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  • 17 May 2023 2:50 PM | Anonymous

    Julie Lassaigne

    Title: Secretary General, European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC)

    With over 15 years experience in Brussels, Julie is in her current role responsible for the daily management of ETRC as well as leading advocacy work on key challenges affecting the sector. Julie is the proud recipient of the 2022 Frontier Award for Outstanding Contribution to the travel retail industry.


    Judit Balardi  

    Title: Marketing Manager

    Judit is a seasoned Marketeer with 15 years of experience at Nestle, Philip Morris, and Hershey's. Specializing in Travel Retail in EMEA since 2017, Judit excels in Trade and Customer Marketing, focusing on POS visibility, consumer activations, and product commercialization.


    Heidi Van Roon M.B.A. CPHR SHRM

    Title: Founder / President SPARK Group of Companies

    The SPARK Group is recognized for recruitment in Travel Retail.  Heidi gives voice and leadership to mission critical insights that are anchored in the power of bespoke customer engagement.  In 2021 SPARK won the Frontier Award: “Airport Team of the Year - Americas”. 


    Ella Blake

    Title: Sales Director - Global Accounts & Americas (Europe, Oceania & Americas)

    Ella has been FMCG 14 years  with SME & blue-chip experience in the domestic market across multiple categories for 12 of those. Ella is now involved in the spirits industry as Global Sales Director for Beam Suntory with an incredibly diverse portfolio & team, and able to speak about this exciting category & complex channel.


    Mioara Nicoleta Olteanu

    Art&Craft Design SRL

    Title: Managing Partner

    Mioara Nicoleta started her business in 2005 combining three elements: design, opening stores in all Romanian airports, owning 11 brands and having a good understanding of designing and promoting destination products. Mioara Nicoleta is an expert in creating brands and products in the souvenir field.


    Barbara Wold – Barbara Wold International

    Title: Owner

    Barbara is an internationally known speaker and able to speak about retail, hospitality and tourism industries. She is an authority on building business through customer driven strategy and maximizing human assets. Barbara has taught in over twenty countries, 49 states and all U.S. territories.



  • 11 May 2023 2:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It was great to meet so many familiar but also new faces at our WiTR+ event during TFWA APEC in Singapore:

  • 14 Mar 2023 11:08 AM | Anonymous

    Women in Travel Retail celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8th in collaboration with Tumi at its Regent Street store.

    The hugely successful event was attended by 73 women including Rosie Swale-Pope, a motivational speaker and author who delighted the crowd with her tales of various incredible adventures around the world.

    On hand were Tumi staff to demonstrate the art of packing, and to share insight into the Tumi repairs and personalisation departments.  Guests also had the opportunity to discover the Tumi’s new women’s collections: Voyageur and 19 Degree.

    It was a thoroughly convivial evening; guests were spoilt with Champagne and Canapes and all in attendance were entered into a raffle to win a Tumi Backpack (first prize) or a soft toy fox given by Rosie as part of her story (second prize) - Tumi also generously provided guests with goody bags on departure.

    Sarah Branquinho, Chair of WiTR said: “It was an absolute delight to see so many faces at the event and are thrilled to have gained some new members as a result of the event, and offers to host other events. Many thanks to Alex Willson and the team at Tumi for their incredible hospitality and generosity during the evening, to Rosie, and to all those who attended!”

  • 14 Sep 2022 9:27 AM | witr admin (Administrator)

    Women in Travel Retail (WiTR) has named Friends International as its 2019 charity of the year.
    Friends International was founded in the early 1990s in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It has 25 years of experience working directly with disadvantaged urban children, youth, families and communities, across Asia, Africa and Europe. The charity enables individuals who lack opportunities to become productive, independent citizens.Sunrise Siem Reap Orphanage
    WiTR will raise funds to support a Siem Reap-based Friends International project, which provides beauty salon training for 24 young women, aged 16 to 24. The training will enable them to provide for their children and siblings.

    “This grant will help many young women on the path to learning new skills, getting jobs and empowering themselves to be happy, active and productive members of Cambodian society.” – Friends International Founder and Director Sebastien Marot

  • 14 Sep 2022 9:27 AM | witr admin (Administrator)

    Sunrise Siem Reap Orphanage

    On the 2nd of October, during the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes, WiTR held a fundraising event for Hand in Hand for Haiti. Hosted in the iconic Palais des Festivals, WiTR members also enjoyed the opportunity to meet and network over a glass of prosecco. Here is a photo gallery of the event.

  • 11 May 2019 9:28 AM | witr admin (Administrator)

    Speech by Renay Farrell, Business Project Coordinator, Friends-International. Presented to WiTR members during TFWA Asia Pacific, May 2019.

    Sunrise Siem Reap Orphanage

    Firstly, I would like to thank Colleen and Gerry for the opportunity to be here this evening for the Women in Travel Retail networking event, it’s truly an honour.

    For those of you I haven’t met, my name is Renay Farrell and I have the privilege of working for Friends-International, based at our headquarters in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

    On behalf of Friends-International, it gives me great pleasure to thank you all so much for kindly and generously choosing our Beauty Vocational Training and Education Support in Siem Reap as your program to support in 2019.

