Hospitality

JULIAN MACQUEEN

CHAIRMAN & FOUNDER, INNISFREE HOTELS,
GULF BREEZE

When he’s not managing his 26 Innisfree Hotel properties or piloting his private jet, MacQueen devotes his energies to helping the blind, promoting early childhood education and providing food for the needy.

An Alabama native, MacQueen has deep roots in the hospitality industry, starting at age 15 busing tables during the summers at a Destin motel. “Since then, I’ve never left the hotel business,” he says.

He built his first hotel, a Family Inn, in 1985 with a no-money-down loan and zero cash flow. “I didn’t have enough money to make the first payroll, so I hired my first housekeeper after I collected rent from my first guest for $19.77.”

From that beginning, MacQueen has built a company that has lodging properties in five states and includes the Marriott, Hilton and Intercontinental Hotel brands. MacQueen attributes much of his company’s success to a philosophy that promotes a culture of diversity and freedom of self-expression among his employees. “We have continued to develop this approach, hiring a director of culture 25 years ago to come onboard and drive this culture of authenticity. I believe this has been the cornerstone of Innisfree’s success,” he says.

As a leader in the Northwest Florida lodging industry, MacQueen supports efforts to reorganize and refocus tourism marketing strategies to help maximize return on investment of tourist development tax revenue. On a broader scale, MacQueen believes one of the most pressing issues facing Florida is widespread and chronic poverty among many demographic groups.

“The circle of poverty in Florida needs to be broken, and I believe this can start with children and their education beginning in pre-K through elementary school.

“People of privilege need to realize that we as a community are only as good as our most disenfranchised population,” he says.

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