William D. Talbert III, CDME
Interim President & Chief Executive Officer, Miami-Dade Beacon Council
For more than five decades, William D. Talbert, III has been a tireless advocate for our tourism, cultural and business interests, using his worldwide platform to further Greater Miami’s position as a global gateway, the Cruise Capital of the World, and among the world’s busiest international airports.
The highly respected civic leader and former President & CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau dedicated his professional efforts for more than 30 years to spearheading Greater Miami’s meteoric rise as a world-class destination and leading global travel brand.
He has been a steadfast champion for Greater Miami, working to build consensus and emphasize the critical role tourism plays in a resilient economy. Throughout his tenure, Greater Miami consistently posted record-breaking numbers, employment, and tourist-generated taxes, helping fund transportation and healthcare, schools, public safety, environmental and infrastructure projects, local arts and culture, and programs to combat homelessness and domestic violence.
Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Talbert assisted with the passage of the U.S. Travel Promotion Act and the Miami-Dade Food & Beverage Tax, helping spearhead destination marketing efforts globally.
He established the GMCVB Multicultural Tourism and Development Department to raise awareness of the destination’s diverse heritage neighborhoods, the Tourism Business Enhancement Program to help small and minority-owned businesses connect to the tourism industry, and the Black Hospitality Initiative of Greater Miami to increase Black participation in the visitor industry through scholarships, internships, and mentoring.
When faced with significant challenges during his stewardship of the GMCVB – from natural disasters and 9/11 to a global recession and pandemic – he successfully guided the safe return of visitors and the tourism industry’s economic recovery.
He also helped secure countless marquee events for Greater Miami, including five Super Bowls, two College Football National Championships, the Summit of the Americas, and the U.S. Travel Association’s highly coveted IPW.
His leadership is sought after by many organizations throughout the U.S., including the United States Department of Commerce’s Travel & Tourism Advisory Board. He has served on the boards of multiple Greater Miami-based business and non-profit organizations, including the Miami Dade Beacon Council, FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, Black Hospitality Initiative of Greater Miami, World Trade Center Miami, Camillus House, Greater Miami & the Beaches Hotel Association, Orange Bowl Committee, Miami Super Bowl Host Committee, and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.
Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards, proclamations and recognitions with some of his most recent being the first recipient of the inaugural FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management Hall of Fame (2021); induction into the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame (2021); the H.T. Smith Lifetime Achievement Award from the Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce; the Alvah H. Chapman Award of Excellence presented by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce (2021); and the inaugural Miami International Airport Partner Lifetime Achievement Award (2022).