Father knows best: Advice from dad on Father’s Day

With Father’s Day coming up just around the corner, our team, along with consultancy Nina & Pinta, started a thread about the best advice we’ve received from our fathers. Although we meant it to be general advice, much of it ended up being relevant to the business world.

Some of it was sage, some of it was funny, but we thought it was all valuable and therefore decided to share it with you below. 

If you have any wisdom you’d like to share from your own father (or father figure), we want to hear it! Please share with us in the comments below.

Chris Crowley

From my Dad: “Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge. If someone wants to pick your brain, let them. At the same time, don’t take credit for other people’s work. That way, you will always have people’s trust and your knowledge and expertise will be valued.”

And the best bit of advice from my uncle who ran a large pharmaceutical company in Germany: “Don’t let them buy you. Don’t accept free gifts, packages, stays or incentives unless paid for by your employer. If a supplier, client or official offers you something for free — it’s not. What they are purchasing is you.”

Katharine Farrell

“Strike the right balance between saving and spending. Don’t let your desire to save hold you back from taking advantage of a good business opportunity.”

At the same time, “Make sure you have enough savings to walk away. Don’t put yourself in a position where your financial situation backs you into a corner or drives you to compromise your professional integrity.”

Jo Lloyd

One was “Always protect your integrity – it’s all you have.”

The other was “If you are in a hole – stop digging!”

Abby Pharr

“Your reputation matters. You only get one and you can’t always start over.”

“People like to talk about themselves. Always ask questions and be a great conversationalist.”

I also definitely learned the value of an Excel sheet from my dad! Katharine understands. 🙂

Julie Sickel

My Dad always impressed on me the importance of asking questions and speaking in terms other people could understand. He’s worked around hardware and machinery his whole life and he can seamlessly switch between speaking to engineers and silver-haired grandmothers without alienating either. He also uses analogies to make a point — not something he ever pointed to as a business lesson, but certainly something I picked up!

I also remember he gave me a dedicated lesson one day in how to politely interrupt people, which I’ve found so important as a woman in journalism and business. 

Mark Williams

“You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Always put in the effort to dress your best and look your best.”

“Don’t over-manage or micro-manage people. Give your direct reports plenty of rope and expect them to perform. With that said, hiring the right people is critically important. Be thorough in the hiring process — conduct multiple interviews and ask candidates to make several trips to the office prior to extending an offer.”

Four things COVID-19 taught our company

Our company felt good heading into 2020.

We were riding high off our annual meeting in Atlanta, Ga., in December. In addition to spending time together over some good food and drinks, we had revisited and tweaked our value proposition, taken company headshots and set ambitious financial goals for the year ahead.   

Plus, it looked as if we’d have a new, talented team member (Julie Sickel) joining us in January from London, a move that would give us a foothold to expand services into EMEA. 

Less than three months later, COVID-19 hit.

The impact on our client base was swift and, in some cases, brutal. It’s no secret that the corporate travel industry has been devastated by this pandemic.

With many of our clients pulling back on our engagements, it left a lot of time for our team to do some soul searching. 

Let me pause here. There have been a lot of articles I’ve come across about what we all should or could be doing during this pandemic. My intent is that this is not one of those articles.

In fact, the self-reflection we underwent was somewhat unwelcome for me personally. For the first time since the company’s founding, we weren’t slammed with client engagements and pursuing new business. Not only did that halt the growth goals we set back in December, but it also meant stopping to take a hard look in the mirror and ask, “What are we really doing and why does it matter?” That can be uncomfortable.

Despite all the stress and uncertainty and, yes, discomfort, we’ve undergone in recent months, I now feel better about our company than I ever have before.

Much of this is due to the hard work, leadership and expertise of my business partner Julie. When we first met several years ago — she was a reporter and I was a young marketer and PR professional — I always appreciated the smart questions she posed to my clients. Now, we’ve been able to turn her smart questions on ourselves, and really dig into the answers, with a method and an urgency that we hadn’t practiced before, even during our annual meetings.

They say “never waste a good crisis,” and even though the past few months have been really (really) hard, I truly believe we are going to come out of this a better company, with a clearer vision and more passion to serve our current and future clients.

