by Allen J. Sheinman | February 01, 2011

Gary Sain
Visit Orlando As the president and CEO of Visit Orlando, the new name for what was the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Gary Sain has a lot on his plate -- an unbleached, fully biodegradable and compostable plate, that is. Sain, a veteran of the travel and hospitality industries, discussed the latest developments in a recent chat with M&C.  

Why the name change? We felt that "convention and visitor bureau" didn't have as much meaning anymore, especially to generations X and Y -- and most of them think of Orange County as in California. Similar changes are happening with bureau names everywhere now, from Visit Florida to Visit Britain.

What's at the top of your list these days?
Definitely  our Central Florida Green Destination Initiative, which debuted last October. We're working with local lodging, meeting, dining and other establishments to build awareness, set standards and establish a network of green properties and venues to serve as role models for the hospitality industry. We're working in tandem with the state's Green Lodging program, under which more than 100 area hotels already have become designated properties, thanks to their efforts to control waste, use energy wisely and be kind to the earth. We're also excited about hosting the MPI World Education Congress in July.

What's perhaps most surprising about Orlando?
It's that we have a vibrant downtown, with lots of great places for attendees to shop and eat. That's where you'll find our new $380 million Amway Center, which will become the first NBA facility to earn LEED certification,  and we're building a new performing arts center.

What destinations are on your personal wish list? I'd love to go to India, Africa...and I love South America. I hope to get to Argentina and Chile in the near future.      

On the Move

PlannersRichard Carson and Nancy Rosenbaum have been hired as account managers for the Washington, D.C., area for the Experient Sales Network, the sales arm of Twinsburg, Ohio-based event management company Experient.

Kari Kes­lerKari Kes­ler has been appointed senior director of program management and consulting for CWT Meetings & Events.

Suppliers The 236-room Hotel at Auburn (Ala.) University has appointed Tim Aylsworth director of sales and marketing.

Fairfax, Va.-based Barcelo Hotels & Resorts has named Stephanie Eppler director of meetings and incentives for the South Central region of the U.S.

Alan Feuerman has been appointed director of sales and marketing at the 252-room Embassy Suites Cleveland–Downtown.

Toronto-based Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has promoted Georg Garnit­schnig to region­al director of sales and marketing for the U.S. Southeast region.

Heather LambAt the 410-room Ren­aissance Palm Springs (Calif.), Heather Lamb has been appointed as sales manager.

Andy Loges has been named general manager of the 419-room Hilton Toronto Airport Ho­tel & Suites.

Carisa Malanum has been hired as director of client services at LA Inc., The Los Angeles Con­vention and Visitors Bureau.

At the 121-room Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora in the South Pacific, Rajiv Malhotra has been named general manager.

The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission has promoted Karen Meirink to the post of director of visitor and volunteer services.

Alex Moro has been named director of sales at the 740-room Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.

Andrew PenaAt the new 407-room Dallas Mar­riott City Center, Andrew Pena has been appointed sales and marketing director.

In Somerset, Bermuda, Alexis Roberts has been hired as director of sales and marketing at the 94-room Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa.

Gina Rodigou, CMP, has been named director of sales and marketing at the 339-room Charles Hotel in Harvard Square in Boston.

At the 917-room National Con­ference Center in Leesburg, Va., Gregory Spiller has been appointed director of group sales.

Jesse Suglia is the new director of global sales for the Global Hotel Alliance, Kempinski Hotels and Omni Hotels & Resorts. He is based in New York City.