Dedication Mirrored in Ana Mendonça’s Beautiful Eyes

Aninhas' professionalism at VMT Madeira

Respect and trust in a job it is not achieved because we may have beautiful eyes; what counts is our dedication, method, organization! Ana Mendonça was described as “the girl with beautiful eyes” when she joined the company more than 13 years ago and is currently considered” a pillar within VMT Madeira”.

She graduated in Social Education, in Porto, but her family and love made her return to the Madeira Island to launch her career in Ana’s homeland: “… At the time my grandparents were getting older, especially my paternal grandmother who desperately felt my absence”, remembers Ana.

Recommended by a friend to do a part-time at the catamaran trips sales stand, Ana “has adapted well to the various tasks, having a multipurpose spirit, since day one”, confesses Luís Abreu.

Over the years, Ana gaining the trust of the organization while dedicating herself to learning all areas of the business, she set sail for a career of great persistence and knowledge: “Mr. Luigi always trusted me and was always encouraging me to stay within the company, giving me more responsibility”.

Thus, her demand for training began: she applied for Mountain Guide and Sea Guide Course, as well as the Basic Skipper License and on her own initiative, improved German at the Language Academy, to top on the well-known English, French, Spanish and Italian: “Mr Luigi thought the company would win if there were more women at sea because at the time there was no female crew on board.”

A work between the ocean and the land that confesses to being ideal: “sometimes I miss the contact with the sea.” (…) “If I don’t have nature in my life, I get sick, anxious!”. “Aninhas’ personality is powerful, so I think the sea calms her down,” mentions Captain Carlos. But it is not only the sea that balances Ana’s spirit, it is also walks and yoga (with 10 years of practice) that power-up a tranquillity vibe: “two years ago I crossed the island on foot, for four days, with the Associação de Montanhismo Club Pés Livres”.

In fact, it was in a surf-and-turf combination that Ana met a family of Danes, in 2009, at the Marina of Funchal, while working at the VMT Madeira sales stand. The friendship between the family of four opened the door to a great adventure at sea, the following year! Ana Mendonça was invited to accompany them on a crossing tour from Madeira to the Azores by boat, so her experience at sea was beneficial!

She is, without a doubt, a person in search of adventure, constant pursuit for knowledge, dedicated to the company and committed to her progression, which makes her demanding with herself and with others, being respected for that! These are some of the words of management and colleagues that best describe Ana Mendonça:

  • “Whatever she endeavours to learn, she can’t be stopped” (Colleen Abreu)
  • “Excellent professional. Ana likes to do things well and is very careful. She is always ready to learn ”(Carlos Silva)
  • “It is difficult to find someone like Ana … she is an asset within the company.” (Luís Abreu)
  • “Professional, dedicated, direct and altruistic, she is an adaptable person in any team, in any position, every time. Defender of VMT Madeira principles, it is by her own merit that everyone respects her” (Celso Brasão).

Nevertheless, she admits to be extremely direct: “I think Celso trusts me because I give my sincere opinion. Sometimes it can backfire when I say what I think. I’m very frontal, I say what I think even when I’m not asked. “

This openness and willing spirit elevate not only the products, but VMT Madeira in general and, being the right-hand of the management, Ana also becomes part of the company’s success! “From early years, she was one of the biggest advocates of travel just to spot dolphins. When we were focused on coastal tours, Ana suggested that we attended in the Whale Watching Festival in Brighton. This was the turning-point moment to restructure our core business, but also positioning the company to a sustainability view of the environment around us. ” (Celso Brasão)

So, what do you think Ana Mendonça’s beautiful eyes see in her future? This mother of the little pirate Manuel will continue, religiously, her oil paintings (Helena Jardim Atelier), in memory of her father. She will certainly continue to be a vegetarian, as it was a moral choice made 7 years ago: “If I don’t need to kill animals to eat, I won’t do it”. And she very much wants to remain faithful to VMT Madeira with all her dedication.