Ever since he was a young child, Ryan Meiry always had a special wish – to meet Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc and managing general partner of the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat. Keenly interested in entrepreneurs and the corporate world, Ryan became fascinated with Arison’s life story and captivated by business leaders who start from the bottom and go on to become successful.
To help make Ryan’s wish a reality, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which fulfills the dreams of children with life-threatening medical conditions, teamed up with Carnival and the Miami Heat to provide the 14-year-old Californian with a day he will never forget.
The day started with a visit to the Miami Heat’s home court, the AmericanAirlines Arena, in downtown Miami during which Heat CEO Nick Arison took Ryan and his parents on an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the facility, from the locker and training rooms to the practice court and even Championship Alley where players enter the court. Ryan also had his photo taken at the locker of MVP LeBron James, sat at Head Coach’s Erik Spoelstra’s desk, and even wore Nick Arison’s NBA championship ring.
Ryan and his family then headed over to Carnival’s Miami headquarters for some special one-on-one time with Micky Arison. Ryan, a budding entrepreneur himself, talked to Micky about Carnival’s early years and how the company grew from one ship to a multi-brand global organization and the world’s largest cruise operator. Ryan even presented Micky with a patented prototype of fun and unique cruise ship-shaped slippers which he is currently marketing to various companies. The day concluded with a special surprise – a call from Daymond John from Ryan’s favorite television show “Shark Tank,” which was facilitated by Carnival’s Senior Vice President of Guest Operations Mark Tamis, a longtime friend of John.
It was an incredible day and Ryan and his family came away with some great memories to take back with them to California.