Randy Garfield served as President of Walt Disney Travel Company and Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales & Travel Operations (Chief Sales Officer) for Disney Destinations until his retirement in April 2014. In a Disney career spanning more than 20 years, he led global sales and group/convention services for its theme parks, resorts, cruise line and time share business and the resort reservation centers which handle millions of transactions each year. While driving strategy and consistently delivering record-breaking results, Mr. Garfield also helmed key travel and tourism associations and other National industry organizations to create global awareness of the importance of travel and tourism and to drive inbound travel to the United States.
In addition to overseeing Disney leisure destinations in the Americas, Asia and Europe, he led The Disney Institute, which provides training and management consulting services to businesses around the globe. He has garnered deep insight into powerful changes sweeping the global economy and his team has helped thousands of organizations adapt and transform the way they operate within a changing environment. Client engagements have ranged from working with the healthcare industry to reinvent its approach to patient service, helping automotive manufacturers transform their sales and service process, assisting the National Football League with customer service at the Super Bowl, and helping the government of South Africa with their flawlessly executed World Cup.
Mr. Garfield joined Disney in 1993, playing a significant role in creating the largest period of expansion in the history of the Disney Theme Parks and Resorts segment, which grew from $4.5B to $15.1B during his tenure. He helped create and lead a host of new business ventures including the launch of the Disney Cruise Line (1998) and subsequent fleet expansions; opening of 5 theme parks and 27 new resort hotels; development of new international resort destinations in Hong Kong (2005) and Shanghai (opening in 2015); and the launch of other new businesses such as Adventures By Disney guided travel excursions and Golden Oak, Disney’s first-ever luxury residential community.
A well respected keynote speaker at a broad variety of conferences, he has extensive experience in marketing, sales, guest services, strategic planning and leadership development. On behalf of travel and tourism, Mr. Garfield has chaired and remains the longest-serving executive committee member for the U. S. Travel Association, the national umbrella organization representing all segments of travel in United States. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Brand USA, a public-private partnership that promotes international travel to the United States.
Mr. Garfield played a key role in creating the Travel Promotion Act that was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2010, as well as development of the Portraits of America video that greets international visitors arriving in airports across the U.S. He also was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the historic 1995 White House Conference on Tourism. On the local level, he has held Chairmanship and other key leadership roles with Visit Orlando, the California Travel & Tourism Commission and many other civic and tourism organizations.
Mr. Garfield has received a number of major awards and accolades. These include being an inductee into the U.S. Travel Hall of Leaders and being recognized three times as one of the most extraordinary sales and marketing minds by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International. He was honored with the Travel Weekly Lifetime Achievement Award and a similar award from the Association of Travel Marketing Executives in recognition of his lasting contributions to the travel industry.
Before joining Disney, Mr. Garfield held executive positions with other notable companies. He spent seven years with Universal Studios leading Marketing and Sales efforts for resort destinations in California and Florida, serving as Executive Vice President/CMO for Universal Studios Florida. He also served as Vice President of Sales for Royal Viking cruise line and spent 11 years with TWA in a variety of operations, marketing and sales roles.
Mr. Garfield attended UCLA where he studied political science and pre-law. He and his wife, Ann, divide their time between homes in Central Florida and Canada.