L-R: Kevin Smith, Joe Jiffo, Garrett Ford, Christian Laskaros

3 new hires and 1 promotion for AQSC and Victory Cruise Lines

NEW ALBANY, IN — American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) and sister brand Victory Cruise Lines have enhanced its sales and revenue management teams with multiple additions and one new promotion.

“Following the successful launch of our latest paddlewheeler, the American Countess, we are excited to continue the momentum with the growth of our sales and revenue management teams,” said Shawn Bierdz, president of AQSC and Victory Cruise Lines. “This particular group of executives boasts an impressive background and we look forward to utilizing their expertise as we expand our offerings.”



The new appointments are as follows:

  • Joe Jiffo, Vice President Sales, AQSC: Prior to joining AQSC, Jiffo had roles with Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Exclusive Group Travel and, most recently, American Marketing Group – NEST, where he served as vice president of business development. In his role with AQSC, Jiffo will be tasked with accelerating sales, strengthening customer relationships and driving revenue growth.
  • Garrett Ford, Senior Director of Sales, Victory Cruise Lines: Ford joins the Victory team after most recently serving as sales director for Visit Orlando. Prior to that, he gained extensive sales experience while at Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club and other brands.
  • Kevin Smith, Senior Director of Sales, AQSC: Smith joined AQSC in 2019 as a business development manager before being named director of national accounts in 2020. Prior to joining the team, he gained extensive experience in cruise sales with AmaWaterways River Cruises and Silversea Cruises.
  • Christian Laskaros, Director of Revenue & Yield, AQSC and Victory Cruise Lines: Relocating to South Florida, Laskaros has an extensive background in the hospitality business, most recently serving as director of revenue management with IHG at a flagship property in New York. He also possesses a captain’s licence to operate ships and boats.


Both AQSC and Victory Cruise Lines opened reservations for their 2023 seasons earlier this year after reporting a 35% uptick in January and February bookings over November and December 2020. Both lines also announced mandatory proof of vaccination for all passengers and crew members, effective July 1, 2021.

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