What do Sean Penn, Meg Whitman and Arnold Schwarzenegger have in common? One point is the Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) 2011 Convention in Denver, being held from Aug. 21–24. Penn will keynote the meeting and both Schwarzenegger and Whitman will speak to attendees. Penn’s appearance is being made possible by Amadeus IT Group.
“Sean Penn has led a career of exceptional projects extending into various roles within the arts both in front of the camera and behind, continuing to entertain audiences while also becoming an influential voice on issues such as the rebuilding of New Orleans and Haiti,” said Michael W. McCormick, executive director and COO, GBTA.
Penn has been nominated five times for the Academy Award as Best Actor for "Dead Man Walking," "Sweet and Lowdown," "I Am Sam" and won his first Oscar in 2003 for his performance in Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River" and his second Oscar as Best Actor in 2009 for Gus Van Sant's "Milk." Penn has also received Best Actor awards at the Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals, as well as being a two-time winner of Best Actor honors at the Venice Film Festival.
Penn's humanitarian work has found him in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and more recently in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. In January 2010, Penn founded the J/P Haitian Relief Organization which focuses on debris removal, medical aid, protection, and re-location. His organization is currently serving as UN IOM designated Camp Management for the largest IDP camp in Port-au-Prince and established the first emergency relocation in the country.
For his efforts, Penn received the Commander's Award for Service from U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division and the 82nd Airborne Award for Meritorious Service and other awards.
The GBTA Convention, with more than 6,000 attendees, ranks among the largest annual gathering of business travel and meetings managers, meeting planners, procurement professionals and suppliers in the world.