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Featured Guest Speaker — Casandra Matej (MAH-tay) | President & CEO
Insight for Growth in Orlando:
Casandra will share an update on Visit Orlando, how business owners in Orlando can coordinate with Visit Orlando to drive new business and Casandra’s advice/insights for female business owners and professionals.
Visit Orlando is The Official Tourism Association for Orlando, the most visited destination in the United States. Founded in 1984, the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.® was created by city and county officials, in partnership with local businesses, as an independent organization to promote convention and leisure travel. Casandra will help FEW members be more aware of how our city is being promoted, activities that would be enjoyable in our city, and, most importantly, gain business insights from a successful female CEO.
Casandra Matej (MAH-tay) is the president and CEO of Visit Orlando, the official marketing organization for America’s most visited destination and Theme Park Capital of the World. She leads the branding, marketing, and selling of the destination on a global scale, representing over 1,300 member companies across Orlando’s tourism landscape.
Since joining Visit Orlando in February 2021, Matej’s efforts have focused on spurring recovery of Orlando’s tourism industry, which, pre-pandemic, drew 76 million visitors annually to Central Florida generating $75 billion in economic impact. Under her leadership, the organization launched a first-of-its-kind new global brand, “Unbelievably Real” in collaboration with the Orlando Economic Partnership to tell one comprehensive brand story for Orlando to reach all audiences including leisure, meetings, site selectors and perspective talent. Her focus on collaboration has resulted in a series of powerful partnerships with brands including Orlando Health, Michelin, and TripAdvisor.
Matej is the first female CEO in the nonprofit organization’s 37-year history. She has been named one of the 50 Most Powerful People by Orlando Magazine, a Game Changer by the Orlando Business Journal, and recognized as one of the Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry by Meetings & Conventions Magazine.
Prior to joining Visit Orlando, Matej spent 10 years as president and CEO of Visit San Antonio achieving record highs in convention sales and marketing programs and developing one of the largest tourism ambassador programs in the country. She has also held leadership roles at Visit Dallas, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Hyatt Hotels.
Check out the Visit Orlando website to learn more in advance so you can come armed with questions.