Biting Questions with Syndi Prokopich, Charleswood Travel, Winnipeg
were you born?
Winnipeg. And the origin of my name? My real name was Cindy but when I was 13 I
decided I wanted something unusual and unique so I changed the spelling.
your first job?
Working in my Dad’s commercial roofing business where I cleaned the office and
eventually did some office duties.
have you been in the business?
Only 3 years. For many years I operated a landscaping and irrigation
business in the Okanagan.
your most memorable airplane ride?
I was terrified of flying all my young adult
life, but had the luck to meet a retired BA pilot who explained to me the whole
process (take off, landing, all the sounds and so on) so during my 1
flight overseas from BC to Scotland I remembered everything he told me.
the business changed since you got into it?
Social media and making yourself top of
mind and creating awareness. I figure it’s 50% about marketing yourself and 50%
doing the actual work.
have a specialty?
Yes, FITs – anywhere. Europe, South Africa, Egypt, the Med. My mission is to
custom craft authentic vacations. People are overwhelmed by the information on
the internet and need someone to sift through it all for them. Time is a
commodity that people don’t have these days.
could have any job in the business what would it be?
Doing what I’m doing! Being a
designer of people’s travel.
drives you crazy?
When my expectations – requests, etc – aren’t met by suppliers.
your biggest individual sale?
A three week tour of Italy - €13,000.
st thing you do when you get into a hotel room? I have a look at the set up and
amenities... from the point of view if I could sell it.
have any time management strategies?
I try and do my hardest things in the morning,
including my immediate or short to do list and my marketing (Facebook, Linked
you cope with jetlag?
I just try to adjust and go with the flow. If I can’t sleep I’ll read until I
fall asleep. Mostly, I just plough through it but don’t plan anything that will
take a lot of effort or focus.
have a magic sentence to close the sale?
“I can’t wait to start working with you!”
you do to keep your clients loyal?
I give them a good experience! And I keep in contact with them with my
monthly e-zine and reminders of things I know they’re interested in. When they
return, I tell them I want to hear everything - the good the bad and the ugly
about their trip.
the best piece of advice you ever received? “
Be yourself. Be who you are because ultimately
it will come out anyway.”
had to spend 6 months in a destination, which one would you pick?
It changes from time to time
because I get so engrossed in every trip. Europe, probably Italy. Or Mexico!
weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
or someone you know who is a front line travel agent in Canada, would like to
be featured in Biting Questions, please email