There are many things this pandemic has brought to light for me, both personally and professionally (for example, despite my ability to work completely virtually, I miss the office). But in terms of our company, the past few months has really drove home the importance of the following:

1. Asking the hard questions should be an ongoing practice.  

It shouldn’t take a crisis for us to pause and ask, “Are we on the right track? Who do we want to be and will this help us get there?” I personally plan to incorporate them into everyday decisions to diligently keep us on the right path.

2. Making time for ourselves is important.

I don’t mean this is in a personal sense (although that’s important, too). Rather, we need to save some creative bandwidth to push our company forward every day, not just when time allows between client work (because, let’s face it, time never allows).

3. Sharpening our focus better positions us for success.

Again, back to those questions. Asking “What are we really good at?” and “What kind of work do we really want to be doing?” has helped us hone in on the services where we most excel. Will we expand in the future? I believe so. But for right now, we’ve stopped trying to be all things to all people (to the benefit of prospective clients and our company).

4. We live and die by our relationships.

This point is a little touchy feely for me and I almost didn’t include it. But it’s true. Our relationships with our clients, our network of travel industry peers and, most importantly, within our team have carried us through this tough time. In the past, we’ve done a good job, I think, of appreciating our relationships. But never have I felt and understood the importance of this element of our business as I have recently. I plan to better recognize and acknowledge them moving forward.


Despite the reopening of several European countries and all 50 states in the U.S., we’re not out of the woods yet. I am, however, hopeful that our world will recover stronger and use the lessons learned during this time to our benefit in a variety of ways. I know our company will move forward on more solid footing and with a better sense of purpose incorporating these lessons into our post-pandemic operations.

What Now? Four Things to Consider in Crafting Ongoing COVID-19 Communications

The recent COVID-19 crisis has put a spotlight on corporate communications and elevated their importance in a way not seen in recent memory. By this point, most organizations have likely sent out at least one, if not several, emails on COVID-19 to both internal and external audiences.

That’s a good move. According to a recent Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report on COVID-19, employer communications were cited as “the most credible source of information about the coronavirus.” That ranks, by the way, higher than “government and media” and “business in general and NGOs.”

Now that your initial crisis outreach has been sent, you may be taking a deep breath and asking, “What’s next?”

Crisis communications pre-planning can be helpful for initial messaging, but as the situation evolves you’ll likely run out of prepared content. With several more weeks of social distancing or home quarantine expected, how can companies continue to communicate with internal and external audiences effectively?

Here are four factors to consider:

1. Accuracy

Since employer communications are considered the most trustworthy, it’s doubly important to make sure your sources are credible. News from respected, verified media outlets (such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and others) and updates or guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization are just a few that can be used for updates.

The fine line between prudence and speed is one communications professionals must walk during times of crisis like this. Internal announcements should be verified via the appropriate channels, whether that’s your CEO or another executive. There may be pressure on you or your team to get communications out quickly, but getting an approved message out a little slower beats speedily sending out an inconsistent, inaccurate or confusing message.

2. Consistency

Be sure there’s consistency in both the information being shared across your organization and in the  manner or tone you use to deliver it.

Make sure you nail down who needs to be kept up-to-date on outgoing messaging and you set up some kind of approval system to make sure there’s an acceptable level of alignment.  Establishing a daily touchpoint with this group could be a good path forward to get a plan in place for the next several weeks.

Beyond the involvement of those already responsible for corporate communications, there may be a need to train managers or supervisors within your organization on how to respond to questions from employees so messaging stays consistent.

Another consideration is to create a COVID-19 landing page on your website. This can contain the latest updates and information for your organization and serve as a resource for employees or customers and partners.

3. Frequency

This is no time to be squeamish about frequent communications. According to the previously cited Edelman study, employees are hungry for information from employers, including how the virus is affecting the organization’s ability to operate, as well as “advice on travel and what can be done to stop the spread of the virus.” That means what you’re sharing doesn’t have to be limited to your organization; in fact, broader information will likely be appreciated.

Consider using different channels to communicate as well. The Edelman study found employees differed in how they wanted to receive communications: 48% preferred email or newsletter; 33% wanted posts on the company’s website; and 23% favored phone or video conferences.

