Specialist, Training Products and Systems
Transat Tours Canada (Toronto)
Most people would agree that Susan Calcada has led a fortunate life. She started her career working in the Caribbean for major Canadian tour operator. That led to six years of living and working in such exotic locales as Cuba, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and St. Kitts and Nevis.
Ready for a new challenge, Susan decided to return to her native Toronto. She had joined the team at World of Vacations (Canadian Holidays) in 1993 while in the Caribbean and in 1996 when she returned home, Transat bought a 35% stake in the company. The rest, as they say, is history.
Now a Training Specialist in products and systems, Susan is part of the Transat Tours Canada team that develops and delivers training programs for the company’s staff and partners, with particular expertise in product and webinar tutorials. “I love watching people grow and develop,” she says. “There is also a lot of variety. One day, we could be training staff about a topic that’s very technical, and the next day, we could be tackling something that’s more emotional, like the allure of a particular vacation destination. It’s very rewarding, and there’s never a dull moment.”
Variety is also the spice of Susan’s life outside of the office. She helps prepare the next generation of tourism industry employees by teaching a course in Destination Representation and Tour Escorting at Toronto’s Humber College. A practitioner of reiki, a Japanese form of alternative medicine, she is fascinated by spiritual and natural healing techniques.
When it’s time to have fun, Susan enjoys watching movies, preferably comedies (because “life has enough drama”) and reading self-development books. She also takes to the dance floor every now and again to indulge her love of salsa, which she developed while living in the Caribbean.
And speaking of the Caribbean – after spending so many years living abroad, Susan still enjoys travelling there and elsewhere. Other favourite travel destinations include Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Thailand and, closer to home, her summer cottage in Ontario’s Wasaga Beach on Georgian Bay.