Saluting Sean Staunton

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

Remember travel retail’s ‘Marathon Man’?

We’re talking about Dubai Duty Free Vice President of Operations Sean Staunton who recently completed the remarkable feat of running four marathons in as many months – a daunting 168km in total – in a drive to raise funds (US$11,256) for travel retail industry charity Hand in Hand for Haiti.

On 17 July, Sean completed the Rio de Janeiro marathon, having already run the Barcelona, Borneo and Kenyan events. The feat (and his feet) won him The Moodie Report Personality of the Month for July, supported by leading Highland malt The Dalmore, an award that recognises individuals who by their deeds, attitudes and behaviour advance the industry’s cause.

Hand in Hand for Haiti is the organisation responsible for building the recently opened Lycée Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable school (below) in Saint Marc, Haiti, a response to the devastating January 2010 earthquake.

One of the key drivers behind the school project is DFS Chairman and CEO Ed Brennan, who has worked tirelessly together with the DFS management team and staff around the world on the project.

On hearing of Sean’s achievement, Ed wrote to him, saying: “You are an inspiration and your efforts to raise money for our industry’s school are unsurpassed by anyone. We are proud to announce that we, DFS, will match your fundraising today of US$11,256 to bring your total to US$22,512.”

So there you have it. Four marathons in four different locations in four months. What an achievement and what appropriate recognition by a fellow retailer.

Why are funds still needed for Lycée Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable when so much has already been raised? Simple. For the first time ever in our industry’s history, the travel retail community has taken responsibility not only for raising funds for a project but for running it long into the future.

It’s a landmark example of the good this sector can contribute to the world and as such it deserves our ongoing commitment.

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