At Landry & Kling, we value our strong relationships with colleagues, clients and suppliers –it’s also what makes our work so rewarding. This month, we’re excited to welcome Jeanna Steele onboard as Landry & Kling’s new VP of Operations. Jeanna is no stranger to our company; in fact, she’s been a valued member of our Landry & Kling family for years.
Our relationship with Jeanna began when she was a meeting planner at Colonial Supplemental Insurance. We helped Jeanna plan and operate two cruise programs during that time– one in the Caribbean and the other in the Mediterranean. In a recent conversation with Jeanna, she recalls one particular challenge that firmly solidified our client/supplier relationship:
“Colonial had chartered a Renaissance ship (back in the day when they were in business) to go from Rome, Italy to Alexandria, Egypt. One year prior to the charter, 9/11 happened; obviously, we were not in a position to take our top sales people to that region. L&K was with us every step of the way as we negotiated out of that charter contract (which was not easy, since Renaissance went out of business around that time).That was many years ago, but I still remember the drama very clearly”.
After several years as a professional meeting planner, Jeanna was ready for a career change and went out on her own to start her meeting planning business. One of her very first calls was to Landry & Kling to say “Hey, I’m out here – use me!”
Well, use her we did! Jeanna started as a Trip Director for the Jacksonville Super Bowl ship charters, helped operate the Cricket World Cup charter (30 days on a ship in the Caribbean), and joined our operations team on more than a dozen corporate charters and cruise programs. We are especially proud of the role Jeanna played during the 2009 Summit of the Americas and Commonwealth Heads of Government global events, where she oversaw three dockside ship charters as our operations team leader.
Jeanna recalls that every program she helped us with seemed to be more complex and unique than the last – which is how she got so much experience in the cruise industry in a relatively short amount of time. She adds:
“During those years, I was running my meeting planning business, handling corporate and association business – and coupling it with the cruise programs. I guess over time I found my passion – meeting planning at SEA! Who knew?”
In her new role as our VP of Operations, Jeanna will provide leadership and guidance to Landry & Kling’s operations staff, and also manage client and supplier relationships. So there’s only one thing left to say: “Welcome home, Jeanna!”