The Aquila difference begins with our team of spirited, devoted professionals who truly love what they do. Each member of the Aquila team has the experience, dedication and enthusiasm to bring quality, value and fun to your Aquila experience.
- Beth Kelly Hatt
- Melanie Colpitts
- Danielle Timmons
- Jennifer Hay
- Claudine Pohl
- Samantha Nickerson
- Lori Patterson
- Trina Forrest
Beth Kelly Hatt, FounderBeth@aquilatours.com
Aquila’s founder, Beth is a passionate Acadian who has affectionately been nicknamed by the Aquila team as “Our Fearless Leader.” Mentoring and leading her team to become leaders themselves has been her life’s purpose.
Today Beth is deeply involved in coaching and mentoring partners Danielle and Melanie into their managing roles – and her succession – so she can spend time with passions such as new Aquila projects, as well as going kayaking with her husband Russ and playing with all their grandchildren. As Director of Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence, she spends much of her time in the Caribbean and Central America coaching other Tour Operators and Tour Guides into the Best Practices of the cruise industry.
A visionary not just for her business, but for her industry and her community, Beth is also a leader in the tourism industry. She has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, including being named one of 25 People to Watch in Atlantic Canada, and one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. Aquila celebrated 30 years in business a few years ago.
Beth’s Favourite Thing about Working at Aquila: "Always... does not change... the energy of the team and how much fun we have together. It keeps me going and is so rewarding!"
Beth’s Most Memorable Moment while Working at Aquila (so far!): "Being able to see something that started from a seed grow to what Aquila is today, being recognised worldwide, but more importantly, to see people grow and change with us over the years, and now to see the success of the mentoring and succession planning giving Aquila a whole new life!"
Melanie Colpitts, PartnerMelanie@aquilatours.com
A member of the Aquila Team since 1992, Melanie has come a long way from her early days at Aquila as a student tour guide, complete with Loyalist dress! Melanie is now a managing partner with the company, playing an active role in Aquila’s strategic planning. She also spearheads our Center for Cruise Excellence, coaching and mentoring tour operators and destinations on providing service excellence to cruise lines. There is no mistaking her passion for Aquila and for the cruise industry, and we are thrilled to have Melanie as part of Aquila’s leadership team.
Mel’s Favourite Thing About Working at Aquila: “The fabulous girls I work with. They make me laugh, they hold me up, they help me see things in new ways, and they teach me so much – including things I never thought I’d need to know!”
Mel’s Most Memorable Moment while Working at Aquila (so far!): “There are so many! But I’d say one has to be the marriage proposal from the very wealthy Australian Sheep Farmer on one of my tours. Tempting offer!”
Danielle Timmons, PartnerDanielle@aquilatours.com
With her range of experiences and talents, including working with Aquila at various times for over 25 years, Aquila is very fortunate that Danielle decided to return home to Saint John in 2004 with her husband Lance to start a family - both an Aquila family and her own family, Ben and Emma! Since returning she has become a partner in the business. We kindly refer to Danielle as our Jill-of-All-Trades as she runs the day-to-day operations of the shore excursion side of the business, manages cruise ships, books all the motorcoaches, and hears us calling her name whenever our computers stop cooperating with us. We'd be lost without her!
Dan's Favourite Thing About Working at Aquila: "My first favourite thing is definitely the team I get to work with. They're all spectacular women! Secondly, it would have to be that I get to try different things all the time, so this job is never boring!"
Dan's Most Memorable Moment while Working at Aquila (so far!): "Well, there are so many to choose from! In 1994, I was an Aquila Tour Director for a 3-week train trip from 'Coast to Coast' with 30 passengers. The whole trip was memorable, as we spent night after night on the train, cruising through the US and Canada. I especially loved going through the Rocky Mountains, as it was the first time I had seen them up close. And a couple of the passengers kept trying to set me up with the porters onboard the train!"
An Aquila Team member since 1993, Jennifer has a passion for learning and has always enjoyed the challenges and new opportunities that working for Aquila offers. Jennifer works hard at managing our cruise day logistics and has taken on a new role as an evaluator and student manager for all tour guides enrolled in Aquila’s International Tour Guide Excellence certification program.
Jen’s Favourite Thing About Working at Aquila: “After 19 years, I have a lot of “favourites” to be thankful for, but it’s definitely the wonderful team of women who are my Aquila Sisters that make this job pretty special. Not to mention the fact that each day brings something new; this is definitely not a boring place to be!”
Jen’s Most Memorable Moment while Working at Aquila (so far!): “It’s a tie. It’s either ‘the Great Kidnapping of ‘01’ when we took Beth on a little birthday escapade, or our fabulous Caribbean Cruise! There are an awful lot to choose from!”
