were you born?
In Barrie, Ontario – my father was in the army
and based there.
was your first job?
When I was 14 I started working as a cashier at
McDonald’s in Gatineau. I loved that McDonald's set such high
expectations for their staff. It was interesting being an anglo in a
me about your first airplane ride. I flew out to Vancouver to visit my
boyfriend. Very romantic!
long have you been in the business?
month I celebrate my first anniversary! I worked for 19 years in international development with the Canadian
International Development Agency.
you travel a lot in that job?
All the time, to many developing countries including
Thailand, which I love. I’m lucky to have been to over 60 countries around the
as a newcomer and an independent agent, how are you structuring your business?
I am very upfront with my
clients about being fee-based – for example, $500 to plan a honeymoon. I find that my clients respect that and don’t
take advantage of my time.
do you thank your clients for referring you? My husband and I have “adopted” an olive
tree in Italy and I’ll send a bottle of olive oil from that orchard as a thank
you have a specialty?
I’m working on it! But definitely in the luxury realm.
do you most admire in the industry?
Lucy Viera, my
director at TTI. She has an unbelievable
work ethic and is a terrific problem solver.
drives you crazy?
When a supplier calls a product “luxury” and
it’s not. It might be good value for
money, but not for the really discerning client.
the first thing you do when you get into a hotel room? Put on my flip flops!
you have a magic sentence to close the sale?
“I know exactly what you want.”
you have any time management strategies?
Yes: I put
my phone in a different room and turn off the sound on my computer.
you had to spend six months in a destination, which one would you pick?
Santorini, Greece, in the
winter, when all the tourists have gone!
do you do to keep your clients loyal?
Build trust. They know I cannot sell what I don’t believe in and share the same
values they do.
you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
probably be in advertising – I’d love to come up with slogans and marketing
you or someone you know who is a front line travel agent in Canada would like
to be featured in Biting Questions, please contact us.