Women in Maritime Leadership Presenter Bios
Captain Kate McCue
In August of 2015, Captain Kate McCue took command of Celebrity Summit, a 91,000-ton, 965-foot ship in the Celebrity Cruises fleet, becoming the first American female to “man” a mega-ton cruise ship.
A San Francisco native, Captain McCue currently commands the transformational Celebrity Edge – a 129,500-ton, 1004-foot ship in the Celebrity Cruises fleet named one of TIME Magazine’s 2019 Greatest Places – sailing in both the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. As Captain, she is responsible for the safe navigation of the ship and the onboard experience for its 2,918 guests and 1,320 crew members.
Known fondly as “Captain Kate” to colleagues, guests and hundreds of thousands of social media followers, she is a distinguished role-model and frequent spokesperson for Celebrity Cruises on leadership in the maritime industry and encouraging young women to pursue their dreams.
Captain McCue was appointed to Master Captain by Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo in 2015 after many successful years working her way through the ranks from bridge cadet to Master Mariner.
During her tenure, Captain McCue has managed ship logistics while sailing worldwide itineraries, including Europe, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and along the Panama Canal. Captain McCue has also served as a maritime leader while sailing several transatlantic and repositioning cruises and played a notable role in ship revitalization.
She is a graduate of California State University’s California Maritime Academy and has earned ongoing certifications pertaining to leadership, navigation, ship management and security.
When not sailing the world, Captain McCue seeks-out adventures with her husband and her trusty sidekick cat, Bug Naked.
Captain Kate McCue Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/captainkatemccue/
Bug Naked Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bugnaked/
Gladys Diva Brown
Gladys Diva Brown, C.M., C.A.E. is the Airport Director at Yuma International Airport. Yuma International Airport is co-located with the MCAS Yuma and is a Shared Use airport with a Joint Use Operating Agreement. Ms. Brown’s primary function is to operate the airport in compliance with applicable FAA regulations and state law, as well as, to maintain the positive relationship with Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, and to promote Commercial Air Service and General Aviation in a safe and secure manner. She earned her Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the California State University Maritime Academy accompanied with a USCG Third Assistant Engineer License. Ms. Brown is a Past President of the Arizona Airports Association and continues to support the one voice approach for key issues in aerospace and aeronautics for the State of Arizona. Ms. Brown has a strong commitment to her community, believes in mentoring to help build leadership for tomorrow and leads to inspire through passionate forward movement.
An active and prolific speaker she is an inducted member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame, The Explorers Club, The Ocean Artists Society and a recipient of the Platinum Pro 5000.
Cristina grew up in the African rain forest where she developed a passion for the outdoors and wilderness. Through her family, she acquired an equal passion for the oceans and has always been drawn to the water from a very young age.
Over twenty-five years ago she journeyed to the Bahamas to learn how to scuba dive and immediately made The Bahamas her home and diving her life.
Cristina is a PADI Course Director, NSS-CDS Advanced Cave diving instructor, TDI Technical Instructor and specializes in shark diving and shark behavior.
Cristina speaks five languages, Italian, English, German, French and Spanish. Some say she speaks a sixth one “Shark”. Cristina works in the wild with sharks. She has met and worked with different scientists, behaviorists and handlers in the Bahamas, South Africa, Fiji, Rhode Island, California, Florida, North Carolina, China, and Mexico.
Cristina is one of the first in the world to have been able to induce a state of relaxation in the Caribbean Reef sharks through gentle touch. To the observer, this looks like the shark is falling asleep in her lap.
Cristina is constantly working on the exploration and record of caves, to determine their location, connection to the surrounding eco-systems and promoting their conservation.
Her fieldwork with sharks and caves allows her to bring to the surface a unique perspective on life with a conservation approach to our relationship with this planet and other people.
Cristina believes that each one of us can make a difference and that “One small action is better than no big action”
Elizabeth has worked on tugboats for 11 years, starting with coastwise and ocean towing and landing in her current role as a tractor tug operator in San Francisco Bay.
Spencer Young works in Washington, D.C. where she organizes and manages meetings, special events, membership and communications for the Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC). She represents the AgTC at industry meetings, at federal agencies, and on Capitol Hill.
Spencer has a background in the maritime industry. Prior to joining AgTC, she worked as a Ship Agent in the San Francisco Bay Area ensuring safe and efficient port calls for commercial vessels. She coordinated all logistical aspects of vessel port calls, informed vessel Masters, charterers, and owners of local port regulations and safety measures, and advocated on behalf of vessel charterers to ensure timely movement of cargo.
Spencer graduated from the California Maritime Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business and Logistics. She is originally from Paso Robles, CA.
Madeleine is a 2015 alumni of CalMaritime. She's currently a member of MMP, sailing off the board as Second Mate and most recently has worked for APL. Her homebase is Washington State where she lives aboard her cutter-rigged sailboat and runs trails in the Cascade Mountains.
Rachel Neuharth is a Marine Underwriter for Continental Underwriters in Seattle, WA. Rachel graduated from Cal Maritime in 2014 with a BA in Global Studies and Maritime Affairs. After graduation, she worked as the Safety Manager for a facilities engineering firm in San Francisco before beginning her marine underwriting career in Seattle.
Rachel is the CMA Alumni Chapter President for the Puget Sound region and is actively involved in numerous maritime and insurance industry associations and committees. These days she can be found working from home with her pittie (who may wander into view) or working on her Bronco II.
Piya’s career in Human Resources started with early work experiences in the field of change management and HR operations. Starting as an intern she worked for major corporate companies in New York and dabbled in different industries. After working with Sony Music Entertainment, Colgate-Palmolive and PWC, she found her true calling. As an HR Business Partner for Cognizant Technology Solutions, she began to assimilate her previous experiences in a niche position of being an advisor to Engineers and their business. 10 years later and still passionate about supporting Engineers, she currently works at LinkedIn in the Bay Area. Her areas of expertise have expanded to include Mentorship and exploring its role as central to the leadership development journey in the Tech. space. Her mantra for success: humanize the HR experience for leaders and help them thrive at work by doing what they love! As a lifelong learner, she recently took the plunge to go back to school and pursue a doctoral program at Columbia University. Her graduate education unites her passion for leader success with research in adult learning. As a result, most of her free time is dedicated to writing a dissertation and finding writing inspiration in various cafes to support that cause! Outside of that she enjoy hiking, traveling and practicing yoga.
Sheila Maude LaFleur
Sheila Maude LaFleur (02') earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, a minor in Law and a 3rd Officers License from the California Maritime Academy. She also holds a certificate in Human Resource Management from Florida Atlantic University.
Upon graduation, Sheila sailed deep sea on a variety of shipping platforms sailing up to Chief Mate, obtaining her Unlimited Masters License. In 2009, she transitioned shoreside and became one of the leading executive recruiters in the maritime industry.
Sheila owns a maritime recruitment firm called Trackline where she finds synergies and opportunities for maritime industry professionals. She has helped numerous people achieve their career goals through her ability to connect talent with opportunity and helping companies grow stronger with the right people on board. She is especially passionate about helping women soar to new heights and advance in the industry.
She lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and two sons and loves getting out in nature, especially if there is a trail to explore.
Madeline joined the Center for Creative Leadership in 2016 as a member of the newly formed Societal Advancement team, a group dedicated to serving the social sector in four portfolios: Higher Education, Nonprofit, K-12, and Population Health. Madeline currently serves in a dual-role of Project Manager/Program Coordinator and has extensive experience supporting leadership development efforts within the Higher Education sector. She is responsible for creating, maintaining, and monitoring all phases of multiple project plans, budgets, and deliverables while serving as the primary communication point for internal and external constituents.
As part of her professional development and future career trajectory, Madeline is cross-trained in facilitation and design including program delivery, content creation, product design, and curriculum refinement. In particular, she has served on train-the-trainer initiatives focused on equipping professionals in the Higher Education practice with coaching skills.
Madeline is certified in the 360 Feedback Assessment SuiteÆ, the Influence Style IndicatorÆ, and holds an IDEO Certification in Human-Centered Design. Outside of work, she serves as a mentor for undergraduate students in High Point University ís Phillips School of Business.
Anne Grady is an entrepreneur, best-selling author & truth bomb dropper. She is a two time TEDx speaker, contributor to Harvard Business Review, Forbes, FOX Business and more, and her life is a living testament that you can overcome any obstacle and rise stronger as a result.