On behalf of Visit Orlando's Board of Directors, I'm pleased to share that we have selected Casandra Matej (Maht-AY) as our new president and chief executive officer.
We are thrilled to welcome her into this significant leadership role, as she is known in the industry as a strategic leader with an ability to collaborate throughout the region. Her energy, vision and industry experience will be especially critical as our destination moves to recover from this challenging time.
Matej brings over two decades of experience in the tourism industry, including most recently serving as president and CEO of Visit San Antonio as a leading figure in the development of the region's hospitality industry. Through her vision, Visit San Antonio achieved record highs in convention sales and marketing programs, and united the destination's visitor experience by developing one of the largest tourism ambassador programs in the country. She also has previously served as an industry leader in both destination and corporate arenas, including VisitDallas, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Hyatt Hotels.
In a statement this morning, Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings shared our enthusiasm for Matej's hiring. "It's amazing to have someone as talented and seasoned as Cassandra take the helm at Visit Orlando," he said. "We at Orange County Government welcome the entire Matej family to Central Florida, and look forward to continuing the vision and spirit of innovation, collaboration and inclusion with Cassandra and the team at Visit Orlando."
Matej has long been an active leader driving tourism on national, state and local levels, currently serving on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Travel Association and formerly Destinations International, as well as past chairman of the Texas Travel Industry Association. Meetings & Conventions Magazine named her to its list of Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry. In addition to numerous awards across tourism, she also has been recognized for supporting local business, women in leadership, and philanthropic communities.
"Orlando is the epicenter for all things travel and tourism, and I look forward to representing this incredible destination where imagination comes to life," Matej told us. "I am honored to have been part of the seismic changes that united and grew the unique San Antonio tourism industry, and to now serve the Orlando destination, which is recognized around the world for its spirit of innovation and collaboration. It is crucial that Orlando thrives not only locally but in healing the nation, and I am excited about working with the Visit Orlando professionals to make a difference for the industry and community."
Matej assumes her new position Feb. 1 and will soon be joined by her husband and two children as they relocate to Orlando. Please join us in welcoming them to America's favorite destination!
Brian Comes Chair, Visit Orlando Board of Directors
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