What does it mean to you to win a 2023 Business Travel People Award?
This award means so very much to me and I am overjoyed to have won. Since joining the industry as the very first Junior Trainee for Portman Travel at 17 years old in 1995, it has always been an ambition to be recognised within the industry – an industry I still have immense passion for some 28 years later.
How did you feel when your name was called?
Surreal! I was quite nervous on the lead up, and when my name was called, it was pure elation. I think my smile said it all.
What was the reaction of your family, friends and colleagues?
To see my colleagues and customers all cheering and clapping just made the moment even more special. My biggest advocates are my two children, who had told me earlier that day that they would keep “everything crossed, including their fingers, toes, and eyes!”. As soon as they knew I had won my son, who is only 12, Facetimed me to say how very proud he was. Now that was the most special and precious moment, and my children are just one of the reasons I work as hard as I do.
How will winning the award impact your role and profile within your business and the wider industry?
As a loyal employee, a promotor of suppliers and protective of my customers, my network is quite conservative. However, I hope this recognition can open further opportunity to share my extensive knowledge and experience in wider circles. I would like to give a little back to the industry, through panel discussions, round table meetings and industry networking events. As described in my submission as ‘a go-getter’, I’m sure this will open doors to a thrilling and exciting future ahead.
What advice would you give to anyone considering entering the awards in 2024?
If you are considering entering, then you 100% should. That’s the hardest part. My advice would be to focus on one or two areas you have excelled at and spend some time pulling evidence on what will stand-out within your category. It’s such an amazing feeling to be shortlisted, but to win it is a real-life achievement and one you won’t regret.
Where will you be keeping your award?
My award is currently sat on my fireplace, a central focal point in my house and I’m not shy pointing it out to anyone who stops by! Winning is a very humbling experience and I appreciate everyone who has supported me and who has played their part in my career up to this point. And more importantly, the award perfectly matches my home décor, another passion of mine – home interiors!