T 4 p.m. on the day Linda Bourbonnie fully expected to be laid off-Friday the 13th, no less-she got called into the office of the president of marketing and told that she wasn't going anywhere.

For months, she'd been making a case for the value of Travel Partners Group (TPG), the in-house travel and meeting planning company she heads, and now she was hearing that she'd won.

The deck had been stacked against her: When new management took over Denver-based Life Partners Group (L

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