The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) is pleased to honor George Aguel, President & CEO, Visit Orlando, with its Albert E. Koehl Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Marketing recipient for 2015. Aguel will be honored at the HSMAI Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala on Feb. 16 at the New York Marriott Marquis.
The Albert E. Koehl Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Marketing recognizes individuals who have spent a major portion of their careers in the hospitality and travel profession and have contributed to the betterment of the industry in a significant and lasting way, over an extended period of time. The award is named in honor of Albert E. Koehl, a pioneer in hotel advertising.
“George is a key player in the hospitality and travel community, and is making innovative strides while representing the most visited destination in the country,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president and CEO of HSMAI. “We couldn’t be more excited to present George with this year’s Albert E. Koehl Award.”
Prior to Visit Orlando, Aguel served as senior vice president of global corporate alliances and operating participants at The Walt Disney Company in Burbank, CA where he led worldwide management for the company’s strategic corporate partnership agreements across all business units of the company. Throughout his 23 years with the company, Aguel also served as senior vice president of Worldwide Sales and Services for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Prior to Disney, Aguel was the senior sales and marketing officer for Gaylord/Opryland in Nashville.
Throughout his career, Aguel has held a number of leadership roles within the travel and tourism industry. He has twice been recognized as one of HSMAI’s “25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing.” He is among a select group of industry professionals to receive the Academy of Leaders Award from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and be inducted into the Convention Industry Council Hall of Leaders. He’s also an ASAE Fellow and recipient of the Professional Convention Management Associations (PCMA), 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 other industry groups including his current role on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Travel Association and Board of PCMA. In his own community, Aguel served as a member of the Board and Chairman of Visit Orlando as well as the Orange County, FL. Tourist Development Council. He was also recognized with the Metro Orlando Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Don Quixote Award.
Aguel joins past Koehl award recipients including: David Kong, Roger Dow, Eric A. Danziger, Sol Kerzner, Ian Schrager, Barbara Talbott, Barry S. Sternlicht, Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, Horst H. Schulze, John J. Russell, CHME, Michael A. Leven, CHME, Richard Branson and Christopher J. Nassetta.