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VISIT FLORIDA Announces 2018-2019 Tourism Industry Leadership

July 14, 2018 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Today, VISIT FLORIDA announced its FY 2018-2019 Board of Directors and industry committees. Numerous VISIT FLORIDA partners, including some of the industry’s foremost experts, have been selected to represent the tourism industry for the new term.

Lino Maldonado, Vice President of Operations, Growth, and Innovation for Wyndham Vacation Rentals North America, is the new Chair of the 2018-2019 VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors. Lino succeeds Maryann Ferenc, President and CEO of Mise en Place in Tampa, who served as Chair for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

Maryann Ferenc, outgoing Chair of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors, said, “Over the past year, the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors, leadership and staff, DMOs, and all of the industry have shared ideas, concerns, inspiration and action in a way that has to not only built on the foundation of the past, but created opportunity for the future. I believe we have positioned ourselves for the next great steps in our transformation.”

During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, under Ferenc’s leadership, VISIT FLORIDA secured $76 million in funding from Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature, launched the most robust, innovative and affordable cooperative marketing programs in corporation history, and helped the state continue to set tourism records, including several record setting quarters and an all-time highest 116.5 million out-of-state visitors in 2017.

Ken Lawson, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA, said, “As a passionate advocate for the Florida tourism industry, Maryann did a tremendous job leading the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors this past year and we are grateful for her the guidance. As we move into a new year, I cannot think of a better successor than Lino Maldonado who brings years of experience and extensive travel industry knowledge to his new leadership position with VISIT FLORIDA. Thanks to the leadership of Governor Rick Scott, the Florida Legislature and the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors, we are better positioned than ever to strengthen Florida’s share of the global travel market and make Florida the number one global destination.”

During his upcoming year as Chair of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors, Lino Maldonado intends to build on the momentum VISIT FLORIDA has achieved and focus on efforts that will propel the Sunshine State’s tourism industry to attract even more visitors. Under Lino Maldonado’s direction, VISIT FLORIDA committees have been restructured and work groups have been introduced. This reorganization aims to cultivate further collaboration between VISIT FLORIDA and industry sectors, and harness collective knowledge to advance tourism in the state. Work groups will be assembled around specific issues, market needs, or projects. Group members will be selected on an as-needed basis from diverse areas of expertise and geography. The 2018-2019 VISIT FLORIDA Committees are Audit, Finance, Marketing Council, and the Industry, Small Business and Rural Development Council.

Lino Maldonado, Chair of the 2018-2019 VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors, said, “Florida’s diverse tourism industry is well represented by those serving on our board and committees. I look forward to working alongside my colleagues and the VISIT FLORIDA staff to ensure VISIT FLORIDA continues to serve as a catalyst for maximizing the tourism industry’s efforts to attract visitors from around the globe. Coming off of our seventh consecutive record-setting year, this new committee structure will expand the tourism industry’s potential for growth and position VISIT FLORIDA to make the Sunshine State the number one travel destination in the world.”

The Board of Directors is VISIT FLORIDA’s private sector governing body which, along with the members of its committees, provide guidance, input and insight into the evolution of VISIT FLORIDA’s marketing programs. Appointed by Enterprise Florida in conjunction with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the 31-member board is comprised of representatives from key sectors of the tourism industry and is balanced geographically throughout the state.

To view the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors and Committee members, click HERE. For additional information or for assistance setting up interviews with VISIT FLORIDA’s executives or volunteer leadership, contact Stephen Lawson at

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