4. Culture

Corporate culture shouldn’t go out the window in a crisis.  Are you a happy hour kind of office? Do you have regular lunch and learns? Communications teams, in partnership with HR and other departments, should provide resources and guidance for activities such as virtual meetings, lunches and happy hours. Setting meeting leaders up for success by sharing best practices in this area can make a huge difference in their effectiveness.

This situation opens up opportunities for employees to get to know each other better and form closer bonds. Case in point: I had no idea a woman I work with has a large dog — who also has a habit of snoring loudly in the armchair next to her desk at home. After a good laugh about the background noise, the colleague shared a photo of her work-from-home companion. This example is just one of countless across the country. Getting to know more about the lives of your bosses and colleagues by being (virtually) invited into their homes can bring teams closer together — a silver lining in an otherwise challenging environment.

 

As we navigate this surreal situation, I hope the points above provide some guidance on how to stay on top of  COVID-19 corporate communications. More than ever before, they are critical.

If you need help drafting messages, creating a communications plan or coming up with ways to keep your company culture strong during this time, please reach out to our team at [email protected] and we’ll be in touch. We’re in this together.

Julie Sickel joins Dots & Lines as shareholder and Managing Director, EMEA, leading company’s global expansion

ATLANTA, January 28, 2020 – Dots & Lines Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of corporate travel marketing and communications professional Julie Sickel to its team as a corporate shareholder and Managing Director, EMEA. Under Sickel’s leadership, Dots & Lines will open a London office to support the expansion of the company’s global footprint and service offerings in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Julie Sickel

“Julie brings unparalleled experience to the Dots and Lines team and I am thrilled to work with her on engagements with our current and future clients, as well as partner with her in continuing to refine and develop our business strategy in her role as a shareholder in our corporation,” said Katharine Farrell, President of Dots & Lines. “Her background in the corporate travel industry as a reporter, editor and content creator will help to take our organization to the next level as we enter the new decade.”

The addition of Sickel to the Dots & Lines team comes on the heels of a rapid period of growth for the company, including an 85% year-over-year increase in revenue and doubling of its workforce.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Dots and Lines to support its expansion — not only geographically, but also in the scope of offerings it can provide to current and prospective clients,” said Sickel. “Up to now, public relations and marketing support have been at the core of the business. I’m excited to offer additional services, including market strategy, brand strategy and thought leadership to travel suppliers across the globe.”

Prior to joining Dots & Lines, Sickel led marketing content creation for the B2B corporate travel arm of HRS, a global provider of technology solutions designed to make corporate hotel programs more data-rich, efficient and cost-effective. Sickel also previously served as editor of Business Travel News and managing editor of Travel Procurement, where she covered the hotel industry, travel technology and travel management. 

Sickel earned her MBA from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business’ Langone Program in 2019 with specializations in marketing and management of technology and operations. 

-END- 

About Dots & Lines Inc.
Dots & Lines Inc. is an independent marketing and communications consultancy that provides services including marketing strategy, public relations, brand management, and event marketing, among others, to clients. Dots & Lines is part of The Nina & Pinta Group, a global international network serving clients in the managed travel and technology space. For more information about Dots & Lines and its services, visit DotsandLinesInc.com.

Think your company is too small for an annual meeting? Think again!

If you’ve been in the workforce for more than a year, there’s a good chance you have attended an annual company meeting. Typically, this means a face-to-face event where everyone from the company (or a certain team/department  for larger organizations) gets together to discuss last year’s progress and plan/set goals for the year ahead. 

In today’s working environment, as more and more employees work remotely, the importance of in-person meetings is increasingly important, not only to reinforce your company’s culture and employee engagement, but for team building and bonding among remote employees. 

It’s interesting speaking to people about annual company meetings. I’ve spoken to individuals who say, “My company is far too small for an in-person meeting. We Slack/talk to each other all day every day anyway!” Others have taken issue with the expense – “We just don’t have it in the budget right now.” 

At Dots & Lines, we could use both excuses, but we’ve held an in-person annual company meeting since year one. Why do we feel so strongly about this? Here are a few reasons we’ve found beneficial in holding annual company meetings, no matter the size of your company:

Increase your team’s engagement and satisfaction. 

