Biting Questions with Brett Walker, General Manager Collette Vacations, Toronto
have you been in the business? Since 1989. I had just returned from working for the better part of a
year in Australia and happened to meet Dan Sullivan, who is now the CEO and President
of Collette. He hired me as a District Sales Manager.
people work for you? We are about 30 people all told at Collette.
the best part of the job? Seeing the company grow since we first began with nothing. Every
day is a new day and we continue to get better.
you want to be as a kid? A doctor.
your first ever job? Scooping
ice cream at McGoo's Ice Cream Parlour at the Hilton hotel, now the Westin, by
the ferry docks in Toronto.
the scariest thing you've ever done? Work in the travel industry!
guilty pleasures? Spending
too much time on patios downtown.
your favourite airline? Air Canada, I fly them more than any other carrier. However, since I live
downtown, I find I'm using Porter a lot because of the convenience of Billy
– I especially love the Banff Springs Hotel.
on your iPad? I don't have one!
hobbies or interests? I'm an avid reader – novels as well as books on management and business.
Spending time with my daughters, who are 17 and 14.
anything you won't eat? I'll eat anything!
at the top of your bucket list? Actually I'm doing it this year.I'm taking my parents, who are
91 and 83, with me and my daughters to Ireland this summer.
a brush with fame? I
had a summer job at the Royal York in Toronto and Senator Ted Kennedy was a
guest at the hotel. He was snuck into the hotel via the freight elevator, and I was operating the elevator. We chatted for about 5
minutes and he made a lasting impression on me. So approachable.
keeps you awake at night? Not much – I sleep very well! But if anything were, it would be
you spend your frequent flyer points? I travel a lot with my daughters.
your proudest moment? My own MBA graduation in 2009. A real achievement as I had
been juggling family, work and study.
your greatest extravagance? I'm not extravagant or materialistic, but I do enjoy entertaining
friends and family.
could change one thing about the industry what would it be? I'm fairly comfortable with the
state of the industry.
could sit next to anyone on a long-haul flight, who would it be? Winston Churchill. Or FDR because
I'm a big World War II buff.
kind of car do you drive? A Kia Sorrento.
have a favourite charity? I actually have 2: I am a wish granter with Make A Wish and am also
passionately involved with the Collette
will be the biggest challenge for the industry in the next 12 months? The Canadian dollar.
you hope to be doing in 10 years? Still working for Collette, because our industry is poised for
greatness with all the boomers poised to travel. Travel has become part
of the North American culture and psyche.