Orlando Ashford - Chair

Orlando Ashford - Chair

Former President, Holland America Line

Orlando Ashford - Chair Former President, Holland America Line

Orlando Ashford most recently served as president of Holland America Line, leading the award-winning cruise line's brand and business. Ashford oversaw Holland America Line’s sales and marketing, revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, public relations, hotel operations and strategy. Ashford was widely credited in the industry for re-energizing the brand, innovating the guest experience and transforming the corporate culture to embrace inclusion, diversity, and creativity. Prior to joining Holland America Line, Ashford was president of the Talent Business Segment for Mercer. Previous to Mercer he served as senior vice president, chief human resources and communications officer of Mercer's parent company, Marsh & McLennan Companies. Ashford also has held several other leadership roles during the course of his career, including group director of human resources for 90 countries in Eurasia and Africa for the Coca-Cola Company and vice president Corporate Center human resources and cultural transformation. Previously he was vice president of global human resources strategy and organizational development for Motorola Inc. 

Ashford’s book, “Talentism,” addresses the global disconnect between available jobs – more than one-third of employers worldwide cannot fill all available jobs – and the tens of millions of eligible workers who are unemployed. Ashford examines how technology and human networks can help bridge the skills gap, improve business performance, and lead to the betterment of society at large. 

Ashford serves on the board of directors of ITT, Inc., as chair of the compensation committee, and also on the boards for Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company, the Seattle Chapter of the Positive Coaching Alliance, Virginia Mason Medical Center, and Year Up, a year-long intensive training program for underserved young adults. In 2018 finished a two-year term as board chair for the Executive Leadership Council (ELC).

Ashford was selected by Seattle Business Magazine for the 2019 Executive Excellence Award, honoring the best-of-the-best leaders in Washington state business and community. In 2017, Black Enterprise Magazine named Ashford to their 2017 list of the “Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America,” and in 2016 he was awarded a Travvy Award for “Most Innovative Executive, Mid-sized Cruise.” Ashford was also named to the “Directorship 100” of the National Association of Corporate Directors in 2013 and 2014, and since 2012 has been named to Savoy Magazine’s list of “Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.” He is a Purdue University School of Technology Distinguished Alumnus. 

Ashford holds a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership and Industrial Technology from Purdue University.