As humans we are all wired differently; some of us are talkers, some of us are action based, and some of us just want to be in the room, taking it all in. Understanding the differences among your employees also means understanding the different nuances to celebrating, brainstorming, and growing with each individual. Quality talent needs to feel appreciated and respected by their company. Investing in team meetings, whether annual or more frequent, shows your team that you value their contributions and can help bolster an employee’s confidence, moral and drive.

Review your company purpose.

Holding an annual company meeting at the end of the year allows everyone to focus on what your company means to them, and to explore the company’s values, its culture, with one another in person. In a perfect world, everyone would know and live out their company’s core values on a daily basis. In today’s modern environment of information overload, however, it’s important to have a discussion with your employees to make sure everyone is on the same page in what they are collectively working towards. After all, multiple studies have suggested that employees place greater value on completing work with meaning than a higher salary without a mission they can get behind.

Set your goals and develop a game plan to achieve them.

Sharing what your company’s goals, ambitions and future plans are for the next year is, for most organizations, the main reason for having annual meetings. Holding an annual meeting allows everyone to discuss their ideas and have input in the goals for the company, including what they want to see changed, expanded, or improved in the next year. Discussing this face-to-face puts your team on the same page for a great start to the new year. 

Take a moment to recognize your hard work.

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of everyday work, you forget to stop, take a look around, and recognize the good things your company or department has achieved over the past quarter or year. I know I have been guilty of “finding” impressive documents in my files that I later remember I myself created! Needless to say, an annual company meeting is a great time to not only recognize collective successes but celebrate individual accomplishments. 

Enjoy each other’s company!

Last but certainly not least, introducing new team members, or discussing new projects and clients/customers in person is so much more meaningful than through cyber communication. Having new additions meet veteran team members face-to-face allows everyone to get a feel for who they are working with on a daily basis, and allows them to work better together on team projects, proposals and engagements. 


If your company is small and you don’t think it is “worth it” to get together at least once a year for an annual meeting, I hope you’ll reconsider. It’s an investment that not only has the potential for significant positive returns in impacting employee engagement and retention (reducing turnover costs), but is our team has found incredibly beneficial.

Attracting the Next Generation of Corporate Travel Executives

Recently, a few interactions I had made me think about how we are attracting the next generation of corporate travel professionals to our industry. The first was a discussion at GBTA with an industry colleague who talked about their interaction with college students looking to enter the hospitality industry. According to this person, the vast majority of students aren’t aware of the corporate travel sector as a potential career path; instead, most students interested in travel/tourism are focused solely on the leisure sector.

The second instance was during the interview process our team recently conducted in hiring for a new employee. It’s been a really exciting time in our company as we’ve expanded a lot over the past year. One thing that seemed to be commonplace among those we interviewed, however, was the lack of awareness of the corporate travel industry as a career path. Although pretty much everyone agreed it sounded cool (it is cool!), before the interview it was pretty rare anyone had conducted a corporate travel focused job search.

Both of these experiences led me to wonder, “What are we doing as an industry to attract and foster the next generation of corporate travel executives and leaders?” 

I’ve had personal experience with a few programs but decided to do a little research to compile a more comprehensive list. That being said, there are some I may have left out. Please drop us a line if you have more and I’ll add them as I’m able!

Here’s a short synopsis of what’s out there for young professionals or those who are new to the industry:

GBTA Ladders
Full disclosure: this is a program that’s near and dear to my heart as I’ve been involved since 2016. Ladders is a unique team mentor program that offers GBTA members an opportunity to not only expand their professional development within the travel and meetings and events industry but gain true lifelong colleagues and friends. GBTA Ladders is a group of managed travel’s emerging industry leaders joining together for the dual purpose of: mentorship, education and collaboration; and leveraging collective talents to help shape the next generation and the evolution of the industry. Learn more here.

WINiT 1:1 Mentoring Program
I have also participated in this program, which has greatly expanded since my involvement. WINiT 1:1 Mentoring is a self-service program for Mentors and Mentees across all categories and locations in the travel, meeting, event and exhibition industries and is open to women and men. Both Mentors and Mentees can ‘hand pick’ their selection based on a quick match questionnaire. Learn more here.

Phocuswright Young Leaders Summit
Each year, Phocuswright brings together the industry’s best and brightest travel leaders aged 35 and under to be part of an elite group of Phocuswright Conference participants. This elite program is a launching pad for the next generation of travel luminaries to connect, debate and collaborate. Check out the eligibility requirements and find more information here.

