May 19, 2020

Richard Branson in Vancouver to Launch New Virgin Atlantic Route

Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic airlines
Richard Branson
Vancouver airport
Bizclik Editor
3 min
Richard Branson in Vancouver to Launch New Virgin Atlantic Route

 

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Atlantic, landed in Vancouver today to launch the inaugural Vancouver to London, UK route.  Announced last year, the Vancouver to London flight provides new opportunities for British Columbians to get to the UK and Europe right in time for the London Olympics.

"It's a hugely exciting year for London with the Queen's Jubilee, World Pride and, with so much else going on, the spotlight is truly on the UK. These latest sale fares are designed to give travelers from Western Canada that little extra reason to visit London in 2012,” said Chris Rossi, Senior VP, North America, Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Branson landed at Vancouver International Airport with UK Olympic Athlete Amy Williams to debut the new service that features flights starting at $424 in economy seating and $674 in premium economy.

Virgin Atlantic promises a comfortable experience for its new passengers with recent upgrades to onboard food service and the brand’s free hours of entertainment, offering cost effective travel from British Columbia

"We are excited to bring the Virgin Atlantic travel experience to the city of Vancouver," said Rossi. "We look forward to connecting this vibrant city and culture with London; the city with the world's focus in 2012."

Economy passengers can look forward to a meal service that features a welcome aboard cocktail as well as a three course meal and drinks, all a part of the flight’s ticket price. Premium Economy, along with its more expensive ticket price, get even more amenities including a separate cabin, wider seats with more legroom and many business class luxuries. Additional Premium Economy features include priority airport checking and boarding, meals served on china and stainless steel cutlery with a choice on wine and after dinner liqueur.

 

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Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class will take Vancouver passengers to London in the ultimate style with a convertable fully flat bed, complimentary limo service for transporation to the airport and home, a refined meal service and, in preparation for passengers UK arrival, a British tradition: afternoon tea

"We have been working for years to bring this world-class carrier to Vancouver to offer passengers more choice and satisfy the high demand for flights to the U.K., particularly during the busy summer season," said Larry Berg, President and CEO of Vancouver Airport Authority. "This new service means more jobs for British Columbians both on and off of YVR's Sea Island home, and increased tourism revenue, particularly given that the U.K. is B.C.'s single greatest source of overseas visitors."

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

CMO
Kyndryl
IBM
Leadership
Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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