Visit Orlando hires industry veteran George Armando Aguel as president & CEO


George Aguel Headshot

On behalf of its board of directors, Visit Orlando Chair Paul Mears III today named George Armando Aguel president and chief executive officer of the nation's premier destination marketing organization.

Aguel brings a tremendous amount of experience to his new role at Visit Orlando, including more than 35 years of executive-level experience in sales and marketing. Most recently as senior vice president of Global Corporate Alliances and Operating Participants at The Walt Disney Company, he led worldwide management for the company's strategic corporate alliance agreements across all business units of the company. Aguel also served as senior vice president of Worldwide Sales and Services for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for 22 years. His responsibilities included catering sales and operations, convention services, national and international sales offices, trade marketing, Disney Cruise Line charter and incentive business, as well as internal corporate meetings and events. He was also general manager of The Disney Institute, which provides professional development training and consulting services to a diverse audience of domestic and multinational corporate brands.

Throughout his career, Aguel has proven himself to be a leader in the industry, as well as in the community. He has twice been recognized as one of the "25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing" by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International. He is among a select group of industry professionals to receive the Academy of Leaders Award from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and be inducted into the Convention Liaison Council Hall of Leaders. He's also an ASAE Fellow and recipient of the Professional Convention Management Association Professional Achievement Award and the APEX award from Black Meetings & Tourism. He has served as chairman of Meeting Professionals International and a board member of numerous industry groups.


Business Leaders Converge at Economic Summit


2013 Economic Summit Panel Discussion 

More than 500 business leaders and community stakeholders attended last week's Economic Summit held by Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, which focused on the local economy and what lies ahead. The bustling activity at the Orange County Convention Center - where the event was held - served as an indicator of a strengthening economy. Mayor Jacobs reaffirmed her commitment to expanding the local economy, noting that the community's collaborative efforts and partnerships will be key in guiding the region towards continued growth.

Fred Kittinger from the University of Central Florida moderated an expert panel discussion with representatives from key industries and areas of interest, including Visit Orlando COO & CFO Larry Henrichs. Others on the panel were Dr. Kathleen Plinske, Valencia College; Pamela Nabors, Workforce Central Florida; Dean Asher, Florida Realtors; and Rick Weddle, Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission.

Economist Dr. Sean Snaith from UCF provided his annual economic forecast, stating that tourism is still the backbone of the area and hospitality will continue to be a job creator. Attendees also heard from Dr. Karen van Caulil from the Florida Healthcare Coalition on healthcare reform and its impact on businesses, as well as a presentation from General Tom Baptiste with the National Center for Simulation, who addressed the future of Orlando's modeling and simulation industry.


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