ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Industry veteran Mark Tester is the new executive director of the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced Thursday.
Tester will be responsible for overall operations, planning, marketing and other activities at North America’s second-largest convention center. Tester said he looks forward to his role in Orlando at “the nation’s premier destination for conventions.”
Previously, Tester was the director of the Austin Convention Center. He was also on the executive committee of Visit Austin and president of Austin Convention Enterprises, the board that oversees the city-financed 800-room Hilton Austin.
Before Austin, Tester spent 13 years in the Chicago convention community in senior positions at both the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau.
The OCCC, which has two million square feet of exhibition space, was under interim and acting leadership since late 2018.
“I believe Mark Tester’s goals of creating high-end customer service and driving economic impact through sales and marketing aligns perfectly with my expectations for what the Orange County Convention Center can be, both now and in the future,” Demings said in a news release.
Tester grew up in the convention industry. His father operated destination marketing organizations and later, convention and trade shows. His appointment must still be confirmed by the Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) and is contingent upon confirmation at the BCC meeting on Jan. 14, 2020.