Member Spotlight: Ken Potrock
Ken Potrock has been heavily involved in the Orlando and Central Florida tourism and sports scenes for decades. With his multi-disciplined background, Potrock has a unique combination of experience and skills. Currently the SVP & GM Disney Vacation Club & Adventures by Disney, Potrock also served as President of Florida Citrus Sports in 2014-15. As such, he has a great understanding and appreciation for what Florida Citrus Sports has accomplished over the years.
“While I work for a big company today, I’ve worked for small companies earlier in my career. The fondest memory I have … was when I was with a small organization and everybody in the organization was a believer,” Potrock said. “Everyone understood and was impassioned by the journey we were on together. That’s what the staff and Board at Florida Citrus Sports really is. They believe in where we’re going and what we’re doing. They’re proud of what they’re accomplishing and they’re incredibly optimistic on what we can do together in the future. We really think we’ve just begun to scratch the surface of what our business and philanthropic potential is for this community.”
Potrock is the immediate past chairman of Florida Citrus Sports and still serves on the executive committee of the organization’s board of directors. In addition, he has worked for Disney since 1996. In his various leadership roles within the Disney organization, he previously served as vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises. In that role, he was responsible for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ involvement in all sports efforts, globally. That included oversight and responsibility for re-branding and leading the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. He currently holds the title of senior vice president and general manager of Disney Vacation Club and Adventures by Disney, and serves as senior vice president of sales and marketing strategy for Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort.
Potrock has had a front-row seat for and has lent his skills to the organization’s successes. When the decision was made to put $200 million plus of improvements into what is now Camping World Stadium, Potrock was squarely in the “if you build it, they will come” camp.
“That was our promise and we’re very proud that after only a little more than a year that we’re fulfilling that promise with even greater potential ahead,” Potrock said. “The dissent was, ‘They’re only doing two events a year there. Why would we put $200 million into two events?’ We began to paint a picture that we could not only retain what we had, but we could begin to bring things in. It took a while for more people to realize that vision wasn’t all that impossible to achieve. It wasn’t impossible to think you could have mega-rock concerts here. It wasn’t impossible to believe that you could bring a nation-wide wrestling performance here. It wasn’t impossible to believe you could bring in Copa America, college football kickoff games, maybe a shot at bringing the Pro Bowl and the NFL. What we’re finding is that now, we’re in the running for literally everything.”
Potrock is understandably proud of his relationship with Florida Citrus Sports. That pride comes as much from the organization’s involvement in community service and improvement as it does from what Florida Citrus Sports accomplishes with its events. That should come as no surprise, as Potrock volunteers a great deal of his free time. He currently serves on executive boards of ARDA, the timeshare industry’s governing association and the Orlando Economic Development Commission where he led the “Orlando . . . you don’t know the half of it” branding campaign. He has previously volunteered for local and national board service with Heart of Florida United Way, the American Heart Association and Children’s Miracle Network.
“My engagement with Florida Citrus Sports, which means a great deal to me, is benefited not just by what we do as an event location and what we are doing to “lift” the community,” Potrock said. “But I will tell you as someone who moved to Orlando two decades ago, I have developed some of my closest friendships as a member of Florida Citrus Sports, friendships that really make Orlando home to me. I think that is one of the beauties of Orlando and FCS. Everyone is welcome. It is a hospitable community and organization. If you want to get involved and make a difference, this is the place for you.”