Following the sudden recent passing of Ande Soteri who had worked in the travel industry for many years and was director of the Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT), colleagues and friends old and new have sent their tributes.
“Ande worked for ITT for over ten years and was a hugely enthusiastic and loyal member of our team.We are all devastated by her premature passing and our thoughts are with her family at this very sad
“Ande was one of the best women in the uk travel industry. She welcomed me and introduced me to many influential travel luminaries when I was a bit of a newbie in the early 2000’s. A real woman’s woman in business, she supported the AWTE and always had an eye for an intro. We became good friends over the past few years and I will miss her girly gossip and her Mary Poppins handbag forever.”
Lorraine Barnes Burton
British Travel Awards
“I first got to know Ande when she was at ABTA and we hit it off straight away – unsurprising considering Ande was such a people person! That was almost 20 years ago and our friendship remained strong throughout. Ande was always bubbly, friendly and welcoming to everyone – always with a hug and a beautiful smile. We shared some great times together and I will miss her terribly. The industry has lost a very bright light but, more than anything, I will mourn the loss of my amazing, courageous and loyal friend forever. Rest well gorgeous girl – miss you already…”.
Partner – Head of Aviation and Travel
Hill Dickinson LLP
“The first time I met Ande was at an ITT conference, we laughed about something very silly in the ladies as you do at these events and I warmed to her straight away. She was great company at the many ITT networking events and would always go out of her way if you needed help. Sadly this light will be missed but always remembered with fondness and love.”
Director of Sales & Marketing
Travel Daily UK
“So I offered to pick Ande up and give her a lift to WTM a few years ago. This gave us both a great opportunity for some invaluable gossip-swapping on the road trip and the chance to catch up on each other’s news. So much had happened since we last did that – an ITT London meet up if my memory serves me correctly.
Whilst on a practical and social level, Ande was really appreciative of the gesture, she clearly hated being even a little reliant on help due to her ‘dodgy leg’. Of course it was no trouble, and I was glad of her company in the car. Here was a girl who was dealing with the cruel implications of her injuries, and who managed to laugh and joke in the face of relentless pain and inconvenience. A bigger, stronger and more noble person than I would be under those circumstances. She told me about the accident, the hospitals, the wheelchair obstacle courses and Farage! She told me about her family, her latest projects and challenges, and tried to get me to sponsor something or another (most weeks!).
Throughout my association with ITT, there were several invaluable ‘constants’. I’m sure every member will recognise that Ande was one of the most important, dedicated, committed and decent of them all.
May she throw off those infernal crutches at last, and dance, prance and skip for evermore. RIP Ande”.
“I was shocked and saddened to hear of Ande’s passing. I can’t claim to have known her as well as many did because I only really got to meet her properly around five years ago. That said, our travel industry paths had crossed so much beforehand it felt almost immediately like we’d known each other for many years. She was a wonderful, warm, friendly person with a ready smile and a genuine eagerness to help. Kind, considerate and generous, she always took time to say hello or introduce me to her colleagues wherever and whenever we met.
It’s a tragic loss and she will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.”
“Ande, I’ll always remember your smile and will be forever grateful to you for making me feel so welcome when I first started coming to ITT events/conference. Your bright, vivacious character would light up any room and your personal strength was second to none.Rest easy lovely lady – heaven has certainly gained another angel.”
Head of Learning & Development
Reed & Mackay
“I knew Ande for almost 20 years and she was a very good industry friend of mine. Her passion, enthusiasm and love for the industry was infectious and she was extremely supportive of me when I originally joined the board of ITT and since then have shared some great times all over the world at various conferences and events. She had a fabulous sense of humour, always had a story to tell and didn’t have a bad bone in her body. She will be sorely missed and my thoughts and prayers are with her family at this very difficult time.”
C&M Travel Recruitment
“Such terribly sad news to hear about the loss of Ande so young, I will always remember her wonderful smile and bubbly personality with great affection.”
“It’s often said, but Ande did truly light up a room & I never saw her with anything other than a smile on her face, despite all the difficulties she faced”.
Leisure & Hospitality Sectors
“Ande was elegant, bubbly & great fun, she was always smiling even through all the traumas she went through. Nothing was too much trouble. She will be greatly missed”.
“There was always something good about time spent with Ande. A big personality and a tremendous amount of fun to be around at social events who bought a fantastic energy to the room, but at the same time somehow very private too. That’s what I found so fascinating and intriguing about her. And when I think about her now, I remember her big smile. And if you’re going to leave something behind, you can’t ask for more than that”.
Ande’s funeral will take place on Tuesday August 29 at 11am. The address is St Mary’s Church, 21 Trinity Road, Wood Green, N22 8LB. The burial will be at the New Southgate Cemetery at Brunswick Park Road, N11 1JJ
There will be a traditional sombre Greek wake at the Hall of St Barnabas church (Finsbury Road N22 8PA) which is around the corner from where the service takes place.
The wake will be continued at The Prince public house near there (1 Finsbury Road, N22) for her non-Greek friends to celebrate her life as she wanted, with music and laughter.
Donations can be given to the Heart Foundation rather than flowers, the Just Giving page, details are: