International Women’s Day 2024: Meet the women at TRBusiness

By Faye Bartle |

International Women's Day

Today (8 March) marks International Women’s Day (IWD) 2024, which this year centres on forging a more inclusive world for women.

We’re taking the opportunity to introduce the women working hard behind the scenes, and in front of the cameras, at TRBusiness.

The Surrey-based company was established by Janice Hook and Nigel Hardy, in 1997 with a vision of ‘helping the industry grow’.

Under their leadership, along with their fellow directors, the company has transformed into an award-winning B2B digital media and events company with a multi-product portfolio comprising the TRBusiness e-zine, TRBusiness.com, the consumer-voted Travel Retail Awards, Travel Retail Consumer Forum and Travel Retail Sustainability Week.

Here’s a quick insight into what makes our talented women employees tick…

Janice Hook, Co-Owner & Joint Chief Executive Officer

My job in a nutshell involves… Overseeing all financial operations and general management of the company business.

What I love most about the travel retail industry is… it’s an exciting close-knit industry with global exposure, unique shopping experiences, networking opportunities, and a dynamic environment.

The best moment of my career so far has been… Meeting genuine, diverse people throughout my working life – some of whom have become incredible friends.

Keeping me motivated and inspired is… chocolate! Joking aside, I would say pure fulfilment from my family, friends and, most importantly, my grandchildren whom I adore.

The best piece of career advice I’ve ever received is… to be respectful and true to yourself and treat others how you would like to be treated.

Something you may not know about me… One aspect that may not be immediately apparent about me is my passion for outdoor activities. I have actively participated in several remarkable events, such as the 3 Peaks Challenge, which involves ascending Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon within a 24-hour timeframe. This endeavour stands out as one of the most physically demanding experiences I’ve encountered. I often find myself reflecting on the journey with the phrase “never again.” However, my continued enthusiasm for outdoor pursuits invariably leads me to seek out new challenges and adventures, demonstrating my commitment to personal growth and exploration.

 

Helen Chater, Head of Sales

My job in a nutshell involves… selling and developing client relationships.

What I love most about the travel retail industry is… the people. I have the most amazing customers who I also regard as friends.

The best moment of my career so far has been… working for TRBusiness. The team is the best, hardest working, most supportive team I have ever worked with in my 42 years of working!

Keeping me motivated and inspired is… wanting to see TRBusiness and my customers continue to grow and go from strength to strength.

The best piece of career advice I’ve ever received is… to be true to yourself and maintain integrity at all times.

Something you may not know about me is…. that I have been a Samaritans volunteer for 10 years and that I am the director for selection and recruitment for my branch in Tunbridge Wells.

 

Caryn Collins, Head of Events

My job in a nutshell involves… organising and producing all conferences, awards and events for TRBusiness.

What I love most about the travel retail industry is… you get to see some beautiful places with beautiful people.

The best moment of my career so far has been… seeing the thousands of faces over the years smiling and enjoying themselves.

Keeping me motivated and inspired is… my son and being the best mum I can be, showing him that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

The best piece of career advice I’ve ever received is… be yourself.

Something you may not know about me… I’m lucky enough to have sung professionally all around the world with the largest audience being 30,000 people.

 

Danielle Edwards, Accounts Assistant

My job in a nutshell involves… Assisting all financial and administration obligation for the company.

What I love most about the travel retail industry is… Never a dull moment, the wonderful community and great people.

The best moment of my career so far has been… I have been fortunate to be given great support from my employer and feel blessed that I am appreciated.

Keeping me motivated and inspired is… I focus on my tasks, removing anything negative or demotivating. I also love reading, which gives me new ideas and keeps me curious and creative. The things I learn from reading help me grow both personally and professionally, keeping me motivated to keep moving forward.

The best piece of career advice I’ve ever received is… Never settle for anything less and don’t underestimate your abilities.

Something you may not know about me…  I have a lot in common with my parents, and I often do fun things with my mother. But when it comes to sports, my favourites are skiing and horse riding. I really enjoy these activities, especially when I get to do them with my daughter. Skiing and horse riding are special to us because they let us have fun together and make memories while doing something we both love.

 

Sian Hook, Awards Co-ordinator/Accounts Assistant

My job in a nutshell… I work closely with my family in our office, seamlessly combining work and family life. My main duties involve coordinating with finance and connecting with clients and influencers.

What I love most about the travel retail industry is… What I love most about the travel retail industry is interacting with diverse cultures and customers worldwide.

The best moment of my career so far has been… When my boss generously upgraded my family and I to first class. It was a moment of genuine appreciation that made our trip even more memorable.

Keeping me motivated and inspired is… I find inspiration in various forms, from encountering new ideas and perspectives to witnessing acts of kindness and resilience.

The best piece of career advice I’ve ever received is… inspired by a J. Willard Marriott’s quote, to prioritise the wellbeing and growth of those around us. This fosters a supportive environment where everyone can thrive.

Something you may not know about me… My passion for skiing – I consider myself quite the proficient skier! Additionally, I’m currently learning both German and Bulgarian languages.

 

Faye Bartle, Managing Editor, Digital & Marketing

My job in a nutshell involves… providing editorial and content across TRBusiness’ various touchpoints, marketing our events and other initiatives, moderating at our conferences and helping to bring to life the Global Travel Retail Awards.

What I love most about the travel retail industry is… meeting such a great variety of people and enjoying so many memorable experiences. I attended my first TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in 2004 and it’s fantastic to see so many executives have stayed in the industry. It’s so fast paced and it’s impossible to run out of stories to write.

The best moment of my career so far has been… flying to Austria for the day to interview the late Niki Lauda about his airline. That and tracking down and interviewing Paris CDG’s long-time ‘resident’ Sir Alfred (Mehran Karimi Nasser, who died in 2022) who is said to have inspired the Hollywood film The Terminal.

Keeping me motivated and inspired is… my kids.

The best piece of career advice I’ve ever received is… if in doubt, leave it out. Also, as an overthinker, it’s the saying that ‘people don’t think about you as much as you think’.

Something you may not know about me… I am a keen runner and have completed the Dubai Marathon. Plus, I used to play the trumpet.

READ MORE: TRBusiness bolsters its ranks with key appointments in big year ahead

READ MORE: Tracing the story of TRBusiness in celebration of its 25th anniversary year

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