Ed Fuller, The Group at Laguna
Global Business Development, Hospitality Leadership
Founding Member, Laguna Strategic Advisors LLC
Internationally recognized hospitality industry leader, educator and best-selling author, Ed Fuller is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Orange County (California) Visitors Association. He is also President and Co-Founder of Irvine-based Laguna Strategic Advisors, a global consortium providing opportunities and services to independent providers of business consulting services.
Mr. Fuller recently concluded a dynamic career with Marriott International that culminated with his being the Company’s President & Managing Director of International Lodging for nearly 22 years. His distinguished, performance-driven corporate career spanned four decades. His experience included chief sales and marketing officer, global leadership in crisis management, future business assessment, top-level customer relationship management, sales and marketing leadership and long-term strategy development that applied corporate philosophies, delivered on brand promise and enabled ethical decisions. His results included the creation of 80,000 new jobs worldwide, the formation and operation of 555 hotels in 72 countries, $8 billion in annual sales, and the implementation of multiple environmental, youth and educational initiatives.
Mr. Fuller’s colorful and real-world experiences are recounted in his top 20 best-selling business book, “You Can’t Lead with Your Feet on the Desk,” published globally in English and Japanese by John Wiley & Co., in 2011.
Over the years, in addition to his business world experience, Mr. Fuller has focused his energies on supporting educational and corporate social responsibility activities. An active alumnus of Boston University, he is former Vice Chairman of its Board of Overseers, former President of the University’s Alumni Association and a former Trustee. He currently is Chairman of its hospitality and management schools’ Advisory Boards and serves on the President’s International Advisory Board. In 1998, he received the Alumni Award, the University’s highest honor. Since 2012, he has served as visiting professor of leadership at the University’s School of Hospitality.
At the University of California Irvine, he is a Trustee of the University’s Foundation and former Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Merage School of Business. Since 2012, he has been an adjunct professor of Globalization in the University’s business school’s master’s program.
At California State University, he was named a Trustee of the University at San Marcos in 2012 and continues to serve as a member of the Chancellor’s Hospitality Management Education Board and a director of the University’s San Marcos Foundation. Since 2012, he has taught courses on Leadership at the University’s College of Hospitality in Pomona.
He is a former Trustee of The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum; chaired the Governing Board of the International Tourism Partnership for 11 years, currently serves on the Safe Kids Worldwide Board, and formerly was a Board member of the Pacific Area Travel Association Foundation and of United Way International.
In 2008, he was named Commissioner of Travel & Tourism for the State of California and, two years later, he became Emeritus member of the Travel Industry Management School Advisory Board at the University of Hawaii. He also serves as Chairman and a Trustee of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Foundation.
Earlier this year, Mr. Fuller was named a Board Member of The Mind Institute in Irvine, CA. He is also a Member of the Advisory Board of the Merage Investment Group and a Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigators National Academy Associates Foundation (FBINAA).
His professional contributions have been lauded globally. Earlier this year, he received the University of Nevada Las Vegas 2013 Hospitality Industry Leader of the Year Award. In 2008, he was recognized with the China Hotel Investment Summit Lifetime Achievement Award; in 2010, he was bestowed the Hotel Investment Forum India Aatithya Award; and in 2012, he was presented the International Hotel Investment Forum’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Berlin.
Mr. Fuller served as a Captain in the U.S. Army and was awarded the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal for service during missions in Vietnam and Germany