Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises yesterday sent the following announcement to all Royal Caribbean employees regarding the death of Mikel Semler:
“It is with great sadness that I report to you that Mikel Semler passed away unexpectedly this weekend.
Mike started his career with us 13 years agowhen the concept of our Wichita call center was still just a work in process. He oversaw the creation and development of this important business center. Over the years, Mike built up the size and importance of Wichita as a key part of Royal Caribbean's ability to handle the needs of our rapidly growing guest base. Currently, the center has over 400 employees handling almost four million calls per year.
At the same time, Mike made sure that the office was a proud supporter of his local community, becoming an active leader and promoter of Wichita and the surrounding community. He was most recently the Chairman of the Kansas Chapter of the Make a Wish Foundation. He also held board appointments for United Way of the Plains (having previously served as its Chairman), Kansas Community in Schools and Go Wichita, a local travel and tourism association.
We will all miss him as a work colleague and friend after his many years of loyal service to Royal Caribbean. His dedication and commitment to our company was an integral part of our success and growth.
It seems hard to imagine it, but Mike was just here in Miami for a two day retreat of the company's executives. His good humor and focus on the future helped lift all of our spirits and raised the demands we placed on ourselves.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends during this most difficult time. They will remain in our thoughts and prayers.”