After weeks of controversy for Visit Florida, a state funded public-private tourism marketing corporation, the board of directors have agreed to pick Rick Scott administration’s Secretary of Business and Professional Regulation Ken Lawson to be their top executive.
After news broke that the corporation had a $1 million contract with Pitbull that the corporation argued was exempt from state open records laws, House Speaker Rick Corcoran sued and campaigned for Visit Florida to be defunded because he does not believe that taxpayer money should be used for economic incentives or tourism marketing.
Will Seccombe, former CEO and president of Visit Florida, resigned and the board hesitantly accepted his resignation shortly before hiring Ken Lawson. Seccombe’s $73,000 severance package was also approved, which is reportedly a fraction of the $380,000 he could have received instead.
When compared to Seccombe’s $293,000 salary, Lawson will only eanr $173,000.
Seccombe’s resignation was largely seen as accepted because of the ongoing battle with high profile legislators, and Lawson is seen as someone who will mend that ???
Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, said that Lawson “walks the halls, he understands the process.”
Commenting on his plans for the future, Lawson said that “more transportation, more accountability” are at the forefront of his goals while also adding that “we have things to do and we are going to do it together.”