Notable Minority Executives: Luis Ayala

Vice president of finance, VISIT Milwaukee

  • Category: Notable Minority Executives
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 1
  • Number of years with your current company/firm: 1
  • Undergrad degree/university: University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (Accounting)
  • Graduate degree/university: University of Miami (MBA)

Luis Ayala, vice president of finance for VISIT Milwaukee, stepped into a challenging role at the organization as the hospitality community was dealing with COVID-19.

Ayala was responsible for managing a budget that needed to be slashed quickly while maintaining necessary personnel. He managed to reduce spending at VISIT Milwaukee by more than 40%, allowing the organization to stay afloat.

Because of how VISIT Milwaukee is funded through its partnership with the Wisconsin Center District, Ayala also fostered a relationship with his counterpart at the WCD for more accurate and timely accounting reports.

Ayala’s strategic planning, along with his understanding of finance and accounting has made him an invaluable voice on the leadership team, according to Kristin Settle, senior director of communications and public affairs for VISIT Milwaukee

“His business acumen and ability to look at the big picture and long-term projections was instrumental in keeping the organization going in 2020 and set VISIT Milwaukee up to continue in 2021 with a 50% budget reduction while maintaining key services for its partners,” she said.

Ayala also works to support diversity and inclusion at VISIT Milwaukee by participating in the organization’s ongoing culture work.

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