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Florida Tourism Leaders Well Represented on National Stage

By on June 10th, 2016 — 4:27pm

John Sprouls head shotWith today’s announcement by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker of the new Travel and Tourism Advisory Board members for the coming year, Florida’s tourism industry continues to be well represented at the national level.  Congratulations to John Sprouls, CEO & EVP of Universal Parks and Resorts in Orlando, who was named Chair.  Other members from Florida include George Aguel, President & CEO of Visit Orlando; Olga Ramudo, President & CEO of Express Travel of Miami and William D. Talbert, III, CDME, President & CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.  The tourism and travel advisory board serves as the leadership council for the International Trade Association, whose mission is to help strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. industry.

“The travel and tourism industry supports millions of American jobs and is a major driver of our nation’s economy,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The Travel and Tourism Advisory Board offers important guidance and strategies that facilitate collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors to ensure that America remains an attractive destination for international visitors for years to come.”

Florida tourism leaders represent the state on other national industry boards as well. Maryann Ferenc, President & CEO of Mise en Place in Tampa Bay, and Randy A. Garfield, retired EVP of Worldwide Sales & Travel Operations for Disney Destinations, fill restaurant and attractions sector seats respectively on the Brand USA Board of Directors.  This 11-member board, also appointed by Secretary Pritzker, provides consultation and leadership representing various segments of the tourism industry.

George Aguel; Phil Brown, Executive Director of Orlando International Airport; Randy Garfield; Joe Lopano, CEO of Tampa International Airport; and Jerry Mosiello, VP of International Business Development for Enterprise Holdings, Inc. are members of the U.S. Travel Association Executive Committee.  A host of other Florida tourism industry leaders participate in various U.S. Travel Association committees, councils and coalitions, as well as its board of directors.  Those serving in these leadership roles provide input to the U.S. Travel Association, which serves as the voice of the tourism industry at the national level.

In addition, I am proud to represent Florida on several national boards, including the U.S. Travel Association Executive Committee, U.S. Travel Association Board of Directors, U.S. Travel Policy Council and National Council of State Tourism Directors.  Other VISIT FLORIDA staff are also active members of numerous national and regional boards and organizations as well.

As tourism is the largest industry in the Sunshine State, it is vital that Florida’s tourism leaders be actively engaged on the national stage.  Not only does it provide the opportunity to help frame policy and response efforts at the highest level, but it also ensures those decisions are well communicated first-hand to our industry here in Florida.  Working together on the national level will ensure that Florida’s number one industry remains strong and is positioned for further growth.

Thank you to all those who represent us so passionately.  We are grateful for your service and appreciate the time and energy you dedicate to this important work.


Will Seccombe
President & CEO
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