Executive Team

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William D. Talbert III, CDME
President & Chief Executive Officer

Talbert@GMCVB.com
305.539.3040

William D. Talbert, III, CDME has served as President & CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) for the past twenty years, and Chief Operating Officer the previous nine.

Among his major accomplishments, Mr. Talbert assisted with the passage of the Travel Promotion Act of 2010 and has led efforts to win and subsequently host five Super Bowls and three International Pow Wows. Under his leadership, the GMCVB was awarded accreditation from the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program in 2007. In 1993, he helped establish the Black Hospitality Initiative (BHI) of Greater Miami to increase African-American participation in the visitor industry through hospitality scholarships, internships and mentoring. To ensure the future success of Miami’s meetings business, he passionately championed efforts to secure a $620 million renovation for the newly “reimagined” Miami Beach Convention Center, and subsequent approval by voters to establish an adjacent headquarter hotel.

Throughout his tenure, Greater Miami and the Beaches has consistently posted record-breaking visitor numbers, expenditures and tourist-generated taxes – in 2018, 23.3 million visitors generated an economic impact of nearly $18 billion and employed a record 142,100.

Mr. Talbert’s leadership has been sought after by many organizations, including: Visit Florida (Chair/ Executive Committee), Destination Marketing Association International (Chair/Board of Trustees), U.S. Travel Executive Committee, Brand USA, Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations (Chair), and Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management Dean’s Advisory Council. In June 2016, he was appointed to the United States Commerce Department’s Travel & Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB) and subsequently reappointed for a second 2-year term in August 2018. TTAB serves as the advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the travel industry and offers recommendations on implementation of the National Travel and Tourism Strategy. He is also a board member of multiple Miami-based business and non-profit organizations.

Mr. Talbert holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University and bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida. In 2006, he earned the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation – the highest educational achievement in the destination marketing industry.

 

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Rolando Aedo, CDME
Chief Operating Officer

Rolando@GMCVB.com
305.539.3090

Rolando Aedo has been a senior staff member of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) since 1994. He currently serves as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and works closely with the President and CEO on all operational aspects of the GMCVB including governmental relations and stakeholder engagement and support.

As the acting Chief Marketing Officer, he also leads the overall marketing strategy and brand development to drive consumer and business demand for Greater Miami and the Beaches as a preferred destination for vacation, meetings, conventions and major events. He also oversees several areas that help drive private revenue to the organization including an 1,100-member partnership division.

Mr. Aedo has degrees from Miami-Dade College and Florida International University and an MBA in International Business from the University of Miami. He is also a Certified Destination Management Executive and was recognized as one of the top 25 “extraordinary minds” in sales and marketing by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International.

Born in Norfolk, Virginia to Cuban parents, he came to Miami at a very early age where he has spent most of his life and is professionally and civically active. He currently serves on the boards of the Miami Dade County Taxi Advisory Group, Miami Bayside Foundation and the Education Fund among others.

 

Alvin L. West, CDME
Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President, Finance & Administration

Al@GMCVB.com
305.539.3085

As Chief Financial Officer (CFO) & Senior Vice President of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), Mr. West is responsible for the financial affairs of the organization. Additionally, he oversees the Finance, Human Resources, Administration and Information Technology Divisions of the Bureau.

During his tenure at the GMCVB, Mr. West has provided the leadership responsible for raising in excess of $3 million in revenue and in-kind contributions for scholarships to assist young African American adults seeking careers in the Hospitality & Tourism Industry.

Mr. West is involved in numerous civic organizations including Career Source South Florida (Past Chairman), the Downtown Development Authority (Board Treasurer), the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce (Past Chairman and current Board Treasurer) and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce (Board Member). In addition, Mr. West is Past Chairman of the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism, Vice Chairman of the Black Hospitality Initiative of Greater Miami, and Board Member of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. West is an MBA graduate of the University of Chicago and a recipient of the prestigious Certified Destination Marketing Executive (CDME) certification. Mr. West was the 2009 recipient of the coveted South Florida “Tourism Professional of the Year” award.

Prior to joining the GMCVB in 1992, Mr. West was the CFO for the Chicago American Red Cross. Mr. West also held senior management positions in the Healthcare industry in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota and Chicago, Illinois.

 

Sonia Fong, MBA
Vice President, Convention Sales & Services

Sonia@GMCVB.com
305.539.2913

Sonia Fong is a goals-oriented sales leader with extensive experience in the hospitality industry. As Vice President of Convention Sales & Services at the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), Ms. Fong successfully leads her team to generate new accounts and drive sales for the US and international markets. Her exceptional communication skills in multiple languages, collaborative sales and marketing style, ability to identify strategic opportunities, and consistent record of exceeding goals have contributed to her progressive promotions at the GMCVB over the past 20 years.

Ms. Fong’s current responsibilities include overseeing the Conventions Sales & Services Department and selling Greater Miami as a premier destination for citywide association and corporate meetings and conventions. She develops sales and marketing plans; sets performance goals; leads, trains, and motivates team members; manages budgets and ensures that sales goals are achieved.

Prior to joining the GMCVB in November 2000, Ms. Fong held sales positions at Marriott Hotels, Miami and the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay. She began her hospitality industry career as a front desk supervisor at The Biltmore Hotel in 1997.

Ms. Fong holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management and an MBA from Florida International University. She is a member of the International Association of Exhibits and Events (IAEE), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO), and Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Ms. Fong is fluent in English and Spanish and proficient in Mandarin.