ASTA Global Convention Education Sessions
|Edie Rodriguez - Corporate Advisor, PONANT|
Edie Rodriguez is Americas Brand Chairman and Special Corporate Advisor for PONANT, the world’s leading luxury yacht expedition cruise line. Rodriguez has over 30 years of experience in executive roles in the cruise and travel industry and previously served as the CEO and President of Crystal Cruises, where she led the brand’s transformation during her tenure. She has also held leadership positions with brands from Carnival Corporation and RCCL Corporation.
Rodriguez is actively involved in the travel industry. She serves on Robb Report’s Private Aviation Board and Atout-France’s Advisory Board for French Tourism, and was previously on the Board of Directors for Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) and is a past member of Promotion Marketing Association. She and PONANT are also strong supporters of Tourism Cares. Rodriguez is a strong voice and advocate in the luxury travel space, and has harnessed the power of social media and digital platforms to reach a global audience.
In recognition of her business leadership, she was named Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of The Year” in May 2017, and was selected as Luxury Daily’s “25 Luxury Women to Watch for 2017.” Rodriguez was also named a “Wave Maker” by Afar, as one of ten visionaries making travel better in 2016, and was selected as one of the ten most influential people in travel by the editors of Travelpulse.com. She was also named a “Woman of Note” by The Wall Street Journal in 2014.
The native New Yorker is a 36-year veteran in the international cruise, travel and technology industries, with a successful track record in the luxury segment that has propelled her to become the only female CEO in the luxury cruise industry. Prior to Crystal, Rodriguez previously held senior marketing, sales and business development positions with other notable luxury lines, establishing profitable partnerships between the cruise lines and other esteemed luxury brands such as Canyon Ranch, Hermès, Clicquot and Todd English.
In 2015, Rodriguez unveiled the blueprint for a major brand and fleet expansion for Crystal, which has been dubbed by the travel and hospitality industry as the largest expansion in history for any luxury brand. The unprecedented growth began with the launch of Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises’ Crystal Esprit in December 2015, followed by Crystal Luxury Air, a private charter Bombardier Global Express Jet outfitted for just 12 guests in April 2016, and Crystal Mozart, the first of a series of luxury river yachts in July 2016.
Under her helm, Crystal is scheduled to debut two new luxury river yachts in the summer and fall of 2017, with two more vessels in 2018; the launch of Crystal AirCruises on the company’s new Boeing 777 in August 2017 to serve the lucrative charter market; the launch of three polar class expedition mega-yachts starting with the first vessel in 2019; and the introduction of Crystal Exclusive Class ocean ships with Crystal Residences in 2022. Rodriguez is also overseeing Crystal’s plans to make the historic Shrine Building in downtown Miami its central display showcase location for its luxury portfolio, scheduled to open in late 2017.
Rodriguez was recognized as a “Wave Maker” by Afar Magazine as one of ten visionaries making travel better and selected as one of the most influential people in travel in 2016 by the editors of TravelPulse.com. Luxury Daily selected Rodriguez as one of its Luxury Women to Watch in 2017 for distinguishing herself as a difference maker in luxury travel, marketing, and digital sector.
On June 23, 2017, Rodriguez was named Entrepreneur of the Year in Florida by Ernst & Young in the Retail and Consumer Products category for excellence in innovation and personal commitment to her business and her community. Rodriguez is now in consideration for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year National program to be announced in November 2017.
Rodriguez sits on the Board of Directors for the Cruise Line Industry Association, Robb Report’s Private Aviation Board, and Air France’s Advisory Board for French Tourism.
As a young child, Rodriguez’s wanderlust was inspired by the gift of a beautiful porcelain Geisha doll from her aunt following a trip to Japan. She became intrigued by world customs and cultures and, since the tender age of six, has dreamed of visiting every country in the world. Through her work and personal adventures, she has visited more than 100 countries on all seven continents, citing Tuscany as her absolute favorite destination.
As a “mobile global” CEO, Rodriguez operates the exponentially growing company from destinations all over the world. Rodriguez resides near Miami, Florida, where she opened Crystal’s East Coast office in 2015, with the corporate headquarters remaining in Los Angeles. Also during her helm, Rodriguez has expanded the company’s executive team considerably, and opened a regional office in Australia, a Crystal River Cruises operations office in Amsterdam and a manning office in Oslo, Norway, broadening Crystal’s reach to wider audiences.
Rodriguez holds a bachelor of science from Nova Southeastern University and certificates from the Executive Management Programs at Harvard and Stanford universities.
She is often joined in her global travels by her husband, Tom, and has one son, Max.
Classes for Edie Rodriguez
Tuesday, August 27
|9:00am - 10:30am||All Delegate General Session Featuring: A Cruise Line CEO Panel||