Ken Lawson, newly appointed president and CEO of Visit Florida, has announced a number of enhancements and increased transparency for the destination marketing organization's finances and contracts.
Among the actions Visit Florida has completed or is working on: The organization is developing a standardized process of identifying and posting public records, which means posting employee salaries online; posting the organizational chart online; posting more than 640 contracts online (with more being added each week); posting audits and annual tax returns; and posting annual performance measures. The DMO also is updating its audit policy to include a more frequent auditor rotation, and is in the process of hiring a new auditing firm now. The corporate travel policy also is being revised to be in line with state standards.
Lawson took over the top post of the embattled organization Jan. 11, following the resignation of former CEO Will Seccombe. Gov. Rick Scott and other lawmakers had called for Seccombe to step down when a $1 million contract the organization penned with rapper Pitbull that included the use of his song "Sexy Beaches" was revealed, as M&C reported earlier this month.