Check Mate: The Grand Del Mar's lushly landscaped grounds contain 10,000-plus mature trees, from Italian cypresses to tropical and native plantings. The resort’s garden terrace is perfect for a round of croquet or bocce ball, which the resort will happily arrange for you.
Robert Dahey

Flory Ellis

Occupation: Director, Export Management; Northrop Grumman
Home base: Playa del Rey, Calif.


THIRD-PRIZE WINNER


AW: As the director of trade management for a major aerospace-and-defense company, your job sounds pretty intense — not to mention high-security. Are you allowed to tell us about it?
Flory Ellis: Ha! It actually sounds way more top-secret than it actually is, and it’s a little hard to explain — but I’ll try. You can imagine that it’s important to the U.S. government to protect our technology and ensure that our fighting men and women have the very best equipment. Additionally, we want to make sure that our allies across the world have equipment that is interoperable with ours. The laws and regulations that govern who, what, when, where and why we can transfer defense technology and hardware are pretty complicated. My team and I are dedicated to facilitating the transfer of these items compliantly.

Getting to Know FLORY

Best way to unwind: Facials

Worst job I’ve ever had: I did odd jobs for this small company, and one day the owner told me to go garden her yard. I quit the same day.

Favorite hotel: The Ritz-Carlton

Aisle or window? It depends where I am. Bulkhead equals window; anywhere else, aisle.

Favorite candy (besides Jer’s Chocolates): I am not pandering. Right now, it is Jer’s Chocolates.

Beach or mountains? Beach

Cocktail of choice: Champagne



AW: You accumulated more than a million miles before you were 35, and you’ve been to places like Kiribati in the central Pacific and Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. What has been your favorite destination so far?
FE: I haven’t been there in more than 10 years — and when I was there, it was only for 24 hours — but I really enjoyed Sydney. I’m a big believer that every place has a “vibe,” and the vibe in Sydney was one of a group of people who work hard, play hard and who are just about the most welcoming hosts in the world.

AW: On your wish list of places to visit, do you have anywhere left?
FE: Part of the reason I travel (for leisure) is that I want to see every place once — it’s probably not going to happen, but it would be nice. That being said, top of my list are a couple of safaris — big game in Africa and tigers in India.

AW: There’s chatter that you shared some seriously great travel tips with your fellow Road Warriors. Care to share them with our readers?
FE: The best shower in the world is at the ­Admirals Club at Dallas/Fort Worth’s Terminal A. Also, on most AA flights, they sell this chocolate waffle that might just be the best thing (other than Jer’s Chocolates) that I have put into my mouth. Oh — and Huntsville airport in Alabama has a secret Admirals Club-like space that’s open to anyone on the second floor. Most people have no idea it’s there.

AW: You’re an avid gamer — card, board and online. What are some of your favorites?
FE: It depends on the medium. On my iPad (now Samsung Galaxy Tab), I love, love, love Where’s My Water? If we are talking cards, I’m a big fan of Skip-Bo — but with off–the–books rules that make it more strategic. And in the board–game area, most old–school games — Battleship, Monopoly and the Game of Life. I’m also a huge trivia buff, so Trivial Pursuit is a favorite.