About

Hornblower Group

We are Hornblower Group, a global leader in world-class experiences and transportation.  There are two divisions that make up Hornblower Group – City Experiences and American Queen™ Steamboat Company.

The brand heritage of our organization dates back nearly 100 years, with the establishment of Boston Harbor Cruises in Massachusetts in 1926; on the west coast of the United States, Hornblower Group began in 1980. Across our growing portfolio, we have a long-standing history of expertise and innovation and have continually redefined the marine hospitality industry. Today, our footprint spans 111 countries and territories, and 125 U.S. cities, with offerings including water-based experiences, land-based experiences, overnight cruise experiences, and ferry and transportation services and marine consulting & services.

Our Hornblower Group global headquarters is located in San Francisco, California, with additional corporate offices in Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; London, United Kingdom; New Albany, Indiana; New York, New York; and across Ontario, Canada.

Core Leadership Team

Kevin M. Rabbitt
Chief Executive Officer

Kevin M. Rabbitt

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Kevin M. Rabbitt is Chief Executive Officer and Board Director at Hornblower Group, a global experiences and transportation leader. The group’s expansive portfolio includes land-based experiences (City Experiences), water-based experiences and dining and sightseeing cruises (City Cruises), ferry and transportation services (City Ferry), and small ship overnight cruises (American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruises). Hornblower is owned by management and private equity firm, Crestview Partners.

In addition to his role at Hornblower, Rabbitt serves as Operating Executive in the media portfolio for Crestview Partners. Rabbitt serves as a Board Director on behalf of Crestview for investments at Congruex Networks, Viad Corp and Framestore/Company 3. Additionally, Rabbitt serves on non-profit boards for Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital Foundation and Jerome Bettis “The Bus Stops Here” Foundation.

Prior CEO roles for Rabbitt have included NEP Group, the worldwide leader of technical outsourced production services operating in 24 countries; 3 Day Blinds, a leading manufacturer and retailer of custom window coverings; and Global Experience Specialists (GES), a global face-to-face events and tradeshow services company.

Early roles for Rabbitt included consulting stops at Bain and Company and Deloitte Consulting; running a small entertainment business; time with the Houston Rockets basketball organization; and an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Texas State University.

Rabbitt holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School (2001), and a BA in Managerial Studies from Rice University (1995). While at Rice, Rabbitt was captain and point guard for the Men’s Basketball team.

Rabbitt enjoys spending time with his wife Emily (Rice 1994; Jones School 1995) and their four children. Rabbitt is an avid sports fan including Rice Owls as well as his native Kansas City teams the Chiefs, Royals and Jayhawks. Rabbitt is an active supporter of college basketball programs including Pitt, Robert Morris University, UT-San Antonio, and Henderson State. In his free time, Rabbitt enjoys coaching youth sports and playing golf.

Cameron Clark
Chief Strategy & Business Development Officer

Cameron Clark

Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer

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A California Maritime Academy, graduate with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon, Cameron has been involved with Hornblower’s business development and engineering projects over the past 17 years, including expansion of Hornblower’s hybrid-electric and zero emission fleet and its operations including Alcatraz Cruises, Niagara Cruises, Statue Cruises and NYC Ferry. Spearheading Hornblower’s entrance into software development Cameron assembled Hornblower Encore Studio to develop the industry’s leading SaaS tours & activities booking and operating platform. Today, as Chief Strategy & Business Development Officer Cameron works to ensure the growth and long-term success of the company and its portfolio of businesses. This includes development and expansion of our Ferry & Transit Services offerings and Land Based Experiences supporting both our existing water based and overnight cruise experiences. He and his team evaluate technological investments, diversified operations and strategic partners to build new and innovative offerings for our guests.

Kristina Heney
Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer

Kristina Heney

Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer

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Kristina Heney is a live experience marketing expert, storyteller, brand builder and performance marketer who has spent the last two decades connecting fans with world-class brands including Cirque du Soleil, Madison Square Garden Entertainment and the National Basketball Association.

Currently, Kristina is the EVP, CMO and CRO of City Experiences, the global experiences and transportation leader under Hornblower Group, where she oversees all aspects of the City Experiences global marketing, guest experience, and brand communications across 111 countries, leading a team of 400 marketers.

Prior to joining Hornblower, Kristina served as the Chief Marketing & Experience Officer of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group. During her tenure, her team was awarded an Emmy for its’ groundbreaking VR work, named one of the top 100 beloved brands in the world and hit record ticket sales through partnerships with Lionel Messi, Disney and the Beatles.

Earlier in her career, Kristina served as the Senior Vice President, Marketing for Madison Square Garden Entertainment. In this role, she oversaw brand development, strategic positioning, marketing and revenue management for over 3,000 events annually across MSG’s 7 U.S. venues including Radio City Music Hall, as well as all touring properties.

Kristina joined MSG Entertainment from The National Basketball Association where she was responsible for NBA, WNBA and USA licensed product revenue. Kristina is a graduate of Colgate University, where she majored in International Relations and Japanese and received her MBA in Marketing from Fordham University.

