Hospitality

CAROL DOVER

PRESIDENT & CEO, FLORIDA RESTAURANT & LODGING ASSOCIATION, TALLAHASSEE

Dover leads a trade group that represents the state’s $111-billion hospitality industry, including more than 10,000 businesses and 1.5 million workers. Founded in 1946 as the Florida Restaurant Association, FRLA merged with the Florida Hotel and Motel Association in 2006. A graduate of Winter Park High School, Dover got her start as a hotel desk clerk and worked her way through college by waiting tables. In 1978, she graduated from Florida State University with a degree in hotel and restaurant management and joined the staff of the Beer Industry of Florida, working there for a decade before leaving to oversee the state’s hotels and restaurants at the Department of Business and Professional Regulations. She later became deputy chief of staff for then-Gov. Bob Martinez, headed the state Bureau of Fire Prevention and lobbied for the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association. She’s been in her current job since 1995.

Dover, an accomplished dressage rider in Tallahassee, describes herself as “a farm girl through and through. I live on a beautiful farm and love everything about farm life — the animals, especially horses, the hard work required to be successful and the peace it brings.” She says her best advice is never burn a bridge, and she has had to learn over time “to let go of the desire to be all things to all people.” She says she’s particularly proud of the work the FRLA did to help North Florida recover from Hurricane Michael in 2018. “Our crew activated before the storm, sending representatives to the state Emergency Operations Center and lining up meals and lodging for first responders,” she says. “Members donated clean linens when emergency shelters needed them and gave away hotel rooms to evacuees. We worked for weeks post-storm to deliver hot meals to residents across the impacted area, paying particular attention to rural counties.”

George Aguel

Visit Orlando

Jim Allen

Hard Rock International

Michael Brown

Wyndham Destinations

Blake Casper

Caspers CO

Allison Casper

Caspers CO

Frank J. Del Rio

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

Arnold Donald

Carnival

Carol Dover

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association

Robert Earl

Planet Hollywood

Richard Fain

Royal Caribbean Cruises

Michelle Fee

Cruise Planners

Maryann Ferenc

Mise en Place Hospitality Group

Don Fox

Firehouse of America

David Grutman

Groot Hospitality

Randy Hassen

McKibbon Hospitality

Gene Lee

Darden Restaurants

Kim Lopdrup

Red Lobster Seafood

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo

Celebrity Cruises

Julian MacQueen

INNISFREE HOTELS

Tom McAlpin

Virgin Voyages

Richard Millard

Trust Hospitality

Alice Norsworthy

Universal Parks & Resorts

Marcellus Osceola Jr.

Seminole Tribe of Florida

Lou Plasencia

Plasencia Group

Gene Prescott

Seaway Hotels

Mary Rogers

Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Stephen Sawitz

Joe's Stone Crab

Daniel Schwartz

Restaurant Brands International

Jeff Vahle

Disney World Resort

Marcel Verbaas

Xenia Hotels & Resorts

Michael Walsh

Ocean Properties Hotels

Steve Weisz

Marriott Vacations Worldwide

Tom Williams

Universal Parks & Resorts