Claudine was born in El Salvador, Central America and has been in Canada for over 20 years. Claudine joined the Aquila team during the start of one of the busiest Cruise Seasons! Claudine is an enthusiastic team motivator with a strong passion for helping others in need. As a lead in different fundraising events she has helped raise thousands of dollars for many organizations. Claudine really enjoys taking guests out on tour, networking and engaging with potential clients and is involved in the delivery of our Tour Guide training program with Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence.
Claudine’s Favourite Thing About Working at Aquila: “The mentorship that is received by being exposed to so many strong women in leadership! It truly is a gift to be surrounded by a group of women who inspire and lead you to raise the excellence bar.”
Claudine’s Most Memorable Moment while Working at Aquila (so far!): “While I was giving a tour of our wonderful city, I quickly learned that we had 4 guests celebrating birthdays that day! At one of our stops, one of the guests brought back cupcakes for everyone to share! We all joined in and sang “Happy Birthday” What a fun time!!”
Samantha is one of the Aquila Cruise Managers. She organizes many of the cruise ship shore excursions and loves welcoming the cruise passengers visiting Saint John. She has an enthusiasm to learn about all things cruise and wants to provide an amazing experience to those visiting our beautiful area. Backed by her experience and knowledge of the tourism and customer service industries, Samantha has a passion for helping people. Samantha loves to motivate and support the team around her.
Sam's Favourite Thing About Working at Aquila: "My favourite part of working for Aquila is the incredible team! Everyone is so supportive and I’m very excited to be learning from all of them. It’s been so much fun getting to know all of these amazing women!"
Sam's Most Memorable Moment while Working at Aquila (so far!): "There have been so many! I would have to say meeting and talking with the passengers last season. There were so many interesting people from all over the world!"
Lori joined the Aquila team in January 2016. After gaining many years of her experience in law offices, Lori says she has finally found her dream job with Aquila!! She enjoys the Aquila family while being responsible for the Accounting and Payroll departments and takes pride in keeping things balanced!!! Lori can occasionally be seen pier side – holding signs or whatever she can do to pitch in on the busy cruise ship days!!! Lori loves spending time with her family and says that her all-time favorite title is “Grandma”!!!
Lori’s Favorite Thing About Working at Aquila: “Hands down it’s the wonderful people I get to share my work day with!! I have never experienced such genuinely loving, supportive and caring people in a workplace as I have here at Aquila. There is a true sense of family and friendship, and I really enjoy all the fun and camaraderie that comes along with that!”
Lori’s Most Memorable Moment while Working at Aquila: “Many things about working here at Aquila have been memorable and I can’t decide if it was the awesome week we shared at the Cruise Symposium in New York City or the fantastic Summer Fun Day driving with the top down in Beth’s red convertible and just enjoying the day – both top my list!!”
The newest member of the Aquila Team, Trina is eager to learn the ropes from Danielle and Sam in her new role as Cruise Manager. With a background in Customer Service Management, she is eager to share her knowledge and work with the team to ensure that all of our cruise guests have amazing experiences while on tour here in Saint John.
Trina’s Favorite thing about Aquila
“In such a short time these ladies have eagerly opened their arms and accepted me as one of their own in a very tight knit team, allowing me to learn and develop independently and at my own pace all the while showing incredible support and encouragement”
Most Memorable Experience
“My time has been short but my first Aquila Retreat allowed me the opportunity to get to know my new colleagues/friends on a personal and a professional level, this helped me feel so much more at ease joining the team”
Just wanted to say that we had a great trip and the tour from Aquila Tours was everything that it promised. Of course the main reason for excellence was the tour guide, Ian Patrick, one of the friendliest and most knowledgeable people we met on our cruise. Kudos to Ian!
Our tour guide, Bonnie, was the best tour guide we have ever had on a Princess Cruise shore tour. Our shore excursion was Tuesday Sept. 29th and she provided us with the most insightful experience on the people, the culture, the history and the sights of Saint John, New Brunswick. We really appreciate the job well done by Bonnie.
Joseph S. Kramer
Outstanding tour to St. Martins. Fay Neilson, our guide, was tremendous! Chowder is good, scenery is awesome (we saw a moose), local art is enticing. Bring a hand towel to wipe sandy feet, or beach shoes for walking on rocky beach. We had a great time and highly recommend. The bus ride to St. Martins is a major part of this tour, so small, toddler-aged children who might be impatient to move might not find this tour the best option for them. Everyone else will love it!
My husband and I loved our excursion of Bay of Fundy Whale and Wildlife Watching. Our tour guide was Sue and she was great. Very funny and entertaining as well as answered all questions. Made the tour fun and very enjoyable. Our marine biologist on our boat, Danielle was also fabulous. Extremely informative and love the information she provided while out looking at the different wildlife at the Bay of Fundy.
Colleen Schnibbe Lindsey