were you born? In
Colombo, Sri Lanka. My family moved to Melbourne, Australia, when I was 12
years old. I’ve been here in Toronto just four months now and can’t wait for
long have you been in the business?
years. Before that I was always in finance – I have my B Comm and C.A. - at
Deloitte, Hewlett Packard and then, still in Australia, for a Canadian firm
called Agrium. But my downtime was always for travel, and I was an Intrepid customer
for 16 years before joining them as head of finance.
I strongly believe in travel with a
purpose: giving back to the communities we travel to. Intrepid has believe in sustainability long before
it became “trendy”.
many people work for you? Here in
North America, just over 50. Around the
world, we have 1,800 staff in 26 countries.
the best part of the job? So far? I’d say an amazing, dynamic and passionate
team. We have a huge opportunity here in North America. I do think the world is
shifting more and more to our style of travel, with real experiences. Last year
we enjoyed a 30% growth rate in North America, our fastest growing region.
did you want to be as a kid?
I wanted to be a vet for a long time. But I
did change my mind a few times!
was your first ever job?
Working as a supermarket cashier
the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
Learning to scuba dive, because I was a
non-swimmer so it was a challenge. I had
to call on all my reserves of determination and stubbornness! It took me a very long time because I tended
I like a really good glass of red wine - and really nice chocolate.
your favourite airline?
Most of my experience has been with Qantas,
which I do like.
I’m probably more of a boutique, small hotel
on your tablet?
Music – jazz and good 80s and 90s rock music.
do people not know about you?
That I was a vegetarian
for 15 years. I changed back because I
wanted to go back to a balanced diet with more variety. My first meal after 15
hobbies or interests?
Apart from scuba diving,
running, eating out. Toronto has an amazing restaurant scene which I’m looking forward
to learning more about.
were you happiest?
I’m very blessed. But I’d have to say going to Egypt, to Luxor. I feel amazingly blessed when I travel.
would you tell your 20 year old self? “
yourself too seriously.”
skill or talent do you admire in someone?
The ability to innovate.
at the top of your bucket list?
I’ve been to 65 countries so I’ve been very
fortunate...but I’d have to say Patagonia.
do you spend your frequent flyer points?
On more travel (laughs). There’s not a lot
of variety in my answers is there!
is your greatest extravagance? I
brought my cat George all the way from Melbourne to Toronto and some would say
that’s a big extravagance. George is a she, by the way.
How do you stay fit when you travel? I love to walk in cities or I hit the gym. Fitness is very important to me. It helps me stay sharp and energetic.
you could sit next to anyone on a long-haul flight, who would it be?
Michelle Obama. I’d be curious
about her take on everything.
kind of car do you drive? I don’t drive here as yet,
but I kept my car, a 2-seater Mercedes convertible, at my mum’s house back in
you have a favourite charity? MCF – they do wonderful work in
will be the biggest challenge for the industry in the next 12 months?
Attracting millennials as customers.
do you hope to be doing in 10 years? I don’t know! I really like our ethos here at
Intrepid…I guess it would be impacting people’s lives. I know that sounds like a motherhood statement
but you know what? It’s true.