by Michael C. Lowe | January 31, 2013

Visit Orlando has named George Aguel, a long-time Disney executive who once served as president of the board of Meeting Professionals International, as its president and CEO. Aguel has 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 Co. "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, in a statement. "His knowledge of the meetings and conventions industry, as well as his relationships throughout the travel and tourism segment, match perfectly with the criteria that our search committee identified as priorities." Aguel also served as general manager of the Disney Institute and has been recognized twice as one of the "25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing" by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International. "After nearly 23 years as an Orlando resident, my desire to serve this community has never been stronger," said Aguel. "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 responsibility will include developing strong relationships with the Visit Orlando board of directors and staff, member partners, and regional business leaders and elected officials.