They travel to and from work together, happily chatting away as sisters do. But once Jullian and Peta Gay Henry get to work, it’s all about professionalism. Peta Gay, a receptionist, addresses her sister as Ms Henry, a nod to her role as director of operations.
For the last seven years the siblings have been employed to VIP Attractions, a premium lounge and airport concierge service operating within two of Jamaica’s international airports — Norman Manley in Kingston and Sangster International in Montego Bay.
Jullian, the older of the two, is the director of operations for both locations, while Peta Gay is a receptionist at Club MoBay. With 22 years of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry, Jullian was instrumental in her younger sister’s introduction to VIP Attractions.
“We both started in 2015, but I started first in July. When I came, I liked the culture and the fact that it was like a family, based on the vision of our chairman. They were recruiting and he said he is not opposed to recruiting family. His exact words were, ‘Once she has a similar personality and work ethic as you then it would be a go.’ The rest is history,” Jullian tells the Jamaica Observer’s LetsTravelCaribbean.com.
For Peta Gay, working with her sister to achieve the goals of Club MoBay has been a good experience.
“It is great because I am a follower of rules; the management can tell you that I abide by the rules. I was awarded the best attendance for Club MoBay as I have always been on time, so it is not difficult for me working with her,” she shared.
Though they had no idea at the time, lessons their parents were teaching them as they grew up would be instrumental in their professional lives.
“Growing up we were always taught that professionalism, image, and integrity are everything, so it was nothing new for us to adjust to when we began working together. At work she calls me Ms Henry even though we commute to work and home together,” Jullian says.
“We live in the same community; she is at my house almost every day. We have a very fun sibling relationship, and when we get to work we put on the professional aspect — but it is just as fun,” she continues.
The director of operation adds, “We always maintain our professionalism, and the rules apply to everyone. At work I do not see her as a sister… I see her as an employee, so if she gets out of line then corrective measures and actions will also be brought against her.”
The Henry sisters’ professionalism and dedication paid off last year.
“She got director of the year and I got early bird of the year, so we were both celebrating,” Peta Gay says with pride.
Jullian chimes in, “That was very special. The icing on the cake for our hard work was that at the end of the year, when we were having our employees’ award, we shared the podium.”
The sisters are looking forward to more fruitful years in the hospitality and tourism industry.
“I say the best is yet to come as I am always evolving. I believe that change is constant, so I am always improving myself. I am also always looking for ways to improve service,” says Jullian.
Peta Gay’s goals are similar.
“I am definitely looking for more improvement and I’m working on furthering my studies to go into a managerial position,” she tells LetsTravelCaribbean.com.