‘Put a smile on your customer faces - it's so easy to achieve
1. Please give a brief overview of your career history – where you started, how you
and means everything.’
progressed, the companies you have worked for etc
As a child of Northern Irish immigrants my family and I crossed the Atlantic 4 times so I grew up
in both Canada and Northern Ireland. I did a degree in English in University in Ottawa, and when I
graduated I had little idea of what I wanted to do. Throughout my studies I had worked in several
Canadian banks, but wasn't convinced it was what I wanted as a full time career. When my parents
decided they were interested in returning to Northern Ireland once again it seemed as good a
career choice as any, so we returned and started the AIRporter business in 1996.
2. Have you always wanted to work within hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism and
why? If not, how did you end up where you are now?
Definitely not! As I say, my background was banking and my degree was English so it wasn't where
I thought I would end up at all! AIRporter was a business idea that came about as most should - as
a simple solution to a simple problem: we were an Northern Irish family living away (how many of
THOSE are there?!) and when we came home for a visit we had a hard time transporting 5 of us
home from the airport.
3. What sort of qualifications and training have you had and what else would you like to do?
Other than my degree I don't have any other
4. What are the top 5 activities you would typically carry out on a daily basis?
Customer service remains my top priority and I am still involved in bookings but I am also
Financial Controller, and in charge of all Marketing and PR. My other duties include staff scheduling
(20 staff) and HR.
5. What do you most enjoy about your job?
Working with customers
6. What would you say is the biggest challenge you face on a daily basis?
Getting as many customers as possible!
7. What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?
We just celebrated our 500,000 customer at the beginning of October and we became the first
transport company in Northern Ireland to introduce free Wi-Fi on board our whole fleet this past
8. Who has been the greatest influence/role model in your career and why?
My dad, who sadly died two years ago. He genuinely wanted to improve the whole standard of
public transport in Northern Ireland, and even as a private company, AIRporter has gone some
way to achieving that.
9. Do you have a favourite tale or most memorable moment from your career? If so,
please tell us about it!
As a "successful" woman in business I have been invited in the past to meet Hilary Clinton, Mo
Mowlam and the Queen!
10. What piece of advice would you offer someone who wants to work within our industries?
Put a smile on your customer faces - it's so easy to achieve and means everything.
11. Why would you encourage someone to work in our industry?
It's very fun and you are kept busy all the time. We need great people in our Tourism industry -
so much of our future depends on it.