Marketing exec leaves YPB&R to head Orlando CVB

Gary Sain, chief marketing officer of Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown and Russell in Orlando for the last eight years, is wrapping up his term at YPB&R and preparing to start as president of the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau on Feb. 12.

Sain will take over the job vacated by Bill Peeper, who retired at the end of 2006 after 25 years on the job.

While he said he is not ready to discuss his plans and strategies to build Orlando's tourism business, or how the CVB will respond to a lapse in visitor numbers in 2006, Sain said the first 60- to 90-day period on the job should be mostly about "listening and learning to all stakeholder groups, both internal and external. I'll keep my eyes and ears open, listen, learn and then formulate."

Sain said he learned from 18 years in the hotel business and five years in the cruise business, that the first period on a new job is critical.

"You may see things that other people who have been there longer don't see," he noted. "Whether it's the hotel lobby, a guest room, the way it's marketed, the way the staff greets guests, you pick that up when you are new. You have no preconceived notion. Later you test your first impressions with reality. It's a good time to get a footing, to get really centered and figure out how to proceed," he added.

Sain said he's honored to be joining one of the top CVB staffs in the country and following "a guy who really put Orlando on the map." But at the same time, he said, "There's a great opportunity for Orlando, building on top of the success that's already been achieved. That's the great news. You can always do more. The work is never done, as with any destination, you never achieve ultimate success."

To contact reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].

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