In our ‘Meet our Team’ series, we’ll be introducing you to another side of associates at FHI through a personal Q&A. Each person brings a uniqueness that completes our close-knit team.
Meet Allison Gillis
Allison is a well known and long-standing member of the Fraser & Hoyt Incentives Team. Since starting with the company in 2001 as Program Co-ordinator, Allison has leveraged her extensive knowledge, taking groups of over 400 to amazing destinations all around the world and is now our Manager, Travel Incentives.
Settled in the North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Allison leads a busy life with her four children. Even though two of the four are currently attending university, Allison is kept busy with the two girls still attending high school and elementary. All the kids have busy schedules and are involved in athletics, which Allison is proud to support. She can often be found courtside with her parents, cheering on the kids’ basketball teams, or at home, planning the annual Halloween Craft Party extravaganza.
Growing up, Allison never considered a career in the incentives industry, and had her sights set on becoming a pharmacist. After a personality test taken in high school revealed her aptitude for a position in hotel management, Allison pursued a course in tourism and hospitality and moved to Western Canada, starting her career in the travel industry.
When Allison returned to Nova Scotia in 1988 after working in the Lake Louise hotel industry for almost 10 years, she transitioned her career to work in the non-profit sector for the Downtown Halifax Business Commission (DHBC), running events like the Parade of Lights, Tree Lighting ceremony and lunchtime concerts. While working at the DHBC Allison was introduced to Brien Fraser, an FHI owner and a committee member with the DHBC at the time. A position had recently opened with Fraser and Hoyt Incentives, and Allison decided to apply – the rest is history!
During her breaks at the office Allison can often be found reading a book by the window which overlooks the Halifax Harbour. She also enjoys skating at the Scotiabank Centre when noon-time skates are offered, walking and music. Allison lights up when talking about her family, commenting that her daughter and her husband, lovingly referred to as “Elf” (referencing Buddy from the movie Elf) make her laugh the most. Through her years at FHI Allison has formed a deep friendship with colleague Kelly MacDonald (FHI Manager, Industry Relations); the two make time to reflect on the recent episode of whatever television show they are currently watching, or during the holidays make plans for their annual gift-wrapping sleepover. They can often be found enjoying their lunch break together, taking time from busy schedules to eat, and read the Halifax Metro and The Coast, sharing pages back and forth.
When asked “what would surprise someone about you,” Allison laughed and quickly responded with “maybe I’m more fun than I appear at work.” Allison is an incredibly hardworking and detailed-oriented individual who is dedicated to her clients. She is often the first one to arrive at the office, and during the busy travel season she is known to bring her youngest daughter to the office on weekends. She told us the best advice she’s ever been given came from Brien Fraser on her first day with FHI, and it was “sometimes you have to make decisions that you don’t want to make, but you always have to take the high road.” For those who know Allison, either personally or professionally, you know that she is extremely dedicated not only to FHI and her clients, but also to her family. When asked what items she doesn’t leave home without when travelling, she replied that along with obvious items like her portable power bank and personal necessities, her daughter always tucks a note in her suitcase when she leaves for work trips.
Jamie Keating, President, had this to say about Allison, “Allison, I have come to admire you as a person and treasure you as an associate. You have had such an impact on the growth and success of our company. Your clients and colleagues alike adore you, and I could not imagine FHI without you. You know you’ve had an impact when the CEO of one of our largest accounts introduces you as the best in the business. Thank you, Allison, for 19 great years and for all you do.”