A background in education is a major contributor to Katie Cadar’s success. As director of leisure sales at TravelStore’s West Los Angeles headquarters, she specializes in experiential and adventure travel, combined with luxury.
Her annual revenue is $2 million.
“I sell the world, but my favorites are Africa, French Polynesia, Italy, as well as exotic destinations. I take new clients by referral only. I work with mostly high net worth individuals as well as clients wanting customized itineraries with a personal touch,” says Cadar.
The daughter of an educator, Cadar grew up in Malibu, CA. Her family trips also had some sort of study theme, such as geography, history or geology. While at UCLA, she spent a year abroad at the University of Lund in Sweden. After graduating with a degree in Scandinavian languages and literature, plus a teaching credential, she taught elementary school. Later, she owned a bookstore, then had two children.
A business trip with a friend to meet hoteliers in Europe got her hooked on the travel industry.
She signed on with a small office in Santa Monica, where she learned the business. In 1998, she was hired to manage the TravelStore office in Malibu.
She’s felt at home ever since.
“TravelStore has a culture where we feel we are part of a family. We have an open-door policy and hold daily meetings to share information and report on our own travels. We are an ESOP [Employee Stock Ownership Program] company, which means each employee owns stock in the company. We are personally invested in our success and that of our ICs,” says Cadar.
The background as an educator still comes in handy on a day-to-day basis. She oversees a large team and mentors new agents. And she prides herself on providing in-depth information to clients.
“I am a former teacher. I love digging deeper into history and local culture when researching a destination. If clients understand more about where they are going, they will have a richer experience,” says Cadar.
Recognized on the Travel + Leisure A-List for eight years as an Africa specialist, Cadar also serves on several advisory boards.
“I did some great traveling this year, a first trip to Israel in February with Mabat Platinum. I loved The Norman in Tel Aviv, loved The Mamilla [Jerusalem] and loved the destination. I was in Australia with Southern Crossings and the Luxury Lodges of Australia. It was awesome! Bamurru was like an African safari. We did ‘game drives’ in jeeps and on air boats, which was spectacular,” says Cadar.
Other recent travels include an advisory council meeting in Turks and Caicos with JG Blackbook and a Danube river cruise.
When not selling travel — or traveling — Cadar loves to cook, read and hike. She’s passionate about photography, as well.
She’s also thinking about switching gears.
“At this time, rather than working on increasing my own business, I am more focused on increasing the knowledge and clients for our new advisors once they transition from their internship training. I am excited to see the growth and development of our new talent,” she says.