Mother’s Day Week: Erin Oddleifson & Susan Webb

Open Jaw
Susan Webb & Erin Oddleifson

Erin Oddleifson, who is currently Director Commercial Marketing for Nolitours and Transat Holidays describes her step-mother Susan Webb as “Larger than life!"

Susan has had such a strong presence in the Canadian travel industry for several decades holding senior roles at several tour operators and is now the very successful owner of sales and marketing representation firm VoX International.

She has such an abundant amount of energy. I don't know how she does it. The energy for her work and clients is equal to that of her family and social life. She is so dedicated to both, I don't know how she finds the balance."

Erin recalls when she 1st met Sue and how she has been influenced by her vivacious step-mom…

I was 15 when my father brought 'the new girlfriend' home to meet the kids.I was intrigued and we had a connection right away. But, for any teenage girl it's a bit daunting to see her father dating. I could tell this one would be around for a while! It didn't take long at all before we were very close.

“At the time, Sue was Director of Sales & Marketing at Adventure Tours and my Dad was with Air Canada. So, I had grown up with travel. With Sue's tour operating side of the business, I showed an interest and she was more than happy to show me the ropes and let me tag along. At 16 and 17, instead of working at the mall, I was stuffing envelopes and calling flights at Adventure Tours. I loved it!"

Sue was my mentor. She taught me the tour operating side and I worked with her until the end of C3 in my late 20's. She taught me the business – and who better to do that? I remember that when I finished high school, she suggested that I not go to travel school, but go to business school instead. That way I could apply my skills to any aspect of the industry. I worked in reservations, in ticketing & in sales. But my interest was always in marketing which I majored in.

“She was definitely been a role model for me – and she still is!

“For my 1st job in travel, I applied to work at Adventure Tours while Sue was in China with my father. He was posted there for 4 years so she visited him regularly. I was hired to work in the call centre which I did for a year until Martha Chapman hired me to work as a Marketing Coordinator. I helped Martha print the brochures for years!"

Asked whether she ever wishes she had gone into a different line of business, Erin responds, “Regrets? When you're in, you're in. No regrets at all. There are so many advantages to working in this industry and I was meant to work in marketing. I can't imagine working in a bank!"

(will not be published)