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Faces of FareHarbor

Faces of FareHarbor: Gabby

Gabby Quarantiello: Director of Account Management


gabby

Meet Gabby. Originally from Boston, Gabby leads the Account Management team at our Denver HQ. That means she’s part of the awesome group of people that works directly with live clients to optimize and grow their business. If you’re lucky enough to work with Gabby, make sure to ask her about lobster fishing. (She’s basically a pro.)

What are you usually doing when you’re not at work? Hopefully skiing, hiking, or somewhere in the mountains! If I’m lucky I’m pulling lobster traps on the east coast in the summer.

What’s your favorite spot in Colorado? That is super tough! Every time I get to drive into the Rockies I can’t stop saying “It’s so pretty!” If I had to choose, I’d say Estes Park or Steamboat takes the gold.

What’s next on your tour/activity bucket list? Pipe dream is going on a Safari in Kenya/Tanzania. Maybe throw in a hike at Kilimanjaro but will need to train for that!

What’s your most memorable FareHarbor moment? Too many to count! If I had to choose I would say the most memorable and defining moment was getting to move to Key West to help out the transition process for a new client going live in 2015. I was fortunate to start the trip with a group of 5 others and really got to witness for the first time the DWIFT attitude spread across all the FareHarbor offices.

What makes FareHarbor different from other companies? The people and our clients. Not only is everyone who works for the company great but our customers are probably the best group of people you could ever ask to work with.

Each operator has their own unique story to share. It’s pretty fun getting to work with people who stopped what they were doing to pursue something they love.

Describe your job at FareHarbor in three words. Invigorating, Challenging, Rewarding!

Faces of FareHarbor: Jane

Jane Feiereisel: Director of Customer Support


Jane Feiereisel

This is Jane. She hails from Chicago but has been a proud Coloradan for 8 years now (Go Buffs!). She loves the outdoors, but her real happiness comes from the company of anything furry and with a tail. Other serious passions include biking, ice cream, and managing the best customer support team in the industry!

What do you love to do when you’re not at work? Exploring the Denver restaurant scene or getting out to the mountains, whether I’m hiking, biking, camping, or snowboarding. If I’m not doing that, you’ll find me planning my next trip!

What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken? The best vacation I ever took was my most recent one to Colombia. Everything about that country is amazing- the people, the food, the diverse geography. It is still relatively undiscovered by tourists so there is an amazing opportunity to get a genuine sense of their culture, and how their history has shaped the country today. I’m happy to make recommendations next time you get me on a support call. :)

Describe your perfect pizza. I’m not sure I’ve ever met a pizza that wasn’t perfect! I love pizza, and would be happy if it was the only thing I ever ate. The most perfect pizza I’ve ever had though is my brother’s homemade deep dish Chicago style pizza. Cheese please!

What makes FareHarbor different from any other company you’ve worked at? The team! I’m so lucky to be surrounded by the smartest, most dedicated team in the industry. Whether we’re pulling all nighters to get a new company live or sending boxes of cookies to our clients, we’re always looking to go above and beyond for each other and our clients.

The energy around our office on a daily basis is unreal; we all love what we’re doing and want to share that with our clients.

What’s your favorite FareHarbor stoke story? For me it’s the positive feedback we hear from clients everyday that gets me the most stoked on FareHarbor. I love when clients tell me that FareHarbor has grown their business, or that they’re able to spend time out and about because they’re not tied to the phone all day taking reservations.

Describe your job at FareHarbor in three four words. Can’t stop won’t stop!

8,000 Feet Above With Reno Tahoe Helicopters

A visit to their office is a full sensory experience. You’ve got the crisp scent of pines, the brisk mountain air, still calm of the winter morning – and then of course, there’s the booming Italian ballads. Trust us. It’s surprisingly fitting.

Reno Tahoe Helicopters_FareHarbor

Owned and operated by Claudio Bellotto, an ex-Italian Air Force pilot and senior cruise ship officer with an epic sense of humor, Reno Tahoe Helicopters offers a lot more than just a view from 8,000 feet above. Eleven years ago, when Claudio first came to South Lake Tahoe, he found the only viable option for viewing the famous Lake was with two feet on the ground. So he bought a helicopter and some office space at the Lake Tahoe Airport, and opened the doors of Reno Tahoe Helicopters.

Reno Tahoe Helicopters_Lake Tahoe Airport

Today, while Claudio and his team, fellow pilots Clint and Carl, operate tours on a daily basis, the business has grown into a one-stop shop for all of South Lake Tahoe’s aerial needs. They’ve been chartered for everything from helicopter skiing and aerial marksmanship training, to filming documentaries with National Geographic. Scouting missions for wildlife and lost persons also frequent their schedule, as well as the occasional wedding proposal. (They’re running a 100% success rate for “I do’s,” if you’re in the market.) For passengers that aspire to become pilots, they also run the Altitude Helicopter Academy, a full service pilot school that specializes in high altitude and mountain proficient training. The intro into Italian opera course is included at no extra charge.

