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.
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.