SITE Young Leaders Conference (prior to IMEX America)
The SITE Young Leaders program prior to IMEX America presents an opportunity to meet young professionals from around the world and gather to learn, energize and focus on both personal and career goals. This opportunity is focused on those interested in, or within the first five years of, pursuing a career in the incentive industry. Learn more here.

ACTE Around the World Traineeship and Development Programs
The ACTE Around the World Traineeship Program is open to soon-to-be college graduates and recent college graduates looking to dive into the world of Corporate Travel Management through a six-week comprehensive training experience that develops future professionals for careers in the global business travel industry. The Around the World Development Program is open to business travel professionals looking to gain one-of-a-kind, hands-on immersion training focused exclusively on how corporate travel is practiced and managed in one or more distinct regions of the world. Learn more about both programs, including FAQs, here.

Professional Certifications
Like many other industries, managed travel has a few commonly recognized professional certifications. Two are available through GBTA, the GTP® (that stands for Global Travel Professional) and GLP® (Global Leadership Professional). There are others that are more specific to certain verticals, for example, the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation from MPI. Depending on your reporting structure there are certifications outside of travel that may be of value, such as the CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional) for procurement specialists.

All in all, there are a lot of great opportunities available for young professionals or those new to travel, but the first hurdle we still need to overcome is a lack of awareness. It’s up to us to be ambassadors for our industry, to communicate not only the opportunities available today, but the potential offered for a long and full career in the space. 

How can you help?
Reach out to local universities and high schools in your area. Offer to come in and give a short lecture, or (if you are feeling ambitious) offer to develop a course. Take every opportunity to talk to young people you encounter in your everyday life about your career. Make sure you are making an effort to talk to young people in your organization and imparting advice to them before you retire (young people, make sure you’re actively reaching out to more senior peers in your organization as well – it’s a two-way street!).

The reality is, our industry is an aging one. If those of us in the industry today want a say in the direction it takes and who’s at the helm, we need to be active participants. 

Did I inadvertently overlook any great opportunities? If so, please drop us a line!

Marketing and public relations specialist Lauren Holmes joins Atlanta-based consultancy Dots & Lines as a consultant

ATLANTA August 5, 2019 – Marketing and public relations specialist Lauren Holmes will be joining Atlanta-based consultancy Dots & Lines as a consultant, effective immediately. Holmes brings B2B and B2C marketing expertise as well as a focus on international PR for many company types to current and future Dots & Lines clients.

“Lauren’s background and professional experience truly speak for themselves,” said Katharine Williams, President of Dots & Lines. “We’ve recently experienced increased demand for public relations services and are thrilled to have Lauren join our team to contribute to our continued success and growth in this area.”

An influential communicator, Lauren Holmes has more than 20 years of global marketing and communications experience. Before joining Atlanta-based real estate consultancy Trimont in 2017, she served as an independent marketing and communications specialist partnering with clients in various industries including commercial real estate, talent management, and hospitality.

Prior to Trimont, she served as the Director of Marketing and Communications for Advito, the global consulting arm of BCD Travel, where she spearheaded a global brand transformation project. She conducted similar work at TravelClick, where she oversaw the global public relations efforts in addition to the brand transformation following two major company acquisitions. She began her career in public relations and marketing roles at the corporate office for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, later serving as the Director of Public Relations for the company’s flagship resort in Naples, Fla.

“I am excited to return to the corporate travel industry and work closely with such a talented group of individuals in this new role with Dots & Lines,” said Holmes. “The client list they have developed and the type of work they are doing made the decision to join forces easy. I am looking forward to returning ‘home’ to my friends and former colleagues in the business travel space.”

About Dots & Lines
Dots & Lines LLC is an independent marketing consultancy that provides services including marketing strategy, public relations, brand management, and event marketing, among others, to clients. Dots & Lines is part of The Nina & Pinta Group, a global international network serving clients in the managed travel and technology space. For more information about Dots & Lines and its services, visit DotsandLinesConsulting.com.

Dots and Lines Consultant Stan Berteloot to Advise Princeton University Entrepreneurs

Princeton University Keller center elab berteloot

Stan Berteloot, Consultant at Dots & Lines, was recently selected to advise the 2019 eLab Cohort at Princeton University, an accelerator program that provides students with the tools and resources they need to develop and launch their startup ventures.

