We’re so excited to be celebrating UNIGLOBE Carefree Travel’s 30th anniversary this week. As we reflected on the past 30 years we checked in with our staff to see what working here means to them. Here’s what they had to say.
Marcy Melnyk – Travel Consultant
The first time I flew on a plane I was 13 years old and we were headed to California on a family vacation. When I was 15 years old I participated in a French exchange program and went to France for 2.5 weeks with a group of fellow students and chaperones. As they say, I was bitten by the travel bug. I suppose it’s a natural progression that I should be working in the travel industry.
Working with Uniglobe Carefree Travel for the last 11 years has given me some amazing opportunities for travel that I may have never experienced otherwise. I’m fortunate that Uniglobe supports it’s staff in fulfilling their own personal travel adventures.
One of my favorite vacations was a week spent at the extraordinary Sandals Grande Antigua. Pristine beaches, gracious hospitality and the best homemade coconut ice cream ever!
Czarina Sastaunik – Travel Consultant
I love planning holidays because it makes people happy. Every trip is special but some are extra special to me. One that really stands out is reuniting a wonderful client with her grandfather, a Canadian soldier buried just outside of a small town in France called Arras. He died on the battlefields in WWI and his granddaughter (now in her late 60s) was finally ready to meet her granddad. It brings tears to my eyes when I think of them and that special moment where they could finally be together.
Jam Dhez Hieras – Accounting / Administration
I have been working for Uniglobe for 8 months. I must say nothing has changed since day 1, everyone is always very welcoming! I am always excited to come in to work everyday to see the beautiful happy faces my co-workers have and I always look forward with all the laughs and stories we would share that day. Everyone is treated like a member of the family in this office which I think makes everyone’s job less stressful than what is could be as everyone in this office knows that help is just always there for each of us.
I really like travelling even before working here, and working here makes it a lot easier knowing that all my travel agent co-workers are always there to help me get good deals on any trip and give me ideas on where is the best place to visit. I am very excited to share with you that I have booked my first ever ALL-INCLUSIVE trip!!! And I think this wouldn’t be possible without the help of my co-workers! 😊
Joanne Pidwerbetsky – Travel Consultant
Happy 30th Anniversary Uniglobe!
Over the last 24 years of working at Uniglobe Travel I have helped many clients make their travel dreams come true. I have made many great relationships with clients and with wonderful coworkers over the years. This career has given me many opportunities to travel around the world and make lasting memories. There are still some uncharted waters that I need to circumnavigate around the globe and hope to do that in my future years with Uniglobe.
Helen Klassen – Travel Consultant
When I started working with Uniglobe Carefree Travel 4 years ago, I felt nervous to be starting with a new company. However, I quickly felt at ease and I am privileged to have built some great relationships with the staff as well as former and new clients. I am extremely honored to be included in the “Counsellors of Excellence” group for the past three years.
Kristy Boardman – Accounting / Administration
I started working in the accounting department with Uniglobe a little over four months ago and from day one I felt very welcomed by everyone! I have a great group of coworkers who are always there to help. I enjoy coming to work every day with this wonderful group of people. I look forward to continuing to get to know everyone and for many future travel opportunities.
Kyra December – Travel Consultant
My favourite travel memory since I have been a travel agent with Uniglobe Carefree Travel was mine and my fiancé’s first trip ever together and his first trip anywhere. We went to Grenada in June 2017 and stayed at the Grenadian by Rex Resort. We had a stressful travelling day where we only had about 15 minutes to connect in Toronto due to flight delays leaving Saskatoon. We made our connection (thank goodness), made it to our resort in Grenada, and were lucky enough to receive a beachfront room! After we got settled, we decided to take a walk along the beautiful beach and then Tristan proposed to me! It was super sweet and totally surprised me! The beach is my happy place so everything was just perfect!
Jamie Angus – Milton – Managing Partner
My favourite Uniglobe Moments have often been at our annual conference. It’s always such a fun event with a wonderful group of people, who have become friends over the years. It’s hard to pick just one moment, but this conference in particular – April 2014, we were celebrating the retirement of Ed Buchholz (Ed hired me way back when and was an amazing mentor and business partner) and also winning Uniglobe Agency Owner of the Year award. It was a memorable event!
Correna Tymchen – Travel Consultant
My first day at Uniglobe was 10sept2008. This was a huge moment for me as I had went back to school in my 40’s and I decided that I wanted a career in travel. I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to take a chance on a middle aged women with no experience in the travel industry but Ed and Colleen must have saw some potential as I just had my 10th anniversary with Uniglobe.
Ami Prescesky – Accounting / Administration
I can say I have felt like a part of the family since basically day one, as though I’ve been here several years already and I haven’t even finished my first 3 months yet. Everyone has been so patient and kind, and I even got a HOMEMADE cake and card signed by everyone on my birthday which is something I’ve never had in the workplace. I can definitely see why the company has employees whom have been here there for their whole career.
Colleen Lorenzen – Operations Manager
I think my favorite milestone working with Uniglobe has been my 30th anniversary with the company. Sounds like a long time right! But it has gone so quickly and I have enjoyed working with a lot of great people and feel privileged to call Uniglobe my second family.
Casie Schmidt – Travel Consultant
My favorite travel moment since working at Uniglobe was going to Europe for the first time! I went to Greece with my mom and sailed the islands. It was her first time out of North America which was an unforgettable experience! After Greece I went to Italy by myself and met the most amazing people on a G Adventures Tour! We stayed in contact and almost a year later I went to Toronto to visit them. We visited Niagara on the Lake and Niagara Falls. From going to Europe I also got to experience my own country more.
Annette Frey – Travel Consultant
In my 27 years with Uniglobe there have been many special things that I have experienced, too many to single out. My one joy is my satisfaction in serving our customers and helping them have a good travel experience. I enjoy hearing their stories and knowing I was a part of making their travel experience a good one. I have been very fortunate in being able to travel to some wonderful countries like Curacao, Tanzania and Australia. I hope to travel to more interesting places in the future.
Heather Peters – Marketing Coordinator
A few years ago I switched my career path. After six and a half years of being a leisure travel agent I made the switch to become UNIGLOBE’s Marketing Coordinator. I can genuinely say that this position is an amazing fit for me and I’m so grateful that I work for a company that prioritizes marketing! My day-to-day job involves sharing the beauty of the world, amazing deals and the experiences of our team with our customers (among many other things). I get to work with a product that I love in a more creative way than I ever did before.
When I think about my new position and working here at UNIGLOBE one specific “job” comes to mind as extra special. At our annual Fall Product Launch I get to spend time chatting with our clients about their past travels or future plans while playing simple games and handing out prizes. I literally feel like Santa Claus. I don’t have clients anymore but still love talking travel with people so this part of my job helps fill that void. I love the expression of joy as I hand over the prizes, some people even hug me; they’re so thankful. This is one of my very favourite parts of my job.
Cordell Strachan – Travel Consultant
Although I may be the newest member to the Uniglobe team, I have had the opportunity to work with a few of the agents in the past.
It can be difficult to select one moment that I would categorize as my favourite and thus I would like to reflect a theme I have noticed within the company. The unconditional feeling of belonging has been evident and clear since starting with the team. The team has offered so much to make me feel welcome and integrated. A strong indication of company success is the level of laughter with the office environment, which is plentiful at the location I am at.
I may have been here for a short while but it feels like I have spent my whole career here. Happy anniversary!!
Karen Katelnikoff – Travel Consultant
One of my favorite places to visit is Disney! When I have families come to me for help with their once in a life time trip, I take great pride in it. I want Disney to also be their favorite place to visit. I have one family that will always stand out to me. They came to me to help them plan a multi-generational Disney trip. I was over the moon to help. On their return home and still to this day they tell me they would not have changed a thing. They tell everyone they know that I am their Disney expert and why would you not use an agent for a trip like this. I have lost track of the amount of families I have had the privilege of turning a holiday into magical memories. It is the best feeling in the world when they can see Disney through my eyes.
Photo permission given by Karen’s clients
Photo permission given by Karen’s clients
Amanda Campbell – Travel Consultant
My clients are like my family and I take care of them the best I can. I try to go above and beyond their expectations. Many people are overwhelmed by the internet and appreciate having someone narrow choices down for them based on what suits their needs. In our offices we have been to many places around the world and stayed at many hotels, done many local excursions and tours. The personal experiences are what help us help our clients better. We give personal attention to our clients and go out of our way to make sure they have the best vacation and a very memorable experience. We always look out for what’s best for them. My clients are very important to me and I put my best effort into organizing and taking care of their vacations. This is why I love my job and working for Uniglobe. It is because of my amazing clients, that I am encouraged to continue to learn more about places I am not familiar with and that we truly care about each and every person we work with. I love my job, and my clients are what make me happy to come to work every day.
As you can see, there are two main things that have made the past thirty years at UNIGLOBE Carefree Travel extra special. The feeling of family within the workplace and YOU our clients, our friends our family. Thank you for helping us reach thirty years as a local Saskatoon and area business, here’s to the next thirty!
If you’re in Saskatoon on Thursday, February 14th please feel free to stop by either of our offices for cake, coffee and a contest to celebrate this special day.