You could say Jane Scaletta had the travel bug at a very young age. Born in Jamaica she went to boarding school in her teens in England then moved to Florida in 1976 where she attended the University of Florida studying Animal Science planning on being a veterinarian.
“A car accident kept me out of school so I signed up for an online travel course, got my travel agent certification and started working in a travel agency in 1981. I worked for the 4thlargest travel agency at the time—Morris Travel-- in their incentive department and after the first incentive program we did for one of our clients, I was hooked.”
Don Lund, director of incentives at Morris, she says, was a great mentor. “I had the opportunity to travel internationally with many programs and each destination brought a new level of experience to my career and personal life. But I’ve alsobeen blessed to know some incredible people in our industry who have shared their wisdom with me along the way.”
Jane says there have been so many programs to so many countries through the years, but one of her earlier programs to Switzerland still stands out. “We hosted the most amazing program with the best entertainment, bell ringing cows, cogwheel trains, and revolving restaurants. It was an incredible program matched only by the amazing destination.But one of the most recent programs I have been involved with, and which just received a SITE Crystal Award, was a program where the DMC brought in three stunt planes from Las Vegas to Orlando for an afternoon of flying and dog fighting in the Florida Skies. It created an atmosphere of pride, wonder and true achievement. It was an unbelievable feeling to have worked on a program the client was so pleased with and I love the creativity our business can bring to the lives of award winners.”
Jane says her mantra when planning an event is to constantly provide value to others. “It is not only a fulfilling way to live life and conduct business, but the most profitable way as well. Create value, touch lives, build networks, be real and stay open.”
With an obvious passion for travelling, experiencing the beauty of a country, the excitement of the activities and venues, and the wonder of the people, Jane was wowed after attending the recent SITE Global Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. “I was able to take the post tour to Chiang Mai and learn a little more about Buddhism and the Thai people,” she said.“And I do love a good Thai Panang Curry with chicken. The burst of flavors with galangal, lemongrass, kaffir limes, coriander, the spicy tang of chilies, and the sweet taste of coconut milk is wonderful. I had some at every opportunity while I was in Thailand.”
Jane is also zealous about sustainability and how it plays a role in tourism and is the Sustainability Ambassador on the SITE Sustainability Committee, which helps chapters create a sustainability roadmap. She is also the Sustainability Champion on the Florida & Caribbean Chapter. The Roadmap should outline the culture of you’re company’s commitment to sustainability,“ she says. She likes to point out that the water footprint of a conference program, tote bag and two cups of coffee for 750 meeting participants is equal to one Olympic sized swimming pool!
During the 2013 Global Conference in Florida when Jane was president of SITE Florida they introduced a sustainability track at the conference. “It was a great accomplishment for our Chapter and a proud moment for me as president.”
Having had a long focus on incentive travel, she says, “There is only one association that represents this industry – SITE. I attended my first SITE University in Aruba in 1993 (and still have the shirt to prove it!) and was so impressed with the education, the networking opportunities and the destination exposure that I instantly knew this was my association. I met so many people in Aruba whom today are still SITE members and my best friends.”
In her spare time, Jane is in the Porsche Club of America and the Secretary of the Ferrari Club of America in Central Florida. “I love performance cars and I help organize some events for club members. I own a Porsche Boxster and there’s something delightful about driving with the convertible top down, the wind in your hair, and watching the rolling hills of Central Florida pass you by as you race along winding roads. We organize many types of events but the driving events are always my favorite.”
If Jane could pick a few dream dinner companions, she said, they would be artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci and Bill Gates, “because he is the ultimate entrepreneur and businessman. I’d love to hear how Amelia Earhart prepared herself for the challenge to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, to sit mesmerized and learn about the many philanthropic programs that Sir Richard Branson is involved with, and Mark Zuckerberg, the youngest self-made billionaire in the world. Facebook has brought our world closer together. Wow, if I could have dinner with these innovative and dedicated people, what a fantastic dinner that would be.”