Erin Oddleifson, who is currently Director
Commercial Marketing for Nolitours and Transat Holidays describes her
step-mother Susan Webb
as “Larger than life!"
Susan has had such a strong presence in the
Canadian travel industry for several decades holding senior roles at several
tour operators and is now the very successful owner of sales and marketing
representation firm VoX
“She has such an abundant amount of energy. I don't
know how she does it. The energy for her work and clients is equal to that of
her family and social life. She is so dedicated to both, I don't know how she finds
Erin recalls when she 1st met Sue and how
she has been influenced by her vivacious step-mom…
“I was 15 when my father brought 'the new girlfriend'
home to meet the kids.I was intrigued and
we had a connection right away. But, for any teenage
girl it's a bit daunting to see her father dating. I could tell this one would
be around for a while! It didn't take long at all before we were very close.
“At the time, Sue was Director of Sales
& Marketing at Adventure Tours and my Dad was
with Air Canada. So, I had grown up with travel. With Sue's tour
operating side of the business, I showed an interest and she was more than
happy to show me the ropes and let me tag along. At 16 and 17, instead of
working at the mall, I was stuffing envelopes and calling flights at Adventure
Tours. I loved it!"
“Sue was my mentor. She taught me the tour operating
side and I worked with her until the end of C3 in my late 20's. She taught me
the business – and who better to do that? I remember that when I finished high
school, she suggested that I not go to travel school, but go to business school
instead. That way I could apply my skills to any aspect of the industry. I
worked in reservations, in ticketing & in sales. But my interest was
always in marketing which I majored in.
“She was definitely been a role model for me – and she
“For my 1st job in travel, I applied to work
at Adventure Tours while Sue was in China with my father. He was posted there
for 4 years so she visited him regularly. I was hired to work in the call
centre which I did for a year until Martha Chapman hired me to work as a Marketing Coordinator.
I helped Martha print the brochures for years!"
Asked whether she ever wishes she had gone into a different line of
business, Erin responds, “Regrets? When you're in, you're in. No regrets at all.
There are so many advantages to working in this industry and I was meant to
work in marketing. I can't imagine working in a bank!"