This month we are delighted to bring you an interview with Karine Buggy, our Global Operations Director.
Originally from France, Karine lived in Ireland for 18 years and mixes the French determination with the Irish joie de vivre. After a short period in Brussels, Karine moved to Switzerland assuming the responsibility and leadership of operations for Ovation Global DMC working from Geneva. A mother of three, Karine works in a high energy and heavily demanding global environment and knows a thing or two about systems, processes and prioritisation.
- Describe yourself in three words.
Dynamic – Hard working and Caring. These are not my words!. I have to admit that I asked my dear friend and colleague Cerstin to help me with this – Thank you Cerstin!
- What is your professional background?
It is the love of Ireland where I lived for 18 years that initially brought me into the tourism industry. I spent 3 years guiding in Ireland for French speaking tourists. The next logical step was to move into a more hands-on position which would allow me to organize events from the initial stage. At that point, I was lucky to be given the opportunity to discover the DMC world. This was over 25 years ago (but please keep it quiet J) and since then, I have never looked back. After Ireland, I moved to Switzerland and joined our Swiss DMC team. I was then offered a position in global operations and I have evolved into this role for the last 10 years.
- What do you find most challenging about our industry?
Changes are on-going in our industry and we are well used to dealing with challenges – whether they are (a) operational like shorter lead times and faster turnaround; (b) political like the impact of terrorism on our events; (c) natural like the ash cloud a few years ago; (d) technological with the need to constantly review the way we market ourselves as well as the way we approach events. Whatever the challenge, we need to always be solution oriented for our clients and have the flexibility to make it happen. It is definitely easier in some destinations than others. But hey, without challenges our job would be boring, don’t you think
- What is the best thing about working for Ovation Global?
We are like a big family with children from different backgrounds. As global operations, I am lucky to work very closely with our local teams around the world and very much enjoy the variety of the cultures. Ovation Global has allowed me to gain a great experience on how to deal with cultural differences – all this with a view to accomplish the goals of a true global company with global clients. At the end of the day it is often about relationship, give and take and good communication.
- Proudest moment in your career to date?
Thankfully there is not just one! Every time I hear that Ovation has managed to exceed our clients’ expectations J
- Favourite band(s)?
Radiohead, U2, Coldplay.
- Professional(s) that you admire and why?
I admire anyone who willingly put themselves in harm’s way for the sake of others to save lives or situations. Many of these professionals work for charity organisations. In this instance I am thinking in particular of fire fighters who are ready to give their lives regardless of what caused the fire! Whether it is your mistake or not….they will be there to save you.
- Favourite destinations?
Tough one! – South Africa for the big five – Italy for its heritage and its cuisine – Barcelona for its lifestyle – London for its multicultural people, Brazil for the kindness of its Brazilians, Switzerland for its mountains and breathtaking landscape……etc
- What does success mean to you?
Being able to follow my dreams even if it takes longer than expected to fulfill them – stay true to my values, particularly when it comes to helping and supporting others – being a good mom and help my children understand that nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it and have a positive attitude – having meaningful relationships that are based on mutual respect and understanding as well as true feelings.