Kristina was named one of the “Forbes CMO Next” of 2019. A native New Yorker, Kristina currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.

Nasi Peretz
Chief Technology Officer

Nasi Peretz

Chief Technology Officer

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A graduate of the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering in Computer Engineering & Computer Science for both undergrad and grad. Created WestsideRentals.com along with Mark Verge and Kevin Miller, 70+ employees which after 15 years was sold to Apartments.com/Costar (CSGP on Nasdaq). Then created Ticketmob.com with Scot Richardson which was acquired in December of 2012 by Cvent (CVT on Nasdaq) and after 6 years of expanding that ticketing company moved to Ticketmaster/LiveNation where he created Taylor Swift’s ticketing platform for the largest concert series in Ticketmaster history. Now Chief Technology Officer at the Hornblower Group after serving as the Vice President of Engineering for two years.

Mitch Randall
General Counsel

Mitch Randall

General Counsel

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Mitch Randall is the General Counsel of Hornblower Group, the holding company for City Experiences and American Queen Steamboat Company. He is responsible for all of Hornblower’s legal matters, including litigation, mergers & acquisitions, human resources, real estate and permitting, commercial contract negotiations, finance, risk management, corporate governance, and management of external counsel.

Mitch was previously the President and Chief Legal Officer of PureGen Power, a clean power company focused on the acquisition, improvement and operation of utility scale solar projects.  Prior to joining PureGen in January 2017, he was the President of Recurrent Energy, one of North America’s largest solar project developers.

Mitch has more than 20 years of legal experience in hospitality, energy, project development, regulatory, finance, and mergers & acquisitions. Prior to serving as President of Recurrent Energy, Mitch served as its General Counsel, overseeing the company’s legal strategy across its operations.  Prior to joining Recurrent Energy, Mitch was a partner with Morrison & Foerster LLP, where he represented energy, real estate, development, health care and technology companies in complex transactional, permitting and regulatory matters.

Mitch received a JD from University of California’s Hastings College of the Law and a BS from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Rob Williams
Chief Financial Officer

Rob Williams

Chief Financial Officer

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Rob Williams joined Hornblower Group as the CFO in July 2018, shortly after it was acquired by Crestview Partners.

Prior to joining Hornblower he served in several CFO roles for private equity backed companies. After completing business school, with a focus on finance he began his finance career at Wells Fargo in their capital markets group and also spent several formative years in the M&A advisory practice at PwC. Prior to this Rob served as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps.

He holds dual B.S. degrees from the US Merchant Marine Academy and has an M.B.A. from Duke University.

Justin Thulien
Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Justin Thulien

Senior Vice President, Human Resources

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Justin was born and raised in the wine country in northern California where he excelled in Football and Golf, which eventually led to a golf scholarship to go to college in Santa Barbara. Justin’s Human Resources career began aboard Cruise Ships with Norwegian Cruise Lines where he was able to travel the world and familiarize himself with many cultures and the travel industry. In an effort to pursue his HR career, Justin left his life at sea to return to the Bay Area where he attained his MBA in Human Resources Management. Justin’s career has taken him from hotels, to convention centers, to stadiums, ski mountains, and much more.  Always in the F&B hospitality event space, Justin’s enjoyed managing and executing human resources for Super Bowls, Word Series, major conventions, etc.. In 2019, his career came full circle when he made it back to the sea with Hornblower to lead our HR organization into the future.

Eric Dober
Vice President, Chief of Staff

Eric Dober

Vice President, Chief of Staff

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Eric Dober is a Vice President and the Chief of Staff at Hornblower. Prior to joining the team, Eric worked at Hornblower’s private equity sponsor Crestview Partners, where he analyzed media, industrials and energy investments. He began his career at Centerview Partners, a New York based investment bank, advising clients on mergers and acquisitions across a variety of industries. Eric graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A in Philosophy, Political Science and Economics. He is an avid fan of New York sports and enjoys running and staying active in his spare time.

Shawn Bierdz
President American Queen Steamboat Company

Shawn Bierdz

President American Queen Steamboat Company

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Shawn Bierdz is President of American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines, owner and operator of U.S. river and small-ship expedition cruise lines, based in New Albany, Ind.

Bierdz leads the company overseeing all aspects of the operation including its growth and expansion encompassing three new vessel additions to the fleet by 2023.

A longtime executive with HMS Global Maritime Inc. since 2013, he served as Chief Financial Officer of the holding company, which included the American Queen Steamboat Company, HMS Ferries, Seaward Services and HMS-Consulting. In 2018, Bierdz was instrumental in the sale of the company to a private equity firm with $700 million on the balance sheet and $500 million in revenue at the time.

Prior to his tenure with HMS Global Maritime Inc., Bierdz was with Binswanger Enterprise, LLC holding leadership positions including Chief Financial Officer and Director of Internal Audit and Compliance along with Director of Internal Audit for Mueller Industries, Inc.

A veteran of the United States Navy serving during the Gulf War, Bierdz holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Memphis.

