Paula Rizos, Business Development Director, Insight and Luxury Gold
Where were you born? In Vancouver.
How long have you been in the business? Since 1986, working in sales and management at a number of companies including CP Air Holidays, Canadian Holidays, Transat Holidays and Discover Canada Tours. This job with Insight and Luxury Gold is a new position which I started 1AUG.
What’s the scope of your new role? My task is to relaunch the sister brands Insight and Luxury Gold, which is a high-end product within the Insight brand and has a distinct customer.
What do you think the best part the job is going to be? For me, reconnecting with my regional accounts, many of which are preferred are preferred and are the decision makers.
What did you want to be as a kid? I wanted to be a P.E. teacher. But I ended up getting business and arts degrees.
What was your first ever job? In sales at a ladies’ fashion store – and I still love fashion!
What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? About 2 years ago I bungee-jumped at Whistler. Loved it and would do it again any time!
Any guilty pleasures? Any wicked pair of shoes. What’s the most I’ve spent? About $1,000 for a pair. They were totally fabulous.
What’s your favourite airline? Air Canada, because of the service. I’ve always liked them.
Favourite hotel chain? Fairmont.
What’s on your tablet? Music. I listen to Spotify all the time and love any and all kinds of music.
What do people not know about you? I was a licensed lifeguard when I was young.
Any hobbies or interests? Walking, volleyball -- I’m quite active -- yoga, cooking, travelling.
When were you happiest? When my kids Sophia and Alexi were born. They’re in their 20s now.
What would you tell your 20-year-old-self? What I would tell my kids today:“Do whatever you can when you are young. And that includes travel for sure. See the world. Do what you love. Be happy in what you are doing.”
Who do you most admire in the industry? Brad Ford, President of Insight and Luxury Gold, for the importance he places on partnerships and for his love of life. He “gets it.”
What skill or talent do you admire in someone? The ability to sing – because I can’t!
What’s at the top of your bucket list? A six-month European/Asian tour.
How do you spend your frequent flyer points? Merchandise.
How do you stay fit when you travel? I try to get out and walk around the city.
If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be? I’ve learned to accept the industry for what it is!
If you could sit next to anyone on a long-haul flight, who would it be? John F. Kennedy.
Do you have a favourite charity? Children’s Wish Foundation.
What will be the biggest challenge for the industry in the next 12 months? Competition. It’s always a challenge. And customer loyalty.
What do you hope to be doing in 10 years? Be retired! I’d like to end my career on a high note for sure.