The Apollo Group, along with the cruise industry as a whole is mourning the passing of Gisele St-Onge, following an eight month battle with leukemia.
Gisele was a 24 year veteran of the Apollo Group, having started her career onboard, before moving ashore in the mid-1990s.
She originally joined as a sommelier onboard the Regent Sun of Regency Cruises in January 1989, where she made an immediate impact and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming Restaurant Manager, and soon, Food Manager;positions which at the time were traditionally held by men. She met the challenges head on, succeeding and becoming an inspiration to a generation of young female crewmembers, many of whom have stayed in touch with her over the years.
Gisele first came to work ashore in 1996, where she joined the Human Resources department initially as a recruitment manager, before helping design many of the proprietary software systems which have become a vital support mechanism for the global business that the company runs today. Among other visionary ideas, she designed a web based system for issuing letters of employment directly in hiring partner offices, at a time when many of the larger cruise lines were still couriering packages of documents around the globe.
Gisele’s talents however stretched far beyond Human Resources, Operations, and software design, and she assisted in many departmental initiatives throughout the company over the years. Gisele was also responsible for producing company trade publications, and played a lead role whenever the company exhibited at Seatrade and other industry events, by designing booth backdrops and event collateral.
Her career finally came full circle in the summer of 2012, when Gisele returned to the area of Shipboard Operations, becoming Operations Manager for the Apollo Group interests aboard the American Queen Steamboat Company.
It is also fitting that she was the driving force behind the rebranding of Apollo as ‘The Apollo Group’ and that she designed the new company logo and website. She also coined the “Apollo – Much more than Great Food” tag line, which has been widely used by the company for many years.