Alison Partridge, Skålleague of the Month - August'21
Alison (Grant) Partridge
Skålleague of the Month - August'21
I was born in southern England, UK. We immigrated to Canada when I was 8 years old, settling in Victoria, British Columbia after 18 months in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
After completing High School, I spent a year at a Canadian Junior College in Neuchatel, Switzerland and then on to completing a BA at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. My summer job through 2014 these years was at The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, and I developed a love of the hospitality industry and a fierce desire to see the world.
I spent 2 years in New Zealand, working for the New Zealand University Students Association, 5 years in Toronto at the Canadian equivalent and then moved to London, UK to run my own Airline & Tour Operators Representation Company at Gatwick, Bristol, Manchester, Belfast, and Cardiff Airports. I married in 1985 and we had a daughter in 1988. In 1993, very sadly, my husband died, and I took the decision to return to Victoria.
I went back to Travel CUTS but in 1999 was re-hired at The Butchart Gardens as their Director of PR and Marketing. I had been hearing about Skål International and its amazing network through the years, and when I was invited to join in 2002, jumped at the chance. I have never looked back. I was honoured to serve as President of Skål International Victoria in 2008 – 2009. In 2011 I hopped the Atlantic again and transferred my membership to the London UK club, becoming club President 2012-2013 and then President of Skål International UK for 2014 and 2015.
Returning (again) to Victoria in 2016, I took on the role of Executive Secretary of Skål International Victoria 2016. We started to rebuild the club which had seen a fair amount of attrition.
I firmly believe that members need to understand the relevancy of their club on a local basis but also on a national and international basis. To understand that the network at their fingertips opens doors and offers opportunities unsurpassed on a global basis. But it must be fun too.
Victoria is encouraging members to bring guests to our meetings. Now that the categories have expanded, this is proving to be a very good source of new and interesting members, all of which, given the nature of the local economy, are very much members of a widened hospitality family.