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Tue 30 Dec 2008 04:00 AM

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Five minutes with...Derin Cameron

The CEO of Alshamel International, Derin Cameron, says her truest love is the client.

ATN grabbed Alshamel International CEO Derin Cameron for a quick chat and found the identity of her truest love - the client.

What do you love about working in this industry?

The ‘wins' - whether it be winning a large contract or the heart of an individual customer - that is the biggest high for me.

If you could change anything about the travel industry, what would it be?

I don’t think anybody goes through school wanting to be a travel agent!

I am not sure we need more changes in this business.

As it is, the travel industry is one of the fastest changing industries in the world.

Just when you think you've done it all and seen it all, a new twist is thrown at you.

What was your ambition when you were younger? Did you anticipate that you would work in the travel industry?

I don't think anybody goes through school wanting to be a travel agent!

I have a degree in nutrition, of all things, but other than a few consultancy projects, I never worked as a full-time nutritionist.

My tourism career started in a yacht charter company; it was a part-time summer job I took because the perks included free charter time and I love to sail.

I fell in love with the customer and the rest is history.

What do you do to relax?

I like to play FreeCell but that's usually when I am in deep thought.

I enjoy a relaxing massage or a good book every now and then.

I have a totally undisciplined approach to exercise - I start every year well.

If you could have dinner for two with someone famous, who would it be?

To tell you the truth, I would rather have dinner with somebody who hasn't eaten for a while and listen to his or her story. You can always read about the famous people, but it is the everyday miracles of ordinary people that really intrigue me the most.

If you could have one wish, what would it be for?

Knowing what I know today, to go back 30 years and see what I would do differently - that would be fun!

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