Women in Travel Retail: Making a difference across the world

WiTR members peruse high-end auction and raffle items donated by IAADFS member companies.

As part of its program, the IAADFS chapter of Women in Travel Retail (WiTR) hosts an annual meeting at the Duty Free show each year. This year’s event, co-sponsored by Travel Markets Insider and World Equity Brand Builders (WEBB), moved to Sunday evening.

Straying from the usual breakfast meeting format, the group hosted its annual meeting as a cocktail party on a waterfront resort terrace this year. Women in the duty free and travel retail industry gathered to socialize, network, and hear the latest industry news. Guests this year enjoyed specialty custom cocktails sponsored by WEBB, including a “Tito’s International Flight Mule” and “DiSaronno Tax Free Sour.”

While the meeting format has changed, the group’s mission has not: supporting women in the travel retail industry, and making a difference in communities across the globe. Proceeds from this year’s raffle and auction will benefit Hand in Hand for Haiti.

The IAADFS chapter of WiTR has supported Hand in Hand for Haiti’s Lycée Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sale School, which provides children with education, meals, and medical care, since it was founded by a group of travel retail industry executives following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Carrie Soderstrom, Travel Retail Marketing Manager for Maui Jim Inc., has been a member of WiTR for three years and is excited to support the group’s mission and watch it grow. “(The WiTR group) is great for networking and meeting women in the industry. I love the philanthropic angle — we always support a good cause,” she said.