Full circle? Ex-CEO of Visit Florida Nocera wants to run Lee County VCB, again
In case anyone was wondering whatever happened to Bud Nocera, who was the CEO of Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing arm, he's surfaced. He's one of at least 75 job candidates seeking to become the director of the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau. So says the Fort Myers News-Press in this story. (Photo: Bud Nocera, right, with Visit Florida chairman Richard Goldman. Photo: Steve Bousquet of the St. Petersburg Times.)
Nocera, you may recall, was ousted as Visit Florida CEO last May. State legislators at the time blasted the organization as fat and politically tone deaf after it hired a call center in the Midwest -- rather than provide those jobs to Floridians amid a recession-- to promote Florida as a tourist destination. Visit Florida had to lay off 15 percent of its employees to deal with a $10.5 million budget cut.
Nocera was dismissed even though it meant paying him $537,000 in severance over the next two years. In the 1980s. Nocera, now 59, ran the Lee County tourism agency that he now wants to rejoin. Since leaving Visit Florida, the Fort Myers newspaper says, Nocera has been in school in Tallahassee for FAA certification in repair and maintenance of piston and jet engine aircraft. He is a trained pilot.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist