There’s something that’s goin’ round, that’s shutting our borders down
It’s a bad time for our sick and our old
How long can this go on
– Pray, by Jeff Orson

Welcome to In Crisis – Travel Retail Voices, our new podcast series in which we speak to travel retail executives around the world to see how they and their businesses are coping with the COVID-19 crisis.

Today’s episode features Patricia Bona, Vice President of Miami-based Essence Corp, initially an agent and then a distributor which has blazed an indelible trail in the Americas travel retail sector, a proudly family-owned tour de force in our industry.

Patricia is undoubtedly one of the most respected voices in travel retail. She is an advocate of decent, partnership-based values in business; a staunch advocate for women’s rights; a champion of the underprivileged and a constant contributor to social and charitable causes.

Her adopted country, the US, now boasts the unwelcome status of being the worst-affected nation in terms of total COVID-19 infections (over 874,000 cases).

“We have kept all our employees and are working from home,” says Patricia, talking from her home and watching the “eerie” sight of cruise ships being unable to dock. “The good thing is that we are learning how to work from home…. we kind of reinvented ourselves as as office space and are really thinking do we really need these big office spaces in the future? There’s things that are completely changing as we speak.”

For an extensive profile of Patricia Bona, click here.

You can also find our podcasts on Acast, Soundcloud and Spotify

Previously on In Crisis – Travel Retail Voices

29 March: William Grant & Sons President Asia Pacific Doug Bagley

29 March: PMA Canada National Director – Duty Free Jeff Orson

27 March: Paul & Shark Global Travel Retail Director Catherine Bonelli

26 March: King Power Traveler President Rakhita Jayawardena

25 March: Public health expert Dr. David Heymann

24 March: King Power Group (Hong Kong) Group Chief Executive Officer Sunil Tuli

22 March: The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie

21 March: China Duty Free Group President Charles Chen

20 March: Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO Colm McLoughlin