with Stephen Smith, V.P. Marketing & Loyalty, Vision Travel Solutions

Open Jaw

Where were you born? Toronto.

How long have you been in the business? 12 years.

How many people work for you? Six in all.

What’s the best part of the job? The team. Absolutely. Because they’re a great group, we’re so diverse in our specialties and we get a lot done.   

What did you want to be as a kid? Pro athlete – I was big into hockey and soccer.

What was your first ever job? Bagging groceries at a small fruit market at Eglinton and Avenue Road here in Toronto.

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? I led a group of 13 year olds on a two week canoe trip down the French River when I was 17. And this was before cell phones! 
So much fun but so, so scary. 

Any guilty pleasures? Technology. Love it. Absolutely love it.

What’s your favourite airline? Air Canada.

Favourite hotel chain? You’re putting me on the spot! Depends on the occasion, I guess. For business when I travel within Canada I like Fairmont.

What’s on your tablet? The Weather Network, Sportsnet Now, X-E.com exchange rates and My Ford Mobile for my new electric car.  And all my loyalty cards.

What do people not know about you? I love music. Rock and roll, jazz, classical, bluegrass. Pretty much everything - except country.

Any hobbies or interests? Sports. Hockey, soccer, and I really love watching all sports. I’m a true sports junkie.

What was the last thing you bought (apart from something to eat)? Flip flops.

When were you happiest?  This will sound really cheesy, but I’m happy every day. I’m a very positive person.

What would you tell your 20 year old self? “Buy a condo. In Toronto. Now.” 

Who do you most admire in the industry? People leading companies who are willing to make change.

What skill or talent do you admire in someone? The ability to communicate effectively.

What’s at the top of your bucket list? Galapagos Islands. And an African safari.

What keeps you awake at night? Deadlines.

How do you spend your frequent flyer points? Flights for the family.

What is your greatest extravagance? Technology.

How do you stay fit when you travel?  Walking.

If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be? Better collaboration with technology.

If you could sit next to anyone on a long-haul flight, who would it be? Dave Matthews from the Dave Matthews band.

What kind of car do you drive?    A Ford Fusion Energi.  I’ve had it for a month and it’s awesome!

Do you have a favourite charity?  Children’s Wish Foundation.

What will be the biggest challenge for the industry in the next 12 months?  Changing consumer needs – as the younger generation travels more their needs are changing and changing more rapidly than previous generations.

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years? Running a marketing team for a global travel management company.

Leave a Comment...

(will not be published)