the industry and the need to engage in what can often be challenging conversations between business travel stakeholders with differing views.

Ambitions for the Future

Suzanne’s inclusion on this year’s list is a testament to her tireless work across the industry and an indication of Gray Dawes’ future ambition. Indeed, with an exciting announcement on the horizon for 2024 – one that could double the company’s revenue and propel us into the European TMC big league – there’s no sign of her slowing down any time soon.

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