The DeMarinis family is a legend in the Canadian travel industry and known for their entrepreneurial spirit. This time we chat with Joseph, son of Joe, who is one of the trio of brothers who now own TravelBrands and RedTag.ca.
If it’s true that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, you could say there’s almost a bushel of DeMarinis apples in the 2nd generation now in the industry. From TravelBrands’ sleek offices in Mississauga, one of the 2nd generation’ers, Joseph, reflects on his life in the industry and his family’s ongoing involvement.
“In their early 20s, my dad Joe and his brother Enzo decided there was potential in the travel business and opened Belair Travel on the Danforth in Toronto. Their brother, my Uncle Frank, eventually joined them. Even before then they were workhorses, employed by their dad cleaning shopping plazas – they didn’t even finish high school!
As Joseph recalls, everyone knew him in the office from the time he was small, and he definitely got a few paper cuts stacking brochures. He remembers being a little star-struck by the agents at the office – he found an old headset and an empty cubicle and used to sit there calling his friends, feeling very cool.
“Though my dad was really busy, he encouraged me and my 2 brothers in sport and we’d always see him at our games. That meant a lot to us. We also travelled a good chunk, I’ve been privileged and spoiled to see a lot of the world, though St. Martin remains a family favourite thanks to our timeshare there.
Joseph’s brother David works in the Mississauga offices managing RedTag's cruise department, his cousin Marco manages hotel inventory and his sister Christina is the online project manager, while another cousin, Bianca, is involved in boutique villas under the Lujure.ca brand. Joseph says they are very close as a family and still try to do Sunday dinners together at his nonna’s (grandmother’s).
“My job is manager of sponsorships and events, a new position which my 2 years at Rogers really helped prepare me for. My main focus is to grow the RedTag.ca business and brand. For example, we partner with the CFL, Edmonton Oilers and Rogers Cup, and under our CSR banner we partner with Sick Kids’ Hospital.
“How would I describe my dad? Very hard-working, loyal, loving, humble, friendly. And driven, definitely driven!”