Advisory Board Bio – Maria Triscari

Maria Triscari

Maria Triscari

President/CEO, International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce

Maria Triscari is the President and CEO of the International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce.  The International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce represents the International Drive Resort Area and the 135 hotels, representing 54,000 hotel rooms, (which is 40% of all the hotel rooms in Orange, Oceola and Seminole county,) hundreds of restaurants, retail outlets, attractions, and major theme parks including SeaWorld and Universal Orlando, and the world class Orange County Convention Center.  The I-Drive corridor also represents over 100,000 employees and 28,000 residents.


Maria has led the Chamber since its inception, over 30 years, making her one of the longest running heads of any organization in Central Florida. When Maria started with the Chamber, the Chamber had less than 30 members. She was given a phone and a piece of paper that stated “We Invite You to Join”. Now a thriving organization with hundreds of members and an impressive list of accomplishments, Maria has built one of the most active, powerful and a highly acclaimed organizations in Central Florida which has made an indelible impact on Central Florida’s tourism industry and the Southwest region.


Through the years, Maria has worked closely with government and elected officials on projects to enhance the International Drive Resort Area and the tourism industry. Her influence has resulted in many accomplishments including area enhancements and new ordinances to ensure a family friendly resort destination.


Through Maria’s leadership, the Chamber has successfully advocated for the Orange County Convention Center Master Plan adoption and strongly supports mass transit from OIA to I-Drive.  In 2020, the Chamber’s mass transit vision culminated with their partnership with Universal Orlando, and together they successfully lobbied for the Sunshine Corridor program that will provide an I-Drive station for both Sunrail and Brightline, providing mass transit service for residents as well as visitors.


Along with Transportation, the Chamber has a strong influence regarding the use of the Tourist Development Tax dollars. The Chamber holds seats on the Tourist Development Council as well as 7 other boards throughout the community.


In the area of education, Maria created the Chamber’s highly acclaimed “Tourism Orlando Leadership Program”.  Now in it’s 23rd year, and with close to 1,000 graduates, this amazing 11-month program allows participants to experience the vast components and aspects of the tourism industry while networking with fellow participants.   Today, the Chamber’s Tourism Orlando Leadership Program is considered a “must do” in the tourism industry as well as with elected officials.


For over 30 years, Maria has worked closely with law enforcement and supports their efforts to reduce crime in our area.   Through Maria’s leadership, the Chamber hosted “Police Ball“ for 25 years to honor the men and women of law enforcement and raised thousands of dollars for special law enforcement programs.


Maria’s dedication and passion for the tourism industry began 35 years ago when she was a Seamaid at SeaWorld and a pearl diver in SeaWorld’s Japanese Village. Maria worked at SeaWorld throughout college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Central Florida with a minor in marketing.


Maria has received many awards for her work in the tourism industry. In 2015 Maria was inducted into the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management Hall of Fame.  In 2021, 2022 and 2023 Maria was named one of the ”50 Most Powerful” by Orlando Magazine, OBJ’s Power Player in 2022 and one of OBJ’s 20 Gamechangers in 2021. Other recognitions include awards from Orange County Public Schools for outreach programs, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Citation Award for her work with law enforcement and is an Orange County Sheriff Honorary Deputy. She is the recipient of the Orlando Police Department Good Citizenship Award.


Maria is a volunteer for numerous charity organizations and serves on various boards including Dr. P. Phillips Hospital Hospitality Council and the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management Board of Directors where she also serves as a student mentor.