Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald has been honored as Maritime Person of the Year by the Propeller Club of the Port of New Orleans, recognizing the Big Easy native for his outstanding contributions to both the city and port of New Orleans.
As CEO of the world’s largest travel and leisure company, Donald oversees the company’s 10 global brands, several of which have a longstanding association with New Orleans, bringing thousands of visitors to the city and having a significant impact on the local economy. According to a recent study by the Cruise Line International Association, Carnival Corporation and other cruise operators contribute more than $400 million in direct purchase spending and account for more than 7,700 jobs annual in the state of Louisiana.
The event was highlighted by a rousing performance by band members from St. Augustine High School, Donald’s alma mater, and included comments from President and CEO of the New Orleans Convention & Visitor’s Bureau Stephen Perry and President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans Gary P. LaGrange, both of whom spoke about Carnival’s tremendous impact on the city, port and community. LaGrange also thanked Carnival for its role in revitalizing the Port of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Following the storm, Carnival chartered two ships to FEMA to house first responders and the company’s cruise operations have now surpassed pre-Katrina levels.
Prior being named Carnival Corporation CEO in 2013, Donald served as president and CEO of the Executive Leadership Council, a professional network and leadership forum for African-American executives of Fortune 500 companies. He also served as president and CEO of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, the largest charitable funder of diabetes research in the world, and chairman of Merisant Company, whose products include global leading low-calorie sweetener brands Equal and Canderel. President Bill Clinton appointed Donald to serve on the President’s Export Council for international trade in 1998. President Bush re-appointed him in February 2003. Donald serves on the board of Carleton College, Washington University, Bank of America Corporation, Crown Holdings, the Greater New Orleans Foundation and BJC Healthcare, among others.