Does it feel like summer is moving too fast? Travel, like summer, is all about savoring the moment. Don’t worry. There is definitely still time to get away to places near and far. This month, we visit Japan, go on a family cruise to the Caribbean, and share why private jet charters are on the rise.
Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez
Maria Mendez never set out to run the fast paced, successful corporate division of First in Service. As a young girl, she was fascinated by architecture and design, trying to find solutions to how things could work better.
Growing up in the Dominican Republic, she complained to her mother why running water was not a given in her household. So her mother challenged the precocious 12-year-old to design and build an underground water tank for the family home. After trial and error, and with help, she successfully rose to the challenge, to the complete surprise of her mother.
That incident inspired her lifelong attitude towards problem solving, or as Maria says, “Problems don’t exist. Solutions do.”
Maria translated that same can-do spirit to her travel career, which began as a fluke. She was pursuing her architecture degree and moved to Boston to finish her studies. Falling in love and marrying her chef husband sidetracked her career path, but she quickly found she had other skills that came with a love of travel. When her husband was transferred to New York, she met with First in Service 16 years ago and the rest is history.
Nowadays, the architecture bug still runs in the family. A mother of four girls, Maria is proud to say her oldest daughter Katherine is completing a masters in architecture this spring.
Next on Maria’s travel list? Dubai, of course. She says she’s fascinated by the city’s striking architecture.