Beacon of the day | Jamaican Native Making Air Travel SaferDecember 16, 2021
Do not allow your loved-one to be lost in a strange country during air travel.
To prevent such traumatic experience, Shelly-Ann Cawley, who has worked in the airline industry for 21 years, has established the ideal company – Travelers Care.
Its caregivers travel with vulnerable people – including children, senior citizens, patients who have doctor appointments, and the differently abled – until they are in their loved-ones’ care in their right destinations.
“It is a business, but it is also about caring for people,” Cawley noted, adding that her company also delivers puppies to different destinations.
The service is available within the United States and internationally, including Canada and Caribbean islands such as Cawley’s native Jamaica.
“We get a lot of business out of Jamaica,” the entrepreneur told The Beacon. “I am a Jamaican and of course I want to ensure that my people are taken care of.”
A first cousin of Dancehall artiste Tiffa, Cawley is a Kingstonian by birth and at heart, although she now lives in the United States.
She is a graduate of St George’s Girls Primary School, Holy Childhood High, and Excelsior Community College where she spent a year.
After leaving Excelsior, Cawley relocated to the island’s north coast where she worked in the hotel industry – Beaches Grand Sport, Breezes Runaway Bay and Couples Resort Tower Isle – mainly as an entertainment coordinator.
When an opportunity came for her to join the staff of the then Air Jamaica, she grasped it with both hands, serving as a benefits assistant.
Cawley left Air Jamaica while it was transitioning to become part of the Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart empire.
She subsequently found employment as an administrator at Headline Entertainment in Kingston before she migrated to the United States early in the 21st century.
Cawley could not escape the airline industry that captivated her at 10 years old. She was fascinated by the hospitality she’d received on an Air Canada flight while traveling with her cousin Tiffa from Kingston to Toronto.
After migrating, Cawley landed a job as a flight attendant with regional carrier Republic Airways, where she did a six-year stint.
She later went to Delta and started flying international – again as a flight attendant.
Cawley subsequently enrolled at Manor College in Pennsylvania where she attained a first degree in Communications.
Her journey lead her back to the airline industry where she worked at Allegiant Air base in the small town of West Wendover, Nevada.
“I was the only black person in that town,” she said, adding that she supervised flight attendants and managed the entire base.
After a year and a half, Cawley swapped West Wendover for New York, where she became an in-flight supervisor at JetBlue.
Her tenure at JetBlue lasted five years, after which she worked in California at Gulfstream shouldering responsibility for aviation safety.
After resigning from Gulfstream, Cawley went on to pursue a personal dream she actually conceptualized during her tenure at JetBlue.
“I used my experiences over the years in the airline industry and tied it to something I was already passionate about,” she told The Beacon. “I am very passionate about kindness and humanity and caring for people.”
Using the combination of passion and experience, Cawley incorporated Travelers Care in 2019.
But her company, shortly after takeoff, sailed into an inescapable monster storm of sorts – the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In accordance with protocols aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, the firm ceased operation for three months.
“When we re-opened, we got many calls especially from Jamaica because a lot of people were still stuck there…” Cawley said, adding that her company “works with customers to ensure the best affordable options”.
She encouraged aspiring entrepreneurs to believe in themselves.
“Be true to yourselves; don’t follow everything that everybody is doing. For me, I saw a need. Think about your talent and your passion and aim high,” Cawley further advised.
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