The Executive Committee of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) today announced that Christine Duffy, president and CEO of Maritz Travel and one of the most dynamic leaders in the travel industry, will become the association’s new president on February first. She replaces Terry Dale, who was CLIA’s president for seven years.

Duffy brings to CLIA an impressive record of success with Maritz, one of the largest meeting, event and incentive travel management companies in the world, and extensive experience in all aspects of the travel industry that impact cruising, including the travel agency distribution system, sales and marketing, legislative affairs and issues management. A travel agent prior to becoming a leading chief executive in business, she enjoys industry-wide respect and recognition for her vision, dedication, energy and management skills.

“The cruise industry is extraordinarily fortunate to have Christine Duffy become the next president of CLIA. She has demonstrated exceptional ability to lead and is extremely well-known and admired throughout the travel industry. She also has thorough knowledge of how travel, and cruises, are marketed and sold through the agency distribution system, and a firm grasp of the issues facing the industry. I know I speak for all our member lines and travel agent partners in saying that we are very excited to usher in a new era for CLIA under Christine’s direction,” said Howard S. Frank, vice chairman of the board and chief operating officer of Carnival Corporation & plc and chairman of CLIA’s executive committee. 

In accepting her new position, Duffy said: “The cruise industry has a remarkable record of growth and success, and tremendous potential for the future. Without a doubt, this industry’s bold, visionary leaders have created the most exciting, innovative and value-added vacation experiences available to consumers today, whether they are singles, couples, families, multigenerational and social groups, or shipboard meetings and incentives. It is an enormous privilege to lead CLIA in the years to come.” Duffy will be based in CLIA’s Washington DC office and also work from the association’s office in Fort Lauderdale. 

As president and CEO of Maritz Travel, Duffy managed more than $700 million in client programs, and was responsible for ensuring the highest level of service quality was delivered to clients, to help them achieve their unique business objectives. In charge of the pharmaceutical/healthcare sector for Maritz, she also headed a leadership team in developing a Wellness Solution for Maritz clients focused on integrating and customizing healthcare solutions to offer companies in pharmaceuticals, managed care, and medical device manufactures.

Through her expertise, vision and approachable communication style, Duffy has empowered meeting and other professionals around the globe to elevate their profession and prove their strategic value to their company’s bottom line. She has spoken before numerous industry conferences and served on the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Board of Directors for six years, serving as chairwoman in 2005-2006. Duffy founded MPI’s Women’s Leadership Initiative, served as its inaugural chairwoman, and has been a regular speaker for the industry on women’s leadership. 

Duffy has been recognized several times over for her work at Maritz and as an industry leader. The St. Louis Business Journal recognized her as one of the 25 Most Influential Business Women, Corporate Meetings and Incentives chose her as  a “Top 10 Women Leaders in the Meeting Industry” and Meetings News magazine named her one of the “25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry four times. She also was named as an international 2005 Stevie Award finalist in the Best Executive – Service Business category.

Duffy was president and CEO of McGettigan Partners when that company was acquired in November 2001 by Maritz Travel. While there, she grew sales more than 154 percent between 1996 and 2001 through organic growth and acquisition.