TORONTO — Jacques Gilbert is retiring from Manulife and the travel industry.
It’s “the end of an era,” said Manulife’s Manager, Alternative Distribution & Marketing, Travel Insurance, Joe Fotia.
Fotia added that while Gilbert’s official last day is April 28, the travel veteran has some industry events on his calendar for May and June.
Gilbert is well-known, well-respected and well-loved in the industry, where he has worked for more than four decades.
Said Fotia: “If you’ve worked in the travel industry for a while, you know his name. You may have been a client or colleague of his at one point. Or even more likely, you’ve bumped into Jacques on the dance floor at an event or conference, where he was known to dance the night away. Whatever the occasion or circumstance, you were always met with unparalleled enthusiasm.”
Fotia penned this salute to his colleague …
“Throughout his 40+ years in the industry, Jacques has made countless contributions to several organizations. His journey began by moving to Calgary in 1985 to run Alberta sales for Voyageur Travel Insurance. A few years later, he transferred to Voyageur’s head office in Ontario, where he rose to the ranks of VP of Sales & Marketing and Chief Operating Officer. Through acquisition, the next stop for Jacques was at RBC Insurance. He then joined Transat as Senior VP of Sales before becoming a partner at Potruff and Smith, and finally rounding off his career at Manulife as a key member of the travel insurance leadership team.
“Over the past couple of years, Jacques has been reducing his workload and transitioning his accounts to others on the Manulife Travel Team. When Jacques tearfully addressed his Manulife peers to notify them that he was finally calling it quits, he noted that our industry is all about relationships – and he was a master at building and maintaining relationships through his genuine personality and unmatched passion for the travel industry.”
Fotia adds that while Gilbert is retiring, he won’t be slowing down, not by a long shot. “To no one’s surprise, Jacques intends on travelling more with his wife Marguerite and spending additional time with his family, especially his grandchildren,” said Fotia.
“Congratulations, Jacques, on an amazing career. We wish you all the best!”