Jen visited 6 countries by the age of 6 months, and so it began. The travel bug well ingrained, she combined her passions by the age of 17 when she spent a summer in Siena to study Medieval & Renaissance Art. The taste of a foreign lifestyle was just too delectable, so after several semesters at the University of Toronto, Jen returned to complete her BA in Florence where she lived for nearly 3 years.
While she studied, she explored Italy and guided trips in Europe for Butterfield & Robinson, laying the groundwork for her experience as a trip planner. After some time back in Toronto,
Jen moved to France and designed luxury private and corporate trips all over Italy with Hamilton Fitzjames. She returned to Canada determined to share some of these special places with other like-minded explorers, and recognized a niche market that craved authentic cultural experiences when they travelled.
This craving ran a high risk of going unsatisfied among a demographic with no time in their lifestyle for the necessary research and planning, and it was then that she founded Quench. Her recent years as a senior trip planner at a Toronto-based luxury tour operator along with her own exciting adventures worldwide have broadened her destination knowledge to include parts of Africa, India and South America.
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Mercedeh was on her first plane ride at the age of five months: a journey from her native country of Iran to Scandinavia on a summer holiday with her family. Since then she's lived on four continents and traveled to more than 35 countries.
Since 2003, Mercedeh has been a feature travel writer for The Globe and Mail and columnist for The Report on Business Magazine. Her work has also been published in ELLE Canada and Chatelaine. Click here to read a sampling of her articles.
Mercedeh's wanderlust has also guided her professional path. After graduating from the University of Toronto with a joint degree in Commerce & Economics, she was recruited by the public accounting firm KPMG to join their audit practice in Toronto.
Soon after obtaining her Chartered Accountant's designation, she crossed the pond to work at KPMG's London office and from there transferred to Cape Town, South Africa on a four-month work project. When she returned to Canada, she took on senior management positions for KPMG's campus recruitment department and at KPMG Corporate Finance Inc. before leaving the corporate world behind to take on the post of Director of Operations and CFO at a luxury tour operator based in Toronto.
Her travels have most recently taken her to South America, the Norwegian Arctic, Israel, and Havana, Cuba. She speaks two languages fluently and hopes to master four more before she retires.
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