Biting Questions with Mike Foster - President, Nexion

Open Jaw

Where were you born? Near London, Ont., in a town called Clinton.

How long have you been in the business? 36 years. My 1st job in travel was at It’s a Small World Travel working as an agent, then at 21 I opened up my first agency, a Uniglobe franchise, with a partner.

How many people work for you? At Nexion we don’t talk about numbers, but we will say we are north of 160 including agents and staff.

What’s the best part of the job? Interacting with people. This industry is all about people.

What did you want to be as a kid? A lawyer - that’s where the money was!

What was your 1st ever job? A paper route. Then I did tuxedo sales when I was in high school and college.

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? Skydiving. At least it didn’t last long!

What’s on your iPad? Newspapers, magazines and my email.

Any guilty pleasures? Lots of pleasures, not sure I feel guilty about any of them!

What’s your favourite airline? Air Canada and then WestJet. I think Canadian carriers are better than any of the others.

Favourite hotel? Probably one of the nicest memories I have is staying at the Martinez in Cannes.

What do people not know about you? I’m a homebody and love to be with my wife and kids.

Any hobbies or interests? I collect wine and music, and I love to cook.

What skill or talent do you admire in someone? The ability to communicate. I’m always impressed by great public speakers.

Is there anything you won’t eat? Mushrooms.

What’s at the top of your bucket list? There are so many things! I guess a 3 month cruise through Asia.

What keeps you awake at night? An increasingly polarized world. Rather than us getting closer together and being more understanding, I see more misunderstanding.

What is your greatest extravagance? Wine. I love a good Bordeaux or a good Cab from California.

Who do you most admire in the industry? I had a whole lot of respect for Michael Pepper [former TICO Registrar]. Also Gary Charlwood of Uniglobe.

How do you stay fit when you travel? Walking!

If you could change 1 thing about the industry what would it be? Price integrity.

If you could sit next to anyone on a long-haul flight, who would it be? Someone funny like Bill Murray or David Letterman.

Do you have a favourite charity? The Sunshine Foundation, our local version of Make A Wish.

What will be the biggest challenge for the industry in the next 12 months? Currency exchange.

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?   Presiding over 500 of the industry’s top travel consultants. That would be perfect.

(will not be published)