Reno Tahoe Helicopters_FareHarbor_South Lake Tahoe

On our visit, we talked business with Clint and Claudio until they couldn’t resist sharing some of their favorite views. After a quick fuel check, we were on our way to meeting everyone’s favorite member of the family, the Robinson R44 Raven II.

Outfitted for three passengers and a pilot, the aircraft offered panoramic views from every seat. As we buckled up and slipped on the craft’s noise cancelling headphones, Clint began smoothly flipping switches and radioing out calls before gently lifting the helicopter off the ground. In seconds we were gliding through the mountainscape, heading towards the lake’s crown jewel – Emerald Bay.

Reno Tahoe Helicopters_FareHarbor_Lake Tahoe

When we hit 8,000 feet, the knowledge started pouring out. Clint talked us through the lake’s history, pointing out sites like Fallen Leaf Lake with it’s live, underwater forest, and the stone Tea House of Fannette Island. We peppered him with questions, while he joked about the questions passengers asked, and reflected on the challenges of running a business affected by seasonality. All the while, he never missed a beat, seamlessly navigating over the lake and past the peaks of Mount Tallac.

When it finally came time to go, we were on the verge of signing up for the academy ourselves – partially so we could get back in the sky, but mostly so we could hang with Clint and Claudio again.

Thanks for being a part of the FareHarbor family!

Shark Encounters With Island View Hawai’i

“Whatever you do, don’t panic. They feed off your energy.” I smiled and nodded, silently lamenting that this was probably easier said than done. Don’t panic. They’ve been doing this for years. In fact, long before they started offering cage free shark encounters to curious tourists, sharing the water with sharks was just a simple family tradition. Island View Hawaii

It all began when Kaiwi, the current manager of Island View Hawai’i, would go crab fishing with his grandfather off Oahu’s North Shore. When they’d switch the old bait for new, sharks would swarm the boat, looking for a free snack. The sharks learned to associate the boat with an easy meal, and quickly began following their rig on its trips out to sea. By the time Kaiwi turned 10, he was in the water with sharks on a daily basis.

For Kaiwi and his family, swimming with sharks has never been a threat, stunt or novelty – it’s a way of life. Originally, the idea was incredibly taboo. The culture of fear around sharks and surfing made the idea of swimming with them seem like a death wish. But they knew differently. Kaiwi began to take his friends out into the open ocean, introducing them to the placid grace of the animals as they glide through the deep blue. Slowly but surely, the environment of fear began to give way to respect.

Eventually, an old family tradition transformed into Island View Hawai’i, one of the first shark tours on the North Shorth. Which is exactly how I ended up on their boat, cruising out of Hale’iwa Harbor en route for open water.

It was my turn to learn to respect, rather than fear, Hawaii’s sharks. And as we rode along, learning the ins and outs of swimming with sharks, I became distinctly aware that I hadn’t yet reached the stage of fearlessness.

We were instructed to get in the water quickly, dive off the boat’s edge and follow our guide, Kaiwi’s father, to a comfortable position about 20 feet from the boat. Advised to stay close to our guide – an instruction I was more than happy to follow – we were to do the (unfortunately named) “dead man’s float,” always keeping our guide as a barrier between ourselves and the boat.

I quickly propelled myself towards our guide, nervous, anxious and excited for my first sighting. It came quickly. Over twenty Sandbar sharks moved through the azure below, weaving gracefully through the water, darting curiously towards the boat and rising silently towards our group for a timid encounter. Everything that I’d feared melted away instantaneously as I became mesmerized by their form, their beauty and their calm and steady motion. Albeit these were smaller sharks, not the Hammerheads or Tiger sharks that commonly come to visit, it was clear there was nothing to fear.

It’s far different seeing the animals in their own habitat, rather than imagining haunting scenes from atop a bobbing surfboard. You realize that despite being powerful creatures, they’re in no way inclined towards mindless destruction. And they deserve your respect, not your fear.

After the tour, when I asked Kaiwi what the best part of his job was, he immediately exclaimed that it’s the opportunity to show others the beauty of the island, introduce them to its natural inhabitants and to see the change in people’s perceptions. When it comes to my experience, Island View Hawai’i definitely earned a mission complete.

Faces of FareHarbor: Raleigh

Raleigh Caruso: Customer Experience Team


Raleigh Caruso

This is Raleigh. He works with the Customer Experience team, ensuring that all our clients stay stoked. From Connecticut originally, he’s been a transplant in Vermont, California, and finally Colorado. Fresh tracks and cameras are two things that make him happy.

What do you love to be doing when you’re not at work? Snowboarding, photography, videography, and video editing – ideally a combination of all three.

What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken? A trip to Ireland with two of my closest friends from back home. We wandered from Dublin all the way out to the County of Kerry on the west coast. It was just a great time with great people. On a side note, we had to use our phones to coordinate activities. Sure, that was 2008, but having FareHarbor would have been great!

Describe your perfect pizza. Big, cheesy, and NY style! Pepperoni is a classic and a favorite.

