Casandra Matej Named President and CEO of Visit Orlando
Casandra Matej has been tapped as the next president and chief executive officer of Visit Orlando, effective Feb. 1. She assumes the same position she most recently held with Visit San Antonio.
Matej is credited for rethinking the structure of the San Antonio CVB that she served nearly a decade, first as executive director and then as president and CEO. During her tenure, Alamo City achieved record highs in convention sales and marketing programs. She also developed one of the largest tourism ambassador programs in the country—with over 2,000 CTAs brought aboard to ensure memorable visitor experiences.
An industry leader, Matej sits on the board of directors at the U.S. Travel Association and on the executive committee of Destinations International. She was also a past chairman of the Texas Travel Industry Association.
Matej expressed enthusiasm for the move to Orlando, one of the country’s most popular destinations for leisure travel and events—a place she expects will lead the country’s recovery from the pandemic.
“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 said in a statement. “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.”
Kudos for the hire were swift. Said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings: “It’s amazing to have someone as talented and seasoned as Cassandra take the helm at Visit Orlando.”
A graduate of the University of Texas, Matej was a senior vice president of sales and services at Visit Dallas before moving to San Antonio. Previously, she held sales positions with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Hyatt Hotels.
Matej will replace George Aguel, who announced last summer he would be leaving as Visit Orlando’s president and CEO, leading to the search for a new leader. The 67-year-old ran the CVB since 2013, and cited wanting to spend more time with his family in his decision to step aside.
Despite COVID-19, Orlando has maintained its place as a hotspot for events. Amateur Athletic Union held its prestigious national volleyball tournament there in July and Alliance Nationwide Exposition hosted Together Again Expo. Both took place at Orange County Convention Center.