Belizean Women in Lead: Meet Magali Gabb from Travellers Liquors

In this series of Belizean Women in Lead, we sit down with Magali Gabb of Travellers Liquors Ltd. As the General Manager, Magali oversees all the day-to-day operations of the award-winning brand in a male-dominated niche. 

Magali in the bottling room at Travellers Liquors Ltd.

What was it like transitioning into the family business? What has been your experience by expanding into tourism?
Well, Travellers Liquors has always been a family business and I have always participated from early on. So stepping in as manager was very easy. Expanding into tourism felt like the next natural step in the business. Since visiting rum distilleries and factories in different regions of the world, we realized the value and need for a rum museum in Belize. Since opening in 2008, it’s been an important addition for not only us as a company, but Belize’s offerings to appeal to visitors.
What do you enjoy most about being involved in the company and specifically, in Belize hospitality industry?
Firstly, proudly sharing our Belizean-owned and produced rum with the world; we are proud to be actively contributing to Belize’s tourism industry, economy and offerings for visitors. Secondly, I truly enjoy meetings so many from different walks of life. Every day is different, which makes it exciting.
What do you find to be the most challenging part of a woman in the industry?

It’s a male-dominated field. Too often, I meet a lack of respect from people who say women shouldn’t be in this industry, or the condescending question, “What do women know about rum?” Besides that, it’s always challenging to deal with men who may not be accustomed to working for a woman in a leadership role.

How do you choose to challenge this and perhaps correct/prevent it through your own leadership?
Stay the course. Don’t give in to your fears or failures. Never be silent.
Who are your role models?

My Grandma, my mom, and my sisters. As you can tell, I come from a long line of strong women. Women are the backbone of this family business. My mom was always helping my dad; she supported him whilst building Travellers as a business from the ground. As a little girl, there was a lot of collaboration and the women in the family were never afraid to step up when needed to; my grandma and aunts helped my granddad with his many businesses, and that was only on my dad’s side. The strength and support of my aunts on my mom’s side were nothing less than inspiring, too.

 How do you manage to achieve a work/life balance? What do you do for fun/to relax?
my family magali Belizean women travellers

Magali and her family.

I try to disconnect all electronics when I’m with family – especially the cell phone. To relax, I love to travel to promote our products; I try to squeeze in some sightseeing in my personal time. I always enjoy going to the Caribbean with the rum association we (at Travellers) belong to West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA), in our beautiful country Belize, and of course to Florida to visit my children.
What advice would you share with other women who are at the start of their careers and aspire to reach a senior position like yourself?

It’s hard to say, yet I have so much to say. Never give up on yourself, or your dreams; stay the course. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And because the people you surround yourself with have an impact on your goals, proximity is power. Surround yourself with people who challenge you to be the best you can be. Release anything (or anyone) negative to ensure you keep going. However, don’t be afraid (or too stubborn) to change your position on things when push comes to shove.

More About Magali & Travellers Liquors Ltd. 

In 1953, a young man from Belize (then British Honduras) named Jaime Omario Perdomo alongside his wife Perla opened a bar called “Travellers”. Customary for each bar to blend and serve their own rum, Perdomo’s very own grew with popularity into the brand we now know today. With creativity and foresight, Don Omario singled-handily built the award-winning Travellers Liquors Ltd. into a true legacy for his own children and for Belize; the brand now exports to Europe, Canada and the United States

As the 6th child of Perla and Omario Perdomo, the co-founders of Travellers Liquors, Magali returned to Belize from the U.S. in 2014 to run the company. After a career in education alongside her husband retiring after 35 years (also an educator), Magali assumed General Manager on behalf of her fellow sibling shareholders.

About CC+L’s Belizean Women in Lead Series

Caribbean Culture + Lifestyle’s Belizean Women in Lead Series’ celebrates International Women’s Day 2021. The day, marked annually on March 8th, is witnessed worldwide and celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. At CC+L, we are going a step further and dedicating the entire month of March to the women of Belize. The series features some of the industry’s most innovative and successful female leaders in the Belizean hospitality and travel industry. We chat with them about their career path, including their passions and challenges faced. In addition, we share their best tips, tricks, and advice with other women in the industry.

We ask you to join us in celebrating the women around us this month and look forward to sharing this series with you. Finally, we encourage you to share any inspirational stories of those women making a change in our community with us.

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