Industry Mourns Loss Of Mary Ogaki

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Mary Ogaki with CAA's Patricia Marques at a TravelBrands event.

Mary at Open Jaw's Winterboob.

Canadian industry veteran and popular personality Mary Ogaki has passed away unexpectedly at the too-young age of 53.

A national accounts manager at Royal Caribbean since 2013, Ogaki previously held roles with companies including Sears Travel, Red Seal Tours, Encore Cruises, Thomas Cook and Transat Distribution Canada.

Her familiar smile and laugh made Ogaki a memorable presence at industry events including Open Jaw’s Winterboob fundraiser, where she was an enthusiastic participant. 

Ogaki passed away during a work trip in St. John’s, NF, a city that was one of her favourite places, according to Royal Caribbean colleague and friend Lisa Connell. Lisa shared her deep feelings of loss for her friend and colleague: "I look around the room and I see so many things which remind of the trips we've taken together. We did everything together. I just can't believe she's gone."

“When I heard the news yesterday afternoon, time stood still,” said Open Jaw’s Nina Slawek. “It’s just so hard to absorb that someone so full of life could be taken so soon.”

Cruise Strategies president Vanessa Lee worked with Ogaki at Encore Cruises. “She was always so positive, always smiling. And she got things done. Mary was a good woman with a good heart. It is a tragic loss for us all. I’m heartbroken.”

Nino Montagnese, managing director of Air Canada Vacations, spoke for many with the simple words: “She was a beautiful soul.”

Please note: Lisa Connell would like industry friends to know that the Ogaki family has chosen a private service for Mary. However, an industry Celebration of Life for Mary is being planned for this summer and details will be announced at a later time. In lieu of flowers, Lisa would like to honour Mary's love of animals and we will be setting up a tribute page on the Toronto Humane Society website.

At Toronto's TravelBrands agent trade show organizers placed a picture 
of Mary along with a memories book at the Royal Caribbean booth.

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