    As a brief introduction, Friends is an award-winning international social enterprise that has been operating since 1994. 25 years ago, our founder and executive director, Sebastien Marot, landed in Phnom Penh, an unplanned visit with his friends while traveling throughout Southeast Asia. Sebastien was overwhelmed and shocked by the sheer volume of children living on the streets. He quickly learned that these children wanted to go to school and get an education – and changed his plans to stay in Phnom Penh and focus his efforts on these children and youth to give them a better chance at life. Fast forward to the present day and we are now in 23 countries through our partner operations and have physical offices in six. Sebastien’s vision has created an organisation focused on ‘Saving Lives and Building Futures’ of the most marginalised children, youth and their families through a number of programs which provide outreach and social services, drug & alcohol rehabilitation, support groups, remedial education, the reintegration of children back to school, as well as training and jobs to their caretakers to ensure they stay in school. And these are just a few examples! Vocational training is one of our key programs to help break the cycle of poverty and improve the lives of the most marginalised children and youth. And the most at risk is always female youth.

    Marginalised female youth in Cambodia continually face many barriers to access employment including lack of education and the ability to pay for training. Often living on the streets, they are forced to work in hazardous occupations such as construction, scavenging, sex work or begging – leaving them vulnerable to health risks and abuse.

    And by supporting our beauty vocational training program, you will be actively taking a part in breaking this cycle.

    Our vocation training programs – offered to youth aged between 15-24 years of age – lead to stable and quality employment.  Personally, I’ve seen the behind the scenes work of our social workers in encouraging youth to have a better chance at life. When I first joined Friends I had the opportunity to experience our Mobile Night Bus which visits various locations in Phnom Penh where sex workers operate, every night. Our Mobile Night Bus is amazing – it provides services to these sex workers including those from the LGBTQI community, such as free HIV testing, counseling and support from our social workers, and even an area in the bus where they can ‘freshen’ up with the make-up and hair products provided by our teams. On my Mobile Night Bus experience, a 22 year old female was getting advice from our social services team as she was hoping to get out of the sex industry and stop being a sex worker on the street, but she couldn’t find a way out as she had to support her brother and sick mum. On average, she would earn up to $15 a night – as little as $5 a ‘job’. Our social workers spent a long time listening to her, counseling and offering alternatives – via our vocational training programs where she could learn a trade, graduate and get our support with employment. It was reassuring to know that our social workers would continue meeting with her to support her to join our vocation training programs.

    Our beauty vocational training is one of seven programs offered by Friends, including hospitality, barber, motor mechanic, electrical, welding and sewing.

    Our beauty vocational training program runs for eight months with a curriculum which provides market-aligned quality technical skills within a classroom environment and importantly within our beauty and nail training salons. Equally important, our programs also offer psycho-social counseling, basic literacy and numeracy, Khmer and English lessons, as well as a significant focus on soft skills: personal development via confidence-building, emotion and stress management, along with collaborative working skills designed to truly empower the youth in our programs.

    In addition, the program links students to a full range of basic social services such as medical referrals to hospitals, support to obtain legal documents (as many Khmer children and youth born after the Khmer Rouge ruling do not own birth certificates for example), a meal each day, transport to and from training, as well as short-term housing if required.

    After graduating, the students then progress to our Futures Office where our employment experts help the students secure employment or assist them in starting a micro-enterprise. Friends has a growing network of hundreds of local businesses who accept graduates as interns, apprentices or full-time employees. For self-employment, Friends can sponsor the equipment and material needed for start-ups until they become self-sustainable (six to 12 months on average).

    Last year, 43 girls studied in our beauty vocational training program:

    • 30 were newly enrolled
    • 27 were placed in employment and 16 rolled over to continue their training in 2019

    We have experiences where students have graduated, are placed in full-time employment thanks to the Futures team, progress in their new roles and then return to be a vocational training teacher in our programs.

    I’d now like to share a story from one of our graduates – her name has been changed for privacy reasons, so we will refer to her as Theary:

     “My mother was a karaoke girl (entertainment worker) and I have two other sisters with different fathers. My mother placed me and my sisters into many orphanages in Phnom Penh. In the orphanage I went to school until Level 5, but when I eventually moved back in with my mother I wasn’t able to continue my education because she kept moving house. I never felt safe, so I decided to move in with my grandparents in a rural area. But I could never go to school because it was more than an hour away on foot on a quiet road. My grandmother soon got sick and passed away. I was left with only my grandpa in that old cottage, very isolated. I was always scared and insecure. I was going to move back to the orphanage, but I met an old lady who told me about Friends-International where a new chapter of my life began.  I felt relieved when I walked into the center. A few staff happily introduced themselves, and I was shown around the center before I decided to join the Beauty training. It was then that I regained all my hope to become someone better.  I was offered a safe place to stay in the group home where I get to live with 3 other girls. I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity: everything is free for me, I can access all the necessary facilities and it feels like home. I have lots of new friends and they are very nice to me, and we are all from similar backgrounds.   I’m now in the second level of Beauty training, and I take other classes like Khmer literacy, English, and computers. My life has changed a lot. I never thought of getting skills or trying be anyone better, but Friends has changed my perspective on life. I enjoy my training here, getting to learn new things every day.  In the future, I believe that I will be able to use my skills to support myself with a good job. I have big dreams to get a house where I can live happily with my mother and sisters. I hope I can get everything I want and make up for what I missed when I was young.  I also have a message to other young people: study hard to get the skills you need for a good job and a better future. And I want Friends to keep helping the young people like me to achieve their goals.”

    Looking at the future for students like Theary, is where the Women In Travel Retail comes in! Your support will allow many girls in Siem Reap find employment and get  out of the slums, the drug dens, off the streets and out of the sex industry. The cycle will be broken and they will have a new chance at life!

    We have already seen the huge impact of Women in Travel Retail with introductions to various companies in your network to partner with us through program support and capacity development, or n buying our products. We would love to discuss partnership opportunities with more of you, and really believe this is the start of a fantastic relationship.

    Once again, from everyone at Friends, thank you for your kind and generous support which will allow us to continue our work in supporting marginalised youth and children. We look forward to continuing a positive and long-lasting relationship with Women in Travel Retail and to keeping in touch along the way.

    Enjoy the rest of your evening!

  • 9 Oct 2018 9:26 AM | witr admin (Administrator)

    WiTR’s creation of a platform to bring together the women working in the travel retail industry and its support for charity was recognised at the 2018 Frontier Awards in Cannes with the coveted award for Outstanding Contribution to the Industry.

    The award was accepted on behalf of WiTR’s Members by Chair and Vice Chair Sarah Branquinho (Dufry) and GerryMunday (Furla).

    Sunrise Siem Reap Orphanage

  • 14 Sep 2018 9:19 AM | witr admin (Administrator)

  • 14 Jun 2018 9:17 AM | witr admin (Administrator)

    During TFWA Asia Pacific Conference and Exhibition, at the first TR Business Travel Retail Awards judged by consumers, TRBusiness and their guests joined forces with Women in Travel Retail to raise money for WiTR’s chosen 2018 charity – Hand in Hand for Haiti.  WiTR aims to raise €15,000 to purchase musical instruments for the school, which was funded by the industry in Haiti to rebuild children’s lives following the devastating earthquake in 2010.

    The generosity of guests who contributed through a charity raffle, and TRB who donated a percentage from every seat sold, resulted in a fantastic start to the 2018 fund raising by raising €5600.

    Olivier Bottrie, President and Co-founder, Hand in Hand for Haiti said: 

    “This is amazing. Let me thank you, WiTR and TRB for this great event and support for HiHH.  Introducing interactive music to our children will give them a sense of joy and real confidence.”

    Sunrise Siem Reap Orphanage

  • 15 May 2018 9:00 AM | witr admin (Administrator)

    On the eve of TFWA Asia Pacific conference opening, WiTR’s representative in Asia, Chandra Mahtani, Vice President, T5 Commercial Planning (Airside Concessions Division), and her team sacrificed their Sunday morning to give WiTR members a very special tour of Terminal 4 at Changi Airport which commenced operations on 31 October 2017.  T4 is home to several carriers led by Cathay Pacific, Korean Air and AirAsia, and will welcome approximately 8 million passengers in its first year of operations.

    Sunrise Siem Reap Orphanage

    The landside check-in and procedures include state-of-the-art self-service technology and unusually passengers can see from landside to airside while admiring the Petalclouds, another of the amazing moving artworks for which Changi Airport is renowned.

    Covering 16,000sqm of commercial space, T4 is home to several new and innovative retail concepts.

    At the airside area, passengers experience Changi Airport’s first integrated duty-free zone jointly operated by DFS and Shilla for the Liquor & Tobacco and Perfumes & Cosmetics categories respectively. Through their close collaboration with Changi Airport Group, the integrated duty-free zone is able to process pre-orders and purchases from both categories, ensuring a seamless shopping experience.

    A range of specialist boutiques line either side of the open lounge area, starting with double-volume façade flagship stores for brands such as TWG which is its largest outlet in the world and The Cocoa Trees which house a carnival-themed concept. This culminates in the Heritage Zone which epitomises the “sense of place”, offering a unique showcase of the Straits Chinese Peranakan culture.  The beautiful shophouse façade, housing an array of well-known and beloved Singaporean brands, is complemented by a sensational immersive three-dimensional story of two families in dispute but with a happy ending in marriage….  Some of us even tried to look the part (see photos).

    The hospitality throughout the tour was legendary, starting with a Hendricks cocktail on the experiential bar, tea-sampling with macaroons at the stunning TWG store, tasting of the Singaporean barbecued meats and special cakes, before being hosted for a delicious lunch by local F&B operator Select Group which showcased popular cuisines from various Asian countries.

    A big thank you to Chandra and her team, and also to T4 retailers Raelene Johnson (Shilla) and Amy Chan (WH Smith).  As you will see from Chandra’s title, Terminal 5 is next and we can’t wait to see what new benchmark that will set!

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