Visit Orlando Names George Armando Aguel New President, CEO
George Armando Aguel was named president and CEO of Visit Orlando, filling the open position after its prior leader, Gary Sain, passed away suddenly last year.
“George is an incredibly accomplished industry leader, with extensive experience in both leisure and business travel,” said Paul Mears III, chair of the Visit Orlando board of directors.
He added, “His knowledge of the meetings and conventions industry, as well as his relationships throughout the travel and tourism segment, matches perfectly with the criteria that our search committee identified as priorities.”
Aguel has more than 35 years in executive-level sales and marketing experience. His most recent position was as senior vice president of Global Corporate Alliances and Operating Participants at The Walt Disney Company, where he led worldwide management for the company’s strategic corporate alliance agreements across all business units of the company.
“Orlando is a world-class destination and the Visit Orlando team is highly respected amongst its peers and the industry,” said George Aguel, president and CEO of Visit Orlando.
He added, “I’m looking forward to working with the team and to have the opportunity to represent the destination and 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.
In addition, he was general manager of The Disney Institute, which provides professional development training and consulting services to a diverse audience of domestic and multinational corporate brands.
Aguel has received several accolades throughout his career, including twice being recognized as one of the “25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing” by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International.
He also received the Academy of Leaders Award from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and was inducted into the Convention Liaison Council Hall of Leaders.
Aguel’s 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.
He has strong ties to the Central Florida community, with contributions being two years as chairman of Visit Orlando (2009-2010), vice chairman of the Central Florida Sports Commission and a past member of the Orange County Tourist Development Council.
“After nearly 23 years as an Orlando resident, my desire to serve this community has never been stronger,” Aguel said.
He added, “The Visit Orlando team leads the industry in collaborating with member partners and community partners to market our region around the globe. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to lead this highly respected team toward ensuring that Orlando not only remains the vibrant travel brand it is today, but continues to be positioned for prosperity in the decades to come.”
Aguel’s initial responsibilities will include developing strong relationships with Visit Orlando board of directors and staff, member partners, regional business leaders and elected officials, as well as gaining understanding of the organization’s three-year strategic plan and work with sales to further enhance Visit Orlando’s positioning in the marketplace, according to Visit Orlando officials.