Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced that Robert (Bob) Sharak will take up the role of executive consultant to the organization, stepping down as senior vice president for sales and trade relations. 

In this new role, Sharak will be advising Christine Duffy, CLIA’s president and CEO, and organization executives on matters relating to industry affairs and alliances, research programs and other CLIA initiatives. Sharak’s new consultancy position will take effect immediately. CLIA has further announced that Margaret Murphy has been named senior vice president of marketing and trade relations with responsibilities previously held by Sharak.

“Bob has played an invaluable role in building CLIA into one of the largest travel agent and agency membership associations, in the process becoming one of the most respected, hard-working and best known leaders in this fast-paced industry,” said Christine Duffy, CLIA’s president and CEO.  “As CLIA moves forward we will continue to draw on his strong knowledge of the cruise industry and his expertise in research programs, industry partnerships and alliances.”

“My 20-year tenure with CLIA has been enormously exciting and rewarding as the cruise industry has continued its phenomenal growth, redefining the vacation travel experience for millions of travelers.I am grateful for the support and great relationships I have enjoyed with the CLIA team, cruise industry executives, travel industry partners and the travel agency community at large. Stepping away from the day to day operations, I look forward to my continued involvement with CLIA but from a new perspective,” Sharak said.

Sharak joined CLIA in 1993 and played a key role in the organization’s growth, including helping to facilitate the merger with the International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL).  He has been a driving force behind the development of major initiatives such as cruise3sixty, the association’s annual conference and trade show.  Prior to CLIA, Sharak held senior positions in a number of travel companies including the Hertz Corporation and Continental Airlines.

Margaret Murphy joined CLIA as a marketing consultant in January 2012, bringing with her a strong background in marketing, branding and communications.  Her most recent work includes consulting for American Express on their travel agent engagement strategies.  Her background includes the IBM Consulting Group, where she was a managing principal and Interpublic Group.