Chief Operating Officer
Mark Waltrip is a noted expert in the hospitality and real estate development industries. He is currently the COO of Westgate Resorts, responsible for all acquisition, design, development, operations, and marketing of Westgate’s luxury resort properties. An author, inventor and speaker at hospitality, real estate and leadership conferences, he has over twenty five years experience developing, managing, and building companies.
Most recently, Waltrip has helped grow Westgate Resorts into the largest privately held timeshare company in the world. In addition to resort properties, he has developed restaurant concepts, retail shops and destination health spas.
Waltrip’s undergraduate and master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering are from the University of Colorado, where was elected to the National Honor Society for Engineers and the National Honor Society for Aerospace Engineers.
His diverse career has included experience in the commercial space launch industry, helping build the launch facility for the Atlas commercial satellite program. undergraduate and master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering are from the University of Colorado, where was elected to the National Honor Society for Engineers and the National Honor Society for Aerospace Engineers.
He was also the propulsion and pneumatics engineer on the launch team for twelve commercial space launches. His background in air travel comes from his ten years of active duty in the United States Air Force and ten years in the Reserves, where he led a highly decorated unit that specialized in business reengineering.
Because his community involvement is as diverse as his career, Waltrip is on the Board of Directors of the Westgate Resorts Foundation; he founded Hospitality Helps, a charitable organization that helps transition families out of homelessness; is also a past board member of the Florida Special Olympics; is a member of the Urban Land Institute and the American Resort Developers Association.
Waltrip’s new book, Building a Culture of Success, identifies the leadership skills that entrepreneurs need to learn to grow a sustainable business. More information about Waltrip and his various endeavors can be found on cookingwineandtravel.com.