“I am humbled to have the chance to work with such a creative and dynamic group of young entrepreneurs,” said Berteloot. “Advising students whose origins are as diverse as their startup ideas is a pure intellectual joy.”

Especially notable among the projects Berteloot is advising are:

  • Invictis Technologies, a portable automatic intravenous injection device that allows quick and reliable intravenous access for anyone at any time, in any place.
  • Uproot, a financial solution giving military families the ability to create wealth through homeownership by turning every duty station into an investment for their long-term financial security.
  • Reclaim Energy, a turbine system that utilizes the energy of outflowing water from the industries that consistently waste the most water: wastewater treatment plants, paper mills, and aquariums.

“In a sense, these young entrepreneurs aren’t too different from our Dots and Lines clients,” said Berteloot. “They are passionate about their products, but their primary area of expertise may not be in the marketing and communications space. That’s where I can help, by lending my expertise to build upon their business models, recurring revenue, operating costs, and cost of acquisition projections with a go to market strategy, including market segmentation.”

Berteloot also advises the student entrepreneurs to start building their online community early and to implement a basic lead acquisition solution and a customer relationship management (CRM) tool.

“Marketing and sales are too often an afterthought when you are focused on launching your product,” said Berteloot. “It can, however, be challenging to grow your business and increase sales without a well-defined marketing and communications strategy.”

For more information about the eLab and the 2019 Cohort visit  https://kellercenter.princeton.edu/create/elab-summer-accelerator/teams/2019.

About Dots & Lines

Dots & Lines LLC is an independent marketing consultancy that provides services including marketing strategy, public relations, brand management, and event marketing, among others, to clients. The company is part of the recently announced global network, The Nina & Pinta Group, comprised of Dots & Lines, Nina & Pinta, a strategic consulting and training company specializing in travel procurement, sales effectiveness, operations, and technology solutions, and Topaz International, the global leader in corporate travel audits. For more information about Dots & Lines and its services, visit DotsandLinesConsulting.com.

Dots & Lines, Former GoldSpring Consulting Marketing-Related Product Line, Announces Spin-Off

Former GoldSpring Consulting Marketing-Related Product Line

Winston-Salem, N.C. – April 2, 2018 – GoldSpring Consulting LLC, an independent travel management consultancy, today announced that its partners have unanimously approved a plan to spin-off the company’s Dots & Lines product line.

Launched in July of last year, Dots & Lines provides marketing consulting services including marketing strategy, public relations, brand management, and event marketing. Effective April 1, Dots & Lines will operate as a separate limited liability company based in Atlanta, Ga.

Following the transaction resulting in two separate, privately held companies, GoldSpring will be led by partners Will Tate and Neil Hammond. Former Dots & Lines product line director Katharine Williams will serve as the new company’s president, and former GoldSpring partner Mark Williams will serve as its CFO on a part-time basis.

“I am very excited about the opportunities for both GoldSpring Consulting and Dots & Lines in the completion of this agreement,” said Mark Williams, Dots & Lines CFO. “The spin-off will allow each company to concentrate on their respective areas of expertise and take full advantage of future growth opportunities. I look forward to continuing to work with Katharine and expanding the Dots & Lines business.”

Neil Hammond, GoldSpring partner, stated, “Will Tate and I wish to thank Mark and Katharine for their enormous contribution to the success of GoldSpring. We are proud to have been involved in the spin-off of a new woman-led business serving our industry.”

Dots & Lines will continue to serve current clients, including Tripbam, Tramada Systems, and Lumo (formerly flightsayer) in supporting their marketing, communications, and event management strategies.

“I am extremely pleased to continue working with Katharine, and would highly recommend Dots & Lines to other organizations seeking expertise and support in the marketing and communications sectors,” said Steve Reynolds, Founder and CEO of Tripbam, Inc. “As a long-time supporter of entrepreneurs, particularly within the managed travel space, I am looking forward to seeing Dots & Lines grow and develop as a company.”

