With his trademark enthusiasm, professionalism, smarts and drive, Sadler quickly became synonymous with the Sandals Resorts brand here in Canada, starting in 1992. And no wonder. Together with Maureen Barnes-Smith, now UVI’s VP, Sales & Marketing, Canada, Sadler introduced the Canadian market to Sandals Resorts in partnership with tour operator partners and, of course, thousands of travel agents.
Travel agents have always been key to the company’s success, says Sadler.
“As I look forward to the future, I will continue to value these priceless partnerships, investing in our critical travel industry partners and offering professional support and programming to keep them successful,” he says.
Sadler adds: “I’ve learned two things: relevancy and relationships are everything. I have had the privilege of representing the Sandals brand for 30 of its 40 years and from the very beginning, Sandals chose to forge its future alongside travel advisors – our ever-growing, ever-loyal partners on this glorious journey. Simply put, our better halves.
“Nimble, savvy and undisputed masters of their craft, travel advisors have proven themselves again and again to be essential to our industry, a beacon of light for travellers through this exhilarating industry, filled with beautiful, unforgettable experiences and moments. They have helped travellers navigate through the best and worst of times, from moments of incredible connection to most recently, the uncertainties of returning to travel after a global pandemic. Their relevancy cannot be underestimated, which is why our relationship with them is paramount.”
“GARY EMBODIES THE VALUES THAT WE HOLD IN HIGHEST REGARD”
Joining Unique Vacations, Inc. in 1992, Sadler is credited with key innovations including the Certified Sandals Specialist (CSS) program. The pioneering ‘learn and earn’ model for CSS has since become standard in the industry.
Sadler began his UVI career at the corporate office in Toronto and then moved west to Vancouver, where he started the Western Canadian market before eventually leading all Canadian sales and marketing operations. Since 2007, he has been based at UVI’s Miami headquarters with expanded roles and responsibilities.
Through it all Sadler has never forgotten his home country of Jamaica, where in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Jamaica’s tourism and hotel industry, Sadler was conferred with the coveted Order of Distinction in 2017. Sadler supports many travel industry and hospitality causes and is also a member of Skål International.
Barnes-Smith, who marked her own milestone with Sandals in 2019, congratulated her colleague and friend with a fond memory from their early days of sales calls.
“I’ve worked with Gary during my entire 28-year career with Unique Vacations Canada and I can say it’s been a lively journey for sure,” says Barnes-Smith. “We’ve come a long way together, since those early days of the Toronto office first opening up and both of us trying to convince people that we weren’t selling shoes!”
And Jeff Clarke, CEO of Unique Vacations, Inc., says: “Gary embodies the values that we hold in highest regard, a commitment to exceeding customer expectations, the recognition of travel advisors as the invaluable partners they are and the certainty that, together, we can create Caribbean moments and memories that inspire our guests and impact communities.”
“THANK YOU FOR ALWAYS BEING THERE FOR ME AND MY BUSINESS”
Sadler’s connection with Canadian travel advisors goes all the way back to those first years in the early 1990s.
Thanking him for three decades of mentorship, friendship, inspiration and expertise, travel agents had this to say…
“From our very first meeting, Gary Sadler has been for me the larger-than-life personality that represents Sandals Resorts. His obvious enthusiasm for the brand and all that it stands for has been inspirational and motivating. His captivating speeches always make me want to make more bookings!”
Travel Time TPI
St. John’s, NL
“I have known Gary for 24 years, and when I hear him talk, even after all these years, he’s always been very….G-Generous A-Approachable R-Reliable Y-Youthful. Thank you for always being there for me and my business. Congratulations on your 30th anniversary!”
Kim Hartlen Travel – TPI
Lower Sackville, NS
“WOW! 30 years … has it really been that long? Seems like yesterday that I first met Gary. I have the privilege of knowing Gary for these same 30 years – not only as a mentor but as a friend. His knowledge and passion for the Sandals product is truly from his grassroots as a playmaker working on the resorts to the forefront of helping travel agents achieve greatness. This passion can be felt through his presentations and his final words ‘thank you, thank you, thank you!’ Gary….I thank YOU for believing in me and helping me learn to achieve my greatness with Sandals over the years and I am proud to be part of your journey. Happy 30th anniversary. One Love.”
Village Travel Group
“I met Gary Sadler when I first started in the travel industry many years ago. Sandals was our first hotel brand that we partnered with and Gary was at the helm running the Unique Vacations office in Toronto at the time. His zest for life, his sense of humour and his upbeat meetings with travel agents always made my day. Thank you for always being there for the travel agent community, looking for ways to grow our business, believing in us and keeping us motivated to forge ahead. Congratulations Gary on your 30th anniversary. Wishing you many more successful years in the travel industry. Great things lie ahead!”