Hospitality

GEORGE AGUEL

PRESIDENT & CEO, VISIT ORLANDO, ORLANDO

Aguel, who was born in Cuba and came to the U.S. with his parents when he was 4, has deep roots in the tourism industry. Early in his career, he was senior marketing and sales officer for Gaylord/Opryland Resort in Nashville, then worked 23 years for Disney. He held senior roles, including overseeing worldwide management of corporate partnerships, heading Disney’s timeshare division and leading the Disney Institute.

Aguel has led Visit Orlando, the trade organization of 1,200 member companies responsible for branding and marketing Orlando, since 2013. He oversees a $27-million budget and a staff of more than 150 full-time and part-time employees. Since Aguel took over Visit Orlando, annual visitor counts have jumped from 56 million in 2012 to a record-breaking 75 million in 2018. Also during his tenure, Orlando became the nation’s leading meeting and convention destination, attracting 1.4 million to more than 200 conventions and events. Aguel, an alumnus of Leadership Florida, has served as vice chairman of the Central Florida Sports Commission and a member of the Orange County Tourist Development Council. He’s also a recipient of the Metro Orlando Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Don Quixote Award.

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