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Cruise Industry Group Finds New Harbor in DC

n a move designed to ease operations, the Cruise Lines Industry Association will move its member operations and lobbying efforts into a single office in Washington, DC. It's a tough move, as many of its employees currently work out of a Florida office.

In a change designed to streamline operations, the Cruise Lines International Association will move its member services and lobbying work into a single office in Washington, DC. It’s a tough switch, as many of its employees currently work out of a Florida office.

A major office move is almost never easy.  It’s a change that can cause high-level resignations, as in the recent departure of Reddit CEO Yishan Wong, who tried—and failed—to move his company to a San Francisco suburb. In other cases, a move can be a symptom of a larger shake-up, much like the one that befell the staff and leadership of The New Republic last week. While a planned relocation to New York City was problematic for the iconic Beltway-based political magazine, staff members were far more distressed by the loss of two top editors.

Often, though, such changes can signify a larger shift that’s already taking place within an organization.

Such is the case with the Cruise Lines International Association, which announced last week that it will close its longtime Fort Lauderdale, Florida, location and consolidate its U.S. operations in the nation’s capital.

CLIA will begin moving its offices to Washington, DC, next month and will close its DC-area location in Arlington, Virginia, as part of the transition.

CLIA President and CEO Christine Duffy says the move is meant to better serve the association’s members, who in recent years have found themselves under increased regulatory scrutiny in the wake of high-profile accidents.

Meanwhile, the association itself has undergone major changes, thanks in part to a massive 2012 merger that brought nine separate cruise industry associations under the CLIA name.

“With the globalization of CLIA, we have added new capabilities and expanded our resources in various parts of the world to support a growing cruise industry,” Duffy said in a news release.

The Arlington office had focused on advocacy and regulatory issues, the Florida office on member services. To help bring these functions together in a single office, CLIA hired former Meeting Professionals International Chief Operating Officer Cindy D’Aoust as its executive vice president of membership and operations.

CLIA has pledged to help all employees affected by the move—some of whom will be kept on in remote roles and others asked to consider relocating to Washington. Still others will lose their jobs.

“I have a great appreciation and regard for our Fort Lauderdale team and their dedication to our members. CLIA will be providing support to them throughout this transition,” Duffy said.

(iStock/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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