Lino Maldonado, vice president of operations, growth, and innovation for Wyndham Vacation Rentals North America, has been named the new chair of the 2018-2019 VISIT FLORIDA board of directors. It is the first time a leader from the vacation rental management industry has taken the helm.
“It is an absolute honor to serve as the 2018 chair of VISIT FLORIDA,” Maldonado said. “Every associate at every level should not only understand their individual role in hospitality, but also how important their role is to delivering a great experience to more than 115 million visitors that come to Florida each year.” Tourism is the backbone of Florida’s economy employing 1.4 million people, he said, “Let our passion be contagious, so everyone on the spectrum understands why VISIT FLORIDA exists, feels connected, enthused and is excited about being a part of an industry that is bigger than any one of us.”
VISIT FLORIDA is the state’s official tourism marketing arm, a not-for-profit corporation created as a public-private partnership.
“As we move into a new year, I cannot think of a better chair than Lino Maldonado, who brings years of experience and extensive travel industry knowledge to his new leadership position with VISIT FLORIDA,” said Ken Lawson, the company’s president and CEO. “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 make Florida the number one global destination.”
Maldonado intends to focus on attracting more visitors to the state. Under Maldonado’s direction, VISIT FLORIDA has restructured committees and introduced work groups. This reorganization aims to cultivate further collaboration between the company and industry sectors and harness collective knowledge to advance tourism in the state.
In his current Wyndham role, Maldonado leads business development and ownership strategy across North America. He has led a staff of more than 1,200 associates and budgets in excess of $500 million. He has worked for the company for 22 years, moving through several positions in operations, sales, and marketing.
Wyndham Vacation Rentals has more than more than 10,000 properties across North America. The company’s gulf region presence includes ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, which spans from Panama City Beach to Perdido Key. Orlando Wyndham Vacation Rentals manages properties located in Davenport and Kissimmee.
In addition to his role with VISIT FLORIDA, Maldonado is the 2016 past chair for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and is one of six appointees to serve on the Gulf Consortium, tasked with helping to structure Florida’s expenditure plan for settlement funds from the 2010 BP gulf oil spill.
Locally, Maldonado has served on numerous boards, and he was a founding member of Coastal Vision 3000 (“The Beach”), which helped bring the first low-cost air carrier (Southwest Airlines) into the Northwest Florida market. Maldonado has been recognized at the state and local levels for his accomplishments in the industry.