In addition to founding Mise en Place, one of Tampa’s iconic restaurants, in 1986, Ferenc has become an advocate for the whole tourism industry. “I would love to get Florida to understand that gift that the tourism economy is and that it is the gift that keeps giving. The tourism economy fends off a state income tax with visitors paying, on average, 25% of our sales tax. The tourism economy creates jobs for folks from every walk of life and level of education. The tourism economy makes destinations across the state better places to live by making better destinations to visit. The tourism economy could help us to solve problems across our state if we engaged one another to find out how,” she says.

EDUCATION Wayne State University (BA)
CIVIC EFFORT Ferenc has served as a member of Hillsborough County’s Commission on the Status of Women’s Hall of Fame and has also served three two-year terms on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, which advises the president and secretary of commerce on tourism matters.
love about her job There is something so rewarding about giving someone an opportunity to earn wealth and enjoy earning. I appreciate the part of employing a team that is mentoring the leadership team and giving them the tools to thrive in their roles.
ADMIRES My mother, Wanda. She did amazing things in life for a woman born in the early ’20s of an immigrant family. She taught me about true hospitality. She was tough and fair and stylish. And she never lost herself, even after a tough life, including Alzheimer’s.

George Aguel

Visit Orlando

Michael Brown

Travel + Leisure Co.

Blake Casper

Caspers CO

Allison Casper

Caspers CO



Frank J. Del Rio

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

Arnold Donald


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

David Hoffmann

Hoffmann Family of Companies

Gene Lee

Darden Restaurants

Kim Lopdrup

Red Lobster Seafood

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo

Celebrity Cruises

Julian MacQueen


Tom McAlpin

Virgin Voyages

Richard Millard

Trust Hospitality

Alice Norsworthy

Universal Parks & Resorts

Marcellus Osceola Jr.

Seminole Tribe of Florida

Lou Plasencia

Plasencia Group

Mary Rogers

Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Daniel Schwartz

Restaurant Brands International

Jeff Vahle

Disney World Resort

Marcel Verbaas

Xenia Hotels & Resorts

Michael Walsh

Ocean Properties Hotels


Marriott Vacations Worldwide

Tom Williams

Universal Parks & Resorts