CHAIRMAN & CEO, PLASENCIA GROUP, TAMPA
Plasencia founded his sales, investment consulting and advisory firm in 1993. Among others, he has helped negotiate deals for the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C., the Four Seasons in Atlanta, Amelia Island Plantation in Northeast Florida and the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.
Plasencia has more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He studied psychology and broadcast media at Loyola University in New Orleans and earned a master’s degree in education from Indiana University. He worked as a student affairs administrator at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia before landing a role in Hyatt Hotels’ sales and marketing department in New Orleans. With Hyatt Hotels, Plasencia returned to Tampa to oversee the development of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tampa Bay.
An immigrant from Cuba, Plasencia lived with his family in a one-room apartment in Ybor City. He credits his father instilling in him the importance of “committing yourself to one thing and doing it better than anyone else.”
Plasencia is a member of the Hospitality Investment Roundtable of the AHLA and the Urban Land Institute. He also serves on the boards of the Florida Council of 100 and the Foundation for Florida’s Future and the Hillsborough County Advisory Council of St. Lawrence Parish in Tampa.