Executive Team

David Whitaker

David Whitaker
President & Chief Executive Officer

dwhitaker@GMCVB.com
305.539.3001

David Whitaker has been appointed the next President & CEO of the destination marketing organization (DMO) for Greater Miami and Miami Beach. The appointment is a homecoming for Whitaker who served as a member of the GMCVB team for 17 years (1990 – 2007), most recently as the organization’s Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer.  

Whitaker left Miami initially in 2007 due to an appointment to the role of President & CEO of Tourism Toronto (now known as Destination Toronto), the DMO for Toronto, where he led the organization for eight years. During his tenure in Toronto, the organization was voted North America’s top convention and visitors bureau and convention center in a poll of over 650 meeting planners. Whitaker led successful bids to host an NBA All-Star Game, Pan American/Parapan American Games and World Pride in 2014. The organization was also central to promoting numerous major festivals including the annual Toronto International Film Festival and Caribana – one of the world’s largest Caribbean heritage celebrations. 

Upon conclusion of his tenure in Toronto and over the past five years, Whitaker has served as the President & CEO of Choose Chicago, the DMO for Chicago. During his tenure in Chicago, he had the responsibility of promoting and selling the largest convention center in the United States, McCormick Place. Under his leadership, the DMO successfully bid on and hosted an NBA All-Star Game, an MLS All-Star Game, North America’s first Laver Cup international tennis tournament, a NCAA Frozen Four, and numerous international soccer and rugby events.  Chicago, as a destination, has been voted in a prestigious poll of savvy readers of Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards as “Best Big City” to visit for an unprecedented four consecutive years (2017 – 2020), all of which occurred under Whitaker’s leadership.

David served on the executive staff of the United Way of Miami-Dade prior to his earlier stint at the GMCVB and is a proud graduate of the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication & Public Relations.

David and his wife, Lily enjoy long walks and even longer times cooking together. They are both avid boaters and taking in the performing arts.

 

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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.