‘Creating fun, memorable experiences’ for guests began when Julian MacQueen was just a young boy on vacation himself. That summer in Florida, he told his parents he wanted to stay at the beach forever. “Get a job,” they told him.
That he did. And he never left the hospitality industry. Hitchhiking the shore, Julian found a job at the Jack Tar Beach House. He worked there during summers until college, when he took up Night Auditing positions at hotels back home in Alabama.
In 1985, after dabbling in hot air balloons before working his way to an executive position with Family Inns of America, Julian founded Innisfree Hotels out of room 201 in the first hotel he developed and owned.
A charismatic leader, he inspires loyalty in his team and a companywide commitment to service. Work, as he says, is worship – if it is done in the service to mankind. And hospitality is a way to change the world, one guest at a time. By these and other principles, Julian has cultivated his team and grown the Innisfree portfolio along the Gulf Coast and beyond.
Julian has been married to Kim MacQueen for more than four decades. They share two children, Skye and Jonathan, and two grandchildren. A lover of aviation, Julian recently piloted his HondaJet for a trip ‘Around the World in 80 Stays,’ breaking boundaries and world records while discovering new ways to be hospitable.
Transitioning to an active Chairman of the Board position in 2018 after more than 30 years at the helm of Innisfree Hotels, Julian is still deeply involved in the operations of the company he founded – and the culture by which it is defined.
2012 Business Leader of the Year – Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
2016 Hotelier Hall of Fame Award – Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association
2019 Elvin McCorvey Education Award by NAACP
2020 Florida Trend 500’s Most Influential Business Leader in Hospitality
Certified Hotel Administrator
Escambia Children’s Trust – Founding Chairman
Pensacola State College Board of Trustee Member
33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base – 2004 Honorary Commander
Baha’i of Chile – Endowment Committee
The Baha’i Chair for World Peace, University of Maryland – Advisory Board Member
Baha’i World Centre, Haifa, Israel – Investment Committee
Beach Community Bank – Board Member and Investor
Best Western International – Advisory Financial Committee
MacQueen School of Hospitality at the University of West Florida – Founder
Pensacola Five Flags Rotary – Honorary Member
Sacred Heart Hospital – Advisory Board Member
Take Stock in Children – Advisory Board Member
Tocqueville Society of United Way – Member
University of South Alabama MacQueen Alumni Center – Distinguished Alumni and Contributor
WICAB (a medical device that allows the blind population to see with their tongue) – Founding Board Member and Investor
Institute of Human and Machine Cognition – Foundation Board Member
Independence for the Blind of Northwest Florida – Founding Chairman and Board Member
From The Ground Up Community Garden – Founder
Chattanooga, Tennessee Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) – President and Charter Member
First American Bank of Pensacola – Founding Board Member and Investor
Escambia Destination Marketing Organization – Chairman
Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association – Board Member
Florida’s Western Gate Economic Development Council (FWG-EDC)
Hotel Sales and Marketing Association of Alabama – Founding Board Member
North American Brain Injury Society – Secretary and Founding Board Member
Pensacola Chamber of Commerce – Committee of 100
Pensacola Naval Aviation – Museum Advisory Council
Pensacola State College – Foundation Board Member
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee Tourism Bureau – Vice President and Advisory Board Member
Quality International Franchise Advisory Board, Region III
THNK School of Leadership Graduate
University of West Florida College of Business Advisory Council – Financial Resource Committee
WSRE (PBS) Wine and Food Classic – Event Chairman