Donald heads the world’s largest cruise ship company, taking over from former CEO Micky Arison in 2013. Donald’s first job was at St. Louis-based Monsanto, where he rose to become general manager at 32. Some 20 years later, he joined a group of investors who bought Monsanto’s Equal sugar substitute and formed a company, Merisant, with Donald as CEO and chairman. He was semi-retired when Arison called. Donald’s biggest formative influences were his father, a carpenter, who built the house where Donald was raised in New Orleans with four siblings and the 27 foster children his parents took in while he was growing up. He attended St. Augustine High School, a Catholic school for African-American boys in New Orleans, where students were told three times a day to dream big and “prepare yourselves. You’re going to run the world.”

EDUCATION Carleton College (BS), Washington University (BS), University of Chicago (MBA)
PROFESSIONAL EVOLUTION When I was first approached with this opportunity at Carnival, I was semi-retired and wasn’t sure I wanted to jump back into the corporate world. Now, looking back, I realize I should have been begging for the opportunity!
ADMIRES Brightline is very creative and well-managed. And they have a strong vision of providing a great service to the community.
NEW HOBBY I have been learning to relax more, which is both a new interest and an accomplishment for someone who is working as much as I am.
SABBATICAL TOPIC Astronomy. Through astronomy we can understand where we came from and where we are going, which makes it a pretty profound discipline.

George Aguel

Visit Orlando

Michael Brown

Travel + Leisure Co.

Blake Casper

Caspers CO

Allison Casper

Caspers CO



Frank J. Del Rio

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

Arnold Donald


Carol Dover

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association

Robert Earl

Planet Hollywood

Richard Fain

Royal Caribbean Cruises

Michelle Fee

Cruise Planners

Maryann Ferenc

Mise en Place Hospitality Group

Don Fox

Firehouse of America

David Grutman

Groot Hospitality

Randy Hassen

McKibbon Hospitality

David Hoffmann

Hoffmann Family of Companies

Gene Lee

Darden Restaurants

Kim Lopdrup

Red Lobster Seafood

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo

Celebrity Cruises

Julian MacQueen


Tom McAlpin

Virgin Voyages

Richard Millard

Trust Hospitality

Alice Norsworthy

Universal Parks & Resorts

Marcellus Osceola Jr.

Seminole Tribe of Florida

Lou Plasencia

Plasencia Group

Mary Rogers

Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Daniel Schwartz

Restaurant Brands International

Jeff Vahle

Disney World Resort

Marcel Verbaas

Xenia Hotels & Resorts

Michael Walsh

Ocean Properties Hotels


Marriott Vacations Worldwide

Tom Williams

Universal Parks & Resorts