Amy Moreno is a travel expert who recently launched Galcations, a women’s travel “club.” Amy had an entrepreneurial spirit as a young girl and finally took the leap from the corporate world to starting her own business. Read more about Amy…
First job: I talked my mom into letting me buy and operate a soda machine when I was 12 years old and convinced her to let me put it in her gymnasium. I was making about $35 a week back in 1976 – which was a ton of money. And, I saved the vast majority of it!
Favorite AZ restaurant: Los Olivos… as a Scottsdale native, this is REAL Mexican food and I’ve been eating it since I was a little girl!
Person who has impacted your life the most: Can’t stick with one, has to be two – my parents! My mother was the most personable lady, ever. She delighted in teaching thousands of girls in Arizona ballet, tap, and gymnastics for decades, then went on to be a travel agent. This is when our entire family got the travel bug and our lives changed forever. She’s been gone almost 11 years but I still get letters from friends of hers from around the world that think of her all the time. And, my father because he is probably the kindest and smartest person I have ever known. He grew up on a farm in Nebraska but was so smart (like Mensa smart) he went off to college at 16. Ultimately he graduated first in his class from George Washington Law and moved to AZ to practice. He was an attorney for years, then became a state superior court judge, then the Vice-Chief Justice for the Arizona Supreme Court. Growing up he always emphasized that all people are equal but may not have had equal opportunities, so it was so important to try to put oneself in others shoes and be compassionate and helpful to others!
Your biggest accomplishment in your eyes: On the personal side, it sounds dorky, but I am super proud of how nice my children are! On the professional side, taking a leap of faith in myself to leave the security of corporate America and pursue my passion and start Galcations. I take immense pleasure and pride knowing we are making ladies happy and they are getting out and exploring the world in a fun, safe environment!
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: Not finishing college. Although I had the opportunity, I got the travel bug and started working at Club Med and never finished. So, there were many times positions I would have been good at would not consider me because of the lack of a degree. However, I am proud to say, that I proved myself worthy and ultimately did become an executive at AAA (the first Travel Director in the club’s history that was not a college graduate).
Someone who inspires you: Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams. She is a 28 year veteran law enforcement officer and runs the state’s largest police department. She is the city’s first female chief and her job is daunting (to say the least)!
Favorite quote: “75 percent of accidents happen close to home… so pack your bags and travel!”
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: There are not travel schools these days as there were in the 80’s, so if one is interested in learning about the travel industry, get a travel and tourism degree. And, I would couple that with working for a hotel, airline, or travel related call center. You will get a more well rounded experience if you learn how to sell travel. It is really important for anyone thinking about going into the travel industry to understand, we go into it for the love of travel and the love of helping other people travel, not for the money.
What makes someone fabulous: I think I am instinctively impressed by people who are out going and capable of successfully balancing work, career, family, and still have time to do charity work!
Learn more about Amy’s business Galcations at galcations.com.