As we lead up to our 2015 Conference we’re going feature a new speaker each week. This week is a friend and great supporter of GBTA – Warren Tanner-Ellis.
For the fourth year in a row Warren will be the auctioneer at the GBTA Charity auction, held at the Gala Event on the evening of 21st of October.
COMPANY:Diners Club International
TITLE: Manager: Inland, Diners Club Corporate
Warren Tanner-Ellis joined the South African travel industry in 1993 by
mistake and today he claims it was the best ‘mistake’ he ever made. Upon
matriculating from Parktown Boys’ High School in Johannesburg, Warren
turned down two university sports bursaries, thinking he could ‘take it
easy for a year’. He subsequently decided to complete a short course in
travel and tourism because the subjects appeared interesting and, in all
honesty, he found it difficult to walk away from the odds of about 80
students, of which only six were boys, enrolled in the course.
During his first ten years in the industry, Warren spent time with a
medium-sized corporate travel management company – Sure Uniworld Travel
– where he fulfilled responsibilities in travel consulting, new business
development and general management roles. Working here, he was part of
the team who facilitated the merger with the local arm of Rosenbluth
International, creating a new company, Sure Uniworld Rosenbluth. Looking
back, Warren considers himself exceptionally privileged to have
benefited from the mentorship of two key colleagues, namely Mara Coetsee
and Claus Martin, in those formative years of his career.
Thereafter, Warren moved to American Express Travel for the next two and
half years as business development manager, before being headhunted by
MWEB CommerceZone, part of the Naspers Group. There he managed the
implementation of a holistic travel procurement solution for a key
client, the Parliament of South Africa. “This was incredibly exciting,
especially as the work was about combining technology and travel
management to ensure there was not a repeat of the Travelgate scandal.”
Warren’s other function was to oversee the travel management
requirements of other Naspers companies such as MultiChoice, M-Net,
SuperSport, Media24 etc.
In 2008, Warren took on a consulting role when as a travel management
specialist, he fulfilled the function of corporate travel manager for
MTN SA. After seven years and expanding his scope of services and
strategy delivery requirements in line with MTN’s transition to a global
travel procurement programme, Warren found himself looking for a new
challenge – one that would enable him to add value and to learn
something completely new too.
Enter Diners Club SA, which he joined in June 2015 in the capacity of
manager: Inland, Diners Club Corporate. Warren is particularly excited
to be working with his new team and to be involved in the business
development of the new Dynamic Virtual Card (DVC).
On a personal note, Warren still enjoys sport and participates in
triathlons – very slowly. He no longer plays hockey; instead he coaches
mini hockey. He plays the occasional game of bad golf. He is married to
Janet, who is a school teacher, and the couple love spending time with
their three children, Nathan, Taine and Tori. If you are in his company,
be cautious in terms of your comments regarding South Africa, since
Warren is still extremely patriotic and sincerely believes South Africa
is the best country in the world, even with Nkandla.