“How I Got My Start” is a regular segment in which we cull a couple of selections from our interviews with international operators, domestic operators, receptive operators, destinations, hotels and attractions to explore the path that led one to a career in the travel trade industry. One thing we have learned: the road to where they are is almost never the same. In this issue, we feature Malcolm Smith, senior vice president of business development & general manager, ipw, U.S. Travel Association; and Mary Saunders De Hoyos, senior director of business development, Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau.
Malcolm Smith: “In 1994, my graduate advisor recommended an internship at the Texas Department of Commerce-Business Development Division. When I went for my interview, I noticed the Tourism Division on the organizational chart and thought, ‘That sounds much more interesting.’ I asked if I could meet with the director of travel industry sales and was offered an internship. I ended up staying at Texas Tourism for six years and remained in the industry since.”
Mary Saunders De Hoyos: “My start in travel trade came by way of a friend who said, ‘Have I got a job for you!’ That job was sales manager at the Santa Monica CVB. I had been with Delta Air Lines for many years as a flight attendant and decided to take the plunge across the jet bridge. Almost ten years later, I represent Beverly Hills globally and have met some of my closest friends through our industry.”