About Katharine Williams
Prior to being named president of Dots & Lines, Katharine served as product line director of the division. She joined GoldSpring Consulting on a full-time basis in 2015 to oversee all marketing, promotions, and corporate communications for the company. Previous to GoldSpring, Katharine worked in sports marketing and communications with professional and collegiate teams, as well as large-scale special events. Katharine currently serves as the Co-Chair of the GBTA Ladders Media & Communications committee and was a member of the winning Ladders team in 2017. She is a current member of WINiT, where she previously served as a member of the Conference & Event Planning Committee and as a WINiT mentee from 2016 to 2017. She earned both her undergraduate degree (2009) and MBA (2015) from Wake Forest University.

About Mark Williams
Mark Williams, CFO for Dots & Lines, previously served as a partner with GoldSpring Consulting with responsibility for operations as well as sales, client delivery, and administration. Prior to starting GoldSpring in January 2014, Mark was a Principal at Advito, the consulting division of BCD Travel. Previous roles include work in the Business Transformation Outsourcing practice at IBM where he was responsible for client-facing activities of the travel practice, including the development and implementation of strategic sourcing. Mark began working in the travel industry in the late 1980s with WorldTravel Partners, followed by 10 years as the Director of Travel for Price Waterhouse and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Prior to his work in travel management, Mark worked for Price Waterhouse in the tax practice where he was responsible for federal and state income tax planning for major corporate and individual clients. He began his career in the front office of the Atlanta Braves where he was responsible for various accounting functions in the baseball operation. Mark is a Certified Public Accountant, has a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from Wake Forest University, a Master of Taxation degree from Georgia State University, and is a former president of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE).

About Dots & Lines
Dots & Lines LLC is an independent marketing consultancy that provides services including marketing strategy, public relations, brand management, and event marketing, among others, to clients. For more information about Dots & Lines and its services, please visit DotsandLinesConsulting.com.

About GoldSpring Consulting
GoldSpring Consulting is an independent consultancy that provides services to support all aspects of managed travel programs, including software solutions to analyze and benchmark programs. GoldSpring’s industry-leading team of experts offers extensive experience and custom solutions to optimize clients’ travel programs. For more information about GoldSpring Consulting and its services, please visit the company website at GoldSpringConsulting.com.

Contacts
Melissa Ashworth
Marketing Manager
GoldSpring Consulting LLC

Katharine Williams
President
Dots & Lines LLC

Visual Communications Expert Bill Bond Joins Atlanta-Based Consultancy Dots & Lines

Billy Ray

ATLANTA – May 13, 2019 – Experienced travel industry consultant Bill Bond will join boutique marketing and communications consultancy Dots & Lines, effective immediately. Bill will continue to be based out of Raleigh, N.C. and will work on a variety of projects, as well as bring new offerings to current and potential clients, in his new role as a consultant.

“We are so pleased to be expanding our team with another talented industry expert,” said Katharine Williams, President of Dots & Lines. “Our client base, offerings, and demand for services are growing quickly, and Bill’s experience, marketing background, and overall skill set are the perfect complement to our already diverse team. We are very excited about the talent Bill will provide to our current and future clients and we look forward to working with him.”

Bill’s background includes over 20 years of marketing and business development within the corporate travel industry, as well as over 10 years of experience in the hotel industry. Prior to joining Dots & Lines, Bill was the Director of Global Marketing and Sales Support for Radius Travel, one of the industry’s largest networks of global travel agencies. He also previously worked as a Director of Marketing for BCD Travel. Bill is a creative force with extensive experience in visual communications as well as sales proposal strategies. Bill graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management and a Bachelor of Arts in English.

“I am excited to begin this next chapter in my career,” said Bill. “Dots & Lines is making waves in the business travel space and I am looking forward to be a part of it. I am thrilled to bring my skills and services to current and future clients and help the company expand their footprint as well as their offerings.”

About Dots & Lines
Dots & Lines LLC is an independent marketing consultancy that provides services including marketing strategy, public relations, brand management, and event marketing, among others, to clients. The company is part of the recently announced global network, The Nina & Pinta Group, comprised of Dots & Lines, Nina & Pinta, a strategic consulting and training company specializing in travel procurement, sales effectiveness, operations, and technology solutions, and Topaz International, the global leader in corporate travel audits. For more information about Dots & Lines and its services, visit DotsandLinesConsulting.com.