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Holland America Names Michael J. Smith Senior VP of Marine Hotel Operations

Holland America Line has named Michael J. Smith senior vice president, marine hotel operations, replacing Johan Groothuizen who is retiring at the end of 2013 after 42 years with the company.

In this role, Smith is responsible for the overall marine hotel operations, including onboard services such as culinary operations, all hotel and entertainment services for both Holland America Line, as well as Seabourn. He will report to Dan Grausz, executive vice president, fleet operations.

“Michael’s extensive background in both the hotel and the cruise industries makes him a knowledgeable and well-rounded addition to the team,” said Grausz. “His enthusiasm, fresh perspective and attention to detail will ensure continued growth and service excellence for Holland America Line and Seabourn.”

Prior to joining Holland America Line, Smith was vice president of hotel operations at Club Quarters Hotels in New York for more than 15 years. He also spent 16 years in the cruise industry serving in several executive positions both ashore and onboard for Cunard Line, as well as Silversea Cruises.

During 2013 Groothuizen will serve as vice president, special projects, with a primary focus on the recently announced Holland America Line ship to be completed in 2015.

In this role, he will work closely with the shipyard and architects to ensure the new Pinnacle-class ship incorporates both current brand features and future innovations.  

“Johan has given more than 40 years of dedicated and successful service to Holland America Line, from his earlier days as shipboard crew to his exceptional job at the helm of the marine hotel department,” said Grausz. “We all look forward to using that wealth of knowledge to develop our Pinnacle Class of ships.”

In other marine hotel moves, John Peijs is promoted to director, marine hotel operations and Jafar Al Shibibi is promoted to director, marine hotel procurement. Peijs will continue his current responsibilities with on-board services. Al Shibibi will continue to make improvements to the line’s purchasing activities.

“Both of these promotions are well earned,” said Grausz. “John has taken on multiple responsibilities during his time with Holland America Line, and he has executed all of them with professionalism. And Jafar has taken on many jobs with the line and can look at each one with a strong sense of accomplishment.”

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