MSC Cruises reports that Lori Sheller, the cruise line's SVP of strategic accounts, has added MICE, charters and casino business to her portfolio of responsibilities. The change coincides with the cruise line's appointment of Michelle Lardizabal to the new role of senior vice president and commercial sales officer, making her responsible for overseeing the brand's entire U.S. sales organization as it works to expand in the North American market. Lardizabal's appointment is effective October 16.
The recent arrival of MSC Meraviglia to the U.S. marks the first time in the company’s history that four ships will be sailing from the region, including MSC Seaside, MSC Divina, MSC Armonia and MSC Meraviglia, the cruise line said. Also soon to open is the new Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, MSC Cruises’ new private island destination in the Bahamas, as well as a new double-berth cruise terminal being built at PortMiami.
Reporting directly to Ken Muskat, executive vice president and chief operating officer of MSC Cruises USA, Lardizabal will drive the overall strategy of the commercial sales organization. In addition to MICE, charters and casino business, Sheller will continue to be responsible for driving the relationships MSC Cruises holds with large travel consortia and key accounts.
With 25 years of sales experience, Lardizabal joins MSC Cruises after leading the U.S. sales organization at Club Med, where she was a member of their executive committee and worldwide leadership committee. Prior to that she was vice president of sales for City Wonders, a European guided tour company. Michelle also spent more than a decade at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. in a variety of roles, including director of inside sales and training, director of field sales and associate vice president of global sales and distribution.