Gary Sain is a posthumous inductee into the Dick Pope Legacy Hall of Fame. Sain was President and CEO of Visit Orlando from 2006-2012. During his tenure with Visit Orlando, the city recorded a record 51.5 million visitors in 2010, becoming the first U.S. destination to break the 50-million visitor milestone. Orlando’s prominence as a global destination under his leadership shot from the 2009 figure of 46.6 million to over 59 million visitors in 2013. Sain served as one of the community’s brand ambassadors, working tirelessly on behalf of the city and its tourism industry.

The Dick Pope Awards acknowledge leaders that significantly impact Orlando and the state of Florida as a premium destination. Sain’s “iBrand” marketing strategy re-branded the Orlando Convention Visitors Bureau and launched the now “Visit Orlando” brand. In addition to his creative efforts, he diligently lobbied Washington politics in support of tourism and actively engaged the recruitment of new business opportunities and conventions for Central Florida. Sain served the Orlando community up to his untimely death following a public address at a local hotel. He had previously held several executive positions within his career including at YPBR, Premier Cruise Line, Hyatt Hotels, Ritz-Carlton and other companies.

His wife, Pamela Sain, will join the stage on November 4th  at the Wyndham Resort on International Drive with this year’s other inductees; Vice President, Executive Chef Steve Jayson of Universal Orlando, golf legend Arnold Palmer and President John Hitt of UCF. Their bronze likenesses will be immortalized on the new Dick Pope Hall of Fame within the newly renovated west wing of the Orange County Convention Center.

“It’s an honor for our family to receive the Dick Pope recognition for Gary, he loved Orlando and all it represented, “said Pamela Sain, Co-Founder of iBrand Next Gen.

The mission of the Grand Tour Gala Foundation is to raise and distribute funds to student scholarship foundations and to non-profit organizations purposed to provide educational programs and directly to students pursuing hospitality and tourism careers.

The Dick Pope Legacy Luncheon and Foodstock Orlando, a multi-day destination festival are special events currently in production under the direction of Dr. Mary Jo Ross, CSEP, CPCE. The hospitality industry driven events will increase the financial support necessary for the high demand of scholarships and grants within Florida’s hospitality education mecca. Attendees and corporate sponsors of the Dick Pope Legacy luncheon can register at


Dan Bradley Media Coordinator (321) 262-2823

For more information on Foodstock Orlando go to

Jayson has been an integral part of the success of Universal Parks & Resorts since he began in 1989 as part of its inaugural opening team. As vice president, corporate executive chef for the Universal Parks and Resorts, Chef Jayson has delivered an incredible level of culinary expertise and service to Universal’s guests over the years in Orlando and around the world. He has also been recognized by his peers for his contributions to his profession; and has received more than 150 culinary awards from various organizations including being named National Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation in 2000.

Palmer has been known as one of the best sportsmen and businessmen in the world for nearly half a century. As a professional golfer, he has won 92 national and international championships, 62 of them on the PGA Tour, and seven majors led by four green jackets from The Masters. Palmer has been equally successful in the corporate world as President of Arnold Palmer Enterprises. Palmer has had a lasting impact on the Central Florida community by lending his name and helping to raise funds for the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

Hitt has been President of the University of Central Florida since 1992. Upon his arrival at UCF, the school was the fifth largest in Florida and 115th in the nation. Since then, UCF has grown to more than 60,000 students – triple the enrollment over the time of his appointment now making UCF ranked number two in the nation. Dr. Hitt has lead UCF in becoming a major metropolitan university of global impact and has launched more than $1 billion in new construction including the new expansion of its Downtown Orlando campus.

About Dick Pope:

Richard Downing Pope, Sr. died in 1988 but his legacy lives on. Better known as Dick Pope, he was the founder of Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, Florida. Known as “Mr. Florida”, Pope played a momentous role in the development of tourism in the state of Florida and the growth of its theme parks as tourist destinations.