Michael K. Burke
COO Concessions & Park Services

Michael K. Burke

COO Concessions & Park Services

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Mike joined Statue Cruises as VP & COO at the start of 2008. Statue Cruises carries 4.5 million passengers annually to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and on harbor cruises & charters. He directs all operations and fiscal affairs of Statue Cruises. Commitment to safety & security, hospitality, guest service, innovation, and environmental initiatives has enabled Statue Cruises to achieve results far exceeding industry standards. Mike is responsible for relationships with the National Park Service, U.S. Coast Guard, NYC Parks & Recreation, and numerous government agencies and not-for-profit partners.

In August 2020, Mike was promoted to COO of Concessions & Park Services to direct Alcatraz Cruises as well as Statue Cruises. In addition to an expanded role with NPS and USCG matters, Mike is liaison with the Port of San Francisco and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

Prior to his current position, Mike served as CFO at BillyBey Ferry Company from 2005 to 2008. Mike was President and CEO at Circle Line-Statue of Liberty Ferry in 2000 and 2001, where he served as its first non-owner chief executive. He was also advisor and consultant to Circle Line from 1982 to 2000.

Mike is an active Board and Committee Member of NYC & Company, the Friends of Governors Island and various other organizations. He holds a US Coast Guard 100 GRT Captain License and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Mory DiMaurizio
COO, City Cruises Canada

Mory DiMaurizio

COO, City Cruises Canada

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Mory DiMaurizio joined Hornblower Canada in 2014. As Vice President & General Manager he oversaw the successful startup, development and operations of Hornblower Niagara Cruises. At the helm of Canada’s most iconic tourist attraction, Mory oversees the safe passage of over 2.4 million visitors per year. He is responsible for ensuring that his highly skilled team is focused on guest services, safety and environmental goals and objectives. As key liaison with the Niagara Parks Commission, an operational enterprise agency for the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Mory ensures compliance with all financial and operating agreements.

With 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Mory sits on the Board of Directors for Niagara Falls Tourism as Treasurer and the Tourism Partnership of Niagara.

Prior to joining Hornblower, Mory was General Manager for Medieval Times Entertainment overseeing the Toronto operations at the Canadian National Exhibition from 2005 to 2013. Mory was General Manager for the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation participating in Casino development, operations and 14 successful casino startup operations on time and budget within the Canadian gaming industry from 1996 to 2005.

Mory is a Certified Engineering Technologist (OACETT), is a graduate of Electrical Engineering with a double minor in Computers and Electronics from Niagara College.

Kyle Haughton
Managing Director, City Cruises, UK

Kyle Haughton

Managing Director, City Cruises, UK

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Kyle Haughton, joined Hornblower in 2019 and holds the position of Managing Director at City Cruises, based in the UK.

He joined City Cruises in 2011 and has lead the company to become the leading Passenger Boat operator in the UK. He is also currently a director of the Thames Skills Academy and Thames Marine Engineering, where he sits on both boards.

Prior to joining Hornblower, Kyle has built a career within the UK travel industry in both the outbound and inbound markets. Before City Cruises he served as Managing Director at Funway Holidays, prior to Funway he was Sales and Marketing Director at the UK airport operator, BAA. UK. Before then, he worked for many years with the overseas holiday company Tui/First Choice Holidays, becoming a board member and divisional Managing Director.

His experience spans innovative strategic business, brand strategy and customer service engagement. Experienced, approachable and a well-connected travel industry business practitioner. Kyle has worked in a variety of complex business environments with multiple stakeholder demands.

Kyle received a Degree with Honours from the University of Westminster, graduating in Business Studies.

Scott Thornton
Chief Operating Officer Ferry & Transportation Division President

Scott Thornton

Chief Operating Officer Ferry & Transportation Division President

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Scott Thornton is the Chief Operating Officer of City Experiences’ ferry and transportation division, where he leads the operations of all ferry systems it operates, including NYC Ferry, Puerto Rico Ferry, and more.

In his more than three decades with Hornblower, Scott has served at every level of the organization, beginning as a bartender onboard the California Hornblower in Los Angeles. In his time at Hornblower, Scott has exemplified the leadership and creativity that drives our growth and success, helping to lead each Hornblower start-up operation and ensuring the highest level of operational standards and focus on Safety, Quality, and Crew Development.

Prior to serving as COO of Hornblower Group’s Ferries & Transportation Division, Scott served as Chief Operating Officer of NYC Ferry. Since its launch in 2017, NYC Ferry – a new public transit option serving Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and The Bronx – has served more than 17.5 million riders.

Before leading NYC Ferry, Scott was General Manager and Vice President of Operations of Alcatraz Cruises, which, under his leadership, introduced the first ever hybrid ferry in 2009. Soon after Alcatraz Cruises became the first triple ISO-certified passenger maritime operation, Scott also led the Alcatraz Cruises crew to their highest level of annual ridership while maintaining a dedication to safety and quality which led to Alcatraz Cruises being named the No. 1 landmark in the U.S. in TripAdvisor’s’ Traveler’s Choice award. In addition to this experience, Scott spearheaded Hornblower’s Statute Cruises launch in New York City.

Scott is a certified Captain and resides in New York City