1. How has your career path changed up until now?
My career is very different than when I started but my path from step to step is a very smooth set of transitions. I graduated with a degree in computer science engineering and worked as a software developer for five years building software tools. I received my MBA in Marketing and Finance to broaden my opportunities and incorporate management and business into my work. I worked at American Express in Consumer Travel running one of their travel offices. Moved into Corporate Card Marketing with my acquired knowledge of business travel targeting small and middle-sized companies trying to control their travel expenses. These roles were perfect for joining Amex’s Interactive Travel Group building the first corporate booking tool with Microsoft/Expedia which combined my travel and technology experience. This position put me in the e-commerce and travel world which was taking off very quickly. This paved the way for the next phase of my career focused on travel technology starting in travel distribution and e-commerce at Avis Budget Group. I led our direct connect product as well as product development for distribution and corporate services. I am now consulting for companies in the travel technology space. All these experiences and knowledge have allowed me to provide consulting services in the travel technology area.
2. Did you have a mentor who helped you get to where you are now? If so, what would you say is the most important thing you learned from your mentor?
Yes, I have had mentors. The two most important things I learned from my first mentor was people can be more capable than their current role if given the opportunity. The other thing is ensuring people are taking risks in their positions and exploring new areas to develop.
3. What advice would you give to those pursuing their first business venture?
Be clear about the problem you are solving and who will care about it and why.
4. How do you overcome risk when it comes to making business decisions?
I don’t think you overcome risk meaning you can’t really eliminate it. However, by identifying the risk and quantifying it, eliminates surprises and makes sure everyone is aware of the risk and informed.
5. Why did you decide to become a mentor/ investor for the Hospitality Innovation Hub Incubator?
I like helping people, collaborating, and solving business problems.
6. What book are you currently reading?
Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin