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Commencement Speaker - Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President & CEO, Celebrity Cruises

"This Woman is the Force Behind the World's Coolest New Cruise Ship" (Forbes)

 LLP Celebrity

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo is a dynamic and transformational business leader whose vision and strategy has propelled Celebrity Cruises to unprecedented financial performance. Celebrity's record-breaking financial results and brand-defining industry firsts have solidified Lisa's reputation as a trailblazer in the complex and ever-changing maritime industry.

Driving Unprecedented Growth

Appointed President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises in December of 2014, Lutoff-Perlo leads the category defining, multi-billion-dollar brand with 13 ships and four more on order. The Celebrity fleet sails to over 300 global ports on seven continents with each ship's crew representing over 60 diverse nationalities and cultures.

Lutoff-Perlo also leads Royal Caribbean Cruises' (RCL) Global Marine Organization, ensuring that the corporation's $25-billion fleet of 51 ships run safely, smoothly and efficiently across all RCL brands for 6-million+ guests per year. She is the first woman to run a consolidated corporate maritime organization in the cruise industry. 

Under Lutoff-Perlo's leadership, Celebrity Cruises has doubled operating income, achieved double-digit ROIC, double-digit yield growth, significantly improved NPS and employee engagement results.

Redefining the Cruise Industry

Lutoff-Perlo has played a key leadership role in the launch of multiple, next-generation cruise ships including Celebrity's lauded Solstice Class, hailed as redefining the cruise industry.

Lutoff-Perlo's vision to transform the industry with game-changing ships continues with the launch Celebrity Edge in December 2018. A team of over 500 designers brought the vision to life, incorporating architectural firsts, innovations and feats of engineering that industry insiders said could "never be done" such as the Magic Carpet and Infinite Verandas. Celebrity Edge resulted in Celebrity being recognized by Fast Company as a "2018 Most Innovative Company" along with Apple, Spotify, Amazon and AirBnB.

Her commitment to industry firsts extends to guest experiences including the recently launched partnerships with American Ballet Theater and Daniel Boulud, who is widely celebrated as America's leading culinary authority. 

Under Lutoff-Perlo's leadership, Celebrity has introduced the first luxury ship designed for the fragile Galapagos ecosystem. Launching in May 2019, Celebrity Flora breaks convention with unique features that immerse guests in the destination with an outward facing design, onboard lab and naturalist lounge, observatory, all- suite accommodations and environmental partnerships that consistently give back to the Galapagos and its endangered wildlife.

Leveraging Technology & Innovation

Celebrity continues the ground-breaking innovation through technology that translates business/customer intelligence into innovative, creative experiences at sea through use of AI platforms, facial recognition, stateroom automation, state-of-the-art technology and cutting- edge digital apps.  These technology innovations will be introduced across the Celebrity fleet as part of the "Celebrity Revolution."

A Purposeful Brand Vision

Lutoff-Perlo's commitment to opening up the world through travel has brought unprecedented recognition and awards to Celebrity Cruises for its industry impact. Under her leadership, Celebrity receives hundreds of awards annually for exemplary service, best premium cruise company, best in category, most LGBT friendly, travel company of the year, best value, responsible tourism and corporate responsibility from a wide variety of prestigious industry and lifestyle organizations. (Lists upon request)

Advocating for Diversity & Inclusion

An avid champion for diversity and inclusion, education, STEM and an advocate for women, Lutoff-Perlo has challenged and changed the conversation around cultural and gender equality in the maritime industry.  Lisa has ignited many initiatives to significantly raise the percentage of female officers on the bridge and throughout the brand, including hiring the first female American captain, the first female African bridge officer and the first female Ecuadorian captain.  Proudly, Celebrity currently has four female captains and five female hotel directors in the fleet.

Lisa is often quoted as saying, "Teach your daughters to worry less about fitting into the glass slipper and more about shattering the glass ceiling.

Making a Difference

Lutoff-Perlo has a guiding value of giving back and helping others to succeed. She enthusiastically lends her leadership to a number of philanthropic, business and women's organizations as a board member and volunteer on the local, national and international levels.

Under her leadership, Celebrity Cruises has partnered with a number of impactful organizations to make a difference in the world in the areas of girl's education (Malala Fund), sustainability and environment (World Wildlife Fund), STEM (Columbia University, FIU, University of Miami), service excellence (Forbes Travel Guide), and expanding the footprint of women in the maritime industry (Mandela Washington Fellows/IREX).

Industry Firsts

  • First woman to lead one of Royal Caribbean Cruises brands
  • First woman to lead RCL's Consolidated Global Marine Organization
  • Played a key role in the design and experience creation for industry and brand transforming Edge Series
  • Appointed first American female captain of a cruise ship
  • Appointed first Ecuadorian female captain
  • Formalized programs with World Maritime University to recognize Regional Maritime University for first time, opening doors for West Africans seeking maritime careers
  • Hired first West African woman to ever work on the bridge of a cruise ship
  • First brand to design and build ship exclusively for fragile Galapagos ecosystem

Awards and Recognition

2019 CLIA Lifetime Achievement Award                   CLIA

2019 Junior Achievement Hall of Fame                     Junior Achievement of South Florida

2019 Positive Disruptor Leadership Award                Extraordinary Women Leading Change

2019 United Way Woman of Inspiration                     United Way Broward

2019 Honoree "Take a Walk in Her Shoes"               Chapman Partnership

2019 CED Distinguished Performance Award           Committee for Economic Development

2019 Leader of the Year                                             Leadership Broward

2019 Excellence in Tourism Award                            Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce

2018 Women United Inspire and Impact Award        United Way

2018 Most Innovative Company                                Fast Company

2018 Business Hall of Fame                                       Junior Achievement USA

2018 Philanthropic Investment in the Community     Dade County Bar Association

2018 Huizenga's Business Hall of Fame                    Nova Southeastern University

2017 Ultimate CEO Award                                         South Florida Business Journal

2017 Sapphire Award for Business                            Florida Blue and Cleveland Clinic

2017 Thelma Gibson Award                                       Women's Chamber of Miami/Dade County

2017 Business of the Year                                          Miami LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce

Earlier awards provided upon request




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