Surprising connections in the Virgin family

Richard Branson speaking at the opening of Virgin Hotels New Orleans
Linka Odom Photography for Virgin Hotels
Virgin Galactic
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 24 October 2021

One of the most wonderful things about creating a brand that has continued to expand and evolve for more than five decades is the number of delightfully surprising connections that crop up. I’ve always seen Virgin as one big family, and sometimes that is quite literal.

Often, I will be on a Virgin flight, get talking to the crew and learn that one of the team’s parents or friends or cousins or brothers work for us in some other area of the business. It’s always fun following up with them and making them smile. I wanted to share a couple of recent examples from my travels in the US. 

While I was onboard Scarlet Lady in Miami, I got talking to Virgin Voyages’ Harry Greatbatch, who works as part of the Entertainment Technical Team on board the ship. He told me how he flew home with his family from a childhood holiday in Florida with VirginAtlantic. The crew welcomed him into the cockpit to take a look and meet the pilots.

He enjoyed the experience so much that he wrote to yours truly to say thanks and ask for a job in the future. I was relieved to know the letter reached me - I wrote back and sent Harry a model aircraft. Fast forward two decades, and he is now a part of the Virgin family with Virgin Voyages.

Not long later, I was in New Orleans meeting the Virgin Hotels team. As part of a wonderful teammates rally, I got chance to ask a lot of questions as well as answer some.

One of the team, Paula Echevarria, stood up and told me that she had always been around the Virgin brand since her dad worked for us back in our music business days. Now, she’s in the Virgin family too as a bartender at Virgin Hotels New Orleans. We’re proud to have you, Paula!

Linka Odom Photography for Virgin Hotels
Linka Odom Photography for Virgin Hotels

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