Friday,  July 19, 2019  5:27 pm

Denise Heffron to launch new AI-focused company Uplift


Denise Heffron to launch new AI-focused company Uplift
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

After a brief hiatus, a familiar face in the Canadian travel industry has returned, this time leading the growth of an innovative U.S. start-up north of the border.

Denise Heffron, who retired from her role as vice-president - national sales and commercial with Transat in March 2018, has been named managing director at Uplift, a new travel-tech company which aims to “enable travel brands to provide a better way to shop, book, pay and experience travel,” including the option for customers to pay for travel by installment.

READ MORE: Denise Heffron to retire from Transat

On returning to travel

Speaking with PAX, Heffron said that her retirement was always intended to be brief, providing her with a short break which allowed her to refocus on her career path.

“When I retired, I wanted to return to the industry, but I needed a break first,” she said, adding that she was planning to either join a start-up or launch her own business. “I knew I wanted to do something different – I had no interest in doing the same thing but with a different company.”

An industry colleague put her in touch with Uplift President Robert Soderbery and things progressed quickly from there.

“The more I learned, the more interested I was in Uplift,” Heffron said. “Plus, I’m not one to say ‘no’ to a great opportunity! There’s a real need for this type of product in the industry.”

With Uplift based in Menlo Park, California, Heffron is leading the company’s charge into the Canadian market. While she can’t reveal details yet, Heffron told PAX that she has been busy meeting with clients throughout the industry (“I’ve been meeting with pretty much everyone!” she joked), with Uplift set to officially go live in Canada by the beginning of the second quarter 2019.

A look at Uplift

Powered by AI-driven, point-of-sale lending and payments technology, Uplift works exclusively through travel partner relationships and integrates into their online booking flows, enabling companies to drive significant increases in conversion rates, average transaction values and ancillary revenues.

Uplift also boasts an easy to use stand-alone agent tool, ensuring access for both online and offline customers.

“It’s not just financing for travel – it’s financing for travel with technology built specifically for this industry,” Heffron added.

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