Whether you are bringing the extended family together, celebrating a milestone, or enjoying a reunion of friends, you don’t need to wonder for destination, Elizabeth Blount McCormick is here to help and exceed your expectations. She is the President of Uniglobe Travel Designers creating fun and memorable experience for you. Elizabeth and her team coordinate all of the details to plan the destination wedding of your dreams.
In an interview conducted between Elizabeth Blount McCormick and CIO LOOK assists everyone with their travel arrangements.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Please brief our readers about your leadership position at the company.
I am the President and Owner of Uniglobe Travel Designers (UTD), a travel management company specializing in both corporate and leisure travel.
What were the challenges you came across since founding the organization?
My mom purchased this business in the 90’s. I worked in the business during my high school and college summers and eventually moved back to Columbus in 2006 to run the business. Many people, who were now my employees, had watched me grow-up and had to adjust to reporting to me. We had to completely revamp the culture. Additionally, my mother had grown the business organically without any major focus on marketing and technology. To compete and grow the business we had to invest in marketing, social media, and technology. There is a saying that you have to spend money to make money, which was a challenge at the time. But we shifted our priorities to position ourselves as market leaders and to compete with other travel management companies across the country.
Being an experienced business leader, what is your opinion regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your industry?
I own a travel management company and we specialize in corporate and leisure travel. We have been significantly impacted by Covid-19. Travel was close to not existing from one month to the next. People are hesitant to travel as a result of the pandemic. We are seeing a slight increase in travel for our business and leisure clients as a result of the vaccine distribution throughout the world. Consumer confidence is being rebuilt, but it’s going to take time.
And how has your company managed to overcome this significant challenge?
We have continued bringing on new business despite Covid-19. We brought on 22 new clients in 2020. We continue to connect with prospective clients to build relationships so that when they are ready to travel, they will reach out to Uniglobe Travel Designers. Additionally, we started hosting lunch and learns and happy hours with our preferred suppliers who are located all over the world. We want people to continue dreaming about travel and we want to make those travel experiences a reality when they are ready!
What is your thought on the necessity of a positive work culture?
A positive work culture is absolutely necessary to be successful. I’ve had people who worked for me in the past who were not aligned with my vision and we had to part ways. A wise person once told me that I should be able to enjoy having dinner with everyone who works for me. This really struck me and I now make this a practice when I am thinking about hiring someone. I ask, “would I like to have a meal with this person”? If the answer is “yes” I will most likely hire the person.
In what ways do you implement it at your organization?
I always say, “As long as something is not immoral or illegal, try it”. We do not micromanage people here and the UTD team is empowered to do what is in the best interest of the client without having to go through multiple layers to get things done.
In what ways have you or your contributed to the community?
We have a Vitamin D program and for every vacation booked, we give a portion of our profit back to charity. We also encourage our team to volunteer together and champion causes they care about. Additionally, I mentor young women and Black business owners whenever I can.
If given a chance, what change would you bring to help other companies?
Pay it forward. Give someone an opportunity who doesn’t look like you. Be intentional about your relationships and the people you work with.
What would be your advice for aspiring and emerging women entrepreneurs in your industry?
Look at challenges as obstacles, not barriers. Take a chance and put yourself out there. Know your worth and do not sell yourself short.
Have you in any ways contributed towards the cause of women empowerment.
I mentor women whenever I can. I always champion women and speak their names in a room full of opportunities.
What people, what books, what life factors have influenced and impacted you?
My Mom is my mentor. I mirror my behaviour after her and I am successful because of it. I watched her actions and I put those actions into place.
Books – What I know for sure (Oprah Winfrey), Becoming – Michelle Obama, A Promised Land – Barack Obama.
Not winning business has influenced me and made a large impact on my attitude and approach to my business. It has helped me understand I am not for everyone. And that’s okay! You need to know your worth and not compromise your value or integrity.