The Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida will pay tribute to its late friend and colleague, Gary C. Sain, by honoring the former Visit Orlando president & CEO with a special memorial induction into its Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame later this year. The Hall of Fame, established in 2007 by UCF’s Rosen College, annually honors outstanding community leaders for their service and commitment to the local hospitality industry.

As the head of the local tourism agency, Sain helped Orlando become the first U.S. destination to reach 50 million visitors. Sain was also involved among local charities and served as an advocate of hospitality management education and research at UCF’s Rosen College. The 61-year-old tourism leader, who tragically passed away from a heart attack on May 4, will be inducted posthumously into the Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame during the College’s 2012 Grand Tour Gala, held on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando.

“Gary was a beloved father and husband, a talented industry professional and a leader in the community,” said Dr. Abraham Pizam, Dean of UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management. “But he was also an educator at heart. Gary happily lent his expertise to the College as a member of our Advisory Board, and would frequently serve as a guest lecturer to our students. For all that he has done and accomplished for our community, Gary’s legacy deserves to live on through the Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame.”

The Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Grand Tour Gala will include a special presentation, highlighting the life and accomplishments of Gary C. Sain. Dean Pizam will also present Sain’s wife, Pamela, with a Steuben crystal pineapple award, the symbol of the hospitality industry. Sain will also be pictured with a plaque on the Hall of Fame, located on the UCF’s Rosen College campus.

Sain started with Visit Orlando in February 2007 as the leader of the organization that markets and sells the Orlando area as the No. 1 family leisure destination in the world, and one of the top meetings and convention destinations in America. Known in the industry as a marketing and branding expert, Sain leveraged these strengths while at Visit Orlando to develop several leisure advertising programs for the destination. These initiatives include the Orlando Makes Me Smile branding, the 2nd Summer and Be the First leisure marketing campaigns, as well as the Inspiration and Influencer campaigns for the business travel market.

Sain will be inducted at this year’s ceremony, along with the Peabody Orlando’s Alan C. Villaverde, Panera Bread Pioneer Albert Covelli, Walt Disney Company’s Al Weiss, and Thomas L. Williams of Universal Parks & Resorts. Prior inductees include Carolyn Fennell, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, and Mark McHugh, Gatorland, (2010); Jim D. Atchison, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, and Harris Rosen, Rosen Hotels & Resorts (2009); Patricia J. Engfer, Hyatt Orlando, and Richard A. Nunis, Walt Disney Attractions (2008); and Richard J. Walsh, Darden Restaurants, and William C. Peeper, Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau (2007).

For more information on the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, please visit

Since 2007, The Grand Tour Gala has been celebrating the world of hospitality and has inducted 8 hospitality leaders into the Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame.  Additionally, the gala benefits students and educational programs for the hospitality industry.  The 2012 Grand Tour Gala, produced by the Orlando Chapter of the National Association of Catering Executives, will journey to India where guests will experience a celebrity-hosted evening of festivities filled with exquisite foods, Broadway-style entertainment, and concierge-level service provided by the University of Central Florida Rosen College of Hospitality Management students.  The event is being hosted by the Waldorf Astoria and Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando on Saturday, October 20, 2012.  For tickets and sponsorship information please visit