News for the Hospitality Executive
ORLANDO, FL - November 29, 2012 - On Saturday, December 15th, at the largest black-tie holiday gala for the hospitality industry, the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association (CFHLA) will posthumously honor Gary C. Sain, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Visit Orlando, with the 2012 CFHLA “Charles Andrews Memorial Hospitality Award for Community Leadership.” Each year, this prestigious award is given to a local leader for their contribution to tourism through community service.
Gary C. Sain began his career with Visit Orlando in February 2007 as the leader of the organization that markets and sells the Orlando area as the foremost family leisure destination in the world, and one of the top meetings and convention destinations in America. He is credited with Orlando reaching a record 51.5 million visitors in 2010, the first U.S. destination to surpass the 50 million visitor milestone.
While at Visit Orlando, Sain developed several leisure advertising programs for the destination, including “Orlando Makes Me Smile”, the “2nd Summer” and “Be the First” leisure marketing campaigns, as well as the “Inspiration” and “Influencer” campaigns for the business travel market. Sain is also noted for his efforts in marketing Orlando as a top-ranked destination for business events and helped position the Orange County Convention Center as the industry’s premier convention center.
One of Sain’s proudest achievements was working with the community to bring NPE2012 — an international plastics industry tradeshow with more than 55,000 attendees — to the Orange County Convention Center in April 2012. This was the first time the tradeshow had met outside of Chicago since 1971, with NPE scheduled to return to Orlando in 2015. Additionally, Sain was instrumental in securing major entertainment events for the destination, including the successful NBA All-Star Weekend 2012.
Sain enthusiastically participated in several industry organizations and boards including the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) and Brand USA Marketing Advisory Council; Board of Directors posts for Visit Florida; the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association (CFHLA); International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE); advisory council for the Federal Reserve Bank; and member of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA); Meetings Professional International (MPI) and American Society of Association Executives.
Locally, Sain served on the advisory council of the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, and as a member of the Board of Directors for Florida Citrus Sports, Salvation Army and the Central Florida Boy Scouts of America. As a vocal advocate for corporate social responsibility (CSR) at Visit Orlando, Sain also encouraged his employees to volunteer with local charitable organizations.
Prior to Visit Orlando, Sain was executive vice president, chief marketing officer and partner of Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, an Orlando-based international advertising and public relations agency specializing in the travel, leisure and lifestyle categories. Sain also served as the executive vice president of sales and marketing for GES Exposition Services, senior vice president of sales, marketing and passenger services for Premier Cruise Line aka The Big Red Boat and as assistant vice president of sales for Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Prior to Hyatt, he served as corporate vice president sales and marketing for the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C./N.Y. and the Whitehall/Tremont Hotels in Chicago, in addition to successfully opening the Stouffers Hotels in Chicago and Atlanta as director of marketing.
This award is the “highest honor” bestowed upon an individual by CFHLA, in recognition of their achievements and contributions to the Central Florida hospitality industry, as well as the community at large. The award is named after the founding father of CFHLA, Charles Andrews, and exemplifies perseverance and dedication to a cause.
Sain will be honored during the 2012 CFHLA Hospitality Gala, which will be held on Saturday, December 15th, from 6:00pm to Midnight at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. Nearly 1,000 Hospitality Executives are expected to attend along with several elected officials from Central Florida.
Past recipients of the Charles Andrews Memorial Hospitality Award for Community Leadership include:
1999 - Walt Disney of the Walt Disney World Company
2000 - Jim Brown of McCree Incorporated
2001 - Bill Peeper of Visit Orlando
2002 - John Wycoff of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority
2003 - Thomas Williams of Universal Orlando
2004 - Jeb Bush, Florida Governor
2005 - Richard T. Crotty of Orange County Government
2006 - Al Weiss of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
2007 - Mark McHugh of Gatorland
2008 - Tom Ackert of the Orange County Convention Center
2009 - Jim Atchison of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
2010 - Martin Belz of the Peabody Hotel Group
2011 - Bill Davis of Universal Orlando
The Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association (CFHLA) is the world’s largest regional hotel association, representing approximately 80% of the hotels in Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.
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