How long have you been in the business? Since 1990, starting at Ryder Travel. I
worked 22 years in the corporate side of things, before getting into management
consulting, later Sears Travel – and now WestJet.
Do you travel a lot? About 120 times a year.
How many people work for you? 14 in all: seven commercial managers and
What’s the best part of the job? Absolutely the WestJet culture of people
first. It’s a culture of respect and positive experiences. And we have a great
What did you want to be as a kid? A
professional basketball player. I’m just over six feet but I was pretty badly
coordinated! But I did play at the university level.
What was your first ever job? I was a Navy reservist in Hamilton. I
was a cook.
What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? I’m not a huge risk taker on activities,
but I did some cave diving in New Zealand.
I wouldn’t do it again, not now!
Any guilty pleasures? Red wine!
Favourite hotel chain? I like the
Fairmonts – great locations.
Any hobbies or interests? Cycling,
kayaking on Lake Huron – and socializing!
What was the last thing you bought (apart from
something to eat)?
lamps at Costco.
What would you tell your 20 year old self? “Never let yourself get out of
shape. It’s too damn hard to get back.”
Who do you most admire in the industry? Sherry Saunders from CWT. Because she has
such a respectful way of treating her partners and all her employees.
What’s at the top of your bucket list? Italy.
Ever had a brush with fame? I had dinner with Celine Dion after golfing at her golf course. I
think her life has to be difficult, always having to be “on.”
What keeps you awake at night? Making
sure I don’t disappoint people, either my family – I have four kids – or my
How do you spend your frequent flyer points? I
never spend them. (
What is your greatest extravagance? Nice
cars. I drive an Infinity. It’s my first “luxury” that I bought myself for my
How do you stay fit when
you travel? I’ll go to the gym every other morning.
If you could change one
thing about the industry what would it be?
I wish people would have more candor and honesty. There’s
still a lot of gamesmanship.
If you could sit next to anyone on a long-haul
flight, who would it be?
might sound corny, but I’m going to say my husband. We don’t get to spend
enough time together.
Do you have a favourite charity? Cancer, because I lost my mum to cancer
when I was three years old. Everyone who knew her says I am so like her.
What will be the biggest challenge for the industry
in the next 12 months?
needing to prepare to work with two global airlines here in Canada.
What do you hope to be doing in 10 years? I’d love to be in charge of WestJet