with Joe Adamo, Chief Distribution Officer and President TDC at Transat

Open Jaw

Where were you born? In Montreal.

How long have you been in the business?  Just coming up to seven years – before that I was in advertising and telecommunications.

How was the transition? Fun, but I was struck though by the relative lack of sophistication, the operating-on-a-gut feel aspect of the business (though that’s changed a lot in seven years). And the jargon! I’m pretty good with airport codes by now! 

How many people work for you? All told? Over 1,000 because I oversee our retail operations, our commercial and sales activities and contact centres.   

What’s the best part of the job? Tackling big challenges that allow me to, hopefully, put to good use my 30 plus years in business, and doing it in an industry which offers what almost everyone wants.     
What did you want to be as a kid?  A lawyer - but I got sidetracked into business. No regrets there!

What was your first-ever job? A paper route, delivering La Presse.

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?  Probably somewhere on some ski trail where I over-extended myself. And being involved in a small business. Scary but wonderful too.

Any guilty pleasures? Food. And wine -- including Tuscan reds and a really nice white from Sardinia.

What’s on your tablet?  A lot of apps, music from classical to rock, big band, I really am all over the place. Netflix. Some news apps. And My Epicurious, a great source for recipes.

Any hobbies or interests? Cooking. Biking in summers, skiing in winters.

When were you happiest?  When my two sons, who are now 18 and 20, were born.

What would you tell your 20-year-old self? “Don’t be in such a hurry. Do a little more travelling when you are young and free. And be true to yourself.”

Who do you most admire in the industry? Jean-Marc Eustache, because he is a tremendous leader who is a perfect mix of vision, guts, perseverance, humanity, intelligence and generosity.  He’s an inspiration to all of us.

What skill or talent do you admire in someone? The ability to speak well in public.

What’s at the top of your bucket list? Croatia – luckily I’ll get there in late May. And South Africa, plus Argentina.

Ever had a brush with fame? Right now I’m staring at a photo of myself with my boyhood hockey idol Guy Lafleur.

What keeps you awake at night? Worry about what kind of world awaits my children. But generally I’m an optimist and sleep well.

How do you spend your frequent flyer points? The odd flight. Or I’ll give them to loved ones.

If you could change one thing about our industry what would it be? Is this magic wand time? Fewer uncontrollable events, hurricanes, terrorism.

If you could sit next to anyone on a long-haul flight, who would it be? Barack Obama.

Do you have a favourite charity? Two: SOS Children’s Villages, one of Transat’s main charities, and St. Mary’s Hospital here in Montreal, where I serve on the board.

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years? Still in the industry, hopefully here at Transat, and maybe I would have a hand in a small winery in Italy!

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