Visit Orlando’s Gary Sain Honored at Special Tribute Event
By James Shillinglaw
July 01, 2012 10:05 PM
More than 225 travel industry professionals gathered in Washington, D.C., on June 26 in a tribute to remember the life and legacy of the late Gary Sain, who tirelessly promoted travel during more than three decades in the industry. Sain, who most recently served as president and CEO of Visit Orlando died on May 4 at age 62
The event was organized and led by Bill Carteaux, Society of Plastics Industry (SPI); Danielle Courtenay, Visit Orlando; Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association; James Evans; Elliott Ferguson, Destination D.C.; Michael Gehrisch, Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI); Bob Gilbert, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI); John Graham, American Society of Association Executives (ASAE); Steven Hacker, International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE); Bruce MacMillan, Meeting Professionals International (MPI); Rossi Ralenkotter, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA); Pam Sain; and Deborah Sexton, Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).
In addition to remembering Sain, the event raised money for the Gary C. Sain Memorial Endowed Scholarship for the University of Central Florida's Rosen College of Hospitality Management. An estimated $250,000 was raised in Sain's honor as of the evening of the event, and the tribute website will remain open for additional contributions until July 31.
Sain, who died May 4, spent more than three decades in various positions in the travel industry, most recently as president and CEO of Visit Orlando. He also served as a member of U.S. Travel’s executive committee and board of directors, helping advance numerous issues, including visa reform, and defending the value of business travel and meetings and conventions. Prior to joining Visit Orlando in February 2007, Sain served in senior positions with Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, an Orlando-based international advertising and public relations agency specializing in the travel; GES Exposition Services; Premier Cruise Line; and Hyatt Hotels Corporation.