The Belle of Louisville—built in 1914—is the oldest operating Mississippi River-style steamboat in America. The Belle is joined by another historical vessel—Life Saving Station #10—and the Mary M. Miller to form Belle of Louisville Riverboats, with two of our three riverboats offering cruises up the Ohio River. Each of our crew members play an important role in maintaining these riverboats and preserving their legacies for generations to come. In today’s chapter of the Crew Spotlight Series, we interview the CEO of Belle of Louisville Riverboats, Krista Snider, to learn more about the extraordinary role she holds within Belle of Louisville Riverboats and its legacy.
How long have you worked with Belle of Louisville Riverboats?
I started in my role here in August 2019.
What are some of the important responsibilities of your job as Chief Executive Officer?
I’m responsible for the strategic direction of our organization, as well as directing finance, marketing, fundraising and what we offer to our audiences. I also work to establish relationships within the community that help support our organizational goals.
In your opinion, what is the best aspect of your job?
I get to be creative and analytical at the same time, which is wonderful. I also really enjoy having a role that allows me to be involved in the community. All that said, I LOVE history and I LOVE water, so this job is a dream for me!
What does a typical workday look for you?
One of the other things I really enjoy is that every day is different. Some days I’m working alone, focused on a project, planning or analyzing data. Other days, I have lots of externally facing meetings and calls. Others, I’m occupied with meeting with the team here. Many of those situations call for creativity, a fresh perspective and problem-solving—all things that are so rewarding for me.
What is the most unique aspect of your job?
I have a complete view of the whole organization—from the business side to the operations side and everything in between. That is a lot of responsibility, but also a lot of fun. I think I have the coolest job there is.
What is your favorite memory of working with Belle of Louisville Riverboats?
I’ve had lots of great experiences thus far and I know there are many more to come. So far, the memory that stands out most from my first 20 months is the day I spoke at my first staff meeting. It was in the Belle’s ballroom and I had a moment looking out at the staff and crew thinking how special that was and how fortunate I am to have landed this role. It’s the best imaginable compilation of my skills and experience with things that I am truly passionate about—history, education, community engagement and promoting our beautiful city.
Why is Belle of Louisville Riverboats important to you?
Preserving this piece of history, the last of her kind, is an important mission. Getting the opportunity to use that piece of history as a tool for educating, entertaining and sharing a new perspective with people is something that resonates with me on a personal level. It’s easy to be passionate about what we do and it’s truly a privilege to be able to do it.