What makes FareHarbor different from any other company you’ve worked at? The incredible people, the positive atmosphere, and the ability to see the difference you are making. Everybody at FareHarbor is important and contributes in a meaningful way.

What’s your favorite FareHarbor stoke story? Really, just hooking any of these companies up. From getting a local business pumped to grow their online business, to making a big company’s life easier with our software. Getting off of a training and hearing the excitement in a client’s voice is one of the things that makes this job great. My top experience was in Key West when we were getting Fury trained. It was awesome seeing the look of excitement on the faces of different call center employees – and all the oohs-and-ahhs.

Describe your job at FareHarbor in three words. Pure awesome.

Sitting Down With Surf N Sea

Everyone on the North Shore knows the iconic yellow building neighboring Haleiwa’s “Rainbow Surf N Sea North Shore Bridge.” And for good reason. Originally a 1920’s general store stocked with dry goods and fishing supplies, the Surf N Sea officially earned its stripes as a sporting goods store in the mid-1960s. After surviving a few tsunamis, and a couple rounds changing hands, the Surf N Sea found its lifetime partner and current owner, Joe Green.

Joe had moved from Florida to chase Oahu’s best waves, picking up odd jobs and selling surfboards at swap meets to keep the dream alive. When his path crossed with the owners of the old yellow building, his swap meet sales transformed into a full-time business.

Fast forward 50 years, and the Surf N Sea is a ripping family business, offering tourists and locals alike everything from surfboards and beach gear to surf lessons, SUP rentals, fishing charters and scuba trips. We sat down with Mari Green, a manager at Surf N Sea, and one of the daughters of its legendary owner, to talk about the company’s history, it’s challenges and well, lunch. You can’t beat a suggestion from a local.

Mari Green and Joe Green at Surf N Sea OahuAs it turns out, operating out of a historic building like the Surf N Sea can really transform the game. Mari admits some of their biggest challenges are simply the upkeep of the building and maintaining the business’ authentic feel, “not turning it into something that it’s not.” Especially in the ever evolving surf industry, there’s always the pressure to modernize. They do their best to both keep up with trends and stick to their roots.

And they’ve done an incredible job with it. The shop carries more than just the latest in neoprene and board design. All the modern surf gear sits side-by-side with Joe’s collection of antique surfboards, a nod to the days when he was just a swap meet salesmen. He even has Duke Kahanamoku’s last ridden surfboard, still fitted with the original wax.

Balancing heritage with business is no simple task, but for the Greens, it’s been a long perfected art. In fact, the shop just hit the coveted milestone of 50 years in continual business, being recognized by SIMA as Hawaii’s longest running surf shop. Which is a huge honor, considering it’s the shops and surfers of the time that pioneered the thriving surf culture of today.

Colton Cruse and Mauricio Abreu at Surf N SeaSo besides the passionate team and iconic history, what’s their secret sauce? Surf N Sea doesn’t settle for anything less than perfect when it comes to customer service. They’ve built top-notch service into their personal sales system, even going to the extent of giving all new hires a 134-question test about their selling model. No pressure sales, a laid back atmosphere and knowledgeable guidance are all part of the master plan. We’re impressed.

If you’re ever on the North Shore, make a point to stop by and check out the gear, the history and the good vibes at the Surf N Sea. Whether you pop in to scope Joe’s antiques or join them for a surf lesson, it’s a Haleiwa must-do. And when you’re done, be sure to give Waialua Bakery, Mari’s favorite lunch spot, a try. We can attest, it’s the recipe for an epic day.

 

Faces of FareHarbor: Bob

We call ourselves your partner, and we talk about family. A lot. But what’s it all mean if you don’t know who’s on the other side of the line? It’s time to meet the team.

Bob: Onboarding OG


Bob Safrit

This is Bob. He’s an expert in all things outdoors and one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. How did he get so lucky? We’re not sure. We’ve asked the higher beings, but they haven’t gotten back to us yet. We guarantee you’ve never met a Bob like this.

What do you love to do when you’re not at work? Pretty much anything outside. I grew up on the ocean, so watersports come first on the priority list. Kiteboarding, surfing and stand-up-paddling are my favorites. Since moving to Colorado, I have been focusing on mountain biking, rafting and hiking.

What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken? In 2013, I took a trip to the island of Anegada in the British Virgin Islands. That would have to take the top spot. It is a quaint little sand bar with the third largest barrier reef in the Caribbean. It’s by far the best snorkeling/diving I have ever done in my life, and I have a hard time believing there are many better places in the world.

Describe your perfect pizza. Lots of meat! I am a traditional red sauce pizza kind of person. Nothing too fancy.

What makes FareHarbor different from any other company you’ve worked at? Everyday is different! We get to work with incredible new companies all over the country on a daily basis.

What’s your favorite FareHarbor stoke story? When I was able to call my Hawaii clients and tell them price sheets are live! It has helped everyone’s pricing structure and reporting, especially invoicing, A LOT.

Describe your job at FareHarbor in three words. Dream job!