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Advisory board for Seatrade’s Tomorrow’s Talent Today revealed

(L-R) First row: Roberta Jacoby, Geneive Brown Metzger, Joost van Ree and Natalia Rolle. Second row: Paul Rutterford, Julia Siebert and Tarrah Vedder.
Seven cruise industry professionals make up the advisory board for Tomorrow’s Talent Today, an immersive programme at Seatrade Cruise Global (April 8-11) that aims to attract and nurture talent.

Taking place on April 8 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Florida from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., it will explore the vast ocean of career opportunities within the cruise industry and how the sector can continue to evolve to attract the next generation of talent.

Tomorrow’s Talent Today is open to students and professors, as well as professionals in HR, recruitment and talent acquisition; Oceans ME FZCO will sponsor the programme track focused on HR.

Opportunities for attendees to ask cruise executives their burning questions and ship tours are among the highlights.

Board members

Board members are instrumental in shaping the Tomorrow’s Talent Today programme based on industry needs, and lending advice on ways to encourage participation from local schools and colleges to hone talent within the sector.

The members are: Roberta Jacoby, executive advisor, global hospitality and travel operations, Jacoby Advisors; Geneive Brown Metzger, president and founder, American Caribbean Maritime Foundation; Joost van Ree, group director cruise & yacht, Ocean Technologies Group; Natalia Rolle, HR director, Heinemann Americas; Paul Rutterford, operations director, Viking Crew; Julia Siebert, CCO, Columbia BLUE and MD Columbia Cruise Services; and Tarrah Vedder, SVP administration, RWS Group.

Roberta Jacoby

Roberta Jacoby served as a key member of the executive leadership team for two major cruise brands.

At Carnival Cruise Line, she managed global hotel operations, overseeing a $1b annual P&L and 22-vessel fleet. At Carnival Corporation & plc, she directed the transition of Seabourn and spearheaded strategic projects. At Royal Caribbean, reporting directly to the COO and vice chairman, she developed and implemented over 7,000 shore excursions, launched sustainable tour programs, and exceeded Global Sustainable Tourism Council certification goals. Currently advising C-suite leaders, Jacoby specialises in strategic development, destination planning, sustainability, competitive analysis, and startups, for renowned clients.

Geneive Brown Metzger

Geneive Brown Metzger was the former Jamaica Consul General (2008-2012) and dedicated much of her time to promoting foreign direct investment and trade. She is founder and president of the American Caribbean Maritime Foundation, a U.S. non-profit that funds scholarships, equipment, and classrooms to educate future Caribbean mariners. Brown Metzger is also executive editor and host of two podcasts: ‘Diplomatically Speaking’ and ‘The Maritime Effect.’ She contributed to the inaugural Global Diaspora Forum, leading the USAID/Migration Policy Institute think tank. In her role as president, emerging markets at Ruder Finn, she established the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies.

Joost van Ree

After a career at sea, Joost van Ree moved ashore into senior management positions at companies such as Norfolkline and the Rotterdam Pilot Association. In 2016 he co-founded Simwave, a state-of-the-art simulator centre situated in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Five years ago, he was appointed director of partner relations at Cruise Lines International Association and then joined OTG in January 2022. van Ree is often invited to lead industry discussions as speaker, moderator, panelist, or conference chair, representing the cruise industry. He highlights the challenges that crew encounter and emphasises opportunities and benefits for employers in ‘human centric management’.

Natalia Rolle

Natalia Rolle Phillips manages strategy and administration for corporate and shipboard retail teams. She specialises in nurturing forward-thinking corporate cultures and harmonising the relationship between organisations and employees, steering them towards shared success.

Paul Rutterford

Paul Rutterford joined P&O Group in 1997, and from 2000 to 2011, had a career at sea with Swan Hellenic where he travelled the world, including to Antarctica, the Far East, Middle East, India, as well as all corners of Europe, South America, and the Caribbean.

He has been with Viking Crew back on dry land since 2011 equipped with extensive industry knowledge.

Julia Siebert

Julia Siebert has worked on board cruise vessels and has held director of operations and product management roles. Siebert’s biggest achievements include her involvement in major cruise vessel conversions and leading three cruise line start-ups.

At Columbia Cruise Services, which she joined in 2017, Siebert pioneered the hotel operations sector. Under her leadership, the hotel operations team delivered solutions that lead to the creation of COLUMBIA signature in 2021 - a separate brand. She assumed the role of COO, COLUMBIA blue and MD, Columbia Cruise Services in May 2023.

Tarrah Vedder

Tarrah Vedder has been working in the entertainment and events field for over 15 years. She began her career working on commercial shoots with MTV Networks and in the theatrical events department for the Broadway/Off-Broadway production company, Manhattan Theater Club, before joining RWS Entertainment Group. Throughout her career with RWS, she has garnered experience in casting, producing and managing productions with budgets upwards of $5m, and now holds the title of SVP administration. While she has enjoyed producing events for Vera Wang, Victoria's Secret, Kohl's, CBS Television and Mattel, two of her proudest career moments were in 2009, as producer for RWS Entertainment Group's Emmy Award-winning production, Macy's Stars on Broadway, and most recently as producer for the 2014 Holland America Line productions, winning RWS a Magellan Award.

For more information on Tomorrow’s Talent Today, including how to register, visit