Vice President Sales and Marketing, P&O Cruises Australia
1. What does your role involve and how long have you been in your current position?
My role as P&O Cruises Australia’s Vice President Sales and Marketing Australia entails generating demand for the brand year round while strategically overseeing all consumer and trade efforts. I also serve as General Manager for Cunard and P&O Cruises UK in this region.
I have been with Carnival Australia for 10 years and in my current position for nearly three years.
2. How did you start out in your career? Were you always destined to work in the travel industry?
I started my career in private banking before moving into financial services and then the travel industry.
I grew up in the United States and would go on cruise holidays as a child. I’ve always been passionate about travel, and this year marks a decade of my career in this industry.
3. Did you complete formal qualifications, and do you think they are important?
Yes, I have a finance degree and Master of Business Administration. I don’t think that formal qualifications are vital but they have helped me to secure the opportunities I’ve found during my career.
My financial background has provided me with an alternate viewpoint to the travel industry and has helped me to look outside the square and consider financial and strategic impacts on a wider scale.
4. What do you love about your job?
I joined the industry for the product but stayed for the culture, and most importantly the people. I am really passionate about cruise holidays and travel so I enjoy being able to share that with P&O’s guests.
5. What were some of the greatest challenges you’ve had in your career?
Having to reinvent myself during significant external events that have had far-reaching impact such as 9/11 and the Global Financial Crisis.
The cruise industry has experienced significant growth over the past decade which means brands have had to increasingly adjust their focus from building the cruise category to thinking about the product itself.
6. What factors were central to your success?
I would say it is listening. To have empathy for co-workers, be genuine, bring people together and forge meaningful relationships. It would be very difficult to lead a team without having the trust of your co-workers and offering a platform for them to share ideas.
7. Did you have a mentor, and if so, how did you find them?
I’ve found inspiration from a number of different mentors throughout my career in various industries and countries. I think it’s important to learn from people wherever you can, whether that be a manager, client or somebody that you simply just click with.
8. What are the keys to good business?
Relationships. Listen to your customers and staff. My background has given me a good perspective on the travel industry and how it fits within the broader economy. Also, be clear about your risk appetite to set yourself and your business up for success.
9. What advice would you give to others in the industry who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Be yourself, develop your listening skills, build strong internal and external relationships and most importantly, be true to your word. There is also an element of luck involved and being at the right place at the right time.