Angela Puchala of the Catalina Express Gives You Some Advice For A Trip to Remember
Written By: Ashlee Polarek
Photographed By: Alicia Cho
Expert: Angela Puchala
Credentials: Head of Marketing for the Catalina Express
Head of Marketing for Catalina Express, Angela Puchala shared her secrets to having a great time on Catalina Island. After leaving her job in Los Angeles with Patina Restaurant Group, she fell in love with the Catalina Express family. She redesigned the branding, brought all the creative in-house, restructured the marketing department and has been a Catalina Express creative expert ever since. She gushed about the clear waters and Garibaldi Fish, wildlife and
event filled weekends.
Q: What is your role within Catalina Express?
Angela Puchala: I’m the head of marketing for Catalina Express. When I got here I brought all of our creative in-house and restructured the department when the original VP of Marketing retired after over 30 years. When I started here I really wanted to bring that brand identity to Catalina Express, and have everything flowing and consistent.
Q: How did you know working with Catalina Express is what you wanted to do?
AP: Personally, I come from advertising and art direction. That was what I did for a long time. At one point, I needed more than just art direction. I wanted to do production, design, trafficking, talk to printers. I wanted to get into the actual marking of brand identity and
I love people, so I couldn’t just sit behind the desk all day. People have these jobs where they feel expendable and it’s just a job. When I came in for the interview [at Catalina Express] I fell in love with the people right away. This company is so family oriented that being here is being a part of the family right away.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do on Catalina?
AP: I’m an outdoorsy person. I really like to do any hikes and go into to the interior of the island. They have a Conservancy Jeep Tour, and that takes you into the interior of the island, which is so rustic and untouched. It’s such a different feeling to see wildlife, such as the Catalina fox and bison, they just roam free, without fear. I’m a total foodie! Catalina
has its own Restaurant Week, Taste Around of Avalon and Taste of Catalina Food Tours, which are the funnest ways to get to know people and taste the dishes from different restaurants around the island.
Q: How often are you on the Catalina Express Boats, and do you have a favorite?
AP: I go almost once a week. We have these amazing boats and up to 30 departures daily, so it’s easy to get out to the island. They’re catamarans, so it’s a smoother ride, and those are my favorite. My favorite boat is the Catalina Jet, which holds up to 450 people and feels like such a smooth ride.
Q: If you could take a boat anywhere in the world where would it be?
AP: I think I would go to Tahiti because of the water, or I would go to Thailand because there are so many beautiful islands there. It would be fun to hop back and forth on a boat and see it from that perspective. It’s so different from when you fly into a place. You’re a tourist and a visitor. It’s different looking at it when you’re actually on a boat.
Q: What tips would you give someone who is visiting Catalina for the first time?
AP: Pick up a Catalina Express Magazine and plan ahead. There are so many things to do on the island, and a lot of people that come for the first time don’t know what they want to do, and then they get overwhelmed. Plan ahead. There are so many activities, and you want to get the most out of your day or stay.
Q: When is your favorite time to be on the island?
AP: My favorite time to be on the island is September because it’s a little slower. Catalina is a desert island, so you still have that beautiful hot weather and the water is still warm. Summer is always busy and fun on the island, but there are events year-round, so it is easy to find a reason to come out.
San Pedro, CA 90731
Shout “I’m On A Boat!” En Route to Catalina Island with