Maximiliano Hernandez

Director of Banquets
“While I find the restaurant world utterly chaotic, with banquets, you have time to prepare and plan ahead to ensure every last detail is executed to perfection.”


Four Seasons Tenure

  • Originally since 2001, now since 2014
  • First Four Seasons assignment: Ritz Carlton Chicago (formerly a Four Seasons hotel)

Employment History

  • Wynn Resorts Las Vegas; Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis; Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco; Four Seasons Resort Lanai; Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC; Ritz Carlton Chicago (formerly a Four Seasons hotel)


  • Bachelor of Science, Hotel & Restaurant Management, University of Houston


  • Panama City, Panama

Languages Spoken

  • English, Spanish

Maximiliano “Max” Hernandez, Director of Banquets at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, had six global moves under his belt before he left for college, so adaptability and change come second nature to him. With his 20 years of banquets experience at renowned properties across the US, he doesn’t “sweat the small stuff” and is used to doing whatever it takes to ensure the banquet events he oversees are flawless.

Born in Panama, Hernandez’s father was a US Diplomat, and as such, the family frequently moved for his role. After Panama City, Hernandez, his parents, and older brother moved to Washington, DC; then to Brasilia, Brazil; then Asuncion, Paraguay; then Barcelona; then Athens; then Mexico City; and finally, to Houston, where he attended college at the University of Houston. Moving around every three years while growing up was challenging, Hernandez said, but looking back he says, “in hindsight, it’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.”

Learning to be flexible is key with the banquet events Hernandez produces, especially with Central Florida’s rapidly changing weather shifts during certain seasons. A summer event planned outdoors could have to be moved indoors due to a fast-moving rainstorm, for instance. Having everything set up, including the kitchen stations, to accommodate several hundred people is no simple task, and yet Hernandez has it down to a science.

Prior to joining the opening team at Four Seasons Orlando, Hernandez was working for a large-scale convention property in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Like Las Vegas, Orlando also welcomes many sizeable conventions and events, and with both destinations being major entertainment hubs, there’s a lot of similarities. “In Vegas, I learned the art of how to produce a high-volume event for thousands of people, at a luxury level,” notes Hernandez. “My time in Las Vegas really opened my eyes to a compelling way of doing things differently.”

Life was going swimmingly in Las Vegas, when a former colleague from Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis, Stephen Wancha, who was Director of Food & Beverage at Four Seasons Resort Orlando, came knocking to lure Hernandez back as part of Wancha’s opening team.  Hernandez happily re-joined Four Seasons along with a few other Four Seasons St. Louis alums, including Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi.  “It was great to come back and be a part of something new and exciting, and work with several talented people whom I had known for years,” adds Hernandez. “It felt like a homecoming.”

Hernndez traded the Vegas entertainment of energetic casino tables and mesmerizing headliner performances for something that never fails to produce a smile: the magic of Walt Disney World Resort character appearances.  At Four Seasons, many guests choose to have a special Disney character appearance at their banquet or convention, to surprise and delight their guests.  “It’s amazing,” says Hernandez, whose favourite Disney characters are Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King.  “I turn into a little kid when I see the characters come into the room! I highly enjoy it, and all the attendees do, as well.”

When Hernandez is not orchestrating seamless events such as swoon-worthy weddings, gorgeous social galas and incredible meetings and conventions, he loves spending time with his wife and two school-age children. An avid cyclist, he typically bikes 50 miles (80 kilometres) on an average weekend, and enjoys cycling on the West Orange Trail in Winter Garden.  It’s a goal of Hernandez to cycle from Florida’s coast-to-coast, from St. Petersburg on the Gulf side to Cocoa Beach on the Atlantic.

“Cycling motivates me every time - it doesn’t matter if I’ve done the ride 30 times, I always want to do better on the next ride,” notes Hernandez, who brings that same level of passion and strive for excellence every day to Four Seasons.