Visit Florida Announces 2014-2015 Tourism Industry Leadership
Cultural Council Marketing Director Appointed to Top Committee

(Lake Worth/June 16, 2014):  With the start of its new fiscal year on July 1, VISIT FLORIDA – the state’s official tourism marketing corporation – ushers in new leadership to serve on its Executive Committee, Board of Directors and industry committees.  More than 220 VISIT FLORIDA partners, including some of the industry’s foremost experts, have been selected to represent the tourism industry for the upcoming term.

Marilyn BauerMarilyn Bauer, director of marketing and government affairs for the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County has been appointed to the Communications Committee. “I am thrilled to be a part of Visit Florida’s efforts to attract tourists and inform them about the vibrant options our state has to offer — especially in the area of art and culture,” she said.  “Cultural tourism is a growing segment of the travel market. In Palm Beach County more than a third of the total audience is from outside the county and the audience for the top 20 cultural organizations is almost 4 million art lovers. That is an important economic engine.”

Bauer has an extensive background in marketing communications that includes executive level work with American Express, Cartier, Harper’s Bazaar and Harper’s Magazine. She is a two-time National Endowment for the Arts fellow in arts journalism and is an award-winning travel journalist whose work has appeared in most major newspapers and magazines including National Geographic Traveler and Travel & Leisure. A significant portion of Bauer’s work at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County promotes Palm Beach County as a tourism destination for arts and cultural offerings.

Andrew Hertz, President & General Manager of Miami Seaquarium, will take over as the new Chair of the 2014-2015 VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors.  “I’m honored to be able to serve the tourism industry as its Chair.  With so much breadth and depth of experience on the Executive Committee, Board and committees, I look forward to tapping into that collective expertise to expand VISIT FLORIDA’s presence in the state,” said Hertz. “Coming off of three record setting years, the future of Florida tourism looks bright – and with the additional funding provided by Governor Scott and the Legislature for tourism marketing, we are in a great position to have Florida become the No. 1 travel destination in the world.”

About the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County:  The Cultural Council is the official support agency for arts and culture for Palm Beach County serving non-profit organizations, individual artists and arts districts. The Council promotes the county’s cultural experiences through an integrated program of advertising, public relations and marketing activities to both visitors and residents. Each year, the Council administers more than $3.5 million in grants, supports arts and cultural education, provides capacity building training and advocates for funding and arts-friendly policies. Located in the historic Robert M. Montgomery, Jr. Building in downtown Lake Worth, the Council mounts a series of group and solo exhibitions featuring Palm Beach County artists and provides other programming.

About VISIT FLORIDA:  VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, serves as Florida’s official source for travel planning to visitors across the globe. VISIT FLORIDA is not a government agency, but rather a not-for-profit corporation created as a public/private partnership by the Florida Legislature in 1996.

As the state’s number one industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 94.7 million visitors in 2013 who spent $76.1 billion, generating 23 percent of the state’s sales tax revenue and employing nearly 1.1 million Floridians. For every $1 spent on tourism marketing, VISIT FLORIDA generates more than $390 in tourism spending and $23 in new sales tax collections, paid by visitors, not residents.

To view a sortable list of all Executive Committee, Board of Directors and Committee members, please click here.  To read brief bios on each of the nine Executive Committee members, please click here.  For additional information or for assistance with setting up interviews with any of VISIT FLORIDA’s volunteer leadership, please contact Kathy Torian at 850-205-3865 or