Westgate COO earns appointment to Homelessness Commission
ORLANDO, Fla., July 2, 2012
Mark Waltrip, Chief Operating Officer of Westgate Resorts, has been named to the Central Florida Regional Commission on Homelessness, a broad coalition of government, business, nonprofit, faith-based, and philanthropy communities working together to fight homelessness in our region.
“Central Florida is at the precipice of a challenge that will define the resolve of our community to handle homelessness in a humane and proactive manner,” said Waltrip. “Collaboration across all stakeholders is the key to addressing this challenge, and I firmly believe that a re-organized and re-energized Central Florida Commission on Homelessness is our best chance to achieve a collaborative effort.”
In addition, the Westgate Resorts Foundation has made a financial commitment to the Commission totaling$150,000 to serve as a challenge gift to other businesses in the region. “Homelessness is a significant issue that is detrimental to the core values of the Central Florida community,” said David A. Siegel, Founder and CEO of Westgate Resorts. “And, while there may be many challenges to overcome, the one thing we can’t do is ignore it and hope it solves itself.”
In addition to assisting the Commission, Westgate Resorts and the Westgate Resorts Foundation have initiated theHospitality Helps program in conjunction with its partners in the hospitality industry, property management companies and local and state government agencies to help Central Florida families’ transition out of homelessness. More than 100 people have been helped through the Hospitality Helps program to date. “It is my hope that Westgate Resorts’ public commitment, both financially and through the providing of jobs and housing as part of our Hospitality Helps program, will encourage the involvement of other business leaders to bring resources and solutions to this important issue,” said Siegel.
In a June 11, 2012, letter to Siegel, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer remarked, “Your willingness to publicly support the continuation of a re-organized and re-invigorated Commission is critical to its success. The work of your Hospitality Helps program in housing and employing homeless families is tremendous and serves as a model for other businesses here and across the nation. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for our community and for making such a significant matching gift to this most worthy cause.”